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42
my the time the Com–
munists had come to power in
Russia, another secular faith
was beginning its dramatic
march through Germany and
Central Europe.
After the demoralizing defeat
of World War I, the humili–
ating Treaty of Versailles, and
the subsequent inflation and
economic collapse, the Germans
were ripe for ' 'drastic" change.
They had grave doubts about
the shaky Weimar Republic,
were fearful of some of the so–
cial innovations that had taken
place during the 1920s, and
chaffed in their unaccustomed
role as a vanquished nation.
What they needed, according
to some, was a political and
spiritual reawakening. This was
a golden opportunity for an
ideological evangelist like Adolf
Hitler. He promised the down–
trodden Germanic masses a re–
turn to the old values and the
glittering ideals that once made
their nation great.
Hitler's hypnotic message
had numerous religious over–
tones. He spoke of a millennia!
thousand-year reich, extolled
The White Horse: False Religion
the chosen blond, blue-eyed
Aryans, and singled out the
Jewish race as the archenemy
of all good Teutonic ideals.
Hitler was more of a religious
reformer than he was a politi–
cian. According to Joachim
Fest: "His success with the
masses was above all a phenom–
enon of the psychology of reli–
gion. He spoke less to people's
political convictions than to
their spiritual state"
(Hitler,
p. 329).
Reviving Past Glories
Ironically, there was nothing
really all that revolutionary in
the racial, nationalistic gospel
that Hitler preached.
It
had its
roots embedded deeply in Ger–
manic history. Hitler was in ef–
fect simply rekindling the fires
of ancient Teutonic and Ger–
manic yearnings that had been
smoldering for centuries.
Like the orthodox Russians,
the ancient Germans felt them–
selves to be the chief defenders
of the Christian faith, cham–
pions of the
~ealm
and the mas–
ter race of medieval Europe.
During the heydays of the Holy
Roman Empire they wielded
the sword while the Papacy
tended to matters of the spirit
- more or less. As the Empire
deteriorated in the south, the
Germans in the north had to
take up the slack. Naturally,