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Happy Holidays From Hitler

The Nazi de-Christianization of Christmas started early: [1]

After taking power in 1933, Nazi ideologues initially renamed the christmas festival Julfest, and propagated its Germanic origins as the celebration of the winter solstice. These ideologists also claimed that the Christian elements of the holiday had been superimposed upon ancient Germanic traditions. They argued that Christmas Eve originally had nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ, but instead celebrated the winter solstice and the ‘rebirth of the sun’, that the swastika was an ancient symbol of the sun, and that Santa Claus was a Christian reinvention of the Germanic god Odin. Accordingly, holiday posters were made to depict Odin as the “Christmas or Solstice man”, riding a white charger, sporting a thick grey beard and wearing a slouch hat, carrying a sack full of gifts. Other changes were made to the manger, which was replaced by a Christmas garden containing wooden toy deer and rabbits; Mary and Jesus were also depicted as a blonde mother and child.

The Christmas tree was also changed. The traditional names of the tree, Christbaum or Weihnachtsbaum, was renamed in the press as fir tree, light tree or Jul tree. The star on the top of the tree was sometimes replaced with a swastika, a Germanic “sun wheel” or a Sig rune. During the height of the movement, an attempt was made to remove the association of the coming of Jesus and replace it with the coming of Adolf Hitler, referred to as the “Saviour Führer”.


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60 Comments To "Happy Holidays From Hitler"

#1 Comment By Gretchen On December 24, 2013 @ 11:37 am

M_Young, how is it diluting your culture if the clerk at Wal-Mart wishes you Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas? Why is there so much anger about this? And remember, my Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim friends also celebrate Christmas to some extent, and buy presents. The Christmas gift exchange at my work this year was orchestrated by a Japanese woman who belongs to a weird Shinto-Christian blend church, and she insisted we all buy presents for each other. So the WalMart shopper with the laden cart may very well not be a Christian.
Silent Night is the telling of the Christmas story. Giving a little kid the choice of going along with what the teacher wants, or making himself stand out by opting out, isn’t fair to a little kid. Why not be kind and make the assigned songs some that all can feel comfortable singing?
I was thinking about the contrast between Christmas and Easter. Both are major religious holidays that also have a secular side, but we don’t seem to have trouble separating them for Easter. We have municipal egg rolls and Easter baskets, but nobody gets mad that the spring pageant at school involves kids singing The Easter Parade but not Jesus Christ is Risen Today and there’s no crucifix on the lawn of City Hall. Why is that? I think that’s because some are deliberately driving the outrage, for ratings or clicks, about Christmas, and haven’t gotten to Easter yet. And it makes me angry that people are deliberately making others angry at such a sacred and happy time of year, to get viewers.

#2 Comment By Josh McGee On December 24, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

Just saw this post. Interesting.

“Ve have vays of making zem be nice.” – Der Führer.

#3 Comment By JonF On December 24, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

Re: Mary and Jesus were also depicted as a blonde mother and child.

I have yet to see an image of a blond Jesus or Mary. I have seen plenty of non-blond but vaguely European images, the older ones due to the fact that the artists worked with real life models and were thus limited to what they could hire locally. Maybe that did produce some blond Jesuses up in Sweden, but in Italy and Greece it decidedly did not.

#4 Comment By Another Matt On December 24, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

People are never, never, atheists! They worship God, or they worship something else (sometimes their large egos). Thus the scriptures usually condemn worshiping the false gods, and not having a god.

I don’t think worship is built in to human nature. I’m fairly sure I don’t know what it’s like to worship something — and I might even go so far as to say that I tend to regard worship as a kind of failing. I don’t think that’s a very kind thing to say, though, so I usually keep that to myself.

#5 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 24, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

M_Young, I never celebrate Kwanzaa, because it would be disresepectful to the memory of Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, may Ron Karenga burn in hell.

If Sen. Coburn wished Sen. Schumer a Merry Christmas, Sen. Schumer should, without blinking an eye, warmly wish Sen. Coburn a Happy Channukah.

