Hitler’s Ersatz Religion

The Virgin Islands Daily News/April 21, 1941

by Stanley High

Cynically convinced that they can pervert to their own uses man’s instinctive need to believe in something greater than himself, the Nazis have set up a new religion in Germany whose ersatz god sanctifies Nazi ambitions and justifies Nazi blood lust. Its God is Germany. Hitler is its Christ. Its Bible is Mein Kampf.

This is not rhetoric. I am being literal.

This purposeful prostitution of the religious instinct has its own creed, prayers, sacraments of confirmation and marriage, and “solemn ceremonials” of christening and burial. The Nazis have established synthetic saints, appointed days for their veneration, and set up “holy places” for pilgrims to visit.

The whole power of the party is behind the effort to uproot Christianity and substitute for it a heathen tribalism. Instruction in the new faith is part of all teachers’ training courses, its literature is required reading in the schools. The daily press and the movies are required to propagate the faith; its hymn books have been bought by more than 1,000,000 German families.

It was essential that Nazism be a religion, because only by the unscrupulous abuse of the religious impulses of the people could Hitler arouse that blind, frenzied, blood-letting devotion which was indispensible for adventures so ruthless as his. The Christian God was not exclusively German. Millions of German Christians bowed to One who was above the party. Christianity therefore had to be destroyed and a new faith substituted, for Nazism can allow no divided loyalties.

The first article of the Nazi religion makes the state the Supreme Good. God and Germany are one. Baldur von Schirach, Leader of the German Youth, describes it as “the Divine Law that is called Germany.”

To get an all-out devotion which merely human leaders could not win, Hitler has been deified. Hitler himself defined his relationship to the party leaders with a paraphrase of Jesus’ language to His disciples:

“I am with you and you are with me.” To Nazi officeholders, said Dr. Robert Ley, head of the German Labor Front, those words mean that “every official has to live his life according to the Fuhrer’s precepts and ask himself before every action: Would Adolf Hitler approve of this?”

“The German Faith Movement,” says one of its spokesmen. “acknowledges only one Lord, Adolf Hitler.” Ernest Hauck, a German educator, declares at a Coburg mass meeting that “Christ was great but Hitler is greater.” Frequently, Hitler is spoken of as “Our Redeemer.” The famous Christian hymn, Christ, Thou Lord of the New Age, has been changed for party gatherings of Hitler, Thou Lord of the New Age.

Official portraits of the Fuhrer show his head bathed in a mystic light. These photographs are frequently used in party shrines. Underneath the icons prayers to Hitler are described—of which this is a good sample: To Thee, O My Leader, belongs everything we possess,

Our goods and our lives

Our hearts and our souls.

In many government orphanages a prayer to Hitler is required to every meal: “To thee I owe, alone my daily bread: abandon thou me never, with me fore’er abide, Fuhrer, my Fuhrer, my Faith and my Light.”

When the party magazine Schwarze Korps called on its readers for testimonies on what “Adolf Hitler means to me,” it was flooded with fervent replies—such as “Adolf Hitler is the visible personal expression of what in our youth was represented as God” and “I have never felt the divine power of God as near as in the greatness of our Fuhrer.”

Since the Nazis’ needs are physical, the party has developed a morality based on the physical. The only good it preaches is “more and better bodies.” The practice in this doctrine is what the Nazis mean by the Biological Revolution.

The “Biological Revolution” helps to explain the relentless Nazi persecution of the Christian Church. For doctrines run violently counter to the Christian teachings of the sanctity of the home and of marriage; of the importance of the human soul even though in an imperfect body; of premarital chastity. Under a new law decreed in 1938, matrimony is no more regarded as a divine institution, but as the germ cell of state. Thus sexual intercourse between married people is not “an intimately personal and vital relationship essentially based on the consent of husband and wife, but a public act.” The Christian marriage ceremony, with its reference to God, is frowned upon; the official “German marriage” is preferred.

The aim of marriage is the same as that of any other war industry: production of war material. The interpretation of the new marriage law frankly declares that the object of matrimony is the procreation of children for the state. Whenever this end is not achieved such a marriage is evil and is to be dissolved.

The only moral compulsion laid on German women is that they produce. In an appeal early last year, the Schwarze Korps declared: The number of births of best blood must not be allowed in this war to sink below normal peace time figures. A girl who here dodges her highest duty is as great a traitor as a soldier who deserts his flag. S.S. men! Show that you are ready not only to give your lives for your country, but to give her far more lives before you die.”

Heinrich Himmler, chief of the S.S. and the Gestapo, declares that there is a wartime duty for German girls “of pure blood” which lies beyond marriage and has nothing to do with it. This is to become mothers of children by soldiers who leave for the front.

Moved by such appeals, young unmarried Germans advertise their availability in the press. Here are two such advertisements which appeared in the Suddeutsche Sonntagspost last May.

“I am a soldier 22 years old, tall, blond blue eyed. Before I go to give my life for Fuhrer and Fatherland I want to meet a German woman to whom I can leave a child and their to the glory of Germany.”

The second read: “A German girl wishes to become mother of a child whose father is a German soldier fighting for National Socialism.”

No normal, civilized compunctions are allowed to interfere with this breeding program. The Schwarze Korps urges that “artificial insemination should be called into play in marriages where, with a healthy potential mother, no children have been produced. If other methods fail, helpers must be called in – if possible a brother of the husband.”

(Source: Google News, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=hefNtdE4IMkC&dat=19410421&printsec=frontpage&hl=en)