The Nature of National Socialism

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013 
Deutsch Nationalsozialismus

National Socialism is a unique phenomena in the history of political thought - probably because National Socialism is not strictly speaking a political philosophy - but rather a 'weltanschauung'.
Emblem of the DAP
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Gottfried Feder
Anton Drexler
In 1919 Anton Drexler, Gottfried Feder and Dietrich Eckart - under the auspices of the Thule-Gesellschaft, and with the co-operation of the German Army - formed the German Worker's Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei DAP) in Munich.
The German Army was worried that the group was failing in its appointed task, which was to re-align the German worker away from Communism to a more nationalist position.
Captain Karl Mayr therefore sent Adolf Hitler, a Bildungs Offizier (education officer), to take control of  the organization.
Hitler approved of Drexler's brand of German Nationalism, and his anti-Semitism, but was unimpressed with the way the party was organized.Equally Anton Drexler was impressed with Hitler's abilities as an orator.
Captain Ernst Röhm
Dietrich Eckart
Hitler was only the fifty-fourth person to join the German Worker's Party.
Hitler was immediately asked to join the executive committee, and was later appointed the party's propaganda manager.
In the next few weeks Hitler brought several members of the German Army into the party, including one of his commanding officers, Captain Ernst Röhm.
The arrival of Röhm was an important development, as he had access to the army political fund, and was able to transfer some of the money into the DAP.
The German Worker's Party used some of this money to advertise their meetings.
Adolf Hitler was often the main speaker, and it was during this period that he developed the techniques that made him into such a persuasive orator.
Hitler's reputation as an orator grew and it soon became clear that he was the main reason why people were joining the party.
This gave Hitler tremendous power within the organization, as they knew they could not afford to lose him.
In April, 1920, Hitler advocated that the party should change its name to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party - NSDAP).
Hitler, however, redefined the concept of socialism by placing the word 'National' before it.
He claimed he was only in favour of equality for those who had "German blood".
In February 1920, the NSDAP published its first programme which became known as the "Twenty-Five Points".
Versailles Treaty 
Versailles Treaty 
In the programme the party refused to accept the terms of the Versailles Treaty and called for the reunification of all German people.
To reinforce their ideas on nationalism, equal rights were only to be given to German citizens. "Foreigners" and "aliens" would be denied these rights.
To appeal to the working class and socialists, the programme included several measures that would redistribute income and war profits, profit-sharing in large industries, nationalization of trusts, increases in old-age pensions and free education.
Rudolf Jung
The National Socialist Program originated at a DAP congress in Vienna, then was taken to Munich, by the civil engineer and theoretician Rudolf Jung, who, having explicitly supported Hitler, had been expelled from Czechoslovakia, because of his political agitation.
Rudolf Jung (16 April 1882 - 11 December 1945) was an instrumental force and agitator of German Bohemian National Socialism and, later on, became a member of the German NSDAP.In 1922 he wrote 'Der nationale Sozialismus: seine Grundlagen, sein Werdegang und seine Ziele' (National Socialism, its Foundations, Development and Goals).
The politician Josef Pfitzner, a Sudetenland German Nazi, wrote that:
Moreover, despite the political syncretism of National Socialism, the 25-point Program advocated democracy and greater popular rights, although only for "racially pure" Germans.
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THE 25 POINT PROGRAMME
1. We demand the union of all Germany in a Greater Germany on the basis of the right of national self-determination.
2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in its dealings with other nations, and the revocation of the peace treaties of Versailles and Saint-Germain.
3. We demand land and territory (colonies) to feed our people and to settle our surplus population.
4. Only members of the nation may be citizens of the State. Only those of German blood, whatever be their creed, may be members of the nation. Accordingly, no Jew may be a member of the nation.
5. Non-citizens may live in Germany only as guests and must be subject to laws for aliens.
6. The right to vote on the State's government and legislation shall be enjoyed by the citizens of the State alone. We demand therefore that all official appointments, of whatever kind, whether in the Reich, in the states or in the smaller localities, shall be held by none but citizens.We oppose the corrupting parliamentary custom of filling posts merely in accordance with party considerations, and without reference to character or abilities.
7. We demand that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens. If it should prove impossible to feed the entire population, foreign nationals (non-citizens) must be deported from the Reich.
8. All non-German immigration must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who entered Germany after 2 August 1914 shall be required to leave the Reich forthwith.
