VFTB 249: Mark Musser – Nazi Oaks

nazi-oaksIT SOUNDS bizarre, but you can draw a line connecting the fertility cult of Baal in the ancient Near East to the modern green movement. The midpoint of that line is, oddly, Nazi Germany.

Mark Musser, author of the book Nazi Oaks: The Green Sacrifice of the Judeo-Christian Worldview in the Holocaust, explains how the Holocaust was carried out under a green cover: Nazi racism was rooted in the Social Darwinism of German Romanticism that laid the ecological foundations for what today is otherwise known as environmentalism.

Click here to watch Mark’s presentation on this topic at the 2010 Chafer Theological Seminary Pastor’s Conference.

Please join Derek and Sharon Gilbert each Sunday for the Gilbert House Fellowship, our Bible study podcast. Log on to www.GilbertHouse.org for more details.

Discuss these topics at the PID Radio Cafe, visit the VFTB Facebook page, and check out the great Christian podcasters at the Revelations Radio Network.

Download a smaller, lower-fidelity version of the mp3 of this show by clicking here.

12 Comments on VFTB 249: Mark Musser – Nazi Oaks

  1. Any mention of how Prescott Bush, George W.’s grandfather helped arrange financing for Hitler and Nazı Germany? Any mention of how IBM helped the Nazıs carry out the Holocaust much more efficiently and ruthlessly? Any mention of how Henry Ford was credited by Hitler himself as being the major inspiration for Hitler’s anti-semitism, or how Ford Motors, GM, IBM and Brown Brothers Harriman, Prescott Bush’s firm at the time, did business with Nazı Germany while we were at war with them, in direct violation of the Trading With the Enemy Act? I think these are much more pertinent, and direct causations of Hitler’s noxious philosophy, and the Nazı rise to power than relatively obscure 19th century philosophical musings related here.

    • Dan: We’re very much aware of the investment in Nazi Germany by American bankers and corporations (the coal gasification technology that created the fuel for the Nazis’ war equipment, since Germany has no oil to speak of, was courtesy of Standard Oil). The question is why. What was it about the Nazis that found sympathizers in England and the US? The slaughter of millions of Jews was motivated by more than profit. The Nazis were a cult, not a political party.

  2. Derek: This is in my wheelhouse, I’ve written and presented papers concerning the motivations behind the support for the Nazi party, both within Germany and outside of it. For the most part, foreign corporate support for Nazi Germany really did boil down to money, as did a lot of domestic German corporate support. Germany, during the twenties, and especially the thirties, was seen as an excellent investment. Granted, it had been beaten down during WWI and the aftermath, had crippling reparation payments hung on it, but despite this, Germany was considered a wise economic investment. After all, it had been the economic and manufacturing engine of Europe, and therefore the world, prior to WWI, thus investment in Germany post war seemed like getting in on a good deal cheap. This was certainly the rational behind the actions of IG Farben, IBM, GM, Standard Oil and others.

    The major exception to this was Ford Motors, and mainly Henry Ford. His motivation was much more ideological. Ford was a notorious anti-Semite, an attitude not uncommon among people in his generation and background. It was in the twenties that Ford came out with The International Jew, The World’s Foremost Problem, first in a serialized version in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, then in a four volume set of books that not only became best sellers here in the US, but worldwide. It was these books that greatly influenced Nazı ideology. Several prominent Nazı leaders, including Hitler, stated at the Nuremberg trials and elsewhere that it was these books that crystallized their thinking on Jews, leading directly to the Final Solution (to the World’s Foremost Problem).

    As far as the Nazı concepts of the Master Race and such, that arose out of another American idea, namely that of eugenics. Modern eugenics was a scientific theory first developed by Francis Galton on of Cambridge, a cousin of Darwin. But eugenics got its real impetus from Charles Davenport, who established the Biological Experiment Station in 1904. It was his work that led to forced sterilization laws here in the US, and carried the idea of superior and inferior races abroad, where it found root in Germany as the idea of the Master Race.

