Like the Biblical God, Hitler created war and destruction. Like the Biblical Jesus, Hitler did not live for peace. He created many divisions among the people. But, the Nazi regime's reign of terror upon the world was only made possible by Christianity. Fueled by Hitler and the Nazi party's misinterpretations of the Bible, and stereotyped by the past, the Jews' elimination was portrayed as a necessary and sufficient condition for the return of both Germany and the world to its original' condition. Anti-Semitism stems from Christianity. It is on which anti-Judaic beliefs ever began. Christians have always inherently, yet subconsciously resented the divine nomination of Jews as the chosen ones'. The inferiority complex caused by this jealousy eventually resulted in anti-Semitism.
When Constantine adopted Christianity in the fourth century, he halted the persecution of Christians. He also made the discrimination and legal and social subordination of Jews into law. When Christianity became officially accepted in the 4th century, the Christians began to act openly against Jews. Constantine commenced the imposition of heavy penalties on anyone who visited a pagan temple or converted to Judaism. Further, mixed marriages between Jews and Christians were punished by death. After Constantine's reign, in 408, Theodosis II assumed power. In the "Codex Theodosianus" of Jews were forbidden to hold any public office. It first came from Justinian who legalized the burning and pillaging of Jewish synagogues by Christian bishops and monks. The Catholic Church would later play both a direct and an indirect role in the Nazi movement.
The practices by the Nazis can be interpreted as reenactments of older measures
of the Christian world. Short of the Final Solution, Nazi ideology coincided with
classic laws of state and church meant to subordinate Jews." (Nicholls, 26)
Across history, Christians saw the Jews disbelief in Jesus as stubbornness and immorality. This was a result of the Jewish refusal to accept Jesus Christ "The myth of the Jews as Christ-killers has powered anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism all through the Christian centuries" (Nicholls, 19). For Christians, the refusal of Jews to renounce material possessions for the higher kingdom within was sinful "Their rejection of the Christian path to salvation, instead opting for a life of alleged superficial-worldly gains, resulted in the typical-greedy-Jew notions" (Stackelberg, 47-48). In Mein Kampf, Hitler makes mention of this reachery:
The best characterization is provided by the product of this religious education,
the Jew himself. His life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to
true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great
founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude
toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took the whip to drive
from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always
saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In return,
Christ was nailed to the cross
All the while, Jews continued their usurious' and sinful, in Christians' eyes, moneymaking practices leading Judaism to be further associated with selfishness, lacking of self restraint, and trickery. Moreover, Christians viewed the Jewish murder' of Jesus as the breaking of an ancient covenant with God, giving way to a superseding group of new chosen ones' that were created from the blood of Christ himself. This breaking of the divine covenant was later used by Hitler for comparison to the Genesis 3, the fall from paradise, making them the original-sinners, "...the fall of man in paradise has always been followed by his expulsion" (Hitler). Turning the Jews into a group of inherently tarnished people was something that coincided with scripture, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15, "...the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own...
Cited: Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf, translated by Ralph Manheim, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1971
Maser, Werner, (translated by Arnold Pomerans) "Hitler 's Letters and Notes," Harper & Row, 1974
Nicholls, William. Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate. Jason Aronson, Inc: Northvale, New Jersey, 1993.
Stackelberg, Roderick. Hitler 's Germany. Routledge, London, 1999.
Toland, John, Adolf Hitler, Anchor Books Doubleday, 1976
Wistrich, Robert. Hitler 's Apocalypse: Jews and the Nazi Legacy. St. Martin 's Press, New York, 1985.
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