Germany is using Gestapo tactics against Christian families who want to educate their children at home. If talks with German officials break down, there’s a good chance that the children will be taken from their parents and turned over to the State. All of this sounds frightenly familiar. We’ve seen this before.

By capturing the youth through education, Adolph Hitler knew that his dreams of a Nazi State could be realized. In Mein Kampf Hitler stressed “the importance of winning over and then training the youth in the service ‘of a new national state.’“[1]

“When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ he said in a speech on November 6, 1933, “I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already . . . What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’“ And on May 1, 1937, he declared, “This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.”[2]

Educational control was taken away from the parents and local authorities and “Every person in the teaching profession, from kindergarten through the universities, was compelled to join the National Socialist Teachers’ League which, by law, was held ‘responsible for the execution of the ideological and political co-ordination of all the teachers in accordance with the National Socialist doctrine.’“[3] The State was to be supported “without reservation” and teachers took an oath to “be loyal and obedient to Adolf Hitler.”[4]

The Nazi worldview was comprehensive. The goal of Hitler was to remake the social and moral climate in the image of the Nazi worldview. “In Germany there was Nazi truth, a Nazi political truth, a Nazi economic truth, a Nazi social truth, a Nazi religious truth, to which all institutions had to subscribe or be banished.”[5]

All competing worldviews had to be eliminated. Under the leadership of Alfred Rosenberg, an outspoken pagan, “the Nazi regime intended eventually to destroy Christianity in Germany.”[6] Martin “Bormann, one of the men closest to Hitler, said publicly in 1941, ‘National Socialism and Christianity are irreconcilable.’”[7] While we hear a great deal about the suppression of Jewish thought, little attention is given to Nazism’s most formidable rival—Christianity. War correspondent William L. Shirer wrote, “We know now what Hitler envisioned for the German Christians: the utter suppression of their religion.”[8] The internal intelligence agency of the Nazi SS “regarded organized Christianity as one of the major obstacles to the establishment of a truly totalitarian state.”[9]

Recent discoveries of a confidential U.S. government report, that was prepared for the International Military Tribunal at Neremburg, documents how the Nazis wanted to “take over the churches from within, using party sympathizers. Discredit, jail or kill Christian leaders. And re-indoctrinate the congregants. Give them a new faith—in German’s Third Reich.” The ultimate goal was to “eliminate Christianity.” A 120-page report titled ‘The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches’—was prepared by the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the CIA. The OSS document reported in 1945:

Important leaders of the National Socialist party would have liked to meet this situation [church influence] by complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion. . . . The best evidence now available as to the existence of an anti-Church plan is to be found in the systematic nature of the persecution itself. . . . Different steps in that persecution, such as the campaign for the suppression of denominational and youth organizations, the campaign against denominational schools, the defamation campaign against the clergy, started on the same day in the whole area of the Reich. . . and were supported by the entire regimented press, by Nazi Party meetings, by traveling party speakers.[10]

The modern German State seems to resurrecting some of Hitler’s Nazi tactics. The children are the property of the State. If the children do not conform to German public policy, the children will be taken and indoctrinated in the new Nazi, I mean, German State. This all reminds me of a scene from Stalag 17 (1953):

BAGRADIAN (made up to look like Hitler):  “Quiet! We are indoctrinating! Is you all indoctrinated?

P.O.W.S (in unison): “Jawohl.”

BAGRADIAN: “Is you all good little Nazis?”

P.O.W.S: “Jawohl.”

BAGRADIAN: “Is you all little Adolfs?”

P.O.W.S: “Jawohl!”

Everyone in unison: “Sieg heil! Sieg heil! Sieg Heil!”[11]


[1] William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), 248-49. [2] Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 249. [3] Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 249. [4] Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 249. [5] C. Gregg Singer, From Rationalism to Irrationality: The Decline of the Western Mind from the Renaissance to the Present (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1979), p. 28. [6] Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 240. [7] Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 240. [8] William Shirer, The Nightmare Years: 1930–1940 (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1984), 156. [9] Donald D. Wall, “The Lutheran Response to the Hitler Regime in Germany,” ed., Robert D. Linder, God and Caesar: Case Studies in the Relationship Between Christianity and the State (Longview, TX: The Conference on Faith and History, 1971), 88. [10] Quoted in Edward Colimore, “Papers reveal Nazi aim: End Christianity,” Philadelphia Inquirer (January 9, 2002).