The Nazi Plan For Russia

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The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby MKSheppard » 2017-05-14 04:38pm

http://alternatewars.com/WW2/WW2_Docume ... L-1941.htm

This is a brief perfunctory excerpt of an interesting document from a larger 38 page document (HFFH) found online at the US Army's CARL Digital Library.

The full 38 page document can be found at the link to the right – 5.1 MB PDF (http://alternatewars.com/WW2/WW2_Docume ... H_CARL.PDF)

Essentially, put; the document is a brief summary of really interesting things found at Heinrich Himmler's VILLA TRAPP which he stayed at when Hitler was at BERCHTESGADEN.

Shortly before the ultimate collapse of Germany in May 1945, all of the documents from VILLA TRAPP were removed and placed into a salt mine near Hallein. There, they were recovered by U.S. Army troops.

-------------------------------------------------------------

(Book 1 File 6: -.7.41)

Editor's Note:
In July 1941, when Germany was riding the crest of victory in her campaign against Russia, a conference took place at the HQ of the Führer. The purpose of the conference was to decide the future of Russia and her people. HIMMLER was present, took notes – or had someone take them for him – of the conference proceedings. The translation of these notes follows:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Supreme Headquarters of the Führer, 16 July 1941
Bo/Fu.

Top Secret (Of National Importance)

Memorandum

At 1500 today a conference was held by order of the Führer at his place. Reichsleiter ROSENBERG, Reichsminister LAMMERS, Feldmarschall KEITEL, the Reichsmarschall, and I were present.

The conference started at 1500 and lasted with an interruption for coffee until around 2000.

In the introduction the Führer stated that first of all he would like to reach some basic conclusions. Various measures are now imperative. How true that is can be seen from an article in am impudent Vichy newspaper. The article stated that the war against the Soviet Union is Europe's war and that it should be conducted on behalf of the whole of Europe. Evidently, the insinuations of this Vichy newspaper are aimed to prove that not only the Germans are to derive profits from this war, but that all European nations should share in these profits.

It is important, therefore, that we do not divulge our aims to the whole world. This is not necessary so long as we ourselves know what we want. Under no circumstances should our path be made more difficult by unnecessary declarations. Such declarations are not needed because what is within our power we can achieve anyway, and what lies beyond that power, we cannot achieve.

Therefore purely tactical considerations should shape the explanations! we give to the world about the steps we have taken. We should proceed the same way we proceeded in the cases of Norway, Denmark, Holland, and Belgium. In these cases we did not say anything about our intentions, and, if we are clever, we will not do it in the future either.

We will, therefore, point out that we were forced to occupy, organize, and secure a territory. In the interest of the inhabitants we had to provide for law and order, food, transportation, etc. That this is a preparation for a final settlement should not be discernible. That should not prevent us from taking all necessary measures, such as shooting, exportation, etc, and we will do that, too.

We don't want to make any people our enemies unnecessarily or too soon. We will act, therefore, as if we wanted to exercise a mandate. We, however, must understand fully that we will never quit these regions. Thus we have to remember the following:

1. We should not do anything to obstruct a final settlement; rather, we should prepare such a settlement secretly;

2. We should emphasize that we bring freedom.

In particular, all foreigners shall be evacuated from the Crimea, which must be settled with Germans. In the same way old Austrian Galicia will become Reich territory. Today our relations with Rumania are cordial, but we don't know what our relations at any given time in the future will be. We must be prepared and must fix our boundaries accordingly. We should not depend on the good will of third powers. Our relations with Rumania should be governed by this principle.

The fundamental problem is to slice up this tremendous cake so that we can (1) rule it, (2) administer it, and (3) exploit it.

Now, the Russians have issued an order to initiate partisan warfare behind our lines. This partisan warfare has its advantages for us. It gives us the possibility to exterminate anybody who opposes us.

The presence of a military power West of the Urals is completely out of the question, even if we must wage war for a hundred years in order to prevent it. All successors of the Führer must realize that the security of the Reich is guaranteed only when no foreign military power exists west of the Urals. Germany must take over the protection of this region from all possible dangers The iron principle is and shall be: It can never be permitted that any other nation carry arms, other than the German Reich!

This is tremendously important and must be carried out despite the fact that at present it seems easier to rely on the armed help of foreign subjected nations. This is wrong policy; and inevitably it will turn against us. Only the German should bear arms, not the Slav, the Czech, the Cossack, nor the Ukrainian.

