Was Hitler Religious?

Parsing through a muddled profile of contradictory beliefs

Grant Piper

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(Public domain)

Nazi Germany has been the subject of endless fascination for decades. One of the most interesting aspects of Nazism in Germany was the prevalence of the occult, ancient religious symbolism, and mystical artifacts. There have been myths, fictional accounts, and rumors connecting the Nazi party to everything from the Holy Grail to the Spear of Destiny to Thor’s Hammer. The fascination with the occult, Hitler’s persecution of the Jews, and the complicated relationship between the Nazis and the Christian church have led many people to wonder if Hitler was religious.

Did Hilter believe in a higher power? Was Hitler religious? Can some of the worst atrocities in history be attributed to religion? Or is the Holocaust yet another example of 20th-century atheism causing massive harm?

The answer, like many things in history, is complicated. There are no easy answers but it is clear that Adolf Hitler had many views and opinions on religion and the church.

Hitler As a Christian

Adolf Hitler’s mother was a practicing Catholic. Therefore, Hitler was baptized as an infant. He later confirmed his baptism at the local cathedral. However, there is no evidence that Hitler ever carried his Catholic upbringing close to his heart. Local neighbors attested that Hitler rarely, if ever, attended mass or received any sacraments after he left home when he was 18 years old.

Later, as a politician, Hitler declared that he was no longer a Catholic but rather a German Christian. But many people see this as an attempt to appeal to the largely Christian population of Germany at the time.

Despite renouncing his Catholic upbringing, Hitler deftly cultivated a lasting relationship with the Vatican. Hitler managed to foster warm relations with not one but two popes which he leveraged to his advantage in his ruthless march to the top of German society.

Hitler remarked in his private journals that he admired Jesus for his opposition to the Jews of his time. He saw Christianity as a modern vessel of antisemitism. But despite his personal analysis of Jesus’s relationship with ancient Judaism he clearly never followed Jesus’s message of…

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Grant Piper

Professional writer. Amateur historian. Husband, father, Christian.