Rosenberg’s “Myth”

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Alfred Rosenberg (1893–1946), the NSDAP’s leading ideologist, published his work targeting Christianity “Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts” (The Myth of the 20th Century) in July of 1930. Since Hitler shrank from conflict with the churches at that time, his longtime companion’s work had to be identified as the author’s personal opinion in the foreword.

Rosenberg was influenced by the anti-Semitic cultural theorist Houston Stewart Chamberlain as well as by Paul de Lagarde and Richard Wagner. He blended a philosophy of history and racist mysticism in his “Myth”. Rosenberg’s conception of race was oriented less toward genetics than toward a racial soul and heroic honor. The soul supposedly dictated everything racial. The question of race became a question of convictions.

In a future Nordic German people’s church, the mystery of Nordic blood would supplant the Christian sacraments. Rosenberg interpreted history in racial terms and thus as a struggle against Jewish world domination for which Christianity had paved the way.

Rosenberg’s book was extremely successful. Around 290,000 copies had been sold by 1935, one million by 1942. At the same time, it provided an impetus for Catholics and Protestants to intensively deal with National Socialism as an ideology in the mass media. The book was criticized by the Christian camp in numerous published refutations.

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