Under no circumstances are we to conduct an inconsistent policy, as we did in Alsace prior to 1918. The greatest quality of the Englishman is his constant pursuit of one policy, of one aim. In this respect we must learn from the Englishman. We cannot let individual personalities shape our attitude. Also in this respect the English attitude in India toward the Hindu princes, etc. should serve us as an example: the soldier must always provide security for the regime.

We must create a Garden of Eden out of the newly acquired Eastern regions. They are of vital importance to us. Colonies are of a secondary importance comparatively. Even if we partition some parts of the territory now, we should always proceed as protectors of law and of the populations. Therefore, we must choose the expedient wording at present. We shall not speak about a new Reich territory but, rather, about a task made necessary by war.

In the Baltic the territory stretching to the Düna should be incorporated administratively after more specific consultation with Field Marshall KEITEL.

Reichsleiter ROSENBERG points out that in his opinion a different treatment of the population is necessary in every Commissariat. In the Ukraine we should initiate a cultural program. The historical self-consciousness of the Ukranians is to be awakened, a university founded in Kiev, etc.

In return the Reichsmarschall declares that in the first place we must think about guaranteeing our food supplies; everything else can come much later.

(Footnote: is there a cultural social strata in the Ukrain, or are better class Ukranians only outside present-day Russia as emigrants?)

ROSENBERG continues that it is necessary to foster some autonomous movements in the Ukraine.

The Reichsmarschall asks the Führer to announce what territory or territories have been promised to other states.

The Führer replies that ANTONESCU wants Bessarabia and Odessa in addition to a strip leading from Odessa West-Northwest.

To the objection of the Reichsmarschall and ROSENBERG, the Führer remarks that the new frontier requested by ANTONESCU only slightly exceeds the old Rumanian frontier.

Further, the Führer points out that nothing definite has been promised to the Hungarians, Turks, or Slovaks.

Then the Führer submits it to discussion to decide whether the old Austrian part of Galicia should be immediately annexed to the General Government. After various objections the Führer decides that it should not come under the General Government but should be put under the jurisdiction of Reichsminister FRANK at Lemberg (Lwow).

The Reichsmarschall believes that various parts of the Baltic region, i.e. the Forests of Byalystok, should be annexed to East Prussia.

The Führer emphasizes that the whole Baltic should become Reich territory.

Likewise, the Crimea, together with a considerable hinterland, should become Reich territory. This hinterland should be very extensive.

ROSENBERG objects to this because of the Ukranians living in that territory.

(Remark: Several times now ROSENBERG has, shown great interest for the Ukranians; he also wants to expand the old Ukraine considerably.)
The Führer points out in addition, that the Volga Colony and the region around Baku must also become German territory. It should become a German Military Colony.

The Finns want East Karelia, but the Kola peninsula should come to Germany on account of the great nickel deposits there.

Preparations should be made with great care to annex Finland as a Federate State. The Finns demand the region around Leningrad. The Führer intends to level the city to the ground and then give it to the Finns.

A somewhat lengthy discussion follows about the capability of Gauleiter LOHSE, who. is recommended by ROSENBERG as Governor of the Baltic. ROSENBERG points out repeatedly that he already spoke to LOHSE, and it would be very embarrassing if LOHSE were not appointed. The western part of the Baltic should go to KUBE under LOHSE. ROSENBERG thought of SAUCKEL for the Ukraine,

In opposition the Reichsmarschall emphasizes that the most important point of view, which should govern us exclusively at the time, is the securing of the food supply and, as necessity demands, the whole economy, roads, etc.

The Reichsmarschall claims that KOCH should be considered either for the Baltic, because of his good knowledge of that territory, or the Ukraine, as he would certainly be the best administrator, possessing the greatest initiative and best background.

The Führer asked if KOBE could not be considered as Commissioner for the Moscow region; ROSENBERG and the Reichsmarachall are of the opinion that KUBE has become too old for that.

After repeated suggestions ROSENBERG declared that he is afraid KOCH would soon refuse to carry out his directives. KOCH has already said so himself.

The Reichsmarschall replied that ROSENBERG should not always lead these men by the nose; these men will have to work very independently.

For the Caucasian region ROSENBERG recommends his Stabsleiter, SCHICKEDANZ; he repeatedly emphasized that SCHICKEDANZ would fulfill his task very well, but the Reichsmarschall has his doubts.

ROSENBERG then declared that LUTZE made the proposition to him to install various SA-Führer; namely, SCHEPPMANN in Kiev, MANTHEY, Dr. BENNECKE, and LITZMANN in Estonia, and Bürgermeister Dr. DREXLER in Latvia.

The Führer has no objection against the use of the SA-Führer.

