One of the comments that is frequently made by theists is that Hitler was an atheist and "godless" and therefore Christianity had no role to play in the horror that was the Holocaust.
I've been working on a Knol on this topic.
It's researched but sketchy in that I don't elaborate a lot on the points.
I'm posting part of the Knol here with a link to the full Knol and the References and would love to get constructive critiques, comments, and further references from people.
Christianity And German Fascism
Exploring The Facts
"Hitler was an atheist" is a comment that's made frequently by theists who, when confronted by the fact that Christianity was responsible for the deaths of millions throughout history, defend themselves by making the claim that atheists killed more.
It's not much of an argument if it were true, even less so, since it's false.
From a political perspective Hitler was supported internationally by wealthy and powerful individuals who supported his Fascist philosophy and expansionist aims despite their concerns about him personally.
The Jews provided a convenient and easy scapegoat considering the existing prejudices against them as well as the poor economic climate which plagued the Germany of the day. The Communists were a serious threat, because of their mass support, to both Hitler's aims and the big Capital which he represented. Conflating Communism and Judaism because Marx, the founding father of Communism was a Jewish atheist was both convenient and effective.
However, the Fascist philosophy that Hitler developed was far too complete and consistent to be nothing more than an expedient attempt to achieve immediate political aims.
Hitler developed this philosophy because he believed in the concepts he was espousing and to my knowledge there is nothing in the historical record to indicate otherwise except for hearsay personal conversations which remain unsupported to this day.
The German Fascist model which Hitler developed, had strong roots in Christianity, on a philosophical level and was openly promoted at the time, as a Christian model with Christian foundations.
Philosophical Cornerstones of German Fascism.
The key areas of Hitler's philosophy were Christian based and he supported those areas with his concept of Positive Christianity which included racial superiority and purity, antisemitism, the concept of the Aryan Jesus and Aryan Christianity and the "nationalist" German.
Essentially Positive Christianity claims that the Israelites were Aryan and not Jewish and that the 10 tribes of Israel escaped to Europe and created the foundation of Christianity and ancient civilizations there. It also claims that Jesus was a militant activist, an "Aryan hero" and not Jewish, who opposed the Judaism of the day and was crucified by the Jews for that reason. It goes further to state that race mixing results in the degradation of the Aryan race of Israelites and therefore it was necessary to keep it pure and white.
According to Hitler the Germans represented what was best in the pure Aryan race and therefore were superior to other races as well as other Aryan races like the north Indians.
Some of these concepts were developed in the Higher Criticism movement of the 19th century whose writings were represented by anti-semites like Emile Burnouf, Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Paul de Lagarde.
Lagarde advocated the "national character" of German Christianity and Hitlers' "racial superiority" concepts were supported by existing Eugenics programs which Hitler liked and financed.
The source of Hitler's "superior Aryan race" concepts was Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau. His book, An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races provided the foundation for Hitlers racial superman. Gobineau had a strong influence on people like Richard Wagner who, in turn influenced Hitler and who Hitler greatly admired. His anti-semitic theories, the "inferiority" and "lack of humanity" of the Jews came explicitly from Martin Luther, specifically his document, The Jews and their Lies.
All of these concepts were incorporated into his Positive Christianity philosophy.
The pagan influenced German Faith movement, led by Jakob Wilhelm Hauer, remained quite small and had little influence on or support by the Nazis with the exception of Himmler. They adopted a thoroughly "Aryanized" form of religion which was based on the incorporation of concepts from ancient Aryan religions like the Rig Vedas and Zoroastrianism. Pagan beliefs from other ancient Aryan cultures were also included. The symbol which they adopted to represent them was the Sun Cross similar to what is now known as the Celtic Cross and which is used to represent Positive Christianity today.
Himmler supported this German mysticism and advocated it in the SS.
The Black Sun symbol became closely associated with the SS beginning in 1935.
The swastika was used as the symbol of the Third Reich because of it's representation of ancient Aryan civilizations.
Hitler never accepted the German Faith Movement or promoted it in any way nor did he object to it. He left them alone to practice their beliefs and they remained a small fringe movement during their entire existence.
Christianity And German Fascism