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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50 COMMENTS

  1. 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!

      • Josephus was not a contemporary historian, actually. He wrote in 93-94 AD. This makes the exact count of contemporary accounts at 0. Zero. Zip. Nada.

    • 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!

    • Yes, it is the funniest thing, isn't it? JC never existed! Invented by the Roman Flavian dynasty! What are you on? Of course no first-hand witnesses of the life of Jesus exist. The Roman Empire at that time was, according to historians, between 95 to 97% illiterate. This stuff gets a bit tedious, and I think half the anger comes from people like you never being taken seriously by academics. Rome did NOT record everything of significance. There ARE extensive records of the existence of JC from Tacitus, Flavius Josephus and Suetonius, in addition to many others.

      The world has been taken for a ride? Thank God there are people like you around to put us straight, eh?

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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