ROSENBERG then declares that he received a letter from RIBBENTROP in which he expressed the wish to have the Foreign Office brought into the picture also. He, however, requests the Führer to state, that the inner development of the new territories does not concern the Foreign Office. This view is entirely shared by the Führer. It is sufficient for the time being that the Foreign Office sends a liaison man to Reichsleiter ROSENBERG.

The Führer declares that the most important region for the next three years will be the Ukraine. Therefore, it will be best if KOCH is sent there. If SAUCKEL is to be used, it would be better to send him to the Baltic.

ROSENBERG states that he would like to use SCHMEER, SELZNER, and MANDERBACH as Commissars in the Moscow District. The Fuhrer wishes that HOLZ be given a position also and that the administration of the Crimea should go to the former Gauleiter, FRAUENFELD.

ROSENBERG also states that he would also like to use Captain voh PETERSDORFF as a reward for his services. There is general consternation and disapproval. The Führer and the Reichsmarschall declare that von PETERSDORFF is undoubtedly mentally disturbed.

ROSENBERG also states that the Oberbürgermeister of Stuttgart, STRÖLIN has been recommended to him. There is no objection against that.

As KUBE is too old for the Moscow District according to the Reichsmarschall and ROSENBERG, KASCHE should take over that district.

(Note to Pg. KLOPPFER: Please request right away the files concerning the proposed organization and the proposed appointments from Dr. MEYER.)
The Reichsmarschall states also he would like to give the Kola peninsula to Gauleiter TERBOVEN for exploitation. The Führer agrees to that.

The Führer declares that for the time being LOHSE should take over the Baltic, if he believes that he is fit for the task, KASCHE should take Moscow, KOCH the Ukraine, FRAUENFELD the Crimea, TERBOVEN Kola, and SCHICKEDANZ the Caucasus.

Then ROSENBERG opened up the question of security for the administration.

The Fuhrer told the Reichsmarschall and the Feldmarschall that he always insisted that the Police Regiments be equipped with armored cars. This is absolutely imperative for the commitment of the police in the new Eastern regions, for with a sufficient number of armored cars a Police Regiment can accomplish much more. Otherwise, the Führer declares that the security forces would be spread very thin. But the Reichsmarschall shall transfer all the training airfields to the new regions and if it would become necessary, even JU 52's could drop bombs in case of revolt. The enormous territories should be pacified as fast as possible. This can best be done by shooting anyone who even has a cross look on his face.

Feldmarschall KEITEL declares that the inhabitants have to be made responsible for their own belongings because it is not possible to post a guard for every barn or every railroad station. The inhabitants should know that anyone who does not act properly will be shot and that they will be made responsible for every offense.

Answering the question of Reichsleiter ROSENBERG, the Führer declared that newspapers shall be re-established, including those in the Ukraine, so as to provide a means to influence the population.

After a pause, the Führer pointed out that we must realize the present day Europe is only a geographic terms in reality Asia extends to our former boundaries.

Then Reichsleiter ROSENBERG explains the organizational set-up, which he has in mind. He does not intend to name a permanent deputy of the Rchskom. in advance, but the most efficient Gen.Kom. should take over the representation of the Rchskom. at all times.

ROSENBERG wants to create four departments of the Rchskom:

1. General Administration

2. Political Department

3. Economic Department

4. Technic and Construction

(Remark: The Führer states that Church activities are out of the question. PAPEN has sent him a long memorandum through the Foreign Office in which it is stated that this is the appropriate moment to reestablish the Churches. But this is completely out of the question.)
The Reichsmarschall will attach Min.Dir. SCHLOTTERER and RIECKE to the ROSENBERG office.

Reichsleiter ROSENBERG makes a request for a suitable office building. He asks that the Soviet Trade building in the Lietzenburgerstrasse be given to him, oven though the Foreign Office is of the opinion that this building is extra-territorial. The Führer replies that this is nonsense. Reichsminister Dr. LAMMERS is told to inform the Foreign Office that the building should be handed to ROSENBERG without further discussion.

ROSENBERG then makes the proposition to appoint a liaison man to the Führer. This task should fall on his adjutant, KOEPPEN. The Führer agrees to that and declares that KOEPPEN should take over the parallel function to HEWEL.

Reichsminister Dr. LAMMERS then reads the plans he drew up. (See appendix)

A lengthy discussion follows about the competence of the RFSS. Evidently all participants also keep the competence of the Reichsmarschall in mind at the same time. The Fuhrer and the Reichsmarschall repeatedly point out that HIMMLER should not have a different sphere of jurisdiction from what he has in the Reich, but that that one is absolutely necessary.