    As far as the political aspects of Nazism, they were simply the German version of fascism, the political ideology that weds a capitalist economic system to an authoritative political system, ie dictatorship, for the mutual benefit of both. In Italy’s case, it was Mussolini, in Germany, Hitler. In fact there were many admirers of fascim in the US during the twenties, including the future ambassador to the Soviet Union, George Kennan, who went on to write what is known as The Long Telegram, which basially set forth the US Cold War policy of containment.

    So under the political rubric of fascism, Hitler used his personal charisma to seize these themes of anti-Semitism, eugenics, and the time tested tactic of scapegoating a particular group of people to bend the German people to his way of thinking and put him in power. While there were undercurrents of mysticism and Social Darwinism within the German culture, and within the Nazi Party leadership, they were not the primary, secondary, or even tertiary cause of the Nazi rise to power. Rather, it was the coldly reasoned economic and political power inherent in fascism that led many leaders in Germamy to support Nazism, while the general populace was swept along in a fever flood of anti-Semtism, eugenics/Master Race theories, and the incredible charisma of Hitler and his propoganda machine.

    In short, Nazi Oaks seems to be revisionist history, and revisionist history of the worst kind, that which tries to score some sort of political point in the modern day. Anybody who is intellectually honest with themselves should shun such works. After all, Nazi propaganda relied heavily on such revsionist history, it would be a sad sign if Americans did so as well.

    • You are correct about the American influence on the Nazis, a point that I emphasize in my presentation on the Transhumanist movement. Germany’s eugenics laws were modeled after the program in place in California in the 1930s. Sterilization of women without their knowledge or consent continued in some states until the 1970s. I suggest it is an undercurrent in American society today; Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in an interview that the point of Roe v. Wade was preventing the country from being saddled with too many of the wrong kind of people.

      However, the National Socialist Party truly was a cult masquerading as a political party. Some of the best research on this comes from Peter Levenda, who is by no means a Christian.

  3. Dear Robbins, All of the issues you mention about the Nazi Economy and even how IBM used the Hollerith cards to capture the Jews is in the book – neither of which can explain the motive for the holocaust. To blame IBM and other corporations/banking institutions only explains how the holocaust was implemented and paid for, not why it was done in the first place. It is really no different than blaming the existence of guns for why people are killed. The motive is the key that has been completely ignored with regard to the holocaust, and here Social Darwinism, Existential will to power, a nature based ethos that does not separate man from animals including environmentalism, is decisive. Also, Edwin Black’s book, IBM and the Holocaust was published by Bertelsmann, which is a huge German publishing conglomerate that has a substantial Nazi pedigree in its past. Bertelsmann likes to publish books that whitewash Germany’s own past, and what better way to do that than publish Black’s book. Germany (along with Marxists) has led the charge in blaming capitalism and technology for the holocaust, including Albert Speer’s own defense at Nuremberg. You need to read “Nazi Oaks!” All the best, Mark Musser

  4. Dan, you have made many statements without reading my book. I am also amazed at how so many people are always blaming America first for things like eugenics, fascism, and the holocaust. That is precisely what German historians (usually of the Socialist/Marxist/Post-Modern variety)and other Leftists want you to believe. Haeckel’s works on Social Darwinism and eugenics were international bestsellers (unlike Darwin’s cousin), particularly his Riddle of the Universe. California named a mountain after Haeckel in the late 1890’s, and so his influence was very substantial by that time. You cannot exclude Haeckel’s powerful international influences on the eugenics movement and Social Darwinism. Haeckel was born in 1834 and died in 1919. FYI, Mark

  5. Some interesting points and some astounding lapses in theology and logic.

    1) Perhaps least important of what I’ve heard so far, Odin and Thor were not Ba’al. Completely different cultures. If anything Odin and Thor are closer to Vishnu and Indra (I think) as the Aesir seem to have been brought into Europe by incursion from the aryan culture in northern India.

