There is an odious desire by those on the atheist Left to pretend that Hitler and the Nazis were some sort of rogue Christians and that many devout Christians accepted the Nazis and Hitler as protectors against Bolshevism and Jews. Those who wish to believe this often note that Hitler made references to the Almighty or to Providence in his speeches, invoking the name of God. This had nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with his own religious beliefs, which were anything but Christian.
A writer at the time noted: "As self-appointed high priest of the German people, Adolph Hitler concluded many of his public addresses with an invocation to Providence. This intercession was usually offered in the form of a thinly-veiled ultimatum to the effect that the Nazi state, in its heroically titanic exertions to establish a New Order, expected the Almighty to do his Germanic duty. It is interesting to note that Hitler, in his last will and testament to the world before his death, left out this lip service."
Did Nazis have religion? Yes, many Nazis or Nazi sympathizers embraced a sort of Nordic paganism. But aside from oddball, minor religions, Nazism had a very close affinity with one of the major theistic religions of the time, as I describe in my new book by Outskirts Press, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity. The Nazi chumminess with world religions was not with Christianity and it was certainly not with Judaism: It was with an appreciation of and affection for Islam.
Although Hitler and the other Nazis waged relentless war on Christianity, required that members of the SS formally renounce their Christian faith, mocked not just the tenets of Christianity but Jesus himself, Hitler and the Nazis had no problem with Islam. Hitler said in 1943 that Nazis could be Moslems and vice versa.
In 1938, R.H. Lockhart stated in his book, Guns or Butter? that Frenchmen were writing home from Nazi Germany "Everything is moving toward a supreme conflict between the Christian world and the new Islam." He went on to note that British and American businessmen, diplomats and journalists also began to view Nazism as a new Islam. Lockhart looked in those bookstores run by the Nazis - bookstores that did not sell any books sympathetic to Christianity. What did Lockhart find: books published by the Nazis with titles like All-Islam: World Power of Tomorrow.
Himmler hated Christianity but he liked Islam. He met and liked the Grand Mufti. Hitler met that Moslem leader as well. Obergruppenfuhrer Gottlob Berger boasted: "A link is created between Islam and National-Socialism on an open, honest basis. It will be directed in terms of blood and race from the North, and in the ideological-spiritual sphere from the East." When Hitler came to power, Jajj Amin el-Husseini as Mufti of Jerusalem called for jihad to eliminate all the Jews in Palestine. Moslems were recruited and volunteered to serve in the SS Handzar Division. Moslems even helped run the ghastly Jasenovac concentration camp, where over 10,000 Jews and over 40,000 Christians were murdered by the Nazis and their Islamic allies. Persian Shiite Moslems speculated that Hitler might be the Twelfth Prophet of Islam.
This love of Islam led the Nazis to one of the most overlooked and one of the most vital changes in their propaganda. The Nazis, before the Second World War began, only a few years after they took power, formally adopted anti-Semitism. This historical tidbit startles even sophisticated students of history, but just listen to orders which Goebbels sent to all the German press in 1935: "Very important! The attention of the press is drawn to the fact that the National Socialist movement may be called ant-Semitic no longer, but only anti-Jewish. We have nothing against Arabs and other Semitics peoples...." Nazism and Islam fit together very well. Both hated Christians and Jews. Both believed that God wanted adherents to impose their will by violence upon the rest of the world and that this warring on the rest of humanity was divinely inspired. Both rejected what we would call "Western Civilization."
The Nazis viewed Islam with sympathy but viewed Christianity and Judaism with hatred. The Nazi attitude was the totalitarian attitude of other evil empires. Leninist Russia and later Stalinist Russia did not view Islam so much as a religion as a liberating revolutionary political movement. While the Cheka, OGPU and odious descendants raided, harassed and closed churches and synagogues, these secret police organs left mosques alone.
The enemies of the Nazis, like the enemy of all enemies of goodness and of God, were Jews and Christians or, as authors at the time wrote, "Judeo-Christianity." This meant not only did Soviets persecute serious Christians, but also it meant that Soviets persecuted serious Jews. And this meant that not only did Nazis persecute serious Jews (and Jews by accident of birth), but also it meant that Nazis persecuted serious Christians. What great religion did these ghastly murderous regimes find that they could like? Islam, the faith of military conquest and violent control of subject peoples, not the Christian religion of love and peace or the Jewish religion of immutable moral laws. Judeo-Christianity is the nemesis of evil in this world.