The Führer says repeatedly that in practice the different will rapidly disappear. He refers to the excellent co-operation between the Army and the Air Force on the front. In conclusion, it is decided that the Baltic should be named Ostland.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby JI_Joe84 » 2017-05-15 04:18pm

I'd like the Holocaust denier's to see this. It's undeniable proof the Nazis planned to murder large portions of populations to not only "pacify" but for the main purpose of making room for " good Nazi citizens" and getting the resources under their thumb.

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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Gandalf » 2017-05-16 12:59am

JI_Joe84 wrote:I'd like the Holocaust denier's to see this. It's undeniable proof the Nazis planned to murder large portions of populations to not only "pacify" but for the main purpose of making room for " good Nazi citizens" and getting the resources under their thumb.


Then they claim it's a fabrication, or that the plan was never meant to be followed to the letter, or any number of other rationalisations.

Auschwitz exists, and they persist in their beliefs. A document like this changes little to nothing.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2017-05-16 05:32pm

People like holocaust deniers have always existed, only so much you can do about them. This is actually far more useful though to use against the more rank and file Nazi lovers whom love the thought that the Nazis had a billion super plans running at all times.

In fact as we see here even after the invasion of Russia was actually launched the Nazi plan is less an integrated plan and engineering preperation and more a lot of wishful thinking by wannabe noble murder lords.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-05-17 03:18am

Sea Skimmer wrote:People like holocaust deniers have always existed, only so much you can do about them. This is actually far more useful though to use against the more rank and file Nazi lovers whom love the thought that the Nazis had a billion super plans running at all times.

In fact as we see here even after the invasion of Russia was actually launched the Nazi plan is less an integrated plan and engineering preperation and more a lot of wishful thinking by wannabe noble murder lords.

The GPO was much less a general plan and much more a collection of silly ideas on how to settle the East with millions of Germans and wipe out everyone to the East who couldn't be "germanized". It was worked on by SS people and functionaries from other parts of the Nazi state, and it never looked neither realistic nor even thought-through. Although the Nazis did excel in the murder and plunder part, they were terrible at administrating and no serious resettlement could proceed in the conditions of slaughter and partisan resistance which were a feature of Nazi occupation for 3-5 years depending on the territory.

I also find it remarkable that Himmler pushed for the plan to be so utterly out of touch with reality. He was always pictured as the more sinister and rational Nazi bureaucrat, but the fact is, he had such a massive hard on for genocide, all he did was totally detrimental to the war effort.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-05-17 06:16am

Himmler wasn't that rational. He was excellent at climbing the ladders of bureaucratic power, but he bought into all sorts of fantastic nonsense. The whole "feudal SS lords will rule over East" shtick, the ice moon bullshit, the crazy Nazi mysticism which Hitler found embarrassing, the bullshit German archeology in the East and so on. He wasn't an originator of these theories but he did drink the cool-aid.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Lord Revan » 2017-05-17 06:47am

From what I've read most of the higher ranking nazis did more harm then good to the german war effort, mostly due to not really being in speaking terms with reality.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby cadbrowser » 2017-05-23 08:46am

(Remark: The Führer states that Church activities are out of the question. PAPEN has sent him a long memorandum through the Foreign Office in which it is stated that this is the appropriate moment to reestablish the Churches. But this is completely out of the question.)


I am extremely interested in the context of this statement. Why would a good christian boy not want to re-establish the Churches?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in my mind (based on various sources I've read) the Hitler/Church relationship seems to have developed something like this:

1. With God, I will strike down the Jews (paraphrasing Mein Kampf) and anyone else viewed as sub-human.
1a. Hitler seemed to be quoted as doing God's work.
2. Only the Roman Catholic Church can exist.
3. The Church has no business telling me what I can/can't do.
3a. Secular Education
3b. Separation of Church and State
4. The Church is to be a powerless entity that has no political sway and only provides the necessary feel good support to keep the population subservient to the Führer.

Do I have that somewhat correct?

I surmise in the context of that remark that he was talking about other denominations other than the RCC. Can anyone fill me in because the whole "Hitler was a Christian" thing has me somewhat confused when I come across remarks such as the one I quoted?
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Elheru Aran » 2017-05-23 10:07am

cadbrowser wrote:I surmise in the context of that remark that he was talking about other denominations other than the RCC. Can anyone fill me in because the whole "Hitler was a Christian" thing has me somewhat confused when I come across remarks such as the one I quoted?


Basically, it comes down to "Hitler wasn't a Christian". Which seems, on the face of it, to be rather a gross understatement... but IIRC while he was raised Catholic, he basically spurned it as he matured. Publicly he would declare support for it, along the theory that the great menace of Communism was in part antithetical to the faith and that if he encouraged Germans to reject atheism, they would also reject Communism, but in private he denounced it.

