Most of the Nazi leaders considered themselves not merely Christians but instruments of God’s will, proclaims Richard Steigmann-Gall, a young Canadian historian. Many people think that if the Nazis had any religion it was derived from Wagner’s operas and Teutonic mythology. Not so: the paganists were a minority, much derided by Hitler and Goebbels, who remained nominal Catholics and paid church taxes to the end.
The impression that Nazis despised Christianity derives from two factors: our revulsion at what the Nazis did, and statements near the end of the war by Nazi leaders, including Hitler, which seem to indicate bitter antipathy toward the church. These statements, however, reflect less an abandonment of what those Nazi leaders considered their own Christian values than disappointment with the Protestants of Germany, whom they believed had badly let them down.