Persecution of Christian Churches by Hitler
In 1999 Julie Seltzer Mandel, while researching documents for the "Nuremberg Project", discovered 150 bound volumes collected by Gen. William Donovan as part of his work on documenting Nazi war crimes. Donovan was a senior member of the U.S. prosecution team and had compiled large amounts of evidence that Nazis persecuted Christian Churches. In a 108-page outline titled "The Nazi Master Plan" Office of Strategic Services investigators argued that the Nazi regime had a plan to reduce the influence of Christian churches through a campaign of systematic persecutions.
"Important leaders of the National Socialist party would have liked to meet this situation [of church influence] by complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion," said the report. The most persuasive evidence came from "the systematic nature of the persecution itself." However "direct evidence" of this plan might possibly be obtained through an examination of the "directives of the Reich Propaganda Ministry" or by the "questioning of Nazi newspapermen and local and regional propagandists".
The O.S.S. outline suggested that the plan to neutralize the Churches was conceived by Hitler and an inner circle even before the Nazis came to power, however editor and historian Richard Bonney stated this conjecture was an "interesting, but undocumented, assertion." The report argued that "considerations of expediency made it impossible, however, for the National Socialist movement to adopt this radical anti-Christian policy officially."
Historian Alan Bullock is in agreement with this view, and argues that once the war was over it was Hitler's intention to "root out and destroy the influence of the Christian Churches." According to its own self-assessment, however, the O.S.S. "document is still seriously lacking in evidence of probative value, and is consequently ill suited to serve as the basis for an international discussion."
Under the supervision of Alfred Rosenberg and Heinrich Himmler moves were made to reduce Christianity's presence in German traditions, such as replacing Christian elements in Christmas carols with pagan references.
Ref. Claire, Hulme; Salter, Michael. "The Nazi's persecution of religion as a war crime: The OSS's response within the Nuremberg Trials Process" and Wiki.
Also see Hitler's Positive Christianity
Excerpts from Will Durant's The Age of Faith Pages 162-186 Pub. 1950
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- The Golden Age of Islam is a Myth
- Bernard Lewis on Understanding Islam
- The Roots of Muslim Rage Part 1
- The Roots of Muslim Rage Part 2