Hitler's Favorite Religion
Making Wisdom Popular
Adolf Hitler was one of the most evil men who ever lived.
He also hated Christianity. He used the language of Christianity quite often to achieve his political goals. But once he was firmly in power, the gloves came off, and the plan was to completely annihilate the Church in Germany after the “Final Victory” of the Nazis—which thankfully never came.
But while he hated Christianity (a blog delving into this topic will come later), Hitler did like one religion in particular—so much so that he wished ancient Germans had converted to it rather to Christianity.
What religion was it? Islam.
This is attested to by several sources who were close to Hitler. The following account comes from Albert Speer, who was arguably Hitler’s best friend (to the extent Hitler had friends at all). He was Hitler’s favorite architect before the war, and helped him design the gargantuan structures that would become the new capital (a totally redesigned Berlin) of the Nazi Empire, “Germania.”
In 1942 he was appointed as the Reich Minister of Armaments. Despite the war turning against Germany, and massive bombing campaigns that destroyed its infrastructure, Speer nonetheless managed to increase war production every year until 1945. At the Nuremberg Trials after the war, Speer was convicted of war crimes, but because of his supposed repentance and apology, he was only sentenced to 20 years in prison (he was sarcastically labelled “The Good Nazi”).
After being released, he wrote a bestselling memoir that made him a millionaire, Inside the Third Reich. In that memoir, he recorded a discussion with Hitler in which Islam came up. What makes it even more interesting is that Hitler referred to a discussion he had had with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini. The Mufti was the supreme religious leader in Palestine, an ancestor of Yasser Arafat, and had met with Hitler in November, 1941, to discuss German-Arab relations and shared interests. As a result of that meeting, the Mufti would eventually help the SS (the Nazi agency primarily responsible for the Holocaust) by raising a group of Balkan Muslim volunteers to assist in murdering Jews. You would be correct in guessing that he also incited and organized many massacres of Jews in Palestine prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. Recalling Hitler’s reflections on that meeting, and religion in general, Speer recorded the following:
Hitler had been much impressed by a scrap of history he had learned from a delegation of distinguished Arabs. When the Mohammedans [Muslims] attempted to penetrate beyond France into Central Europe during the eighth century, his visitors had told him, they had been driven back at the Battle of Tours. Had the Arabs won this battle, the world would be Mohammedan today. For theirs was a religion that believed in spreading the faith by the sword and subjugating all nations to that faith. The Germanic peoples would have become heirs to that religion. Such a creed was perfectly suited to the Germanic temperament. Hitler said that the conquering Arabs, because of their racial inferiority, would in the long run have been unable to contend with the harsher climate and conditions of the country. They could not have kept down the more vigorous natives, so that ultimately not Arabs but Islamized Germans could have stood at the head of this Mohammedan Empire. [Emphasis added]
From this, Speer recorded Hitler’s conclusion:
Hitler usually concluded this historical speculation [about Germans becoming Muslims] by remarking: “You see, it's been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn't we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?” [Emphasis added]
Speer likewise recorded Hitler’s plans for the Church:
“Once I have settled my other problems,” he [Hitler] occasionally declared, “I'll have my reckoning with the church. I'll have it reeling on the ropes.”
The same sentiments are confirmed in Hitler’s Table Talk, a collection of his private, informal words behind closed-doors that were recorded by several sources, including Martin Bormann, one of Hitler’s closest aids, and leader of the Nazi-party apparatus. These discussions likewise show an utter disdain for Christianity as a “Jewish invention,” and express an admiration for Islam, and a desire that it had been the religion to which Germans had converted:
Only in the Roman Empire and in Spain under Arab domination has culture been a potent factor. Under the latter, the standard of civilization attained was wholly admirable; to Spain flocked the greatest scientists, thinkers, astronomers and mathematicians of the world, and side by side there flourished a spirit of sweet human tolerance and a sense of the purest chivalry. Then, with the advent of Christianity, came the barbarians…Had Charles Martel been victorious at Poitiers—already, you see, the world had fallen into the hands of the Jews, so gutless a thing was Christianity!—then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies heroism and which opens the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the German races would have conquered the world. Christianity alone prevented them from doing so. [Emphasis added]
I didn’t say it. Hitler did.
Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reach: Memoirs by Albert Speer (New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1970), 96.
Adolf Hitler, Table Talk (August 24, 1942, midday); Adolf Hitler, H.R. Trevor-Roper, ed., Hitler's Table Talk: 1941-1944 (New York: Enigma Books, 2007), 504.