[these private observations by Adolf Hitler were recorded by the early National-Socialist Hermann Rauschning in 1933 and later published in 1940]
The religions are all alike, no matter what they call themselves. They have no future—certainly none for the Germans. That will not prevent me from tearing up Christianity root and branch, and annihilating it in Germany. For our people, it is decisive whether they acknowledge the Jewish Christ-creed with its effeminate pity-ethics, or a strong, heroic belief in Nature, in our own people, in our destiny, in our blood.
Leave the hair-splitting to others. Whether it’s the Old Testament or the New, or simply the sayings of Jesus, according to Houston Stewart Chamberlain—it’s all the same old Jewish swindle. It will not make us free. A German Church, a German Christianity, is distortion. One is either a German or a Christian. You cannot be both. You can throw the epileptic Paul out of Christianity—others have done so before us. You can make Christ into a noble human being, and deny his divinity and his role as a savior. People have been doing it for centuries. I believe there are such Christians today in England and America—Unitarians they call themselves, or something like that. It’s no use, you cannot get rid of the mentality behind it. We don’t want people who keep one eye on the life in the hereafter.
You can’t make an Aryan of Jesus, that’s nonsense. What Chamberlain wrote in his Principles is, to say the least, stupid. What’s to be done, you say? I will tell you: we must prevent the churches from doing anything but what they are doing now, that is, losing ground day by day. Do you really believe the masses will ever be Christian again? Nonsense! Never again. That tale is finished. No one will listen to it again. But we can hasten matters. The parsons will be made to dig their own graves.
Do you think these liberal priests, who have no longer a belief, only an office, will refuse to preach our God in their churches? I can guarantee that, just as they have made Haeckel and Darwin, Goethe and Stefan George the prophets of their Christianity, so they will replace the cross with our swastika. Instead of worshiping the blood of their quondam savior, they will worship the pure blood of our people. They will receive the fruits of the German soil as a divine gift, and will eat it as a symbol of the eternal communion of the people, as they have hitherto eaten of the body of their God. And when we have reached that point the churches will be crowded again. If we wish it, then it will be so—when it is our religion that is preached there. We need not hurry the process.
Why a German Church independent of Rome? Don’t you see that that’s all obsolete? German Christians, German Church, Christians freed from Rome—old stuff! I know perfectly well what is coming, and we shall take care of it all in good time. Without a religion of its own, the German people has no permanence. What this religion will be we do not yet know. We feel it, but that is not enough.
Catholic priests know where the shoe pinches. But their day is done, and they know it. They are far too intelligent not to see that, and to enter upon a hopeless battle. But if they do, I shall certainly not make martyrs of them. We shall brand them as ordinary criminals.
I shall tear the mask of honesty from their faces. And if that is not enough, we shall show the history of the monks on the cinema. Let the whole mass of nonsense, selfishness, repression and deceit be revealed: how they drained the money out of the country, how they haggled with the Jews for the world, how they committed incest. We shall make it so thrilling that everyone will want to see it. There will be queues outside the cinemas. And if the pious burghers find the hair rising on their heads in horror, so much the better. The young people will accept it—the young people and the masses. I can do without the others.
I promise you that if I wished to, I could destroy the Church in a few years; it is hollow and rotten and false through and through. One push and the whole structure would collapse. We should trap the priests by their notorious greed and self-indulgence. We shall thus be able to settle everything with them in perfect peace and harmony. I shall give them a few years’ reprieve. Why should we quarrel? They will swallow anything in order to keep their material advantages. Matters will never come to a head. They will recognize a firm will, and we need only show them once or twice who is the master. Then they will know which way the wind blows. They are no fools. The Church was some-thing really big. Now we’re its heirs. We, too, are a Church. Its day has gone. It will not fight. I’m quite satisfied. As long as youth follows me, I don’t mind if the old people limp to the confessional. But the young ones—they will be different. I guarantee that.
Our peasants have not forgotten their true religion. It still lives. It is merely covered over. The Christian mythology has simply coated it like a layer of tallow. It has preserved the true contents of the pot. I have said this to Dane, and told him that we must start the great reformation. He has suggested means to me, magnificent means! I have approved them. The old beliefs will be brought back to honor again. In our ‘Green Week’ and in the ‘Traveling Agricultural Exhibition’ he will allude to our inherited religion in picturesque and expressive language that even the simplest peasant can understand.
It will not be done in the old way, running riot in colorful costumes and dreaming of a departed, romantic age. The peasant will be told what the Church has destroyed for him: the whole of the secret knowledge of nature, of the divine, the shapeless, the demonic. The peasant shall learn to hate the Church on that basis. Gradually he will be taught by what wiles the soul of the German has been raped. We shall wash off the Christian veneer and bring out a religion peculiar to our race. And this is where we must begin.
The same is true of all other countries, Sweden, France, England, the Slav agricultural countries. The renaissance of heathendom has always broken against the mischief done by the literary, those urban ranks of the totally uprooted, those mental conjurors. Unless we give the masses something in exchange for what we take from them, they will later fall a prey to every kind of swindle. But it is through the peasantry that we shall really be able to destroy Christianity because there is in them a true religion rooted in nature and blood. It is through the peasantry that we shall one day be able to act as missionaries to the urban masses as well. But there is plenty of time for that.
Our revolution is not merely a political and social revolution; we are at the outset of a tremendous revolution in moral ideas and in men’s spiritual orientation. Our movement has at last brought the Middle Ages, medieval times, to a close. We are bringing to a close a straying of humanity. The Ten Commandments have lost their validity. Conscience is a Jewish invention. It is a blemish, like circumcision.
Two worlds face one another—the men of God and the men of Satan. The Jew was the enemy of the Roman Empire, even of Egypt and Babylon; but I have been the first to go all out against him. Our party must be the hierarchical Order of a secular priesthood. But, mind you, the only one. Ourselves or the Freemasons or the Church—there is room for one and no more. This revolution of ours is the exact counterpart of the great French Revolution. And no Jewish God will save the democracies from it. There is a stern time coming. I shall see to that only the tough and manly element will endure.