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The Curious Case of Gerhard Kittel

The Curious Case of Gerhard Kittel

By Kate Daley-Bailey, Religion Bulletin….
On June 1st, 1933, New Testament Professor and Christian theologian, Dr. Gerhard Kittel (picture to the left) delivered a speech entitled Die Judenfrage, “The Jewish Question,” which was later published in a 78 page booklet. In Die Judenfrage, Kittel advocated that German Jews be demoted to “guest status” in Germany, a position which was attacked by more right-leaning Nazi groups insisting upon forced exile or worse. In reaching his conclusion, Kittel considered three other potential answers to the Jewish question commonly debated at the time: extermination (which he dismissed as impractical and, in later editions, “un-Christian”), a separate Jewish state in the Middle East (which he declined for various logistical reasons, such as hostilities from displaced Arabs), and assimilation (which he argued was actually part of the problem, since mixed marriages between Jews and Christians in Germany resulted in the spread of secular liberalism in Germany).

Hitler’s Mythographer

Hitler’s Mythographer

By Kate Daley-Bailey, Religion Bulletin….
Goring, Goebbels, Hitler, Himmler, Hess, and… Rosenberg? The first five men listed here might easily be recognized as the architects of the infamous Third Reich, whose atrocities still haunt European history. Rosenberg, however, is less well known. Alfred Rosenberg was an early supporter of the National Socialist German Workers Party, became the editor of Volkischer Beobachter, the official party newspaper, and was appointed by Hitler as the temporary head of the Nazi Party while Hitler was in prison. Once the party came to power, Rosenberg, despite his lack of charisma, was appointed to the foreign policy office and later became the minister for conquered eastern territories. Perhaps the most notable aspect of Rosenberg’s work on behalf of the regime was his extensive ideological production. Often referred to as Hitler’s theoretician or Hitler’s philosopher, Rosenberg codified much of the anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, and anti-Communist rhetoric which Hitler used to legitimize his political agenda. Rosenberg’s most significant text, The Myth of the 20th Century: An Evaluation of the Spiritual-Intellectual, was revered, at least superficially, by the Reich as second only toMein Kampf as embodying the mythical and ideological frame for Hitler’s Germany.