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Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich
How did Germany's Christians respond to Nazism? In "Twisted Cross, " Doris Bergen addresses one important element of this response by focusing on the 600,000 self-described "German Christians, " who sought to expunge all Jewish elements from the Christian church. In a process that became more daring as Nazi plans for genocide unfolded, this group of Protestant lay people a ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published March 4th 1996 by University of North Carolina Press
(first published March 1st 1996)
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Dec 25, 2015 Katherine Addison rated it it was amazing
So, I have a theory, which is that the Treaty of Versailles caused a psychotic break in almost the entirety of the "Aryan" population of Germany. Given how egregiously they were being gaslighted by the leaders of the German armed forces, it's not entirely surprising. The Nazis didn't cause the psychosis; they were a manifestation of the psychosis--as were the German Christians, the subject of this book. But this psychotic moral reversal, having been encouraged for at least half a century beforeh ...more
Twisted Cross delivers a good topical overview of the German Christian movement. Instead of providing a chronological or narrative history of the movement, Doris Bergen looks at three basic aspects of German Christianity: its anti-Semitism, its perspective on gender, and its approach to Christian traditions and doctrine. Bergen provides few original insights that can't be gleaned from other works, but she does do a very good job of incorporating primary sources from the movement to give the read ...more
Fascinating book. Better than Steigmann-Gall's in my opinion. I disagree with some of the conclusions that are drawn (mainly how serious to take "German Christianity" in the scope of Church history) but this is definitely an eye opener and fascinating peek into a very, very strange time in the history of the Church.