5th June 1942, midday
Pre-disposition of the Finns to mental diseases—Effects of study of the Bible thereon—Religious mania—Germans must avoid spiritual sickness.
The topic of conversation was the exceptionally large number of cases of mental disease in Finland. Among the causes put forward as possible explanations of the vulnerability of the Finns to these types of diseases were—the Aurora Borealis and the strong inclination prevalent among Finns to worry unduly over religious problems. In Finland the farms are often as much as thirty to fifty miles apart, and the inhabitants, condemned, particularly in winter, to a comparatively isolated existence, feel the need of mental exercise; an exceptionally strong tendency to religious surmise is therefore understandable. The Fuehrer expressed himself as follows: It is a great pity that this tendency towards religious thought can find no better outlet than the Jewish pettifoggery of the Old Testament. For religious people who, in the solitude of winter, continually seek ultimate light on their religious problems with the assistance of the Bible, must eventually become spiritually deformed. The wretched people strive to extract truths from these Jewish chicaneries, where in fact no truths exist. As a result they become embedded in some rut of thought or other and, unless they possess an exceptionally commonsense mind, degenerate into religious maniacs.
It is deplorable that the Bible should have been translated into German, and that the whole of the German people should have thus become exposed to the whole of this Jewish mumbo-jumbo. So long as the wisdom, particularly of the Old Testament, remained exclusively in the Latin of the Church, there was little danger that sensible people would become the victims of illusions as the result of studying the Bible. But since the Bible became common property, a whole heap of people have found opened to them lines of religious thought which—particularly in conjunction with the German characteristic of persistent and somewhat melancholy meditation—as often as not turned them into religious maniacs. When one recollects further that the Catholic Church has elevated to the status of Saints a whole number of madmen, one realises why movements such as that of the Flagellants came inevitably into existence in the Middle Ages in Germany.
As a sane German, one is flabbergasted to think that German human beings could have let themselves be brought to such a pass by Jewish filth and priestly twaddle, that they were little different from the howling dervish of the Turks and the negroes, at whom we laugh so scornfully. It angers one to think that, while in other parts of the globe religious teaching like that of Confucius, Buddha and Mohammed offers an undeniably broad basis for the religious-minded, Germans should have been duped by a theological exposition devoid of all honest depth.
The essential conclusion to which these considerations leads me is that we must do everything humanly possible to protect for all time any further sections of the German people from the danger of mental deformity, regardless of whether it be religious mania or any other type of cerebral derangement. For this reason I have directed that every town of any importance shall have an observatory, for astronomy has been shown by experience to be one of the best means at man’s disposal for increasing his knowledge of the universe, and thus saving him from any tendency towards mental aberration.