Was Christianity primarily responsible for the Holocaust?
I mean Hitler was raised a Christian no doubt however society back then was much more influenced by authoritarian Christianity. Hitler's antisemitism was inspired by a book Martin Luther wrote called "On the Jews and their Lies". The Church used to see jews as enemies of Christianity. Let us not forget that he also hated homosexuals and as we all know Christianity has never been king to homosexuals except in the last 40 or so years perhaps. Gays back then were considered abnormal and mentally ill. Could Christianity have been a major factor contributing to the Holocaust.
- EarlLv 44 years agoFavorite Answer
The holocaust was caused mainly by the socio-economic climate of the centuries leading up to the great wars.
The Jew's became highly persecuted and a rife sense of paranoia came about some places.
For example, in Poland, the Russians came in and occupied regions of the country throughout the mid and late 19th century. The influence became standard by the 20th century leading to the First World War. Many people associated this with Jews since Russians Jews had basically implemented the system of surfdom, somewhat inspired by the philosophies of Karl Marx. They happened to be Jews, and so this characteristic became the scapegoat.
Many pole's lost their houses and were thrown out on the streets with no work and no prospects. It was a very rough time in Poland and tempers flared.
Around this time the printing press and eventually the radio had revolutionized propaganda tactics. Messages could be delivered to the masses quickly and strategically. People had never experienced this before and as such were not prepared to analyze messages in the media as most people can today. In many places mob rule took over after enough stress and pressure to the populations in these areas.
Given that similar occurrences were unfolding around Europe, the message spread and eventually had became viewed as a Jewish conspiracy and the climate allowed Hitler to rise to the power that he did.
Religion really had nothing to do with the holocaust. It just so happened that the primary group of people being persecuted happened to be Jews.
- janhoiLv 64 years ago
Not the primary role. Christian Anti-Semitism certainly helped create an environment of demonization against Jews in Europe throughout the centuries(case in point Martin Luther's treatise "On the Jews and their Lies"). However Hitler was motivated primarily by creating the perfect Aryan race. That stemmed from the Scientific Racism on the 19th and 20th century which manifested itself in movements like Social Darwinism and Eugenics. Add to that the Nietzsche concept of the Ubermenstch(Strong Man) and that sort of explains Nazism and the Holocaust(even though Hitler abused Nietzsche).Source(s): Anglican Christian
- 4 years ago
Yes, it could be well said that Christianity was primarily responsible for the Holocaust.
In his Mein Kampf, Hitler spoke well of Martin Luther, and Hitler certainly got his inspiration from Martin Luther's On the Jews and Their Lies.
Luther argued that the Jews' synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness, afforded no legal protection, and these "poisonous envenomed worms" should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time. He also seems to advocate their murder, writing "[w]e are at fault in not slaying them."
The fact is that the Holocaust was the culmination of 1700 years of Christian antisemitism, and most, if not all, of those who were rounding up the Jews, transporting them to the death camps, and manning the ovens were Christians.
Because they were complicit in the cause of the Holocaust, Christians are desperate to lay the blame elsewhere, as @Great Knight does in his answer, in which he perversely tries to lay the blame for the Holocaust on evolution.
If Hitler got his inspiration from Darwinian evolution, why then were Darwinian books on the Nazi's list of banned books? See item 6 under Guidelines from Die Bücherei 2:6 (1935), p. 279. It's about two-thirds of the way down in the document.
In fact, Hitler did not accept Darwinian evolution, and his use of the term "evolution" reflected a creationist version of the term, and he adhered to the creationist view of changes only within "kinds":
"Whence do we get the right to believe, that from the very beginning Man was not what he is today? Looking at Nature tells us, that in the realm of plants and animals changes and developments happen. But nowhere inside a kind shows such a development as the breadth of the jump, as Man must supposedly have made, if he has developed from an ape-like state to what he is today.” (Hitler’s Table Talk)"
So, in fact, Hitler was a creationist.
- Sagan RitualLv 74 years ago
A question like this came up the other day, and I intended to dig around on my bookshelf for a citation, but I forgot. So I have to give a weak answer: I have a lot of books by Bart Ehrman, a scholar of ancient Christianity. In one of those books, I can't remember which, Ehrman makes a convincing case that there was no anti-Semitism until Christians began to feel angry at the Jews for supposedly killing the messiah.
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- 4 years ago
"Was Christianity primarily responsible for the Holocaust"? No, evil men and hate was.
- LindaLv 74 years ago
No because no Christian would act the way Hitler and his followers did. Just as no Christian would look down on, let alone persecute another race or ethnicity.
The 8,000,000 or so Christians in the world today live together in peace and love, despite their ethnic background or race or color. There were only a handful of Christians in Europe at the time of Hitler. They too, were persecuted and several thousand executed for their loyalty to God.
- Nerdy Keith 🏳️🌈Lv 74 years ago
No, I wouldn't' say that. Hitler had a particular interpretation of Christianity and Christian teaches that led him to wage war and persecute the Jews. But he was a lunatic anyway.
- ZombieLv 74 years ago
Hitler was raised Christian, but blaming Christianity for his actions is almost as ridiculous as people blaming atheism for the actions of Stalin and Mao. Christianity is at least a standalone ideology that prescribes behavior (unlike atheism), but nothing in Christianity logically justified Hitler's regime.
- bartyLv 74 years ago
The history of anti-Jewish sentiment among European Christians is long and sordid. Yes, Christianity is almost entirely responsible for it. There were numerous other instances of mass murder of Jews, but none of the others were quite on the same scale.
- great knightLv 64 years ago
Hitler thought the jews were mostly apes! Where do you think he got that idea? Evolution and eugenics all still being taught today! Germany was practicing eugenics. They wanted a "master race"! The Bible says we are of one blood!! Genetics shows the Bible not false evolution. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKnll-pOMPA
and so on. Get a kjversion Bible and believe. Jesus Christ is the truth.