by Jim Walker
- Originated: 18 Aug. 2000
- Additions made: 3 July. 2009
- Red quotes= Hitler quotes
- Green quotes= General quotes
Throughout the web pages on Hitler’s Christianity, I have relied mainly on first-hand quotes from the infamous man himself: Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf,’ his speeches recorded by camera, radio, proclamations, and letters personally written and signed by Hitler. I did not rely on hearsay accounts because those who admired or hated him had reason to embellish their own beliefs onto him. The best way to evaluate a person involves examining the words and actions of the person directly rather than indirectly from editors and hearsay accounts.
However, whenever addressing the history of Hitler, it would not deem fair to exclude mention of alleged sayings of Hitler, from apocryphal sources such as the “Secret Conversations with Hitler,” “Hitler – Memoirs of a Confidant,” Albert Speer’s memoirs or “Hitler’s Table Talk” (also referred to as “Private Conversations”). Mostly from the latter do opponents against Hitler’s Christianity usually refer. For Hitler’s Table Talk is the only source where one can find Hitler, allegedly, denouncing religion to such a degree.
Hitler’s Table Talk
Those who deny Hitler as a Christian will invariably find the recorded table talk conversations of Hitler from 1941 to 1944 as incontrovertible evidence that he could not have been a Christian. The source usually comes from the English translation (from a French translation) edition by Norman Cameron and R. H. Stevens, with an introduction by H.R. Trevor-Roper.
The table-talk has Hitler saying such things such as: “I shall never come to terms with the Christian lie. . .”, “Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity“.
The problem with these anti-Christian quotes is that the German text of the table-talk does not include them, they were made up by François Genoud, the translator of the French version, the very version that English translations rely on! (More on this below).
Even if you believed the table-talk included the anti-Christian quotes, nowhere in the talk does Hitler speak against Jesus or his own brand of Christianity. On the contrary, the table-talk has Hitler speaking admirably about Jesus. Hitler did, of course criticize organized religion in a political sense (as do many Christians today), but never in a religious sense. But the problems with using Hitler’s table talk conversations as evidence for Hitler’s apostasy are manyfold:
1) The reliability of the source (hearsay and editing by the anti-Catholic, Bormann)
2) The reliability of multiple translations, from German to French to English.
3) The bias of the translators (especially Genoud).
4) The table-talk reflects thoughts that do not occur in Hitler’s other private or public conversations.
5) Nowhere does Hitler denounce Jesus or his own brand of Christianity.
6) The “anti-Christian” portions of Table-Talk does not concur with Hitler’s actions for “positive” Christianity.
The reliability of the source
Not one of Hitler’s table talk conversations were recorded or captured by audio, film, or broadcast on radio. According to H.R. Trevor-Roper, Hitler refused to admit any mechanical recorder into his room. Hitler reluctantly allowed Martin Bormann to pick stenographers (Heim, Piker) to record the conversations. It was Bormann’s idea to record Hitler’s thoughts in the first place. In a facsimile written after the last of Hitler’s recorded table talk, Bormann wrote a directive that stated:
“Please keep these notes most carefully, as they will be of very great value in the future. I have now got Heim to make comprehensive notes as a basis for these minutes. Any transcript which is not quite apposite will be re-checked by me.” [Trevor-Roper, inset] (bold characters, mine)
“Apposite” means, fitting; suitable; appropriate. Exactly what Bormann means by “re-checked” can only be speculated upon. However, it bears importance here that neither Heim nor Bormann could hardly be in a position to determine what deems apposite, considering Bormann’s biased views against Catholicism. Should we take it as simply coincidence that the church denouncements by Hitler in the Table-Talk parallel the anti-church sentiments of Martin Bormann, but nowhere else?
Martin Bormann served as the instigator, fuel, and reason for the perception of many Christians that National-Socialism was against Christianity. Many times, quotes attributed to Hitler are actually Bormann’s. It is well known that Bormann secretly worked against the Catholic religion behind Hitler’s back and without his permission. It has been pointed out that “the fight against the church organizations” were Bormann’s pet project. In spite of Bormann’s repeated attempts to persuade Hitler to act against the Churches, Hitler insisted that “There has been no official Party announcement, nor will there be one.” [VonLang, p.191]
How can any honest seeker of truth rely on Hitler’s table talk when the entire transcript was edited and kept by the anti-Catholic Bormann?
