Religion oder »Gottgläubigkeit

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Gottgläubig – Wikipedia – In Nazi Germany, Gottgläubig (literally: “Believers in God”[1][2]), was a Nazi religious movement of those who had officially left Christian churches, but kept their faith in a higher power or divine creator. Such a person was called a Gottgläubige, plural Gottgläubigen, and the state of being gottgläubig was Gottgläubigkeit. The term implies someone who still believes in (a) God, although without having any institutional religious affiliation. The Nazis were not favourable towards religious institutions, nor did they tolerate atheism on the part of their membership: Gottgläubigkeit was a kind of officially sanctioned unorganised religion. The 1943 Philosophical Dictionary defined gottgläubig as: “official designation for those who profess a specific kind of piety and morality, without being bound to a church denomination, whilst however also rejecting irreligion and godlessness.”[3] In the 1939 census, 3.5% of the German population identified as gottgläubig.[2]

NS-Dokumentationszentrum Köln – Religion oder »Gottgläubigkeit«? – Entchristlichung des öffentlichen und privaten Lebens war für die Nationalsozialisten Voraussetzung, ihren Verfügungsanspruch durchsetzen zu können. Die Angriffe des NS-Regimes richteten sich gegen die Kirchen und Religionsgemeinschaften als politische und gesellschaftliche Institutionen wie gegen traditionelle Religiosität und christliche Werte. Christlich geprägte Frömmigkeit sollte durch eine als »völkisch-germanisch« bezeichnete »Gottgläubigkeit« abgelöst werden. Anstelle der Loyalität gegenüber den Kirchen sollte die Hingebung an »Führer und Reich« treten.

De-Christianization of public and private life was a prerequisite for the National Socialists to assert their claim to control. The attacks of the Nazi regime were directed against the churches and religious communities as political and social institutions as well as against traditional religiosity and Christian values. Christian piety should be replaced by a “godliness of God” called “Volkish-Germanic”. Instead of loyalty to the churches, the devotion was to be given to “Führer and Reich”.

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Religion in Nazi Germany – Wikipedia – There was some diversity of personal views among the Nazi leadership as to the future of religion in Germany. Anti-Church radicals included Hitler’s Personal Secretary Martin Bormann, Minister for Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, paganist Nazi Philosopher Alfred Rosenberg, and paganist occultist Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Some Nazis, such as Hans Kerrl, who served as Hitler’s Minister for Church Affairs pushed for “Positive Christianity”, which was a uniquely Nazi form which rejected its Jewish origins and the Old Testament, and portrayed “true” Christianity as a fight against Jews.[8]

Nazism wanted to transform the subjective consciousness of the German people—their attitudes, values and mentalities—into a single-minded, obedient “national community”. The Nazis believed they would therefore have to replace class, religious and regional allegiances.[9] Under the Gleichschaltung process, Hitler attempted to create a unified Protestant Reich Church from Germany’s 28 existing Protestant churches. The plan failed, and was resisted by the Confessing Church. Persecution of the Catholic Church in Germany followed the Nazi takeover. Hitler moved quickly to eliminate Political Catholicism. Amid harassment of the Church, the Reich concordat treaty with the Vatican was signed in 1933, and promised to respect Church autonomy. Hitler routinely disregarded the Concordat, closing all Catholic institutions whose functions were not strictly religious. Clergy, nuns, and lay leaders were targeted, with thousands of arrests over the ensuing years. The Church accused the regime of “fundamental hostility to Christ and his Church”. Historians resist however a simple equation of Nazi opposition to both Judaism and Christianity. Nazism was clearly willing to use the support of Christians who accepted its ideology and Nazi opposition to both Judaism and Christianity was not fully analogous in the minds of the Nazis. [10]

Religion in the Waffen-SS – Axis History Forum – From Leon Degrelle’s “Epic: The Story of the Waffen SS”-

“I was the first one to have Catholic padres in the Waffen SS. Later padres of all denominations were available to all those who wanted them. The Islamic SS division had their own mullahs and the French even had a bishop! We were satisfied that with Hitler, Europeans would be federated as equals.”
“This was demonstrated when the Waffen SS enlarged it’s ranks to include 60,000 Islamic SS. The Waffen SS respected their way of life, their customs, and their religious beliefs. Each Islamic SS battalion had an Imam, each company had a mullah…. I was present when each of my Islamic comrades received a personal gift from Hitler during the new year. It was a pendant with a small Koran”

I am wary as to the veracity of the above, both individuals having had a background in extreme right wing politics. Degrelle in particular was famed for being economical with the truth, so much so that the original members of the SS Legion Wallonie coined a (swiftly banned) marching song; “Leon, redis-moi tes mensognes, tu mens si bien” (Leon, keep telling me your lies, you’re so good at lying.) There does seem to have been a Catholic chaplain, Georges Sales, appointed to Degrelle’s legion.
(http://www.geocities.com/narwa44/article3.htm)

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