And honestly he seems to have vacillated a bit. It's apparently a subject of some debate among historians, if the amount of discussion on the Wikipedia entry is any indication...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious ... olf_Hitler

Bottom line: He doesn't seem to have been a very serious or practicing Christian in adulthood, particularly while he was in power. At minimum, he seems to have had a low opinion of it, but he respected its place with the people, and was aware of the strength of that particular relationship. As far as the 'Church activities' go, von Papen was a strong Catholic and frequently pushed the Vatican's agenda, but Hitler preferred the Protestant churches as he felt their theology was easier to manipulate, as well as lacking the powerful institutional structure of the RCC.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby cadbrowser » 2017-05-23 04:31pm

Hmmm...I'll need to digest some of this as Wong's own Essay regarding Hitler's Religion gives a seemingly different conclusion.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-05-23 05:16pm

The short version is that Hitler was in favor of promoting a Nazi version of Christianity and disliked the idea of an independent Christian Church not under the control of the Nazi state. Everything should be subject to the control and subordinate to the Nazi state. His version of Christianity is a weird off shot where Jesus isn't a Jew and a lot of Christian morality is thrown out as "corruption", but he believed he was chosen by God. It's a fairly deviant version of the faith and it's understandable that Christian apologists would want to disown both his weird heresy and one of the most infamous men of history, but believing in weird off shot of Christianity doesn't make Hitler non-Christian.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby cadbrowser » 2017-05-24 07:36am

Yeah, after reading through most of that Wiki article Elheru Aran linked, it seems that he was indeed a Christian and publicly announced the support and protection of the institution. However his hatred for all things Jewish (and Hebrew) evoked in him the concept of creating a Aryan version of Christianity. It would've been an interesting denomination to study and analyze had it been developed and implemented within the Third Reich itself.

I wonder then, how many of the racist right wing militant groups out there (ala KKK) have their own version of Christianity where they believe in an Aryan Christ and do not adhere to any of the Old Testament due to its Hebrew origins.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-05-24 08:36am

Imperial Overlord wrote:The short version is that Hitler was in favor of promoting a Nazi version of Christianity and disliked the idea of an independent Christian Church not under the control of the Nazi state. Everything should be subject to the control and subordinate to the Nazi state. His version of Christianity is a weird off shot where Jesus isn't a Jew and a lot of Christian morality is thrown out as "corruption", but he believed he was chosen by God. It's a fairly deviant version of the faith and it's understandable that Christian apologists would want to disown both his weird heresy and one of the most infamous men of history, but believing in weird off shot of Christianity doesn't make Hitler non-Christian.
The catch is that Hitler was in fact rejecting many of the core tenets of Christianity, both theological and ethical. He was failing the "walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck" test pretty hard; Hitler very rarely quacked or looked like a Christian, let alone walked like one.*

How deviant would his religious views have to be before Christians would be justified in disowning him? What would he have to say or do, to create a situation where we wouldn't try to pin him on Christians as though there was any clearly identifiable line of descent in specifically-Christian thought that leads to Hitler?**
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*Just to pre-empt the obvious counter-argument, no I'm not just saying this because Hitler did terrible things. Plenty of powerful Christian monarchs did terrible things too... but the precise nature of those terrible things, the quality that I am for lack of a better term calling the 'flavor' of the atrocities, tended to be very different from the sort of atrocities committed by Hitler.

**There are specifically Christian lines of thinking that lead to all sorts of atrocities- but to get Hitler-ism, you have to add some very important ideas that Christianity didn't invent and generally rejects or ignores.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Elheru Aran » 2017-05-24 11:43am

cadbrowser wrote:I wonder then, how many of the racist right wing militant groups out there (ala KKK) have their own version of Christianity where they believe in an Aryan Christ and do not adhere to any of the Old Testament due to its Hebrew origins.


It tends to be more along the lines of they believe the Jews 'left the faith' (more or less) sometime after the Old Testament was compiled, and therefore it doesn't apply to them. Ironically, a lot of these racist groups-- the ones that aren't outright Nazis or Pagans, anyway-- tend to be very religiously conservative... but yes, an Aryan or 'perfect White' or whatever Christ tends to be part of their ideology.

Nazism was an interesting phenomenon in that it attempted to be not only a political ideology but also a complete social and life paradigm. Given time, Hitler would have attempted to make every element of society revolve around Nazism. Marriage, childbearing, family life, religion, work, even entertainment. While other philosophies have attempted this to a greater or lesser degree (see Communist Russia, North Korea), Hitler was scarily ambitious.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby cadbrowser » 2017-05-24 02:59pm

Actually, after doing some snooping around I ran into this: Christian Identity

Which was rather enlightening and gave me information into my wonderment posed that you quoted.