Two scribes recorded Hitler’s conversations at the appointment of Martin Bormann. One was recorded by a civil servant in the Reich Ministry of Justice, Heinrich Heim from 5th July 1941 to 20th March 1942. Later, from 21st March 1942 until 31st July 1942, it was taken by Dr. Henry Piker. The record, whether taken by Heim or Picker, was passed to Bormann. Bormann made two copies of his record. One of these was kept in the Fuhererbau in Munich and was burnt at the end of the war; the other was sent to the Berghof at Berchtesgaden and came ultimately into the hands of Genoud. It is this second copy of which the volume of Hitler’s table talk was translated. [Trevor-Roper, p.viii]
Moreover, Dr. Picker regarded his own recording as authentic and insisted that “no confidence can be placed in Bormann’s editing of it.” Indeed, he writes, rather testily, of “Bormann’s alterations, not authorised by me.” [Trevor-Roper, p.viii]. Unfortunately, we do not have the unaltered version of Dr. Picker’s or Heim’s recordings.
In other words, there are no originals and the copies were filtered and edited by Bormann. The table talk cannot be considered a first-hand recording of Hitler’s words. On this fact alone, I cannot with integrity or certainty use them as a source for Hitler’s voice, especially in regards to religion which could very well reflect the anti-Catholic biased Bormann.
Although nowhere does Trevor-Roper argue against Hitler’s Christianity, he does provide us with a rather dubious reason for accepting Hitler’s table talk:
“We must go direct to Hitler’s personal utterances: not indeed to his letters and speeches– these, though valuable, are too public, too formalised for such purposes– but to his private conversations, his Table-Talk. Table-Talk, like notebooks, reveal the mind of a man far more completely, more intimately, than any formal utterance.” [Trevor-Roper, p.xiv]
Unfortunately, Trevor-Roper fails to give us a reason why the Table-Talk supposedly gives a more intimate look at a person. On the contrary, I would find it far more revealing to hear a reasoned and thought out response as this would more likely provide an accurate account of one’s actual thinking. (I would shudder to think how one would misinterpret my personal feelings from my utterances during lighthearted dialog.)
But more damaging to Trevor-Roper’s reasoning is that the Table-Talks were not private! Hitler knew all along that the scribes were there to give an account of him for future posterity. These were as public as any of Hitler’s letters and pre-written speeches. So in what sense could these ‘loose’ conversations reveal more than letters and speeches? Trevor-Roper nor anyone else gives us a good answer.
The table talk reflects thoughts that do not occur in Hitler’s other private or public conversations
If Hitler actually desired to eliminate personal Christianity, then why do we not find it in his other private dialogs and conversations? Why do we not find it in any of his public speeches or interviews?
In the Secret Conversations with Hitler, two recently discovered confidential interviews were given by Richard Breiting in 1931. Breiting was a member of the German People’s Party. In these conversations, (which were actually more private than the Table-Talk), Hitler reveals his aims and plans. Like the Table-Talk, the notes were taken in short-hand. Unlike the Table-Talk, which Hitler knew would later be revealed, Hitler was assured that his statements would be kept secret. [Calic, p.11] Moreover, the Secret Conversations were authenticated as written solely by Breiting (unlike the editing by Bormann). Yet nowhere in these conversations does Hitler denounce religion. On the contrary, Hitler mentions a conciliation with Roman and German Catholicism where “people like von Papen and many others are establishing good relations with the Vatican.”
In Hitler– Memoirs of a Confidant, Hitler reveals himself through conversation to colleagues from a conference on economic policy. In it Hitler is reported to have spoken, glowingly, about raising the “treasures of the living Christ,” “the persecution of the true Christians and sanctimonious churches that have placed themselves between God and man and to turn away from the anti-Christian , smug individualism of the past,” and “to educate the youth in particular in the spirit of those of Christ’s words that we must interpret anew: love one another; be considerate of your fellow man; remember that each of you is not alone a creature of God, but that you are all brothers!” [Turner, Ch. 23]
Nowhere in the Memoirs do we find a Bormann-like anti-Christian statements as found in the Table-Talk.
