I like studying the behind-the-scenes aspect of World War 2 because it was a major conflict between the forces of good and the forces of evil in the physical world and in the spiritual world. The spiritual forces of evil backed several leaders during the war, including the two leaders featured in this article: Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. I focus on Hitler and Stalin in this article because I believe that the conflict between these two leaders and their respective countries was an instance that demonstrates the accuracy of Matthew 12:25-26.
Christ suggested to the Pharisees that when Satan is divided against himself his kingdom will fall (and end in its destruction or desolation):
“(25) And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: (26) And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?” (Matthew 12:25-26)
I believe Adolf Hitler was possessed by the spiritual forces of evil and led a satanically-inspired empire to make war against the Jews and to annihilate Christianity. Hitler often acted as if he followed orders from a higher power, which did not go unnoticed by those around him. Herbert Döhring, head of Hitler’s household, often watched Hitler walk alone at his mountain retreat nearby Berchtesgaden, Germany. Döhring described the “real Hitler”-a man who may have been taking orders from someone else:
“In fine weather what he would do is walk in the garden at the back. There was a lawn with paving stones leading around it. He would walk around in a trance-like state, totally absorbed. There were strict orders that he could not be disturbed, no matter what. If there was a telephone call, the adjutant could not interrupt him. He would march up and down like this up to 1 ½ hours at an unbelievable speed—left about turn, right about turn. He was completely switched off, and he used to do some of his typical gestures in an ecstatic state. It was interesting to watch him, at least interesting for me to watch him. I don’t know why. I was seeing the real man. He was forging these gigantic plans, and he would stop for a while, and then off he would shoot again as if under orders like a sprinter”.1
Hitler hinted that he was indeed taking orders from someone else when he said: “I am following the way shown me by Providence, with the confidence of a sleepwalker”.2
I believe Joseph Stalin was possessed throughout his reign. Stalin decimated the Russian Orthodox Church, ordered the execution of its priests, and ordered the destruction of all religious images shortly after assuming power. Stalin replaced the religious void in the Soviet Union by establishing himself as god and received worship from the people who bought into his Cult of Personality.
Like Hitler, Stalin felt no remorse when a life was lost, especially when it got him closer to his goal. In fact, Stalin often personally decided who should or should not be included on death lists he had his men send him virtually every day during the height of his terror against the Soviet people.3 Sometimes Stalin was disappointed with the number of names on the list, so he wrote instructions on the “disappointing” list requesting that more names get added next time. Regardless of who was listed, according to historian Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko, Stalin’s death quota had to be filled no matter whom was listed: “Just like the production quota for timber, the quota for extermination was over-fulfilled especially among the country’s elite. That was absolutely typical for Stalin’s type of terror”.4
Throughout his reign, Stalin authorized the deportations of entire ethnic groups that he did not like from their lands to remote areas of the Soviet Union. Stalin made plans in 1953 to deport and exterminate all the Jews living in the Soviet Union after he grew paranoid about them. However, a couple of weeks before his plan went into action, Stalin suffered a brain hemorrhage that quickly grew lethal. Minutes before Stalin died, witnesses at his deathbed saw something that they would never forget. Here is one account from Stalin’s daughter Svetlana:
“He suddenly opened his eyes and cast a glance over everyone in the room. It was a terrible glance and something incompressible and awesome happened. He suddenly lifted his left hand as though he were pointing to something above and bringing down a curse on all of us. The next moment after a final effort the spirit wrenched itself free from the flesh”.5
Before Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union Hitler and Stalin did what you expect two possessed leaders to do behind-the-scenes: cooperate with each other:
- Before World War 2 began Hitler and Stalin signed a non-aggression pact where they agreed to not attack one another and to share the spoils of Poland with each other.
- Stalin helped to supply Hitler’s war machine even though his own people were starving. Stalin sent supplies to Germany, including food, as Hitler waged war in Western Europe.
- I remember reading that at one point Hitler proclaimed that his favorite leader was Stalin (not Mussolini or Tojo).
Satan Divided Against Himself
Hitler and Stalin turned against each other when Hitler ordered the invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Despite being warned that an invasion was coming before it actually happened, Stalin failed to take command of the situation until after the Wehrmacht (the German Armed Forces) already gained a considerable advantage against the Red Army. You’d expect any other leader to quickly take command of the situation, but for some reason Stalin refrained from rallying his people to resist the invasion for a suspiciously long period of time (11 days following the invasion!).
On July 3, 1941 Stalin’s leadership paralysis ended when he finally decided to rally his people to resist Hitler’s war of annihilation. When Stalin made the choice to have the Soviets resist the Germans at all costs you effectively had a case where Satan was divided against himself: two demonically-led leaders engaging in a war of annihilation against each other.
Hitler and Stalin ordered their respective forces to fight to the death and to defeat the enemy at all costs. The war in the Eastern Front was extremely destructive and costly for both sides. However, in the end Hitler’s satanically-inspired empire was left in complete desolation, especially in the eastern part of the Germany where the Soviets sought retribution for what the Germans had done to them just a few years earlier. It was truly a war of annihilation in which Hitler lost.
Christ’s teaching was proven correct during World War 2: when Satan is divided against himself his kingdom will not stand.
- “Hunting Hitler”. by The History Channel, 2002. ↩
- Angebert, Jean-Michel. The Occult and the Third Reich; the Mystical Origins of Nazism and the Search for the Holy Grail. Trans Lewis A. M. Sumberg. New York: Macmillan, 1974. 235 ↩
- Stalin used random killings throughout the Soviet Union as a way to keep the population inline. A death list was an instrument that allowed these killings to be administered in an efficient manner. A person could appear on these lists whether they were guilty or not and anyone whose name remained on the list after Stalin signed off on it was to be executed. ↩
- Stalin: Man of Steel. A&E Entertainment. 2003 ↩
- Hitler and Stalin: Roots of Evil A&E Entertainment. 2002 ↩