It feels kind of incongruous to think of Nazis celebrating Christmas, but adapting the yearly holiday was apparently a key part of the new way of life Hitler and his followers were trying to build. In an attempt to rid Christmas of any Jewish implications, however, it was reinvented with a more Germanic pagan vibe.
Many don’t know that the ideologies of the Nazis went beyond just an idea of racial purity: for many in the movement, they also included a neo-pagan kind of spirituality. When it came to Christmas, this meant that Santa was replaced by the Norse god Odin, who travelled around giving gifts.
Many of the holiday’s symbols were modified to be less Christian, and the celebration itself became one of the solstice, rather than of Jesus’s birth. When Jesus and Mary were depicted, they were blonde and white, like the Nazi’s ideal.
At the height of the Nazi movement, the celebration was even seen to involve Hitler himself, taking the place of baby Jesus. Devotees would celebrate his coming as the “Saviour Führer”, and some even saw him as a reincarnation of Odin himself.
You may complain about Christmas becoming too commercialised, or too separate from its Christian roots, but at least it’s not a Nazi Christmas, right?