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Catholicism and the Roots of NazismReligious Identity and National Socialism$
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Derek Hastings

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199843459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199843459.001.0001

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A “Catholic-Oriented Movement”?

A “Catholic-Oriented Movement”?

The Zenith of Catholic-Nazi Activism, 1922–1923

(p.107) Chapter 4 A “Catholic-Oriented Movement”?
Catholicism and the Roots of Nazism

Derek Hastings

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the origins of Nazism's ties with Catholicism in Munich between 1920 and 1923. More specifically, it examines the Nazi response to the Bayerische Volkspartei's campaign in late 1922 to enlighten the Catholics of Bavaria about the religious dangers of the radical anti-Semitism and anti-ultramontanism espoused by Catholic Nazis. It considers a Nazi membership drive that targeted believing Catholics, highlighted by appeals in the Beobachter for attendance at mass; the publication of devotional prayers and poems to enhance Nazi members' personal piety; the launch of a series of massive Catholic-oriented demonstrations and militaristic field sermons in and around Munich; and the mobilization of Catholic priests throughout Bavaria. The chapter shows how Catholic-Nazi activism emphasized the superiority of religious Catholicism and ultimately provided an impetus to the young Nazi movement's advocacy of Positive Christianity. It also discusses the Nazi party's alliance with several other völkisch groups in forming the so-called Kampfbund that would eventually launch the ill-fated Beerhall Putsch in November 1923.

Keywords:   anti-Semitism, anti-ultramontanism, activism, religious Catholicism, Positive Christianity, Nazism, Bayerische Volkspartei, Munich, Bavaria, Kampfbund

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