    2) I really think that this author needs to step back from disparaging social darwinism as much as he has. Social darwinism is only an excuse for eugenics, a practice which many Jews and Christians (and other, to be fair engage in to this very day). Do Christians really not think that their policies of excluding people from their groups who cannot conform to their behavioral practices isn’t a form of genetic selection? Do they really think that the encouraging of large families isn’t an attempt to swamp other genetic pools with their own. Do they think that the frequent OT calls to purge the Canaanites from Jewish populations wasn’t outright eugenics if not genocide? Theological eugenics has been going on pretty much as religion. The author may not actually engage in such practices but he should at least admit that its the extremity and the excuses for it rather than the practice itself that change.

    3) Again with the Nazis weren’t Christians claims! Yes, the National Socialist Party incorporated many teutonic symbols into its rhetoric but it was only emphasizing its cultural background just as many christian groups around the world do. At its basis, however, the Germans were Christians and proud of it. Much of their rhetoric against the Jews (such as the forgery, “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”) was based on their perceived NT enmity against the Jews. Finally, it is true that the Nazis were targeting the churches but that was a matter of prioritizing loyalties. Churches such as the Catholic Church and other powerful churches could not be allowed to claim a priority loyalty to Germany itself. That was just a variation on the same practice that one sees in any country that establishes a national religion.

    4) I’m pretty sure that hunting laws were in place long before Nazi Germany. Hunting laws were usually declared to establish royalty’s primary claims to game animals. I believe that, well before Nazi Germany was established in the 1930’s, the U.S. had enacted at least a few laws of its own to protect species, such as the bison, from extinction.

    5) Finally, the author and the host both seem to have the strange view that they actually “own” their land. They don’t. At best, they rent it. Therefore, complaining against laws that seek to protect the land and, therefore, the people on it seems rather short-sighted. Most of the laws in this country and others are geared towards maximizing short-term economic gain. They completely ignore the environmental services provided by the eco-system devastated in the process of that short-term gain. The end result is that, without those “onerous” government restrictions on you “God-given” individual rights (which, by the way, do not exist in the Bible, so far as I know), you are likely to enjoy the fruits of your gains but your grandchildren are likely to wallow in pollution and denuded land. It has happened before. Nearly every past civilization that we know of seems to have collapsed due to ecological devastation brought on by its economic practices. Many of those regions remain ecologically damaged thousands of years later.

    Perhaps I’ve misjudged the author and the host on this point (I know that Mr. Gilbert has expressed, to me, an interest in his grandchildren being able to enjoy a reasonable vibrant and healthy Earth) but all that I ever seem to hear from groups like this is the sentiment “Oh, the EPA is so oppressive!”. I never seem to hear anyone speaking of positive actions to take to accomplish the same levels of protection and remediation that organizations like the EPA provide. As a striving permaculturist, I say put up or shut up! I’ve never once seen prayers remove dioxins from the soil or bisphenol-A from a baby bottle.

    P.s.) Unit – That repackaged U”bermann that you mentioned? You seem to forget that he was created by a couple of jewish boys specifically for the purpose of countering the growing german u”bermann concept. Although not explicit, he was a messiah come to save the jewish people. It wasn’t idolatry or a deceptive “gospel”. It was simply a hopeful, fictional look forward much like LeHaye would adopt in his books.

