Nazi Germany Had Admirers Among American Religious Leaders – And White Supremacy Fueled Their Support

BY MEGHAN GARRITY AND MELISSA J. WILDE Each September marks the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws , whose passage in 1935 stripped Jews of their German citizenship and banned “race-mixing” between Jews and other Germans. Eighty-eight years later, the United States is facing rising antisemitism and white supremacist ideology – including two neo-Nazi demonstrations in Florida in September 2023 alone . The Nuremberg Laws were a critical juncture on the Third Reich’s path toward bringing about “ the full-scale creation of a racist state … on the road to the Holocaust ,” according to legal historian James Whitman . Yet across the Atlantic, many Americans were unconcerned, and even admiring – including some religious leaders. As a political scientist and a sociologist , we wanted to examine what Americans thought about Hitler and the National Socialist Party before the U.S. entered World War II – and see what lessons those findings might hold for our country today. Our recent

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