Nowhere does Hitler denounce Jesus or his Christianity
A damaging blow to any apologist argument against Hitler’s Christianity comes from the fact that nowhere in any known source does Hitler denounce his Christianity or Jesus.
If one is to use the Table-Talk as evidence against Hitler’s Christianity, then where does it appear? Nowhere in Trevor-Roper’s introduction does he argue that Hitler was not a Christian.
Nowhere in the conversations of Table-Talk, does Hitler denounce his Christianity or Jesus.
On the contrary, Hitler’s (or Bormann’s editing) aims to show that the Church form of religion produces lies, and that the original Christian religion was an incarnation of Bolshevism, from a falsification from St. Paul. But whenever he mentions Christ, Hitler has nothing but admiration:
Originally, Christianity was merely an incarnation of Bolshevism the destroyer. Nevertheless, the Galilean, who later was called Christ, intended something quite different. He must be regarded as a popular leader who too up His position against Jewry. Galilee was a colony where the Romans had probably installed Gallic legionaries, and it’s certain that Jesus was not a Jew. The Jews, by the way, regarded Him as the son of a whore– of a whore and a Roman soldier.
- The decisive falsification of Jesus’s doctrine was the work of St. Paul. He gave himself to this work with subtlety and for purposes of personal exploitation. For the Galiean’s object was to liberate His country from Jewish oppression. He set Himself against Jewish capitalism, and that’s why the Jews liquidated Him.
- -Hitler [Table-Talk, p. 76]
- Christ was an Aryan, and St. Paul used his doctrine to mobilise the criminal underworld and thus organise a proto-Bolsevism.
- -Hitler [Table-Talk, p. 143]
As tortured as Hitler’s logic is, He never condemns Jesus. On the contrary, he sees Jesus as an Aryan, a liberator against Jewish oppression! If Hitler did not see himself as a Christian, then why doesn’t he condemn Jesus? Why doesn’t he accuse Christ as being a Jew? Why does he see Christ as a liberator?
Biographer John Toland explains Hitler’s reason for exterminating the Jews:
Still a member in good standing of the Church of Rome despite detestation of its hierarchy, ‘I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so,’ he carried within him its teaching that the Jew was the killer of God. The extermination, therefore, could be done without a twinge of conscience since he was merely acting as the avenging hand of God– so long as it was done impersonally, without cruelty.[Toland, p. 703]
Moreover, there are no known documents, speeches, or proclamations by Hitler where he even comes close to denouncing his belief in Christianity, or Jesus.
The Protestant and Catholic Churches in Hitler’s time never accused Hitler of apostasy. Hitler’s Christianity in Germany was never questioned until years after WWII and then only by Western Christians who are embarrassed to have him as a member of their faith-system.
The reasoning by the apologists in regards to the Table-Talk seems to be that because Hitler spoke against organized religion, then he must therefore be anti-Christian. But even if we take this simplistic approach and assume the Table-Talk as the actual thoughts and beliefs of Hitler, it fails for the simple reason that dismissing a religion of one’s own faith does not exclude or excuse one from a personal belief as a Christian. A Christian is simply a person who believes in God and Jesus in some form or manner. Christianity, the body of believing people, simply does not require organized religion at all.
There are many examples of prominent Christians who denounced religions who opposed their own personal beliefs. Indeed, the Protestant reformer, Martin Luther who was once a Catholic monk, denounced the Catholic hierarchy as the work of the anti-Christ and establised by the Devil [Against the Papacy established by the Devil (1545)]. Yet I have yet to see a Lutheran accuse Luther as being a non-Christian. The history of Christianity is filled with examples of people of differing Christian faiths denouncing each other. I have personally conversed with many Christians who have denounced all forms of religious organizations, yet they have a strong belief in God and Jesus Christ.
