Nazism and the Christian Heritage

Robert Carr draws uncomfortable parallels between Christianity and Nazism.

At first sight, the very idea that Nazism bears any relation to Christianity seems absurd. Yet before dismissing such an idea, we have we consider certain similarities. Certainly there were marked Christian influences on Nazism. This article will look specifically at the expression of Nazi anti-Semitism.

Christian Anti-Semitism

Nazi Germany was both a product of, and established in, Christian Europe. The Führer himself was educated in the strictest of Catholic institutions - a Benedictine monastery in Bavaria. More than that, he’d been a church chorister. Without doubt, childhood experiences help to mould adulthood. Christian influences certainly remained important in Hitler’s life: his favourite bed-time reading was Martin Luther. Luther had particular advice to offer concerning those who had failed to follow Christ - the Jews. Luther urged Christian action against them, including concentrating them in certain areas, drowning Jewish individuals and even wholesale murder:

We are at fault in not avenging all this innocent blood of our Lord and the blood of the children they have shed since then (which still shines forth from their eyes and their skin). We are at fault in not slaying them.

To read this article in full you need to be either a print + archive subscriber, or else have purchased access to the online archive.

If you are already a subscriber, please ensure you are logged in. 

Buy Subscription | Buy Online Access | Log In

If you are logged in and still cannot read the article, please email

Get Miscellanies, our free weekly long read, in your inbox every week