Page 47 - COG Publications

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Religion and Totalitarianism
sense that it is mind present on
earth, unfolding itself to be the
actual shape and organization
of a world" (p. 85 ).
Such ideas were still alive
and well at the turn of the
twentieth century. They were
widely publicized in the writ–
ings of the demented, neurotic
H. S. Chamberlain who became
an instant favorite with Kaiser
Wilhelm
II
and later with Hit–
ler. Chamberlain was, in fact,
often referred to as the "spiri–
tual founder" of National So–
cialism.
Hitler then simply built on
the ideological foundation that
had already been laid. Accord–
ing to George
L.
Mosse, author
of
The Crisis of German Ideol–
ogy:
"Hitler only promised to
fulfill a concept of life which
had permeated much of the na–
tion before he ever entered the
scene" (p.
301)_
And Joachim
Fest likewise painted a very
vivid picture of the ideological
awakening that took place un–
der the banner of Hitler's na–
tionalistic evangelism: "Once
again, they dreamed the faded
dreams of their forefathers and
hailed a past in whose mists
they saw glimmerings of a glori–
ous future of territorial expan–
sion: a new Roman Empire, a
Spain of Catholic majesty, a
Greater Belgium, Greater Hun–
gary, Greater Finland. Hitler's
45
fling at hegemony, carefully
planned, cold-blooded, and real–
istic as it was, and dependent
on the most modern weaponry,
was justified in the name of a
quaint and vanished German–
ism. The world was to be con–
quered for the sake of thatched
roofs and an upright peasantry,
for folk dances, celebrations of
the winter solstice, and swas–
tikas"
(Hitler,
pp.
103-104).
Patterning Party After Church
Hitler and his henchmen not
only drew from the traditions of
the Roman Empire, but the Ro–
man church as well. Goebbels
used the church's liturgy and
rituals as models for Nazi mass
meetings. He also found the
Catholic concept of "people
have to be told what to believe"
much to his liking as propa–
ganda minister. Himmler like–
wise patterned various SS
doctrines on related ecclesiasti–
cal principles. And even Hitler
admitted to a certain grudging
admiration for various aspects
of the church. According to
Alan Bullock: "Hitler had been
brought up as a Catholic and
was impressed by the organiza–
tion and power of the Church.
Its hierarchical structure, its
skill in dealing with human na–
ture and the unalterable char–
acter of its Creed, were all
(Continued on page 48)