Indeed, even the Table-Talk has Hitler saying:
Luther had the merit of rising against the Pope and the organisation of the Church. It was the first of the great revolutions. And thanks to his translation of the Bible, Luther replaced our dialects by the great German language! -Table-Talk [p. 9]
If simply speaking against a Christian religion were enough to oust one from Christianity, then some of the most influential Christians would have to reside with Hitler.
The papacy is truly the real power and tyranny of the Antichrist…. As beautiful as it was to keep a state of virginity, in the early days of Christianity, so abominable has it now become, when it is used as a means of eliciting Christ’s help and grace. -Martin Luther (Luther’s Confession, March 1528)
We maintain that the government of the Church was converted into a species of foul and insufferable tyranny. -John Calvin (The Necessity of Reforming the Church, 1544)
If we used the same logic of the apologists against Hitler, then we should remove Luther, Calvin, and many other prominent so-called-Christians from membership of Christianity.
The Table-Talk does not concur with Hitler’s actions for his views for Christianity
Further injuries to the argument against Hitler’s Christianity reveals itself in Hitler’s own personal actions toward Christianity.
If Hitler had really wished to eliminate Christianity, then why did he act to unite the Protestant and Catholic Churches in Germany?
If Hitler wanted to denounce Christianity, then why did he remain a Catholic in good standing until he died?
Why did Hitler not break the Concordat between the Vatican and Germany? A case might be made that Hitler signed the Concordat in the first place, to help himself into power, but by no means does it explain why he kept it after winning power. His absolute power of the German state, Hitler could have, at any time, broke the Concordat if he was so against the Catholic religion. Why did he not do so, nor even consider it?
In Albert Speer’s memoirs, Speer recalls Hitler as saying: “The church is certainly necessary for the people. It is a strong and conservative element.” [Speer, p. 95] Although Hitler approved of destroying Judaism and other cults, never did he give orders against the Protestant or Catholic Church. Why not?
Even in the Table-Talk, although he wished the ‘Bolshevism’ form of Christianity to die a natural death, he expressed his views on the future:
I envisage the future, therefore, as follows: First of all, to each man his private creed. Superstition shall not lose its rights. The Party is sheltered from the danger of competing with the religions. -Table-Talk [p. 62]
Nor can the Table-Talk be used to argue for an atheist Hitler:
We don’t want to educate anyone in atheism. Table-Talk [p. 6]
An uneducated man, on the other hand, runs the risk of going over to atheism (which is a return to the state of the animal)… Table-Talk [p. 59]
Nor can the Table-Talk be used to argue for a pagan Hitler:
It seems to me that nothing would be more foolish than to re-establish the worship of Wotan. Our old mythology had ceased to be viable when Christianity implanted itself. -Table-Talk [p. 61]
If Hitler was opposed to personal Christianity then why did he order his chief associates, including Göring and Dr. Goebbels, to remain members of the church? Hitler too, remained in the church until he died. [Speer, p. 95-96; Helmreich, p.220]
The NSDAP programme called for “positive Christianity.” Why did Hitler include Christianity within his own constitution? Even more revealing is that Hitler never eliminated the Christian statement. If Hitler was so set against Christianity, why did he keep it in?
Speer, it must be remembered, was Hitler’s architect who had planned the future buildings of Berlin. Hitler’s plan for the future included the building of new churches. Speer had consulted with the Protestant and Catholic authorities on the location of churches in the new section of Berlin. According to Speer, “Bormann curtly informed me that churches were not to receive building sites.” [Speer, p. 177]. Again, this shows the bias against Christianity by Bormann, the editor of the Table-Talk.
Even more revealing from Speer comes this revelation:
Even after 1942 Hitler went on maintaining that he regarded the church as indispensable in political life. He would be happy, he said in one of those teatime talks at Obersalzberg, if someday a prominent churchman turned up who was suited to lead one of the churches- or if possible both the Catholic and Protestant churches reunited. He still regretted that Reich Bishop Muller was not the right man to carry out his far-reaching plans. But he sharply condemned the campaign against the church, calling it a crime against the future of the nation. For it was impossible, he said, to replace the church by any party ideology. [Speer, p. 95] (bold characters, mine)
Hitler had no problem with the elimination of the Jewish religion but note that the Christian Churches in Germany remained strong until Hitler died. So much for Hitler’s alleged views to eliminate the Christian churches.
