34 I CHRONICLESnRendering Unto Caesarn”Parnell came down the road, he said to ancheering man:n’Ireland shall get her beedom and you shallnbreak stone.'”n—W. YeatsnTheologians Under Hitler by RobertnP. Ericksen, New Haven andnLondon: Yale University Press.nThat some Protestant theologiansnmeshed Christianity with Nazismnand became ardent supporters of Hidernshould surprise no one familiar withnthe activities of theologians who supportna Marxist-Leninism dedicated tondestruction of religion.nRobert Ericksen focuses upon thencareers and writings of three pro-Nazinby Daniel J. O’Neilntheologians in order to understandntheir gospel and their motivation. Henexamines the records of Gerhard Kittel,nPaul Althaus, and Emanuel Hirsh.nEach was a scholar who had acquiredna reputation before the dawn of Hitler’snNational Socialism. Kittel was anstudent of Judaism, Althaus a Luthernscholar, and Hirsh a Kierkegaardnscholar. Each in his own way embracednNational Socialism and contributednto Nazi legitimacy.nIn focusing on the churchmen,nEricksen portrays men of conservativennnfamily background and limited foreignncontact who had reacted to the 19thcenturynrationalist critique of Chrishanity.nThey were strongly influencednby the trauma of Worid War I. Theynsuffered through the humiliatingnGerman defeat, the disintegrahon of ancomfortable world, and the chaos ofnWeimar. All three had witnessed thenmassive unemployment and the inflationnthat destroyed a large part of thenmiddle class. Each was greatly affectednby the revolution of modernity with itsnunwelcome secularization, pluralism,nand democracy. Each sought a nationalnrevitalization rooted in Christianity.nAlliance with National Socialismnseemed a remedy.nBut there were many who had experiencednthe same upbringing, whonhad witnessed the same derangement,nand yet did not join the Nazis. In fact,nthe leading domestic opponents of Hitlernusually came from a similar milieu.nA disproportionate percentage ofnthe ethnic German dissenters werenreligiously motivated. Germany hadnits Deutsche Christen movement, butnit also had its Christian martyrs. Althoughnthe record of the Germannchurches leaves much to be desired, itnseems less barren when viewed comparatively.nThe churches providednconsiderably more opposition than thenbusiness community, the universities,nthe media establishment, the tradenunions, or the traditional political parties.nOnly the churches maintainednsome autonomy within Nazi Germany,nwhich explains their importance tonthe reconstruction of postwar Germany.nOut of the religious oppositionnwould emerge the ecumenical spiritnthat would bear fruit in the 60’s. Still,nif heroic martyrdom was expected ofnthe Churches, they were not preparednto play that part.nThere is a vast literature that attemptsnto explain the Hitier experience.nWorks have stressed the charismaticnappeal of Hitier, the culturalnvulnerability of German society, andn”German psychopathology.” Somenhave cited the uniqueness of the Nazinexperience while others have placed itnin a historical/comparative perspec-nDaniel J. O’Neil is associate professornof political science at the Universitynof Arizona, Tucson.n