As a social scientist of religion and violence who teaches about National Socialism as an example of progressive revolutionary millennialism, I noticed that as early as the 1934 Nuremberg congress of the Nazi Party and in Leni Riefenstahl’s film about it, Triumph of the Will, Hitler portrays/ stages himself and Riefenstahl displays him in her film as a religious leader and avatar (god descending from heaven to earth to save mankind).
This is 'messiah/saviour' behaviour expressed in symbolic expressionThe UK Daily Mail recently reported about how Hitler's messiah complex grew as defeat loomed:
A secret intelligence report that has lain unread since World War Two tells how Hitler showed signs of a 'messiah complex' and grew more and more paranoid as defeat loomed.The document was drawn up for British secret services in April 1942, just a few months before the Nazis embarked on the Final Solution, and identifies how the leader increasingly turned to 'Jew-phobia'.
Written just as the conflict was starting to turn against Hitler, it shows British analysts had noticed developing paranoia in his speechmaking and a preoccupation with what he called 'the Jewish poison'.
The document was found among a collection of papers belonging to the family of Mark Abrams, a social scientist who worked with the BBC’s overseas propaganda analysis unit and the psychological warfare board during the war.
Net Abbey Online Catholic informationJoseph Goebbels, Hitler’s chief propagandist, said in a broadcast on 19 April 1936, that "Germany has been transformed into a great house of the Lord where the Fuhrer as our mediator stands before the throne of God."
"Spiritual" sentiments of this kind were echoed time and again during Hitler’s glory years. Another powerful voice in the Nazi party, Dr. Robert Ley, proclaimed that "We believe on this earth in Adolf Hitler alone! We believe in National Socialism as the creed which is the sole source of grace!"
Where did such ridiculous rant come from? What strange brain concocted these weird myths about the paranoid dictator with the toothbrush mustache?
Of course it was Hitler himself who ordered that he be presented as a deified messiah.
Before coming to power in January of 1933, Hitler wrote about his reaction to Berlin on his first visit there: "The luxury, the perversion, the iniquity, the wanton display, and the Jewish materialism [of Berlin’s commercial district] disgusted me so thoroughly that I was almost beside myself," Hitler recalled. "I nearly imagined myself to be Jesus Christ when he came to his Father’s temple and found it full of money-changers. I can well imagine how he felt when he seized a whip and scourged them out."
When Hitler compared himself to Jesus, he was proclaiming his own divinity. Knowing as we do that Hitler’s ambitions were eventually blown to smithereens, it’s hard for us to realize how many Germans considered him a supernatural being.
But it is true. Millions of German households actually erected shrines that featured a photograph of what they thought of as their dictator’s divine countenance. They said prayers in his behalf — even directed prayers to him — throughout the day.
In the eyes of his people, Hitler had rescued them from the humiliations of their defeat in World War I. Better still, he was going to lead all Germans into a future of unrivaled glory.
Freed at last from the dreadful fears that military and economic catastrophe had aroused in them, Germans envisioned Hitler as a truly magical figure of majestic wisdom and power. They saw him as an irresistible force, and they surrendered their whole hearts to him. He hypnotized Germans into worshipping him, successfully presenting himself as a savior and even as God himself.