In an attempt to rewrite history, those who desire to eliminate Hitler from membership of Christianity, always find an excuse to dismiss Hitler’s actual words. Instead they rely on indirect quotes from a questionable source such as Bormann’s edited version of the table talk. But if we were to use this form of dubious scholarship, shouldn’t we also quote Hitler from other indirect sources? If so, then, again, their plan fails and reveals the slanting of their bias. For if we took these apocryphal sources as evidence, then Hitler’s Christianity become even more evident.
Those who knew Hitler remarked about his Christian views.
Here we have a Christian minister to his fellow Christians:
If anyone can lay claim to God’s help, then it is Hitler, for without God’s benevolent fatherly hand, without his blessing, the nation would not be where it stands today. It is an unbelievable miracle that God has bestowed on our people.
-Minister Rust, in a speech to a mass meeting of German Chrisitans on June 29, 1933 [Helmreich, p. 138]
The established Methodist church paper, the Friedensglocke, vouched for the authenticity of a story about Hitler where he invited a group of deaconesses from the Bethel Institutions into his home at Obersalzberg:
The deaconesses entered the chamber and were astonished to see the pictures of Frederick the Great, Luther, and Bismarck on the wall. Then Hitler said:
Those are the three greatest men that God has given the German people. From Fredrick the Great I have learned bravery, and from Bismarck statecraft. The greatest of the three is Dr. Martin Luther, for he made it possible to bring unity among the German tribes by giving them a common language through his translation of the Bible into German…
[Note that Hitler’s own words about his admiration for Martin Luther are expressed in Mein Kampf.]
One sister could not refrain from saying: Herr Reichkanzler, from where do you get the courage to undertake the great changes in the whole Reich?
Thereupon Hitler took out of his pocket the New Testament of Dr. Martin Luther, which one could see had been used very much, and said earnestly: “From God’s word.” [Helmreich, p. 139]
Even the Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich who visited Hitler at his mountain retreat in Obersalzburg confessed:
Without a doubt the chancellor lives in faith in God. He recognizes Christianity as the foundation of Western culture…[Helmreich, p.279]
And this comes from reputable Christian sources of the day including a Cardinal! How odd that there are Christians today who think they can divine the mind of an anti-Christian Hitler they never met, removed by a generation, and dismiss all his direct quotes about Jesus, while denying their own brethren of the Church who actually talked with Hitler. If prominent Christians in the 1930s could be so easily deceived, could not be the same be applied to today’s Christians? And if deception describes the temper of the faithful, then what does that say for Christianity as a whole and the thinking process that it entails?
And on Hitler’s allegiance to his “true” Christian spirit:
I do not remember even a single occasion when Hitler gave any instructions that ran counter to the true Christian spirit and to humaness.
-Wagener, in Hitler– Memoirs of a Confinant, p.147
To Wagener, Hitler confessed his attitude toward his view of true Christianity as a form of socialism as opposed to those he thought did not understand Christianity. Note Hitler’s view here of socialism was not like that of communism (Hitler detested communism) but rather one of a National nature (very similar to Right Wing Christians in America who want to nationalize Christianity) and which later would become the foundation of the National-Socialist German Workers Party or NSDAP:
Socialism is a question of attitude toward life, of the ethical outlook on life of all who live together in a common ethnic or national space. Socialism is a Weltanschauung!
But in actual fact there is nothing new about this Weltanschauung. Whenever I read the New Testament Gospels and the revelations of various of the prophets and imagine myself back in the era of the Roman and late Hellenistic, as well as the Oriental world, I am astonished at all that has been made of the teachings of these divinely inspired men, especially Jesus Christ, which are so clear and unique, heightened to religiosity. They were the ones who created this new worldview which we now call socialism, they established it, they taught it and they lived it! But the communities that called themselves Christian churches did not understand it! Or if they did, they denied Christ and betrayed him! For they transformed the holy idea of Christian socialism into its opposite! They killed it, just as, at the time, the Jews nailed Jesus to the cross; they buried it, just as the body of Christ was buried. But they allowed Christ to be resurrected, instigating the belief that his teachings too, were reborn!
