3 Ways Christianity Was Largely Responsible For The Holocaust

This post by Travis Haan originally appeared at The Wise Sloth.

While Christianity wasn’t the sole catalyst for the Holocaust, there is no doubt in my mind that Christianity set the stage for the Holocaust to happen to the extent that the Holocaust couldn’t have happened without Christianity.

1: Christianity financially and emotionally oppressed Germans leading up to WWII.

Churches exploited German Christians financially by requiring tithes, encouraging donations, selling indulgences and charging fees for breaking moral laws. This siphoned off much-needed income from the poor and gave it to the aristocracy of the Christian theocracy. Not only did this hurt the poor’s chances of living well in the present, but that lost income couldn’t be saved, invested or passed on to future generations. So over the course of several generations, the consequences of lost income compounded.

The church mentally abused the German populace by forbidding behavior that deviated from Church doctrine. People were put in the stocks for gossiping, ostracized for adultery and killed for witchcraft. If you go to any medieval torture museum in Germany today, most of the instruments of misery were used by the state to enforce Biblical morality. Medieval Germany under Christian rule was like Saudi Arabia is today under Islam. Everyone was forced to walk the line, and punishment for deviation was harsh.

2: Christianity was culturally oppressive to the Jews but economically favorable to them.

In the eyes of the Christian church, Jews were heretics and Jesus-killers. Since they rejected the teachings of salvation, they deserved to go to Hell. As a result, the good Christians ostracized them and forced them to form tight-knit, insular communities with other Jews.

Ostracizing the Jews taught them to be frugal and save their money for hard times to come. It also meant Jews had close business relationships with each other and could count on one another for financial support.

At the same time, Christianity practically handed the banking industry to the Jewish community. The New Testament forbid charging interest on loans. Since Christians couldn’t charge interest, they had no incentive to open banks. People still needed loans though. So the Jews stepped in and filled the need. Once the Jews had their hand in the financial sector, then money beget money, and the income gap between Jews and Christians grew.

3: Hitler hijacked German Christians’ existing prejudice towards Jews.

Your average Christians living in Germany saw they were the “have-nots” and the Jews were the “haves,” but they didn’t understand why. They just thought Jews were Jesus-killing, heretic, big-nose, stingy thieves… because that’s how the church had always taught Christians to see the Jews. Anti-Jew riots occurred in Germany well before World War II because Christianity had already established a well-defined environment for distrust, resentment, and hate.

After World War I, life in Germany was even more destitute for poor Christians than ever. Of course, the church didn’t open its coffers and give back all the money it had been taking from the poor for generations. So the masses stayed poor and disgruntled while the Jews kept getting richer.

That’s when Hitler stepped in and said, “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator by defending myself against the Jew. I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

Hitler merely played on the prejudices created by Christianity to blame the problems that were largely created by Christianity, on the Jews. Thus, Christianity played a central role in setting the stage for the Holocaust.

Reprinted with permission from the author.

Travis Haan is the editor of The Wise Sloth blog. The Wise Sloth contains editorial, philosophical, instructional, inspirational and satirical posts in the form of essays, lists, comics, and fiction, which tend to be irreverent, humorous and controversial.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Certain facts are obvious to those who will see, and hidden from those who choose not to see.
    For one thing, a handfull of Jews in a plaza in Jerusalem, let's say, 100, were dwarfed in number by the many thousands who were elsewhere, celebrating Passover, and who did not even see the events in the plaza.
    For another, a rabbi saying, let the responsibility be passed on for generations to come, does not make it true. And whose generations? The hundred or so in the plaza, or the thousands who were not there?
    According to the Christian religion, those events and the crucifixion were prophesied. In fact, Jesus had his apostles to distribute palm fronds to the people by the road, and he rode a donkey into Jerusalem, so that the prophesy would be fulfilled. In other words, he planned in advance what was to happen If the crucifixion had not happened, the prophecy would not have been fulfilled, and that would be seen as a bad thing.
    Because Jesus was crucified, the sins of mankind were forgiven, and that is seen in Christianity as a good thing. So why would Jews of today be reviled, in that case? And what can any Jew of today do for better or worse to change anything?
    Christian teachings are so confused and confusing, it is no wonder they were distorted to blame Jews for anything that happened to be on their minds at the time.

