When Adolf Hitler came to power, one of the things he wanted to do was to find Jews and Jewish ancestry. He did this through genealogy. Of course the LDS Church is very interested in genealogical research and used LDS basketball and genealogy to their advantage to leverage a better relationship with Hitler.
David: We both know why Mormons do genealogy and that’s to research and eventually baptize ancestors who have passed away so they can receive temple ordinances and they can receive eternal exaltation.
We all know why the Germans did genealogy. They did genealogy to identify anybody with Jewish blood so that the Jews could eventually be eliminated from the face of the earth.
It was just one of these things where the desires and needs of the church coincided with the desires and needs of the Nazi government. The Mormons were not afraid to shout from the rooftops and put articles in the Deseret News back home with how wonderful it has become for the church now that the genealogy archives, doors have swung open, “so that everyone can prove their grandmother was not a Jewess.”
Was it a good idea for the LDS Church to help Hitler find Jews?
We’ll also talk about the 1936 Olympics. How did Mormon missionaries help out with the German Olympic effort? The answer is very interesting and Dr. David Nelson will tell us more about it in our next conversation.
The only people that knew anything about basketball in Germany at the time were a few foreign university students from the United States and Canada, and guess who? The Mormon missionaries!
Check it out!
Since it’s the end of the year I wanted to ask a special favor. We’re going to do a year-end review of all the fun interviews we’ve done here at Gospel Tangents, and I’d like to hear what was your most favorite interview, as well as what were the most surprising things you learned over this past year on Gospel Tangents? You can email me at Gospel Tangents at gmail dot com or you can also check out this link https://kwiksurveys.com/s/zK1fouUh that I’ve got for a special survey. I would like to include any comments you have in our year-end special. It will be coming next week. Please include that as soon as you can either by email or you can fill out the survey! Thanks a lot. I’d really appreciate it.