It is in this that the monstrous crime of these enemies of Christian socialism lies! What the basest hypocrisy they carry before them the cross– the instrument of that murder which, in their thoughts, they commit over and over– as a new divine sign of Christian awareness, and allow mankind to kneel to it. They even pretend to be preaching the teachings of Christ. But their lives and deeds are a constant blow against these teachings and their Creator and a defamation of God!
We are the first to exhume these teachings! Through us alone, and not until now, do these teachings celebrate their resurrection! Mary and Magdalene stood at the empty tomb. For they were seeking the dead man! But we intend to raise the treasures of the living Christ!
Herein lies the essential element of our mission: we must bring back to the German Volk the recognition of those teachings! For what did the falsification of the original concept of Christian love, of the community of fate before God and of socialism lead to? By their fruits ye shall know them! The suppression of freedom of opinion, the persecution of the true Christians, the vile mass murders of the Inquisition and the burning of witches, the armed campaigns against the people of free and true Christian faith, the destruction of towns and villages, the hauling away of their cattle and their goods, the destruction of their flourishing economies, and the condemnation of their leaders before tribunals, which, in their unrelenting hypocrisy, can only be described as balaphemous. That is the true face of those sanctimonious churches that have placed themselves between God and man, motivated by selfishness, personal greed for recognition and gain, and the ambition to maintain their high-handed willfulness against Christ’s deep understanding of the necessity of a socialist community of men and nations. We must turn all the sentiments of the Volk, all its thinking, acting, even its beliefs, away from the anti-Christian, smug individualism of the past, from the egotism and stupid Phariseeism of personal arrogance, and we must educate the youth in particular in the spirit of those of Christ’s words that we must interpret anew: love one another; be considerate of your fellow man; remember that each one of you is not alone a creature of God, but that you are all brothers! This youth will, wit loathing and contempt, abandon those hypocrites who have Christ on their lips but the devil in their hearts, who give alms in order to remain undisturbed as they themselves throw their money around, who invoke the Fatherland as they fill their own purses by the toil of others, who preach peace and incite to war… and on it goes.
– Hitler in Memoirs of a Confinant, p.139-140
In the second interview from Hitler’s secret conversations, Hitler reveals:
We do not judge merely by artistic or military standards or even by purely scientific ones. We judge by the spiritual energy which a people is capable of putting forth, which will enable it in ten years to recapture what is has lost in a thousand years of warfare. I intend to set up a thousand-year Reich and anyone who supports me in this battle is a fellow-fighter for a unique spiritual– I would say divine– creation…. Rudolf Heß, my assistant of many years standing, would tell you: If we have such a leader, God is with us.
-Hitler, in Secret Conversations With Hitler, p. 68
On the Concordat between Germany and the Vatican, Hitler remarked:
We do not forget the influence of the churches. There will definitely be no Vatican crusade against us. We know Monsignor Pacelli since he was the Vatican’s diplomatic representative in Germany for twelve years; as Secretary of State and adviser to Pope XI it is greatly in his interest that the German Catholics should at last have a statute [Concordat].
-Hitler, in Secret Conversations With Hitler, p. 79
Rarely do you see apologists against Hitler’s Christianity quoting from these memoirs and secret conversations, yet they want us to buy only out-of-context quotes from the Table-Talk. There are many more religious quotes from these other sources, too numerous to cite here. I only give these examples to show that Hitler’s Christian thoughts are expressed even more vividly in these extraneous sources. If I had relied only on these sources, the clarion cry of foul would rise from the ire of Christian apologists, yet their only rebuttal comes from the even more dubious copy of the Table Talk edited by Bormann.
Genoud fabricated the anti-Christian quotes
At the time of the first publication of the table-talk translations, Trevor-Roper, Cameron and R. H. Stevens, probably did not know about Genoud’s fake quotes. However, later publications do not excuse the errors, and that makes them dishonest at the very least.
