Germany was a Christian nation long before the Nazi’s came along in the 1920s. When the Nazi’s took power in Germany, they were widely and generally supported. Even after the defeat of the Third Reich in 1945, a majority of the German People (in a survey conducted by the US military) remained sympathetic to the Nazis and wished for a return of surviving Nazi leaders. Most Germans were either active members of the Nazi party or were sympathetic, and most were Christians, mainly Catholic. (There were a lot of non-Christian Germans at the beginning of this period, but the Christian Germans killed or drove away most of them.) Most Germans were anti Semitic and many were directly involved in the slaughter of over six million Jews and other “undesirables.” The Holocaust was a perfectly logical extension of over a century of increasingly bitter and obsessive anti Semitism evolving hand and hand with German Catholic political ideology and white supremacist doctrine in Germany and elsewhere. There were no Atheists involved in any of this. None.

The image above is the Catholic Church’s National Bishop Friedrich Coch saluting Hitler in 1933. Photo from here.


  1. #1 Arnd
    September 17, 2010

    I am german. What you write is mostly true i think. But the protestants had a slight majority over catholics in germany… not that it matters. Both protestants and catholics are getting fewer and fewer nowadays with protestants losing more than catholics.

  2. #2 Phil
    September 17, 2010

    One can go further with a little imagination. I am no expert, but I can see the worst ant-Semitism being focussed in southern Germany (Bavaria), as well as Austria, Poland, and Croatia – all strongly catholic. Certainly the protestant north was complicit, although the tiny opposition included the lutheran Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
    Why then, were France and Italy not also enthusiastic for the cause? The catholic church in those countries had a higher priority: defeating communism, which was a serious threat to their power.
    It’s fun to speculate!

  3. #3 NewEnglandBob
    September 17, 2010

    Of course, Nazi Ratzi knows all this because he was in the middle of it. That makes his lying so much worse.

  4. #4 rijkswaanvijand
    September 17, 2010

    There were Atheists involved, as victims though; people seem to remember the yellow stars but keep forgetting the red triangles..

  5. #5 rijkswaanvijand
    September 17, 2010

    @2 The Vichy regime did willingly cooperate in the “Endlösung”

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    September 17, 2010

    There were Jews involved in the Holocaust. There were Jews pulling gold out of fellow Jew’s teeth. So what’s the point? Germany was a “culturally Christian” nation in the same way that many Christians now claim that we Atheists who live in America are “culturally Christian” (even the ex-Jewish ones, by the sound of it).

    The Holocaust was brought to you by the Christian mindset, the Christian Religion, and was part of an historical anti Semitism that was a conspiracy of Christians generally and the organized churches.

    The Scotts should have thrown the Pope out the moment he threw off the Church’s responsibility in the Holocaust. The US should toss the Vatican ambassador/council/whatever out after a stern talking to. Every European country should call their representatives to the Vatican in for a strategy session.

    I’m annoyed at an atheist to be blamed for the Holocaust. But the entire world should be very angry at the Pope for handing the responsibility for this event off. What’s next? That the Holocaust did not happen in Germany, that it was the Poles that did it?

    It will be interesting to see how various flavors of anti-Holocaust denialists respond to this. Will the Christian and Jewish/Religious anti-denialists sit on their hands? So far most have, as far as my RSS feed knows.

  7. #7 L.Long
    September 17, 2010

    Don’t know who said it first but it is too true…

    A Heinlein story predicts a religious fascist state in america by 2100, looking at the tea party wackos and the xtian right’s efforts, it just might happen.

  8. #8 Pierce R. Butler
    September 17, 2010

    L.Long @ # 7: A Heinlein story predicts a religious fascist state in america by 2100…

    Heinlein’s “Future History” involved an American theocracy being overthrown in 2100, after being established in the early decades of the 21st century.

    Nehemiah Scudder lives…

  9. #9 bioinformatics training
    September 18, 2010

    Yah . Really Heinlein’s “Future History” involved an American theocracy being overthrown in 2100….

  10. #10 hoary puccoon
    September 18, 2010

    Greg– Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this. Too many commentators seem to be going soft on this issue. The Pope’s scapegoating of atheists is the exact technique of the “Big Lie” that Adolph Hitler used against the Jews. If Ratzinger wanted to talk about WWII, he should have apologized for the church’s failure to excommunicate Hitler, instead of imitating his methods.

    This is not about a 14 year old kid who was forced to join Hitler Youth. It’s not about who did or didn’t collaborate with the Third Reich in 1943. This is about a very powerful religious leader who– right now, September, 2010– is using the same methods pioneered by Adolph Hitler to scapegoat a group of innocent people, strictly on the basis of their private views about religion.

    Ratzinger’s lies should be condemned by every honorable person, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, atheist, or whatever.

  11. #11 L.Long
    September 18, 2010

    OK got detail wrong–40yr old memory.
    But hopefully he is still right cuz then the theocracy will last only 50yrs.

  12. #12 timberwoof
    September 18, 2010

    I’d put more faith in this: http://www.timepage.org/time.html than in the musings of a science fiction writer whose main characters all sound the same and have a direct line to God in their brains.

  13. #13 T. Russell Hunter
    February 15, 2014

    And yet the most outspoken opponents of Nazism and eugenics at the time were evangelical Christians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who also criticized the fake Christians of their day.

    This is all consistent with what the Bible teaches about a nation’s church losing their salt and light and acting like the world instead of transforming it.

    Your thinking here is nowhere near complex enough to be even considered thoughtful.

    PS: Your agenda is showing.

  14. #14 Sylvester B
    Houston, TX
    February 16, 2014

    Just picked up a Poul Anderson book at the used book store. Haven’t read him since I was a teenager. The interesting thing is the map he provides for the time in the far future. The Mississippi River is the Jugular River and the Rio Grand is shown by another name (83 year old memory lapse). Back to science fiction after so long…fascinating.

    As to Christian Nazis. Power is power no matter the name of the organization. As I recall, the Nazis had some peculiar beliefs (such as a fascination with the Ark of the Covenant) that were not basically Christian in origin. And nominal Christians rarely practice their “faith” in all regards.


  15. #15 dean
    February 16, 2014

    PS: Your agenda is showing.

    T Russell Hunter, it seems you simply can’t stand having facts you find to be inconvenient pointed out. Your religion’s lack of defense is showing.

  16. #16 Sylvester B
    houston, TX
    February 16, 2014

    Dean: As an ex-Catholic educated in parochial schools and by the Jesuits in college and law school, currently agnostic if not quite atheistic, let me add that religion has always been a good business. And the bigger the religion, the better the business. The Catholic church has been a good business for a long time. One of the popes (a few hundred years ago) let the cat out of the bag when he said “It has been most useful to us, this myth of Christ”.

  17. #17 e madden
    innisfail australia
    October 6, 2014

    the truth hurts us all , all of us in this world are guilty to some degree of the kind of hatred that can lead to the holocaust .yesterdays victims can and do sometimes become todays aggressor! look at the palestinian Israeli situation

  18. #18 The abused apostrophe
    February 26, 2015

    Twice you use “Nazi’s” when you mean “Nazis.”

  19. #19 Greg Laden
    February 26, 2015

    It is a thing my finger does sometimes.

  20. #20 Chris O'Neill
    February 26, 2015

    Most Germans were either active members of the Nazi party or were sympathetic, and most were Christians, mainly Catholic.

    I wonder how being Lutheran affected the statistics?

  21. #21 Brainstorms
    February 26, 2015

    What’s the difference between

    1. What you label yourself as

    2. What group you associate with

    3. Your attitudes, beliefs, and actions