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Nationalism and Racism in Nazi Germany and the United States:  Similarities and differences, Religion’s Proponents and the Resistance

Wednesday, April 12th at 7:00 pm.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church
2727 College Ave., Berkeley, CA

St. John’s Berkeley will be doing a series of forums on the American crisis in civil liberties and the role of religion. Please see attached flyer and pass it on, announce it to as many as you are willing and able. For those connected with large mailing lists, if you would like, we can put your organization name at the bottom as a sponsor.  Email me back asap and tell me how you would like your group to be listed.

We know and hear that a large majority of white Christians supported the Nazis and have been instrumental in the past and current nationalistic and racist populism here in the US. But there is more to the story, or there needs to be more to the story. Do we know the story?  As progressive people of Jewish, Christian, Muslim and civil society, how and where do we fit in the story? How will we act to help shape a story of inclusive love and justice?
The week of the inauguration, there was a multi-faith clergy gathering at the David Brower Jewish Community Center to affirm our mutual values. This same week some 18 JCC’s received bomb threats. It seems a latent racism is coming further out of the shadows. At my table we spoke of the ongoing struggle for equal justice, especially for African Americans, and about how weakening civil liberties and rising racism seems to be creeping up and coming in increments. We contemplated and feared similarities to Nazi Germany.  What were the increments that jumped up or crept up on Germans in the 1930s? Beyond the obvious issue of racism, what about the Nazi platform appealed to “regular” Germans? Who resisted early? If we look again at the rise of the Nazis, were there some moments, actions or actors that were more crucial than others? What are the analogies and disanalogies between Germany and the USA?
John Connelly and David Hollinger are gifted UC Berkeley historians who will help us understand and address these questions and issues. I hope you will join us in sharing this important discussion.
Thank you,
The Reverend Dr. Max Lynn
St. John’s Presbyterian Church