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Analyzing the previously unexplored religious views of the Nazi elite, Richard Steigmann-Gall argues against the consensus that Nazism as a whole was either unrelated to Christianity or actively opposed to it. In contrast, Steigmann-Gall demonstrates that many in the Nazi movement believed the contours of their ideology were based on a Christian understanding of Germany's ills and their cure. He also explores the struggle the "positive Christians" waged with the party's paganists and demonstrates that this was not just a conflict over religion, but over the very meaning of Nazi ideology itself. Richard Steigmann-Gall is assistant professor of history at Kent Sate University. He earned his BA and MA at the University of Michigan, and PhD at the University of Toronto. He has earned fellowships and awards from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism in Israel, and the Max-Planck Institut fur Geschichte in Göttingen. His research interests include modern Germany, Fascism, and religion and society in Europe, and he has published articles in Central European History, German History, Social History, and Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte.Read more
- Unearths the biographies and world views of many Nazis previously unknown to an English-speaking audience
- Critically reexamines the ideologies of better-known Nazis through an entirely new frame of reference
- Gives a comprehensive overview of religious views of the Nazi leadership as a whole, and how religious differences in the party impacted policy
Reviews & endorsements
"Uncovers new information and helpful insights..." Publishers WeeklySee more reviews
"In the crowded field of Third Reich History, The Holy Reich really does have something original to say...The Holy Reich should prompt a critical re-evaluation of the nature of Nazi ideology...an uncomfortably thought-provoking work of admirable scholarship." Times Higher Education Supplement
"The Holy Reich is a brilliant and provocative work that will recast the whole debate on Christianity and Nazism. We have come to realize that Christianity embraced Nazism more than we used to believe. Now, in a work of deep revisionist import, Richard Steigmann-Gall shows us that the embrace was more than reciprocated." Helmut Walser Smith, author of The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town
"The Holy Reich is both deeply researched and thoughtfully argued. It is the first comparative analysis of the religious beliefs of leading Nazis and a timely reminder of the intimate relations between liberal Protestantism and National Socialism. This is an important and original book by a talented young scholar that deserves as wide a readership as possible." Michael Burleigh, William Rand Kenan Professor of History at Washington & Lee University and author of The Third Reich: A New History
"There has been a huge amount of research on the attitude of the Christian Churches to the Nazis and their policies, but astonishingly until now there has been no thorough study of the Nazis' own religious beliefs. Richard Steigmann-Gall has now provided it. He has trawled through a lot of very turgid literature to show that active Nazis from the leadership down to the lower levels of the party were bitterly opposed to the Catholic Church, but had a much more ambivalent attitude to Protestantism and to Christianity in a wider sense...Far from being uniformly anti-Christian, Nazism contained a wide variety of religious beliefs, and Steigmann-Gall has performed a valuable service in providing a meticulously documented account of them in all their bizarre variety." Richard J. Evans, Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge
"The Holy Reich is both deeply researched and thoughtfully argued. It is the first comparative analysis of the religious beliefs of leading Nazis and a timely reminder of the intimate relations between liberal Protestantism and National Socialism. This is an important and original book by a talented young scholar that deserves as wide a readership as possible." Michael Burleigh, William Rand Kenan Professor of History at Washington & Lee University and author of The Third Reich: A New History, winner of Britain's Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction in 2001
"A vast and important subject has finally received the comprehensive analysis it deserves. Steigman-Gall's fundamental argument--that the Nazi movement was both intimately and intricately, positively and negatively related to Christianity--will hearten those who see Nazi Germany not as an efficient totalitarian system, but as a nonsystem of constant institutional and personal conflicts.... Highly recommended." Choice
"Steigmann-Gall makes an important argument and supports it energetically and resourcefully" The Catholic Historical Review - Doris I. Bergen, University of Notre Dame
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- Date Published: July 2004
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521603522
- length: 312 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.46kg
- contains: 15 b/w illus.
- availability: Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer
Table of Contents
1. Positive christianity: the doctrine of the time of struggle
2. Above the confessions: bridging the religious divide
3. Blood and soil: the paganist ambivalence
4. National renewal: religion and the New Germany
5. Completing the reformation: the Protestant Reich Church
6. Public need before private greed: building the people's community
7. Gottgläubig: assent of the anti-Christians?
8. The Holy Reich: some conclusions.
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