  2. There are clear sayings in the bible (revelations) that says there are some among you who say they are Jews but are not.
    Again those who say they are Jews but are not will be removed or killed as written in Revelations. However Jewish financial Power came to a peak in England Europe about the eleventh Century more about that later, However Catholic Power good and evil occurred predominately after that time and surfaced by being the so-called power behind the throne more obvious from the fourteenth century with the conquests and carnage of that era and during the carnage of south America and the Conquistadors in the name of Christianity. However one could say that as a result of that murder and mayhem a Christian Country was born and lives to this day as a better place than it was. Also invaded was England in 1066 by William the conqueror. This Norman King was reluctant to invade but being promised great wealth and finance for the army by the monied Jews of Europe.agreed to their promise of finance providing they be allowed to tax all of Britain. Hence the Domes Day books of such taxes still archived to this day. God also gave the Jewish people victory when the Jews fought the philistines for the promised land, In the bible God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for being subjugated by Homosexuality.. Henry the eighth for more personal reasons Rid the UK of much of its catholic interference and its supposed doctrine of being the power behind the throne. Under Catholicism In Spain and other countries it has been written that people could be burnt at the stake for simply having the bible. But today there is much more that may bring about Gods wrath and lets face it we are his creation and I don't think that Abortion, adultery, Homosexuality, Lesbianism, casual sex and debauchery of any sort was part of his plan But we were imperfect from the start when Cane killed Abel. Further more in the Christian Teachings of Jesus there is very little confusion when we each observe his teachings.

    • So events happen that God hasn’t foreseen, and that anger Him? Should He be surprised and angered by mankind’s behavior? Wouldn’t his omniscience and infinite love sort of preclude all that?

  3. WHAT COMPLETE AND UTTER RUBBISH Christianity was the cause of the HOLOCAUST ? WHAT UTTER RUBBISH

    hitler was a catholic which is pagan invented by Constantine in 330 ad to maintain control of Christs Follows Nothing to do in REALITY with true Christianity

    THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE holocaust

      • You're the one who has been brainwashed by this trash. It clearly says in the Bible that the Jews are God's people and Christians don't hate them. Christians and Jews often come together in their belief in God. They also didn't blame Jews in the 1900s for some that happened thousands of years ago. If you believe this you're stupid and need to do actual research.

        • "Jews are God's people." Well that's very good for "Jews"! Let's take another look at who actually wrote this stuff and why the planet should be forced to adhere to any one religion. And how old was Abraham and Sarah? Oh, and Abraham was going to kill his son as an offering but chickened out. Oh wait, no he didn't, God stopped him just in time. You see there was many blood offerings back in the day. So Abraham came down and claimed his son was saved because GOD, yes I said GOD, told him not to kill his son and to find Canaan and well the rest is history. Then there's the parcel of land. Well, that's good for "Jews" as well. Oh can I have an AMEN! So who's in "Israel" today and are they behaving like God's Chosen? LOL Religions, all religions, need to be explained and why and how they came about and how they have been used to confine, frighten and manipulate so many people on and on for centuries. People in the past have hijacked certain religions and use them to keep people in line. Religion too is a personal choice and should never be forced upon people. Remember too that anyone anywhere can convert to Judaism or any other religion for that matter.

          • Humanism is a religion my friend and man is worshipped in this religion.
            You worship something if it is not God.
            Did man create himself and all of the universe.
            Wake up oh sleeper your going to face God sooner or later and every knee shall bow to Jesus Christ whether on earth or on the day you stand before him when your soul has left your body.

    • You're delusional, you know that don't you. Catholicism was invented by Jesus Christ read your bible that was put together in prayer at the Catholic councils. You need to put down your bigotry and research the truth about Church history.

    • Martin Luther was one of the most prolific anti Semitic writers in history, and he learned it in the Catholic seminary! GoodGerman catholic and Germans shoveled Jews into the ovens AND THAT IS NOT DEBATEABLE!!!!!

    • Right on Gigi. If it' outside of their book, the can't believe anything. The certainly cannot think for themselves they are governed by only what is in their book. Makes for a closed narrow mind, with no use of logic but a Stepford wives mentality. If they could think outside of their Bible, they would see what an evil thing it is.
      Even IN the Bible. Their god committed genocide on multiple occasions. He mass-slaughtered infants over and over too. Yet they get on their podium to condemn abortion because it goes against their religion. Maybe they should try telling their god that. If their god is the creator of everything, he is either not all-powerful or if he is all powerful he is the creator of evil too.

