Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus Christ by Adolf Hitler

Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus Christ, Oil/canvas, 1913, by Adolf Hitler

It's something of a jolt to remember that, before he was a dictator, Hitler was a passably good painter of religious kitsch. He was raised a Roman Catholic, but, though he felt that Christianity was the foundation of German morals, he later came to believe that nationalism and patriotism had replaced religion and faith.

He admired Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, and Mohammed, but when he became head of the Nazi party, his statements about religion were ambivalent and contradictory.

He despised atheism, which he saw as a great evil of Soviet communism. He conceived of god as a watchful, provident, caring creator, not the distant and impersonal god of deism, which, like atheism, he rejected.

He was, at heart, a sentimentalist (he loved dogs, children, and sweeping romantic music), and his vision of Germany was sentimentally patriotic and semi-religious.

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