A Report from a Religious, Scientific, and Social Movement. Bolshevism and Nazism.
Added: 2017-10-30
Added: 2017-10-30
Dr.Lidia Sudyka




The selected fragments are from the article “Sprawozdanie z ruchu religijnego, naukowego i społecznego. Bolszewizm a Hitleryzm” (“A Report from a Religious, Scientific, and Social Movement. Bolshevism and Nazism”), Przegląd Powszechny, v. 208, 1935, pp. 424-427.


Very serious thinkers and essayists, both past and present, have been of the opinion that all the indisputable differences between bolshevism and Nazi racism are something minor and non-decisive, while the deepest substance of both these tendencies is very similar, and in some measure identical. […]

They are both vast attempts at complete remaking of human life and setting it on new foundations. And do these foundations really differ? In their positive and immediate aspect they do; in their negative aspect – and as we shall soon see, this is the essential aspect – and deep down they do not. For as far as the most profound assumptions of these outlooks go, despite all the superficial differences, nazism and bolshevism are quite unanimous that they are both building a new order of things not on personal God, Creator and Legislator, not on natural law, placing man in a fundamental dependence on God, not on the equivalent of natural law, that is human nature and its laws, not on the wonderful completion which human thoughts and strivings found in the Gospel. National socialism puts in this place the myth of race and blood, and of some godhead inherent in humankind, which develops and fulfils itself in parallel with the strivings of which race and blood are the fundamental source. Bolshevism worships the myth of material progress, submitting humanity, mechanized and completely devoid of all ideals, to its service. But as a matter of fact – because it is an inevitable consequence of the stance taken by both systems towards the foundations of the Christian worldview – in both of them, although differently, the place of the true foundation of life, that is personal God, is taken by man himself. And since this man, once he breaks away from his dependence on God, must follow natural instincts, capable of little change, there is no doubt that despite all protestations to the contrary, the ultimate form of life generated by the Bolshevik and Nazi systems will be as close to each other as are the methods which these tendencies are employing today.

For let us just compare point by point these actions of the Bolsheviks which nazism censures them for the most severely, with those which it carefully conceals on its own ground. Bolsheviks are cruel, they bathe in human blood – has nazism not shed a fair amount of blood, in June last year, to name but one example? Have there not been many instances of official oppressing not only the Jews, but also the co-nationals, if they did not want to submit to the ruthless dictatorship of the party? […]

Bolsheviks are savage and uncivilized in their assaults on religion and its representatives – how far removed from these patterns is the infinite amount of abuse which the Hitlerite youth has been showering on Catholic venues, including the churches, Church dignitaries and ceremonies? Are the songs sung by this youth in the streets so different from the famous marches and spectacles of the Russian Union of the Godless? Bolsheviks spread indecency and subvert the family – does the heinous law of sterilization, sometimes compulsory, which is nowadays implemented to a widening extent, not come under the same category of trespasses? Bolsheviks carry out an ignoble propaganda of their principles and try to cover the world with a net of their secret organizations. And what did we see, and in part are still seeing in Austria? Have Nazi agents not used all means of illegal propaganda, right up to bombs and handgrenades, right up to assassinations?

Indeed, the alleged polar opposition of these two systems under closer scrutiny turns out to be completely illusory. Bolshevism and national socialism are two branches grown out of the same trunk, they are the fruit of the same spirit. Even in minor, external details similarities spontaneously appear. The notorious German GESTAPO is the spitting image of the Russian GPU, not only in the sound of the ugly acronym, but also in the methods employed. Of course, one drama is played out in the West, where the age-old traditions of the Christian culture cannot be completely ignored, the other in the Russian East, which deep inside has remained alien to Christianity; but once we take these different backgrounds into account, we must come to the conclusion that these warring tendencies, although starting from different places, through the very consistency of their essential negations end up as close neighbours.

And it is hardly to be doubted that they will arrive at the same destination. Despite the delusory appearances of prosperity and development, so radical a rebellion against God’s laws and principles of social order must necessarily end in ruin. No matter what shape the calamity might take, no matter if it comes sooner or later – in the minds of everybody capable of looking at history from the deeper side, often revealing the writing of God transmitting His judgement, calamity is inevitable[1]. One must only wish that when it comes, freeing humanity from the most deadly diseases, the social foundations will not have been shaken too profoundly.

[1]    The campaign of Christianity, or to be more precise, Catholicism against socialism is deeply justified by the fact that socialism attempts to be a religion, more, that it aims at becoming the only religion of the future. […]

     This is not a paradox: socialism is a religion despite the reiterated claims that religious problems are alien to it; socialism is, should I say, an inverse religion, like a coat worn inside out, a religion without God, a materialist religion, but nonetheless a religion. […]

     Socialism presupposes, at least implicitly, solutions diametrically opposed to the Christian teaching. It abolishes the dependence on God, it asks that nothing be expected from Providence and that God’s law be disregarded: man, at least taken collectively, is and should be a sufficient legislator and providential agent for himself. The theory of materialist progress of history blocks from the view of the socialist the guiding hand of God in human matters. And by removing God and Christ from human life, socialism undoes the only bond which was able to tie humanity into a mutual whole, an organism. For on what do you base the obligation of human mutuality and equality before the law, if you forget about the common Father and about the infinite dignity of souls generated by the hand of the Creator, and instead you want to base everything on the necessary laws of materialist nature? The socialist solidarity does not rise above the solidarity of a herd of animals, competing with another herd for food. It is not an accident that the theoreticians of socialist ethics oppose the old ethics – which they understand as feudal or bourgeois, that is class-based – not with a universal one, but with another class-based, proletarian ethics, which is a mechanical inversion of the former one. True, socialism also believes in its paradise, paradise on earth – it leaves the heavens for sparrows and angels – a paradise where every inequality will vanish, while all appetites will be satisfied with minimum physical effort. It is the true paradise of Adam and Eve, but transported from the past into the future and divested of the human relation with God, a paradise which appeared to the ancient millenarists in their dreams, but without Christ, unlike in their visions. Visions of such a paradise, which go counter to all experience and even to mathematical calculations, visions completely ignoring human nature, such as has been revealed by history and everyday life, this genuine „chiliasm” yet even more materialistic than the chiliasm of ancient heretics – such visions invest socialism with all the marks of a blind, dogmatic faith, founded neither on reason nor on experience, but also not based on any higher authority, which the Christian faith invokes when it presents to us the possibility of the Kingdom of God with its justice. Socialism evidently demands blind faith of its followers. […]

     Socialism, then, has its dogmas, and on account of it has to be regarded as a religion, a crippled, inverted one, but definitely something closer to religion than to a scientific system of a future social economy.

     The desire to take the place of religion provides the only explanation of socialism’s fanatical hatred of Christianity (Jan Urban [1874-1940], “Socjalizm jako religia” (“Socialism as a religion”), Przegląd Powszechny 1921, v. 151, p. 8-9)

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