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"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." G.K.Chesterton

"You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion." G.K.Chesterton

"As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that."C. S. Lewis

"I blog, therefore I am." Anon

Friday, July 18, 2003

Hitler saw himself as a messiah... just not the Christian one

Hitler took over the party leadership in July 1921 but he was little more than a conventional chairman with a rhetorical gift. Only the success of Mussolini and his `March on Rome' made Hitler understand that he could match the messianic expectations of the Germans with his own ambitions. The party press, by 1923, began to refer to Hitler as the Leader. He started to borrow consciously from biblical images: in Berlin, he said, he would throw out the money changers.

The looting of church ritual fed the Hitler cult. Kindergarten children recited:

Fold your hands, bow your head
and think of Adolf Hitler
who gives us work and gives us bread
and takes away all our troubles.

It was a short step from pseudo-Christianity to outright anti-Christianity. The German heathen myths and Nordic mysticism began to take hold. By 1934 teenagers were singing:

We are the happy Hitler youth,
We do not need the virtues of the church
for it is our Fuhrer Adolf Hitler
who stands at our side.

No evil priest can prevent us
from feeling that we are the children of Hitler.
We follow not Christ, but Horst Wessel.
Away with incense and holy water.

The Church can go hang for all we care.
The Swastika brings salvation on earth.
I want to follow it step by step.
Baldur von Schirach, take me along!

Hitler pictures were distributed like images of Jesus or the Virgin Mary, to the seriously sick as an aid to healing. Propaganda stories told of people abandoning their wheelchairs at the mere suggestion that Hitler was going to visit their home town.

(Adam LeBor and Roger Boyes, Surviving Hitler: Choices, Corruption and Compromise in the Third Reich London Simon & Schuster, 2000 pp110-111)

9:15:00 pm