Catholics were the fiercest anti-Nazis in pre-war Germany

Hat tip to David Heleniak for digging this up.

These maps were originally taken from Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s “Liberty or Equality.” K-L was an aristocratic Catholic liberal-monarchist who argued that Nazism was the direct outgrowth of the influence of Protestantism in Germany, particularly the millenarianism and apocaplyptism of Protestantism, complete with Luther’s tirades against the Jews. His arguments were not dissimilar to those of modern liberals and leftists (and the European New Right) who argue that Christian intolerance and classical anti-Semitism planted the cultural seeds out of which Nazism grew, although Kuehnelt-Leddihn obviously lacked the secular or neo-pagan bent of contemporaries who make this argument. Kuehnelt-Leddihn also argued that anarchism took root the most easily in Catholic countries such as those in southern Europe and Latin America. It is interesting that both Nazism and modern Totalitarian Humanism have had their greatest appeal in historically Protestant countries.

As shown by the election figures for 1932.

First the percentage of Catholics.

And then the Nazi vote.

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3 replies »

  1. I love traditional Catholics, especially the hardcore sedevacantist ones who think the Pope is a liberal fraud. “Francis Stuart Campbell” was one of my first introductions to anti-democratism, and I think Tom Woods and Kuehnelt-Leddihn have given them a rosy tint for me.

  2. Oops – these maps don’t reveal the fact that most of the Catholics probably voted for the Catholic Zentrum party… which went into a coalition with the Nazis and brought them into power. Study properly!

    This extract from the secular humanism website:

    “Ironically—but, as we shall see, for obvious reasons—Chancellor Hitler had greater initial success reaching accommodation with Roman Catholic leaders than with the Protestants. The irony lay in the fact that the Catholic Zentrum (Center) Party had been principally responsible for denying majorities to the Nazis in early elections. Although Teutonic in outlook, German Catholics had close emotional ties to Rome. As a group they were somewhat less nationalistic than most Protestants. Catholics were correspondingly more likely than Protestants to view Hitler (incorrectly) as godless, or as a neo-heathen anti-Christian. Catholic clergy consistently denounced Nazism, though they often undercut themselves by preaching traditional anti-Semitism at the same time.

    Even so, and despite Catholicism’s minority status, it would be German Catholics and the Roman Catholic Church that whose actions would at last put total power within the Nazis’ reach.

    Though it was not without antimodernists, the Catholic Zentrum party had antagonized the Vatican during the 1920s by forming governing coalitions with the secularized, moderate Left-oriented Social Democrats. This changed in 1928, when the priest Ludwig Kaas became the first cleric to head the party. To the dismay of some Catholics, Kaas and other Catholic politicians participated both actively and passively in destroying democratic rule, and in particular the Zentrum.

    The devoutly Catholic chancellor Franz von Papen, not a fascist but stoutly right-wing, engineered the key electoral victory that brought Hitler to power. Disastrously Papen dissolved the Reichstag in 1932, then formed a Zentrum-Nazi coalition in violation of all previous principles. It was Papen who in 1933 made Hitler chancellor, Papen stepping down to the vice chancellorship.”

    • Your own quote from a secular site shows that the Catholic Centre Party opposed the Nazis, did not enter into a coalition with them, and helped deny them majorities, and that many bishops condemned Nazism and Hitler. Democracy was opposed far more staunchly by the Nazis, Communists and the German National People`s Party. Fraanz Von Papen had left the Centre Party and was seen as a renegade. There was no Centre Nazi coalition, but a Nazi-DNVP coalition that excluded the Centre Party. The Centre Party was force to disband by the Nazis.

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