  6. Nazi ideology – its Social Darwinism, eugenics, racism, existentialism, and nature worship have nothing to do with Christianity and were all extremely antagonistic against it. Good books that truly explain Nazi ideology are Gasman’s “The Scientific Origins of National Socialism,” (Social Darwinism) and Dr. Robert Pois’ “National Socialism and the Religion of Nature,” (Nature Worship) and J.P. Stern’s “The Fuhrer and His People” (Existentialism). Dr. Richard Weikart of the Discovery Institute has two excellent books on Hitler’s ethic based on Darwinism and Social Darwinism, and has another new definitive book coming out called “Hitler’s Religion” that will categorically demonstrate that that the Fuhrer was a pantheist in great contrast to Christianity.
    The Left has been trying to paint Hitler as a Christian for years in order to blame Christianity for the rise of the Third Reich together with the Holocaust, but very few folks understand the ideology of National Socialism. While Hitler was not an atheist, he was a pantheist, and what positive things Hitler did say about Christianity publicly was purely for political purposes because Germany was still nominally Christian at the time – especially early on. In other words, most of what Hitler said publicly with regard to Christianity (even in books like Mein Kampf – which believe it or not – is a politically correct document to some extent) is basically useless and means nothing as most of it was rhetoric. So yes, you can find many religious things Hitler said, which many presumed was Christianity, but it wasn’t. Just as many people in the Old Testament could not tell the difference between Baal or Yahweh, so during the days of the Third Reich as well – and most leftist academics could not or cannot tell the difference either. If you want to understand Hitler’s true views on Christianity, you have to read “Hitler’s Table Talk” – which is riddled with anti-Christian sentiments from cover to cover. In fact, Hitler’s Table Talk is more anti-Christian than Anti-Semitic. Hitler’s Table Talk (1941-44) is the real Adolf Hitler as he was with his friends/leading henchmen when there was no public around – most of whom hated Christianity – particularly Himmler and Bormann. After the war, and after the Jews were gone, the Christians were the next major target. Here is just a small sampling of excerpts from Hitler’s Table Talks:

    “Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity. It will last another hundred years, two hundred years perhaps. My regret will have been that I couldn’t, like whoever the prophet was, behold the promised land from afar. We are entering into a conception of the world that will be a sunny era, an era of tolerance. Man must be put in a position to develop freely the talents that God has given him. What is important above all is that we should prevent a greater lie from replacing the lie that is disappearing. The
    world of Judeo-Bolshevism must collapse.”

    “The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually the myths crumble. Consequently, the more Christianity clings to its dogmas, the quicker it will decline.”

    “Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature.”

    “Even among those who claim to be good Catholics, very few really believe in this humbug. Only old women, who have given up everything because life has withdrawn from them, go regularly to church.”

    “You can bet on anything, if one relies on historical precedents, that the princes of the Church would lick my boots for the value of money.”

    Hitler sarcastically asserted the Catholic Church “permits the orgies of the Carnival, firstly because she is powerless to prevent them, and secondly, because she recaptures the sinner on Ash Wednesday.”

    Hitler even bitterly complained about how much money was going to church coffers from the government, “It’s a real scandal that we must give the German churches such extraordinarily high subsidies … unless I am mistaken, our Churches are still at present receiving 900 million marks a year.”

    “I promise you that if I wanted to I could destroy the Church in just a few years. It is hollow, it is rotten and false through and through. One push and the whole structure would collapse. We should trap the preachers by their notorious greed and self indulgence. We shall thus be able to settle everything with them in perfect peace and harmony. I shall give them a few years’ reprieve. Why should we quarrel? They will swallow anything in order to keep their material advantage. The parsons will be made to dig their own graves; they will betray God for us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable jobs and incomes.”

    I could go on and on with similar comments, but it is simply not true that Hitler was Christian in any way. He was brought up Catholic, which he hated. Before his henchmen he was proud of how badly he drove the priests and nuns nuts with his antics during his school years.

  7. I find your list of quotes unconvincing that Hitler wasn’t Christian. In fact, I find most of these quotes remarkably similar to the sentiments of Martin Luther who was both virulently anti-semitic and anti-catholic as well as those of a great many other protestants and evangelicals who believe that the Holy Roman Catholic Church (and probably the Eastern Orthodox Churches as well) is a tool of Devil.

    Hitler may have used teutonic symbolism but it was mostly as a tool to craft people towards a purified german Christianity that would lead mankind into a new era of peace and prosperity. Again, I do not find this too far different from Prosperity Christianity and it’s stated conviction that the US is God’s new chosen nation.

  8. Okay Dr. Barton …. If you would like a copy of “Nazi Oaks” please let me know, and I would be happy to send it to you – but I would need your address. If you are interested let me know, and we can figure something out to get the book delivered to you. Thanks for your comments, Mark

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