Honestly, this is mainly a posting that I’m writing so that I can later point to it, because somehow Christians often try to play the „Atheism must be bad, because Hitler was an atheist“ card, an argument sometimes called Reductio ad Hitlerum. Guess what: He was catholic. He was a Christian. There is no denying that, as he wrote into his heinous „Mein Kampf“, that he did what he did because he believed to do god’s will. So, dear believers, mentioning Hitler is effectively shooting your own leg of. So, don’t.
Sometimes, people (ok, Christians) want to cherry-pick, telling me that Adolf Hitler was no „true“ Christian. Sorry, you don’t get to use that „Get out of Jail free“ card, see the „no true Scotsman“ fallacy. Or, for example, someone wanted to explain that as Hitler was member of the Thule Society (a claim that’s not even proven, it’s not really sure how much Hitler had to do with them) and could not have been Christian. Bad luck here, he still was. He could have been a member of stamp collectors anonymous and still be a Christian. You don’t get to decide who is a Christian, simple as that. If someone was baptized, claimed to be a Christian and was accepted as a Christian by the church, he is Christian. End of Story.
Ok, now I got this out of my system, I want to add something more positive: I do not think that Hitler did what he did because he was Christian. He was a crazy sociopath, no doubt about that, and people like him need no reason, only sometimes an excuse. Someone like Hitler would probably have found a way to be horrible even if he was an Jainist. The only thing we can learn from this is, that religion is no guarantee to make someone a good person. People can be bad and people can be good – religion doesn’t change that.
(But, of course, a little detail: More than 1000 years of church sanctioned hatred of Jews in europa surely did prepare the way for the horrible things that happened in the 3rd Reich. Even Lutherans have to be ashamed here, as Luther himself was a strict anti-semit, demanding that all synagogues and Jewish houses should be burned.)