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By Derek Hastings

Derek Hastings right here illuminates a big and mostly missed point of early Nazi heritage, going again to the years after global warfare I--when nationwide Socialism first emerged--to show its shut early ties with Catholicism. even supposing an adversarial courting among the Catholic Church and Hitler’s regime built later through the 3rd Reich, the early Nazi circulate was once born in Munich, a urban whose inhabitants used to be overwhelmingly Catholic. concentrating on Munich and the encompassing region, Hastings exhibits how Catholics performed a imperative and hitherto ignored position within the Nazi stream ahead of the 1923 Beerhall Putsch. He examines the activism of person Catholic writers, collage scholars, and monks and the outstanding Catholic-oriented appeals and imagery formulated by way of the circulation. He then discusses why the Nazis launched into a unique direction following the party’s reconstitution in early 1925, eventually taking up an more and more anti-Catholic and anti-Christian identity.

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Extra resources for Catholicism and the Roots of Nazism: Religious Identity and National Socialism

Example text

Thrasolt and Franz Schro¨nghamer—would embark on notable vo¨lkischoriented literary careers, collaborating closely with radical Catholic racists like Dietrich Eckart after the First World War. Schro¨nghamer, by far the most influential of Mu¨ller’s student disciples, was born in Passau in 1881 and entered the seminary of the diocese of Passau in 1900, initially unsure about his priestly calling but determined that his Catholic faith should shape his future career (see fig. 75 In addition to drawing its most ardent support from the ranks of Catholic students, academics, and young professionals in Munich, the Reform Catholic movement remained in close contact with important Christian Social elements.

Relations between Catholics and anti-Catholics within the Kampfbund were tense even before the infamous failure of the socalled Beerhall Putsch in November 1923, but relations deteriorated even more rapidly in its aftermath. Following the bloody shootout that killed sixteen Kampfbund members and sealed the fate of the coup attempt, disillusioned participants (most notably the anti-Catholic followers of Ludendorff) blamed Catholics in Munich for having betrayed the entire enterprise, unleashing a flood of anti-Catholic venom.

And there are still today earnestly believing Catholics [ernsthafte gla¨ubige Katholiken] who cannot go along with the successor of the Bavarian Center Party [the BVP], which seems to be guided much less by Catholic principles than by concern for the mood of the voters and by unrefined popular instincts based in part upon resentment. ”6 What was it that fueled their opposition? 13 This chapter explores the extent to which Munich’s relative distinctiveness in the prewar era contributed to the local environment within which the Nazi movement was born after the First World War, focusing in particular on political and cultural movements that developed outside the framework of—and explicitly in opposition to— “ultramontane” political Catholicism, despite being distinctly Catholicoriented in both their internal self-perception and external publicity.

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