  4. Undoubtedly centuries of anti Semitism from the pulpit conditioned many Germans to the idea that Jewish people are less worthy than Christians. It wasn’t until Vatican II in the 1960s that the Catholic Church finally dropped teaching that the Jews were evil because they caused the death of Christ.

  5. Conveniently overlooked in this piece is the work of the Christians who staunchly opposed the Nazis and gave up their lives doing so. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a great study and starting point for this resistance.

    • They did so by going outside their Christian doctrines; appealing to a great corpus of humanist works painstakingly built up over centuries.

      • Christians opposed the Nazis based on Christian doctrine. There is some alignment between humanist doctrine and Christianity, but Christians weren't opposing Nazis because they were humanist, they were doing so because they were Christians.

  6. Strange this is all about Christianity yes Hitler was a Christian. And there was hatreth by the Christian Churchs of Jews but my understanding of the hatreth was far more to do with communists associated with the Russian Jews also the wealth gained from money lending.Much like today the wealth is held by a very small minority this also could be blamed on the Jews by Christian bigots It would make you wonder what happened to the large majority of Jews that had nothing. Hitler was just an opportunist saw where the wealth was when he was young and Christian teaching gave him the way to take it. It’s a worldwide story Rob dy nabour now it’s oil and all minerals in the ground if you have these look out for the Drones

  7. A GREAT book that goes over all of this history and all the way back to how the early church became corrupted is a book entitled “Great Controversy.”

    • This is a book written by Ellen G White in 1858 and reprinted in 2011. It is available in paperback, hardcover and kindle formats at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. ISBN = 1614271755

  8. The funniest thing is that JC never existed! It was invented by the Roman Flavian Dynasty …. see Vespasian, Titus etc….. to counter/confuse/ control the diff Jewish sects who were themselves having disagreements with each other. No record exists that mentions JC or any of the events that ‘supposedly’ occured during the period from his birth to death….. Consider that Rome recorded everything of significance including for purposes of taxation n empire infrastructure, etc. There are NO records of JC’s existence intil St Paul and tge Greeks started to invent the JC concept! The world has been taken for a ride ever since!

    • There are six well-known historical figures or historians who all lived during the first two centuries: Suetonius, Cornelius, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Josephus, and Celsus, who all either mentioned Jesus by name or a Christian "sect" in their writings. Please check it out on the Internet if you don't believe it!

  9. The funniest thing is that JC never existed! It was invented by the Roman Flavian Dynasty …. see Vespasian, Titus etc….. to counter/confuse/ control the diff Jewish sects who were themselves having disagreements with each other. No record exists that mentions JC or any of the events that ‘supposedly’ occured during the period from his birth to death….. Consider that Rome recorded everything of significance including for purposes of taxation n empire infrastructure, etc. There are NO records of JC’s existence intil St Paul and tge Greeks started to invent the JC concept! The world has been taken for a ride ever since!

  10. All religions whether it’s islam, christianity or judaism are the main cause of death and destruction on this earth. Europe did not succeed throughout history until they separated church from state. The Middle East is even worse, Sunni – Shia fighting and killing over who’s the right thought of islam. Muslims and jews fighting, one thinks that it’s a prophecy the other says is our mortal enemy. Take Lebanon for example, President has to be Maronite Christian, Prime minister has to be Sunni muslim and parliament speaker has to be Shia muslim by law that was made by France after their victory in WW2. … Result? Lebanon is now a failed state caused by religious division. I won’t mention the countless issues that it has now but it’s a shame to see my parents country ending up the way it is now. That’s one problem in the many many problems the middle east is facing over religion.

  11. The author is grossly misinformed. Anti semitism was an undercurrent in Germany long before, and it was the oppressive war reparations imposed on Germany after WWI which led to Hitler coming to power.

  12. Seems to me that religion has caused devision murder greed poverty genocide. This god has a lot to answer for in our so-called enlightened times. Me thinks the religious amongst us have a lot to think about but their dogma over the centuries has stopped them, so we have no reason unfortunately to expect anything to change and who do we have to blame.

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