A Correction on Hitler and Martin Luther

In an earlier article, Was Martin Luther an Anti-Semite?, I said: "I don’t think [Hitler] was much influenced by Luther. Contrary to Luther’s program, at first Hitler just wanted to deport the Jews. Only after this proved to be impossible did he develop his 'final solution' of genocide." Luther even said killing Jews was not a sin. But whether or not Luther was an early influence on Hitler, it is clear that the Nazis actively promoted Luther's The Jews and their Lies. According to Alec Ryrie's recent book Protestants, they declared Luther "a national hero" for writing it.

 Ryrie also notes, "‘the Nazi seizure of power was a moment of national spiritual renewal.... The epochal battle against Communist secularism had been won. Congregations were surging across the country, and the new government, unlike its secular predecessors, was committed to ‘positive Christianity’ and traditional Christian morality." Paul Althaus, a contemporary Lutheran scholar, said “our Protestant churches have greeted the turning point of 1933 [when Hitler became chancellor] as a gift and miracle of God."

Part of the history of Christian values.

 

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