And somewhere among the Jolly Xmas songs (most of which make me want to throw up because they’re bad music and insipid lyrics), perhaps we could let a few Christian students volunteer to sing “Silent Night” and a few Jewish students sing the Dredel song, etc.

Or, Franklin and a devotee of Mary and Her Son could do a duet, where Franklin sings the rising of the sun and the running of the deer, and the RC sings “Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ…”

#6 Comment By M_Young On December 24, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

“the rising of the sun and the running of the deer”

That was going to be my entry for ‘Favorite Carol’ — we

#7 Comment By M_Young On December 24, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

“M_Young, how is it diluting your culture if the clerk at Wal-Mart wishes you Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas? ”

James Lileks–the regretable food guy — once ran a picture at his sight of some suburban mall in the early 1960s. The place was adorned with a big ‘Merry Christmas’ sign in 4 foot high letters. That’s community affirmation, we are sharing this specific ‘holiday’. It has content, it isn’t some generic celebration, it has tradition and a story behind it, whether you believe the story or not, whether you adhere to the dogma behind the story or not.

A while back there was a thread about yoga, and how some Christians were upset that an exercise that is at bottom a religious activity was being taught in public school. And incidental to that, to how some Hindus were objecting to the ‘hijacking’ yoga. Well, if I were Hindu I’d be on their side. They are maintaining the integrity of their culture. We Christians or post-Christians have the right to do the same with ours. People who make up a small minority in this country, and who arrived — or whose ancestors arrived — long after the place had been fought for, built up, and its institutions established, should have the good grace to accept a ‘Merry Christmas’ for a carol here and there, for what they are, harmless expressions of the majority culture.

#8 Comment By bsdn On December 24, 2013 @ 11:27 pm

We is late to the party and not to be snarky, but the barn already done left the horse.

The Christian Sabbath or Lord’s Day is the NT observation of the 4th commandment as approved by Christ and the apostles who met repeatedly “on the first day of the week”.

(Yes, I know, we are not under law for justification, but. But out of gratitude for our salvation we obey God’s commandments.)

IOW Christmas is nothing more than an uncommanded tradition of men, even Christian men and is but icing on the cake when the world has already convinced many believers that shopping 48/7 is a godly thing to do.
Or to put it another way, you can celebrate the resurrection of Christ or “Easter” once a week or once a year. We know what the world does. How come Christians do the same?


#9 Comment By Gretchen On December 25, 2013 @ 9:04 am

M_Young puts his finger on what’s beneath all this, I think. The white Christians fought for this country and constitute the majority culture, and the latecomers need to know their place. Underneath this, I think, is the memory that the white Christians took this country away from the non-white non-Christians who were here first, and fear that the proliferation of other non-white non-Christians will somehow take it back again. The mention of late-comers underlines that the Jews, who started coming in numbers in the late 18th century, aren’t true Americans and can’t expect their culture to compete. I’m a little sensitive to that, since my own Irish Catholic ancestors came in the 1870’s, dirty, starving famine refugees who were very much unwelcome and feared for their drinking, fighting ways. The Eastern Southern European waves started at about that time also,and were, if anything,even more unwelcome with their swarthy skin and lack of English. Yet somehow, they all assimiliated, and made our country richer. And the newer waves are making our country richer still. There were no Thai restaurants or sushi bars back when we were all white, Northern European Protestants, or black slaves. Those non-white, non-Christians don’t want to take our country away from us. They want the same things we want: to belong, and raise their children safely. I see the aggressive assertion of the “majority culture” as reminding those people that they are not really part of us, will never really belong, and I think that’s wrong. Our country is stronger by drawing in all our people.
Rod, I hope you’re not working on Christmas – we can all wait a couple of days for you. I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas.

#10 Comment By Gretchen On December 25, 2013 @ 9:07 am

I meant the Jews started coming in the late 19th century.