London, Nov 18 (ANI): Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party made every effort to remove Christ from Christmas by paganising carols, producing glittering swastika, iron cross and toy grenade baubles for the fir tree, a study for a new exhibition revealed.
Many of the changes made under Hitler, put in place to remove the influence of the Jewish-born baby Jesus, are still in use today.
The swastika-shaped baking trays and wrapping paper adorned with Nazi symbols have long gone.
However, traces of the Third Reich Christmas can still be found in the subtly rewritten lyrics of favourite carols.
The discoveries have been highlighted by a new exhibition at the National Socialism Documentation Centre in Cologne.
"I always thought that Unto Us a Time Has Come was a song about wandering through winter snow. I didn't realise that Christ had been excised," the Telegraph quoted Heidi Bertelson, 42, a lawyer who visited the exhibit as saying.
The Nazi version of the song, which removed the religious references and replaced them with images of snowy fields, remains in some songbooks and is sung in many households.
The same happened with carols referring to Virgin Birth and lullabies that invoke the Baby Jesus.
Spearheading the rewriting was the chief Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg and Heinrich Himmler led the way in de-Christing Christmas.
Their plan was to remove the emotional ties of the Church and merge Christmas into a Julfest, a celebration of winter and light, which drew on pagan traditions.
"The most important celebration in the calendar did not match their racist credo so they had to push out the Christian elements," said Judith Breuer, who helped her mother, Rita, pull together the exhibition.
Rita started trawling flea markets in the 1970s in search of her childhood Christmas and turned up boxes of Nazi-era Christmas decorations complete with swastikas and grenades.
"After the Nazis had gone you could still find textbooks on Christmas that use exactly the same phrasing," she said. (ANI)