NAZI Religion: SS Ceremonies

religion in NAZI Germany
Figure 1.--This SS name giving ceremony was a kind of NAZI baptism. Note the portrait of the Führer on the altar. A SS officer puts his hand on the newborn child of one of his men. We do not know where the ceremony was conducted, but it was clearly in an impressive building and looks like a church. The top plaque in the NAZI standard reads -- "Rhein-Hessen". (The top plque on NAZI standard was the Gau or region/province ). This was the area around Bingen, Mainz and Worms near Frankfurt, a rather Catholic area most prominently known for it's vineyards. It also is the central area in the Nibelungenlied (Germany's equivalent of the King Arthur Saga) which featured heavily in NAZI rhetoric. bsanner. The lettering below reads "Deutschland Erwacht" (Germany awake).

SS Reichführer Himmler was one of greatest enemies of Christianity in the NAZI heirarchy. Thus trends in the SS provide us an insiught on NAZI plans for the mainline Christian churches. Himmler strongly promoted his SS men to break with the church, but did not insist on it. He wanted SS members who he saw as an elite knighthood of the Reich along with their families to leave the church, but not to become atheists. As for marriage, he favored a “marriage consecration” (Eheweihe) rather than a church wedding. This was one of many pseudo-Germanic Teutonic rituals that Himmler wanted to replace traditional Christian rituals. Where Germany was headed can be seen in the SS. We see secular SS weddings outside of churches without clerical officiating. SS weddings were offiated by the men's commnders. And we see baptisms being replaced with a name giving ceremomy in front of an altar with Hitler's portrait. Many families would have wanted Christian cremonies, especially the middle class families from which SS-men came. We are not sure to what extent these ceremonies were required, but it is where Germany was headed if the NAZIs had won.


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Created: 6:32 AM 5/31/2010
Last updated: 3:44 AM 9/2/2017