The Extensive Use by the Nazis
This collection of images from the period of the Third Reich clearly demonstrate how closely identified the Nazi authorities of Germany were with Christianity :
[The page to the right is from the anti-Semitic German book, "Der Piftpilz" (The Poisonous Mushroom" Pointing out a cross, a peasant mother instructs her children:]
All of the Christian inspired symbols on this page are not conclusive proof by themselves that Hitler and the rest of the Nazi leaders had genuine affection for God and/or Christianity. What I believe they do prove, however, is that these political leaders recognized the political reality of their time and place, namely that 98% of the people of Germany considered themselves "Christians", and that these leaders felt a need to use Christian symbolism to persuade their Christian population to embrace Nazism with enthusiasm.
Hitler began by providing a substantial "loan" to German women producing their first offspring, a quarter of which was forgiven for each child they produced thereafter. Then Hitler came up with the idea of an annual award to publicly honor women producing many human replacement parts for his Nazi war machine.
Was it an accident that the design for the medal he settled on, i.e. a crucifix enshrining the Nazi swastika, had a striking resemblance to what was one of the most visible articles of Roman Catholic worship at the time, i.e. "the monstrance", used to promote the worship of the Eucharistic host at Roman Catholic church services? The cross was awarded in bronze for a fourth child, in silver for a sixth and gold for an eighth.
The 4 arms of the Nazi cross were normally all of the same length, but not so when the Nazis wanted to appeal to the Christian identity of most the population of Germany at the time.
The leadership of the "German Christian" Party
In contrast to what these actual symbols of the times suggest, what evidence is there to support the romanticized view of many Roman Catholics of our time that their co-religionists of that period were heroic fighters against Nazism and victims along with the Jews of that regime? In the absence of any such evidence, I submit that many base their conclusions on nothing but wishful thinking, and on fiction such as the Hollywood movies like "The Sound of Music".
Instead of hearing the screams of Jewish victims throughout the land, what the devoutly Catholic Von Trapp family heard and sang about were beautiful mountains "alive with the sound of music". What is so heroic about a Catholic family escaping supposed persecution in Nazi Austria, while blissfully leaving behind all of the real victims of the Nazi regime, their Jewish neighbors?
The Nazi military buried under crosses in the cemeteries above
viewed themselves as every bit as Christian as the Americans buried
under crosses in U.S. military cemeteries, such as the one below.
The biggest difference between their cemeteries and ours
isn't the shape of their crosses, but the fact that - unlike ours -
you won't find any stars of David mingled among their crosses.
On my visit to our National Cemetery in Normandy, on 07/28/2016, I checked this out for myself and found quite a few such stars, including the cluster of 5 or more below:
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