The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, 1933-45

By J. S. Conway | Go to book overview

Appendix 8: Himmler's Published Attitude
towards Religion

(From Die Schutzstaffel als antibolshewistische Kampforganisation, (Munich 1936), p. 27)

I have put these questions and answers to you in order to show you clearly our attitude towards religion. You may be sure that we would not be capable of existing as a corps of sworn brothers if we did not have conviction and faith in a God who stands over us and our Fatherland, who created our people and this earth and sent us our Führer.

We are completely convinced that we shall be held responsible according to the eternal laws of this world for every deed, for every word and for every thought. Everything which our minds can think up, which our tongues speak and which our hands carry out is not a chance event, but a cause, which will have its effects, which will return in the inescapable unavoidable succession of events to be a blessing or a curse upon us and upon our people. Believe me, men with these convictions are anything but atheists. We object therefore to being called atheists, because as a society we are not bound to this or to that denomination, nor as individuals. But we do take it upon ourselves to draw a sharp and clear line between church and denominational activity on the one side, and political or ideological soldierliness on the other, and we will attack any overlap very sharply. At the same time, despite some very bad experiences and well-justified cause for exasperation which our people have had in the past in this area, we still teach our men to respect anything which is holy to our fellow citizens, from education to upbringing, which will be esteemed by us in words and deed.

-363-

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