*nods* Yes, you are on point in your second paragraph. Just finished reading about Hitler's failed attempts in subverting the Churches into that ideology and how their resistance pretty much made him back off almost completely. IIRC, he even decided to distance himself from those he put in charge of that job in order to come back to it after they won the war. Which...thankfully didn't happen!

It seems his version of Christianity (which parallels what I linked at the opening of this post) was one to be instilled as a result of National Support, not associated with any denomination. Fluid and adaptable to fit the State's manipulation of the people.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-05-24 03:28pm

Simon_Jester wrote:The catch is that Hitler was in fact rejecting many of the core tenets of Christianity, both theological and ethical. He was failing the "walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck" test pretty hard; Hitler very rarely quacked or looked like a Christian, let alone walked like one.*

How deviant would his religious views have to be before Christians would be justified in disowning him? What would he have to say or do, to create a situation where we wouldn't try to pin him on Christians as though there was any clearly identifiable line of descent in specifically-Christian thought that leads to Hitler?**


Sure, but his deviency is not without precedent in mainstream Christianity. The idea of blood pollution by Jews is long established within the Christian tradition. Torquemada was obsessed by it and the Spanish Inquisition didn't exactly follow the religion's core ethical tenants. Messanism, believing the main body of the religion to be corrupt (see Protestantism, all of it), and vicious purges of undesirables (heretics, secret Jews, etcetera) from the population have deep roots within the body of Christianity.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-05-24 08:45pm

What causes me to pause rather than accept this argument is that these characteristically Christian forms of atrocious behavior had other characteristic 'tells.' Not just purges of undesirables and heretics, but also preoccupation with deathbed (or death-at-the-stake) conversions. Not just putting people to death for being associated with a hated minority, but also for whatever the proscribed cultural practice of the week was (e.g. bathing too much). Particular institutional patterns would arise.

It is these 'tells' that differentiate the specific sorts of religious massacre practiced by Christians from those practiced by various other religions at various other times and places. Because saying "the main body of our religion is corrupt, let's go form a cult" is a pretty damn generic idea, it's not unique to Christianity. Saying "this minority out-group is a secret enemy, purge them!" is far from unique to European civilization or European religions.

The way you can tell it's a bunch of Christians committing an atrocity that flows out of Christianity as such is in the details. This isn't going to look quite the same as atrocities committed by a politician with religious beliefs that come up either 'null signal' or 'faked in order to avoid losing popularity.'

It's like, Stalin was a seminary student at one point. Stalin firmly believed that Russia was a nation impurified by a certain class, and sought to 'purge' it from existence. He even carried out the classic Inquisition tactics of torturing people into forced 'deathbed confessions' and so on.

And yet... it would seem like a bad joke to characterize Stalin as a Christian in some meaningful sense that makes "but Stalin did terrible things" a valid criticism of Christianity.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Lord Revan » 2017-05-24 09:16pm

One must wonder how much this was an influence of the germanic religion(s) on early christinity and how much of it is "homegrown", this kind obesession with purity of faith/religion and finding the "secret enemy" could also be partly left-overs from the prosecution of the early christians during the roman empire. Essentially practices the early christians had to make sure the roman authorities weren't able to wipe them out totally, got assimilated into the christian traditions and then got corrupted over time so that orginal meaning was lost and what was intended as practical advice to avoid spies ended up something totally different.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-05-25 02:23am

It's not inherently germanic. Ideologically the Albegensian Crusade was all about killing heretics and protecting the main body of Christianity, despite the fact there's very little evidence of actual heretics in Southern France at the time. The Spanish Inquisition was obsessed by the threat of secret Jews and the dangers of blood pollution. The volunteer soldiers of the First Crusade massacred Jewish enclaves in German towns on their way to the Holy Land. 19th Century Christians happily entertained racism and antisemitism. Father Coughlin had one of the most popular radio shows in America in the 30s. Christianity likes its death bed conversions but it was also fine with striking the heretic with the edge of the sword and the death camp was a shiny new innovation in massacre.

There's no doubt that Nazi brand Christianity was weird and nasty, but it wasn't something particularily novel in part because the Nazis weren't really that imaginative. Just as the Nazis embodied some of the ugliest parts of European civilization, the church that was going to be one of the pillars of the Nazi state embodied some of the ugliest parts of Christianity. Supporting the leader, legitimizing the state and its policies, and blessing its wars were all things Christian churches had done in the past. Its just in this case the whole mix is particularly evil.

