The Stab in the Back: Discussion Guide

1. How did the conditions in Germany after World War I create fertile ground for the rise of extremist movements like the Nazis?

2. What were the economic, political, social, and cultural impacts of the Treaty of Versailles on Germany during the Weimar Republic era?

3. In what ways did the “stab in the back” theory contribute to the demonization of political opponents and the rise of the Nazi party?

4. How did the loss of World War I contribute to a sense of victimhood and national resentment, and how did the Nazis manipulate this sentiment to gain support?

5. What role did antisemitism, conspiracy theories, and distorted worldviews play in the Nazis’ propaganda and scapegoating of Jews for Germany’s troubles?

6. How did the church’s attitude towards Nazi antisemitism evolve as the Nazis came to power, and what factors influenced their response?

7. What was the impact of church leaders’ focus on institutional self-preservation and caution in confronting Nazi antisemitism during the early 1930s?

8. How does the podcast explore the complex relationship between Christianity, antisemitism, and the theological basis for church leaders’ responses to the rise of Nazi power?

9. In what ways did nationalist and traditionalist sentiments within the protestant churches influence their support for the Nazis’ emphasis on racial purity and national renewal?

10. How does the podcast bring to light the historical context and implications of the ascension of Hitler, as viewed by one of the 20th century’s greatest Lutheran scholars, Paul Althaus?

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