This barely merits a mention. The Mail on Sunday has published a fairly late in the day review by a staff writer, of Christopher Hitchens’s God is not Great and Richard Dawkins’s God Delusion with absolutely nothing new or interesting to say in its analysis. Ordinarily I wouldn’t mention it as we have reached real satuaration point with inane ill informed attempts to wrestle with belief and science and the ‘resurgence of atheism’ but this one trots out the old nonsense – removing any doubt that this was anything more than a piece of lazy Google journalism – that “the Nazi and Stalinist regimes, both atheist, were responsible for murder on an even greater scale.” Now I fully accept that the body count argument gets us nowhere (and so won’t use to to attack religion) but please let’s ne clear that Hitler was not an atheist and Nazism was not an atheistic doctorine.
No evidence is available to support the claim that Hitler was an atheist. According to many of his speeches, radio broadcasts, and his book Mein Kampf, he clearly had a religious mindset. He was superstitious and believed in God and continued to mention Him as late as 1945. He said:
“Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith… “
Indeed, freethinkers were amongst the first to criticise the Nazis during the 30s and because of this, Hitler banned freethought organisations:
“We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” – Adolf Hitler, in a speech in Berlin on 24 Oct. 1933
Although some Christians (but also some atheists and agnostics) resisted the Nazis and rescued their victims, the vast majority of Christians throughout Germany supported Nazism. Many clergy also supported the Nazi movement. No doubt, Christians and atheists or anyone else who had the courage to stand against this regime were placing themselves in danger. Germany, Italy (supported by the Vatican), and Croatia were all allied with each other, these three countries were amongst the most Christianised countries in Europe.