The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter VII
Means Used by the Nazi Conspiractors in Gaining Control of the German State
(Part 30 of 55)

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A. The Nazi conspirators sought to subvert the influence of the churches over the people of Germany.

(1) They sought to eliminate the Christian Churches in Germany.

(a) Statements of this aim. Martin Bormann stated in a secret decree of the Party Chancellery signed by him and distributed to all Gauleiters 7 June 1941:

"Our National Socialist ideology is far loftier than the con-

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cepts of Christianity, which in their essential points have been taken over from Jewry ***. A differentiation between the various Christian confessions is not to be made here *** the Evangelical Church is just as inimical to us as the Catholic Church. *** All influences which might impair or damage the leadership of the people exercised by the Fuehrer with the help of the NSDAP must be eliminated. More and more the people must be separated from the churches and their organs the pastors. *** Just as the deleterious influences of astrologers, seers and other fakers are eliminated and suppressed by the State, so must the possibility of church influence also be totally removed. *** Not until this has happened, does the state leadership have influence on the individual citizens. Not until then are the people and Reich secure in their existence for all time." (D-75)

Hans Kerrl, Reich Minister for Church Affairs, in a letter dated 6 September 1939 to a Herr Stapel, which indicated that it would be brought to the attention of the Confidential Council and of the defendant Hess, made the following statements:

"The Fuehrer considers his efforts to bring the Evangelical Church to reason, unsuccessful and the Evangelical Church with respect to its condition rightfully a useless pile of sects. As you emphasize the Party has previously carried on not only a fight against the political element of the Christianity of the Church, but also a fight against membership of Party Members in a Christian confession.***

"The Catholic Church will and must, according to the law under which it is set up, remain a thorn in the flesh of a Racial State***." (129-PS)

Gauleiter Florian, in a letter dated 23 September 1940 to the defendant Hess, stated:

"The churches with their Christianity are the danger against which to fight is absolutely necessary." (064-PS)

Regierungsrat Roth, in a lecture 22 September 1941, to a group of Security Police, in the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA) concluded his address on Security Police (Sipo) measures for combatting church politics and sects with the following remarks:

"The immediate aim: the church must not regain one inch of the ground it has lost. The ultimate aim: Destruction of the Confessional Churches to be brought about by the collection of all material obtained through the intelligence service (Nachrihtendienst) activities which will at a given time be produced as evidence for the charge of treasonable activities during the German fight for existence." (1815-PS)

The Party Organization Book states:

"Bravery is valued by the SS man as the highest virtue of men in a struggle for his ideology.

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"He openly and unrelentingly fights the most dangerous enemies of the State; Jews, Free Masons, Jesuits, and political clergymen.

"However, he recruits and convinces the weak and inconstant by his example, who have not been able to bring themselves to the National Socialistic ideology." (1855-PS)

(b) The Nazi conspirators promoted beliefs and practices incompatible with Christian teachings. The 24th point of the Program of the NSDAP, unchanged since its adoption in 1920, is as follows:

"We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility." (1708-PS)

In official correspondence with the defendant Rosenberg in 1040, Bormann stated:

"Christian religion and National Socialist doctrines are not compatible. * * * The churches cannot be subjugated through compromise, only through a new philosophy as prophesied in Rosenberg's works."

He then proposed creation of a National Socialist Catechism to provide a "moral foundation" for a National Socialist religion which is gradually to supplant the Christian churches. He stated the matter was so important it should be discussed with members of the Reich Cabinet as soon as possible and requested Rosenberg's opinion before the meeting. (098-PS)

In a secret decree of the Party Chancellery, signed by Bormann and distributed to all Gauleiters on 7 June 1941, the following statements appeared:

"When we National Socialists speak of a belief in God, we do not understand by God, like naive Christians and their spiritual opportunists, a human-type being, who sits around somewhere in the sphere ***. The force of natural law, with which all these innumerable planets move in the universe, we call the Almighty, or God. The claim that this world force *** can be influenced by so-called prayers or other astonishing things is based upon a proper dose of naivete or on a business shamelessness.

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"As opposed to that we National Socialists impose on ourselves the demand to live naturally as much as possible, i.e., biologically. The more accurately we recognize and observe the laws of nature and of life, the more we adhere to them, so much the more do we conform to the will of the Almighty. The more insight we have into the will of the Almighty, the greater will be our successes." (D-75)

Rosenberg in his book "The Myth of the 20th Century" advocated a new National Socialist faith or religion to replace the Christian confessions in Germany. He stated that the Catholic and Protestant churches represent "negative Christianity" and do not correspond to the soul of the "Nordic racially determined peoples"; that a German religious movement would have to declare that the idea of neighborly love is unconditionally subordinated to national honor; that national honor is the highest human value and does not admit of any equal valued force such as Christian love. He predicted:

"A German religion will, bit by bit, present in the churches transferred to it, in place of the crucifixion the spirit of fire the heroicin the highest sense." (2349-PS)

The Reich Labor Service (Reichsarbeitsdienst), a National Socialist youth organization, was prohibited from participating in religious celebrations of any kind, and its members were instructed to attend only the parts of such ceremonies as weddings and funerals which took place before or after the church celebration. (107-PS)

The Nazi conspirators considered religious literature undesirable for the Wehrmacht. National Socialist publications were prepared for the Wehrmacht for the expressed purpose of replacing and counteracting the influence of religious literature disseminated to the troops. (101-PS; 100-PS; 064-PS)

The Nazi conspirators through Rosenberg's Office for Supervision of the Ideological Training and Education of the NSDAP and the Office of the Deputy of the Fuehrer "induced" the substitution of National Socialist mottoes and services for religious prayers and services in the schools of Germany. (070-PS)

The original plaintext version of part one or part two of this file is available via ftp.

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