As for how far you can drift from what is considered mainstream Christian doctrine and be considered Christian, that's something Christians argue about. How about Mormons, who also have wacky racism among a whole list of deviations from mainstream Christian teachings? Prosperity gospel? Predestination? Including or not including the Book of Revelations? The short version is that "No True Scottsman" applies. On the other hand, it's also fair to point out that Hitler was pretty shitty at loving his neighbor and turning the other cheek and that religion doesn't appear to have been motivation of his crimes.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby cadbrowser » 2017-05-25 09:22am

Simon_Jester wrote:The catch is that Hitler was in fact rejecting many of the core tenets of Christianity, both theological and ethical. He was failing the "walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck" test pretty hard; Hitler very rarely quacked or looked like a Christian, let alone walked like one.*

How deviant would his religious views have to be before Christians would be justified in disowning him? What would he have to say or do, to create a situation where we wouldn't try to pin him on Christians as though there was any clearly identifiable line of descent in specifically-Christian thought that leads to Hitler?**
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*Just to pre-empt the obvious counter-argument, no I'm not just saying this because Hitler did terrible things. Plenty of powerful Christian monarchs did terrible things too... but the precise nature of those terrible things, the quality that I am for lack of a better term calling the 'flavor' of the atrocities, tended to be very different from the sort of atrocities committed by Hitler.

**There are specifically Christian lines of thinking that lead to all sorts of atrocities- but to get Hitler-ism, you have to add some very important ideas that Christianity didn't invent and generally rejects or ignores.


Yes he did reject a lot of the core tenants. The Old Testament was thrown out as it was a Jewish bastardization of "what really happened". He wanted his Jesus "white", not Jewish. He recognized the Germanic people had been indoctrinated in Christianity for something like over 1000 years. So he knew he couldn't do away with it entirely. It seems that his idea was to create his own form that justified the State's end goals and his "God's Chosen Master Race - Aryans" to usher in those ideas and spread them to the world.

He didn't like the variants of the Christianity that was already taken hold and swayed the people's mind. Oh...he was a Duck. He was just one of a few Anatinae in a vast sea of Aythyinae.

I'm not sure I am getting what you are coming from on how you aren't putting the pieces together of how getting to Hitler-ism via Christianity. That's a bit baffling to me. Christianity didn't really have to invent anything. All anyone had to do was justify pre-emptive prejudices and their pre-dispositions to those atrocities via Holy Scripture. The line is easy to get to, in my mind. In fact, much of what the US did to justify Slavery and the whole Native American thing was, IMO, no less worse than what Hitler did to the Jews and the Soviets.

There are plenty of examples of God calling for the elimination of whole races due to how evil they are. Hell, even so much as killing all the animals and produce, as well as taking nothing of value. I mean, fuck...at one time justification was used to end all of humanity (save for a few chosen people)!
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby cadbrowser » 2017-05-25 09:37am

Imperial Overlord wrote:On the other hand, it's also fair to point out that Hitler was pretty shitty at loving his neighbor and turning the other cheek and that religion doesn't appear to have been motivation of his crimes.


:lol: I had to laugh at this out loud. Most self professed Christians I have ever known (I was raised in a highly fundamentalist non-denominational church - it was a cult...a bad one.) are EXTREMELY shitty about loving thy neighbor and turning the other cheek. How many Right Wing Fundies do you know of that support the government sponsored Welfare system?

I completely disagree that religion wasn't motivation for his crimes. He was indoctrinated very early on in his childhood wherein he was drilled over and over that the Jews were the enemy. The Jews were the ones that killed Jesus, the Jews were the ones that controlled the banks, the Jews were sub-human. These are things that were taught. As far as I can tell, his whole motivation was based on religion - specifically Christianity.

Just because he didn't adhere some of the tenants of the common "flavors" of Christianity of the day, doesn't mean shit. Every denomination has been created based on differences in dogma (tenants). Does that also then mean that none of those denominations can be considered Christian either?
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-05-25 04:46pm

See, here's the thing.

Every part of Western civilization that existed after about 300 AD was in some way influenced or in part defined by interactions with Christianity. By the end of the Middle Ages, Christianity was the dominant religion everywhere in Europe. There is no way to distinguish between "the happened in Europe after the Roman Empire" and "there is some Christianity in the event's metaphorical DNA." There's always some Christian influence.

How much does there have to be, before we try to criticize Christians for washing their hands of the action in question?

...

