A Parting at the Cross

The Contrasting National Cultures of Lutheranism in Germany and Denmark during the Holocaust
  • Leon Stein


This brief exercise in comparative history attempts to achieve three goals. First, it seeks to explain how the interplay of national culture and religious ideas and institutions played a crucial role in the differing outcomes of Lutheranism in Germany and Denmark with regard to attitudes and behaviour of those countries toward the Jews before and during the Holocaust. Second, it tries to illustrate how seemingly similar Christian religious beliefs and practices can be interpreted and exercised in radically different ways by distinctive national cultures that can result in opposite impacts. Finally, this essay should serve as a warning for the future as to how Christian ideas and institutions can be shaped for purposes of prejudice, hate, and indifference — or instead put to the service of humanitarian, tolerant, and life-saving ends.


Nazi Regime Protestant Church Weimar Republic Pastoral Letter Folk High School 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon Stein

There are no affiliations available

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