The misappropriation of Nietzsche in national socialism : myth and reality / by Cynthia Ann Jones.
This dissertation focuses on the misappropriation of Friedrich Nietzsche's works by the ideologists of National Socialism. To facilitate this purpose, special attention will be paid to the use of materials published by his sister that he never intended for publication. Following Friedrich Nietzsche's death in 1900, his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche took control of his unpublished material. She edited and published several items that her brother had considered mere ramblings. It was not until after World War II that scholars began to realize the extent to which Nietzsche's notebooks had been tampered with, poorly edited, and badly interpreted. One of the direct results of the tampering and poor editing was a text called The Will to Power, compiled from Nietzsche's notes, private material and items retrieved from his discard pile. The Will to Power was edited and controlled by Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche to comply with her belief in National Socialism and Aryan supremacy. The Will to Power was later used by National Socialism as a philosophical justification for many of its inhumane policies. In this dissertation speeches, diaries and other material by Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich, are gleaned for specific motifs that reflect those elements of Nazi ideology supposedly drawn from Nietzsche's philosophy. For each excerpted quote or statement, a possible source from Nietzsche's The Will to Power will follow. Other supporting material is presented to illustrate the manner in which Nietzsche's works were applied. The same process is utilized in evaluating others responsible for using Nietzsche's texts to support the ideology of National Socialism. The purpose is to ascertain, as closely as possible, Nietzsche's original intention by placing the misappropriated text back in their original context. Nietzsche intended them to be read on a multiplicity of levels which he developed by constantly shifting from position to counter position. The methodology employed in this dissertation parallels this pattern.
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