The ideological roots of German national socialism / by Eric H. Vieler
Includes bibliographical references (p. 233-244)
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Electronic version from ProQuest
This study in analytic intellectual history examines the ideologies--the linkages between thought and action--that animated the rise of Hitler and the National Socialist Party. Chapter 1 sets the parameters; Chapter 2 examines the phenomenon of nationalism; Chapter 3 provides an overview of the environment in which the ideologies developed; Chapters 4, 5 and 6 describe the three major ideological strains that fueled the rise of German National Socialism: (1) Mythological/Intellectual Ideology, articulated by Gobineau, Richard Wagner, Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Alfred Rosenberg, has its roots in ancient saga, proclaiming the Nordic to be the ideal race, and urging a regeneration to create a superior civilization. (2) Biological Racist Ideology, based on biological heritage, became the primary source of Hitler's racist convictions and the "scientific" basis for the belief of the National Socialists in German superiority. The principal authors examined are Ludwig Woltmann, Lanz Liebenfels and Hans F. K. Guenther. (3) Nationalist/Conservative Ideology, its roots in Hegel, vom Stein, and Friedrich List, was articulated in the major work of Moeller van den Bruck, Das Dritte Reich (The Third Empire), which prophesied Hitler's coming empire. Two other largely ignored critics of the period, Paul de Lagarde and Julius Langbehn, are discussed for their individual impact on this ideology. Carl Schmitt's Staat, Bewegung, Volk (State, Movement, Volk), is also examined which, in a philosophical as well as legislative sense, gave National Socialism its racist character and helped to shape the structure of the state. Chapter 7 examines the impact the three ideologies had on Adolf Hitler. While Hitler acknowledged no ideological predecessors, it became clear as a result of this research that his racism was not self-generated and that the primary source of his ideas appeared to be the works of the Biological Racists, although he borrowed from all the others. All three ideologies were important to the rise of German National Socialism, with the biological racist strain predominant. Sources are mostly original German texts, to include official National Socialist periodicals. There are extensive translations of significant passages for the reader to appreciate the thoughts and ideas of the various authors in their own words.
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