Let us set up two contrasting examples. We look at the atrocities committed by the Spanish conquistadores, or the massacres committed by Crusaders in the Holy Land, those were very blatantly atrocities committed by avowedly Christian leaders for motives that flowed entirely out of the Christian religion and cannot be separated from it. This point needs no further elaboration.

...

And again, consider Stalinist Russia. Stalin was a former seminary student. Stalin's NKVD modeled some of its secret police tactics in part on the past behavior of the Okhrana, and we can trace the institutional heritage of the Okhrana back to Ivan the Terrible's oprichniks, and we can in turn argue that Ivan was inspired in part by the Spanish and Papal Inquisitions. Later in his life, Stalin became increasingly antisemitic- and we just got done tying antisemitism specifically to Christianity.

So we can very easily say that there are 'fingerprints' of Christianity dotted on Stalin's behavior and his oppression of his people.

But if we try to argue "Christianity is to blame for the evils of Soviet communism under Stalin," the idea is just farcical. The Soviet state under Stalin was aggressively atheist, more so than any other government I can think of. Any Communist Party member who stuck even vaguely to the party line would have laughed at the thought that Christian mores were a significant influence on the behavior of their government, let alone on Stalin in particular.

...

So somewhere between "the Crusader massacres in Jerusalem" and "Stalinist purges," we draw a line. On either side of this line, there is always some some degree of Christian influence on a European atrocity. That's inevitable, because there's some varying level of Christian influence on virtually everything Europeans do, because it was a huge part of their culture for 1500 years. The question is, is the proportion of this influence sufficient to make the 'Christian affiliation' of the atrocity or the men who committed it even vaguely relevant?

I don't feel that the Christian influence on the Holocaust is strong enough to be distinguishable from the background radiation of Christian influence on literally everything in Europe at the time.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby K. A. Pital » 2017-05-27 03:00am

Simon_Jester wrote:I don't feel that the Christian influence on the Holocaust is strong enough to be distinguishable from the background radiation of Christian influence on literally everything in Europe at the time.

The radical anti-semitism of some founding protestant figures certainly was more connected to it than "background radiation".

After all, the Nazis did not pretend to be atheists. At large, their state utilized the religious tradition to legitimize a lot of its actions. Including war and genocide. "Gott mit uns", all that stuff.
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby LaCroix » 2017-05-27 04:04am

My Grandpa said that a lot of people (and himself) rationalized doing bad things to Jews with the sentiment "They killed Jesus, they deserve it."
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Re: The Nazi Plan For Russia

Postby Simon_Jester » 2017-05-27 10:31am

K. A. Pital wrote:After all, the Nazis did not pretend to be atheists. At large, their state utilized the religious tradition to legitimize a lot of its actions. Including war and genocide. "Gott mit uns", all that stuff.
Again, everybody did that, including the USSR during World War Two. Christianity is built into the cultural heritage of European societies, and was tied to the fabric of those societies still more strongly in the 1940s than it is now. This isn't about Christianity being good or bad, it's just an objective fact that Christianity was part of European history for such a long time.

You're speaking as if the 'default' condition in that era was for governments to make no references to religion, to refrain from using WWI-era slogans like "Gott mit uns," to refrain from talking about church and so on. Outside the USSR, that is simply not the case.

It would have been the act of an actively and aggressively anti-religious government to remove all references to religion and willingness to work with religious leaders during World War Two. Indeed, it would have required a government more anti-religious than the Soviet Union, which was itself one of the most anticlerical governments in history. Because even the Soviets thawed out relations with the Russian Orthodox Church during the war.

LaCroix wrote:My Grandpa said that a lot of people (and himself) rationalized doing bad things to Jews with the sentiment "They killed Jesus, they deserve it."
I have to point out that if an entirely atheist movement had arisen in Europe that revolved around doing terrible things to Jews, large numbers of Europeans would still have used this rationalization, because this rationalization was part of European folk traditions and a stock justification for doing terrible things to Jews all the time. Any Christians present in Europe while this movement is active would have done this.

We could fill a library with Christian complicity in the Holocaust, and if you want to make the point that Christianity has a history of promoting anti-Jewish pogroms in general you're entirely right to do so.

My argument is restricted to a single, specific thing, because of my belief that we should attribute effects to correct causes and for no other reason.

Specifically, I don't think specific responsibility for Hitler and the Nazi Party as such can fairly be blamed on Christianity. Other contributing factors (like the unthinking tendency of World War era Germans to just assume their government was in the right and obey it without question) were at least as significant if not more so.

Anything else that you propose to blame on Christianity, including the tendency of many non-Nazis to cooperate in the Holocaust, is a separate question where I may or may not dispute what you're saying.
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