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German Faith Movement

german faith movement, german christians faith movement
The German Faith Movement Deutsche Glaubensbewegung was a religious movement in Nazi Germany 1934–1945, closely associated with University of Tübingen professor Jakob Wilhelm Hauer The movement sought to move Germany away from Christianity towards a religion that was based on Germanic paganism and Nazi ideas[1]


  • 1 The leader: Jakob Wilhelm Hauer
  • 2 History
  • 3 Movement's composition
  • 4 Peak era and rituals
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 Sources

The leader: Jakob Wilhelm Hauer

In 1933, Jakob Wilhelm Hauer started the movement as a way to gain financial footing for an institution within the religious shuffle Hauer was initially not an obvious supporter of Adolf Hitler and started the Köngener Bund, a German Protestant youth movement, which attracted many young Germans due to its opposition of National Socialism as well as antisemitism[2] His allegiance changed however, joining the Combat League for German Culture Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur in May 1933 Hauer then joined the Hitler Youth later that year, in December The once liberal, anti-nationalist, was then inducted into the SS and SD in August 1934[2] Hauer became the Führer of the German Faith Movement when it was constituted in May 1934[2] His reign was short-lived, stepping down on April 1, 1936[2]


In 1933, Germany's population of almost 60 million belonged to either the Catholic Church 20 million members or the Protestant Church 40 million members[3] Many Christians were initially drawn to supporting Nazism due to the emphasis on "positive Christianity," noted in Article 24 of the 1920 National Socialist Program[3] However, two distinct Protestant factions emerged as German Christians were divided along political lines "German Christians" Deutsche Christen emerged from the German Evangelical Church, adhering closely to the nationalistic and racial teachings of the Nazis and ultimately deferring to the Fuhrer's authority The second faction was "Confessing Church" which opposed the "German Christians" and swore allegiance to "God and scripture, not a worldly Führer" [3] The Confessing Church moved to counteract the NS's grouping of all German people into a singular Protestant church German Christians in order to 'de-Judaize' Christianity[2] Jakob Wilhelm Hauer founded the German Faith Movement in response to the Nazi Governments intended indoctrination of children with Christianity and attempting to outlaw all critiques of the faith[2] Hauer was a critic of traditional Christianity but was compelled to create the German Faith Movement as a way to preserve freedom of conscience[2] Groups like the German Faith Movement arose due to the lack of consensus within the German Protestant church It was thought and feared by the Confessing Church that the theology taught by Karl Barth was too polarizing leading young Germans to stray away from traditional Protestantism and join more radical groups like the German Faith Movement[4]

Movement's composition

The movement initially invited various different groups, including: religious free-thinkers included Jews, racialists, and even socialists, to join a seemingly antagonistic group to the Nazi Church[4] However, racialists, including Hauer, did not believe Jews should be included in the movement, thus leaving only racialists and those who had abandoned German Christianity ie unconventional to compose the German Faith Movement[4]

Peak era and rituals

The movement's ceremonies involved sermons, German classical music and political hymns

In his 1936 essay "Wotan" Swiss psychologist Carl Jung speaks of Ergriffenheit, explained in the English version as "a state of being seized or possessed",[5] and characterizes Germany as "infected rolling towards perdition"[6] However, Jung sees the German Faith Movement as "decent and well-meaning people who honestly admit their Ergriffenheit and try to come to terms with this new and undeniable fact" He commends Hauer's book Deutsche Gottschau as an attempt "to build a bridge between the dark forces of life and the shining world of historical ideas"[7]

The movement had around 200,000 followers at its height less than 03% of the population Following the Nazi accession to power, it obtained rights of civil tolerance from Rudolf Hess, but never the preferential treatment from the Nazi state for which Hauer campaigned However, in the years that followed Hauer's abdication of his Führer title, the Movement largely served as a NSDAP appendage[2]

The development of the German Faith Movement revolved around:

  • the propagation of the 'blood and soil' ideology
  • the syncretism of Christian ceremonies with pagan equivalents; the most favored pagan deity being the sun, as can be seen from the flag of the faith movement
  • the cult of Hitler's personality
  • the spread of Norse paganism throughout Germany

Similar movements have remained active in Germany since 1945 outside mainstream educational and social structures

See also

  • German Christians
  • Neopaganism in German-speaking Europe
  • Positive Christianity
  • Religion in Nazi Germany


  1. ^ Richard Bonney 15 June 2009 Confronting the Nazi War on Christianity: The Kulturkampf Newsletters, 1936-1939 Peter Lang pp 62, 73 ISBN 978-3-03911-904-2 Retrieved 13 March 2013mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightmw-parser-output citation mw-selflink
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Alles, Gregory D 22 February 2011 The Science of Religions in a Fascist State: Rudolf Otto and Jakob Wilhelm Hauer During the Third Reich p 177–204 Retrieved 8 November 2019
  3. ^ a b c "The German Churches and the Nazi State" Holocaust Encyclopedia United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Retrieved 8 November 2019
  4. ^ a b c Solberg, Mary M 1 April 2015 A Church Undone: Documents from the German Christian Faith Movement, 1932-1940 Fortress Press ISBN 9781451496666 Retrieved 8 November 2019
  5. ^ Jung, Carl G 1970; Collected Works, Volume 10; Routledge & Kegan Paul, London; ISBN 0-7100-1640-9; p 184
  6. ^ Jung, p 185
  7. ^ Jung, p 190 - 191


  • Hauer, William et al 1937; Germany's New Religion: The German Faith Movement; London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd Written with Karl Heim & Karl Adam; trans from German by TSK Scott-Craig & RE Davies
  • Nanko, Ulrich 1993; Die Deutsche Glaubensbewegung Eine historische und soziologische Untersuchung German: the German Faith Movement - a historical and sociological examination; Religionswissenschaftliche Reihe Bd 4 Diagonal, Marburg Lahn ISBN 3-927165-16-6
  • Poewe, Karla 2005; New Religions and the Nazis; Routledge ISBN 0-415-29024-4

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