This paper examines the topic of Nazism and religion by taking one of the dominant schools of thought––that Nazism was a ‘political religion’––and dealing directly with an issue that is often encountered when teaching the history of the Nazi Party. A common question raised by students is this: what could be known about the Nazis when they came to power? While formulated in different ways and sometimes with a different chronological focus the core of this question is one of historicism. It may be abundantly clear to us now what the Nazis stood for, how racist and antisemitic they were, but what could be known by people then, and how did they view the Nazis? Given my sense that many teachers encounter this questions I believe it may be a useful prism through which to view Nazism and religion. The paper does so through using a case-study of the 'Temple Society' (Tempelgesellschaft), examining how members of this Christian community understood Nazism on the cusp of 1933.
Field of Research
210307 European History (excl British, Classical Greek and Roman)
Socio Economic Objective
970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Research category
C3 Non-refereed articles in a professional journal
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