As stated before, there are two versions the original German table-talk. One edited by Martin Bormann called the Bormann Vermerke (“Bormann Notes”) which, until 1980, existed only in the collection of Francois Genoud. The other version came from Picker who got is copy from Heim and then added his own entries. According to Richard C. Carrier, “the Bormann Vermerke also contains entries made by Bormann, and presumably Heim, during the period covered by Picker’s text, which are inexplicably not found in his copy. There is also supposed to be a third copy, which Bormann forwarded to an office in Münich, but it was lost (most likely destroyed by Allied bombs).”
Picker’s edition has the strongest claim to authenticity because it contains the actual German, has the support of eyewitness testimony and has scholarly backing. Next in authority is the scholarly work of Werner Jochmann who published the German of the Bormann Vermerke in 1980 (which Trevor-Roper, et al, used from Genoud’s French translation). The German versions of the talk do not include the anti-Christian quotes.
The English version endorsed by Trevor-Roper (and everyone else) contains the fabrications. These lies come, verbatim, from the translation of Genoud’s French!
In a related fakery, the alleged document of Hitler’s Last Testament (supposedly a part of the table-talk), Genoud gave David Irving, a World War II historian, a copy of the complete typescript manuscript. Every page was “heavily amended and expanded in somebody’s hand-writing.” Genoud admitted it was his own, and later admitted to Irving that the entire typescript was his own confection saying, “But it is just what Hitler would have said, isn’t it?” In other words, Hitler’s Last Testament was a fake.
Hitler, the Christian
Throughout his’s life, Hitler showed a remarkable tendency toward conservative faith in God, and saw himself as a reformer and a savior of the German people, and he acted according to his beliefs. He called himself a Christian and spoke in admirable terms about Jesus. At no time did Hitler denounce his own Christianity, and in fact, appealed to Christ as a fighter, just as he saw himself as a fighter. He was baptized, he took the sacraments and received Communion. Was he a devout church goer? No. Did he appeal to prayerful priests? No. But appeals to physical places or the Church hierarchy are not what constitutes Christianity. Christianity does not exist “out there’. It only exists in the minds of certain people who profess a belief in God and Christ. That’s why we can only appeal to the direct words from an individual to determine their belief, and Hitler expressed his belief with brutal honesty.
Those who vie against Hitler’s Christianity conveniently dismiss his own direct words where he made appeals to God, Christ, and ‘positive’ Christianity. They fail to distinguish Hitler’s Christianity as a belief-system versus “corrupt” organized Christianity. It was the latter that Hitler questioned, not his own personal beliefs. Even more revealing: why do Christians rely on indirect accounts, and only on those which seem to put Hitler in an anti-Christian mode?
His arguments toward the Christian religion regarded his strong reformation views of the Church as he saw it, regardless of how some Christians today dislike it. Indeed, he saw himself as a reformer similar to that of the alleged Jesus and Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer who also had strong words to say against the Catholic orthodoxy. Reformations always upsets the temper of the traditional believer.
Anti-religious views by themselves simply cannot be used as an argument against one’s personal beliefs as a Christian, and gives one of the many reasons why Hitler’s Table-Talk, even if valid, cannot serve as evidence against Hitler’s Christianity but, ironically, actually supports his personal beliefs as a Christian.
For a comparison of Hitler to God, Jesus, and other Christians, click here.
Calic, Edouard, Ed., “Secret Conversations With Hitler,” The John Day Company
Carrier, Richard C. “On the Trail of Bogus Quotes”
Helmreich, Ernst Christian, “The German Churches Under Hitler,” Wayne State University Press, 1979
Speer, Albert, “Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs by Albert Speer,” Galahad Books, 1970
Toland, John, “Adolf Hitler,” Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1976
Trevor-Roper, H.R. [Introduction], “Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-44: His Private Conversations, Redwood Press, Ltd., 1953
Turner, Jr., Henry Ashby, “Hitler– Memoirs of a Confidant,” Yale University Press, 1978
VonLang, Jochen, “The Secretary Martin Bormann: The Man Who Manipulated Hitler,” Random House, 1979
Note: All of the above sources derives from hardback editions.