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Credit crunch Britain must learn the lessons of Nazi Germany, warns Archbishop

Steve Doughty
Monday, December 22, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury has risked new controversy after he appeared to draw parallels between Gordon Brown’s Government and the Nazis.

Dr Rowan Williams said that in times of economic trouble ordinary people were more important than economic principles.

And he linked the idea of all-important principles to the methods used by Adolf Hitler.

The connection drawn by the Archbishop in a newspaper article written for Christmas follows a week in which he has already clashed with the Prime Minister and provoked a second constitutional row by canvassing the idea of the disestablishment of the Church of England from its place as the nation’s official church.



Dr Williams criticised Mr Brown’s plans to increase consumer spending, saying: ‘I worry about that because it seems a little bit like the addict returning to the drug.’

The Archbishop made his reference to the Nazis in a discussion of German theologian Karl Barth, who was forced into exile in the 1930s.

He spoke of the theologian’s opposition to Nazi principles, and then went on to question the economic principles on which Mr Brown and the Government are trying to cope with recession.

Dr Williams referred to a lecture given by Barth at Christmas 1931, while Hitler was beginning his rise to powers, which said it was necessary to be able to live without principles.