Cross and Swastika: The Nazi Party and the German Churches

To what extent did Christians support Hitler, and for what reasons?

When considering the relationship between the Nazis and the Christian Churches, it could be assumed that it would be one of barely concealed hostility. Many of the fundamental beliefs of the Nazis should have proved abhorrent to the Christian Churches of Germany. Nazism was a movement based on strength, military might, racial hatred and intolerance towards any forms of weakness. This contrasted starkly with Christianity’s espousal of forgiveness, love, charity and humility. Hitler himself condemned the Christian faith by scathingly remarking that, ‘taken to its logical conclusion, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of human failure’. So it would seem natural that the Christian Churches would stand up against the Nazi regime and resist it as resolutely as possible. In reality, however, the relationship between the Nazis and the Churches was much more ambiguous.

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