9. All citizens shall have equal rights and duties.
10. It must be the first duty of every citizen to perform physical or mental work. The activities of the individual must not clash with the general interest, but must proceed within the framework of the community and be for the general good.We demand therefore:
11. The abolition of incomes unearned by work. The breaking of the slavery of interest
12. In view of the enormous sacrifices of life and property demanded of a nation by any war, personal enrichment from war must be regarded as a crime against the nation. We demand therefore the ruthless confiscation of all war profits. 
13. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations (trusts).
14. We demand profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises.
15. We demand the extensive development of insurance for old age.
16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, the immediate communalizing of big department stores, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders, and that the utmost consideration shall be shown to all small traders in the placing of State and municiple orders.
17. We demand a land reform suitable to our national requirements, the passing of a law for the expropriation of land for communal purposes without compensation; the abolition of ground rent, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.
18. We demand the ruthless prosecution of those whose activities are injurious to the common interest. Common criminals, usurers, profiteers, etc., must be punished with death, whatever their creed or race.
19. We demand that Roman Law, which serves a materialistic world order, be replaced by a German common law.
20. The State must consider a thorough reconstruction of our national system of education (with the aim of opening up to every able and hard-working German the possibility of higher education and of thus obtaining advancement). The curricula of all educational establishments must be brought into line with the requirements of practical life. The aim of the school must be to give the pupil, beginning with the first sign of intelligence, a grasp of the nation of the State (through the study of civic affairs). We demand the education of gifted children of poor parents, whatever their class or occupation, at the expense of the State.
21. The State must ensure that the nation's health standards are raised by protecting mothers and infants, by prohibiting child labor, by promoting physical strength through legislation providing for compulsory gymnastics and sports, and by the extensive support of clubs engaged in the physical training of youth.
22. We demand the abolition of the mercenary army and the foundation of a people's army.
23. We demand legal warfare on deliberate political mendacity and its dissemination in the press. To facilitate the creation of a German national press we demand:(a) that all editors of, and contributors to newspapers appearing in the German language must be members of the nation; (b) that no non-German newspapers may appear without the express permission of the State. They must not be printed in the German language; (c) that non-Germans shall be prohibited by law from participating financially in or influencing German newspapers, and that the penalty for contravening such a law shall be the suppression of any such newspaper, and the immediate deportation of the non-Germans involved. The publishing of papers which are not conducive to the national welfare must be forbidden. We demand the legal prosecution of all those tendencies in art and literature which corrupt our national life, and the suppression of cultural events which violate this demand.
24. We demand freedom for all religious denominations in the State, provided they do not threaten its existence not offend the moral feelings of the German race.
The Party combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health only from within on the basis of the principle:
The common interest before self-interest.
25. To put the whole of this programme into effect, we demand the creation of a strong central state power for the Reich; the unconditional authority of the political central Parliament over the entire Reich and its organizations; and the formation of Corporations based on estate and occupation for the purpose of carrying out the general legislation passed by the Reich in the various German states.
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the synthesis of the two, great dynamic powers of the century, of the national and social ideas, had been perfected in the German borderlands [i.e. the Sudetenland], which thus were far ahead of their motherland.”
Adolf Hitler and other proponents of Volkisch ideology portrayed National Socialism as being neither left- nor right-wing, but syncretic.
Hitler in 'Mein Kampf' directly attacked both left-wing and right-wing politics in Germany, saying:
'Today our left-wing politicians in particular are constantly insisting that their craven-hearted and obsequious foreign policy necessarily results from the disarmament of Germany, whereas the truth is that this is the policy of traitors.But the politicians of the Right deserve exactly the same reproach. It was through their miserable cowardice that those ruffians of Jews who came into power in 1918 were able to rob the nation of its arms.'
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Hitler, when asked whether he supported the "bourgeois right-wing", claimed that National Socialism was not exclusively for any class, and indicated that it favoured neither the left nor the right, but preserved "pure" elements from both "camps", stating:
"From the camp of bourgeois tradition, it takes national resolve, and from the materialism of the Marxist dogma, living, creative Socialism".
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'My Socialism is not the same thing as Marxism.
My Socialism is not class war, but order.
Whoever imagines Socialism as revolt and mass demagogy is not a National Socialist.
Revolution is not games for the masses. Revolution is hard work.
The masses see only the finished product, but they are ignorant, and should be ignorant, of the immeasurable amount of hidden labor that must be done before a new step forward can be taken.
The revolution cannot be ended. It can never be ended.
We are motion itself, we are eternal revolution.
We shall never allow ourselves to be held down to one permanent condition.
My Socialism, is not the same thing as Marxism. My Socialism is not class war, but order.
Whoever imagines Socialism as revolt and mass demagogy is not a National Socialist.
Revolution is not games for the masses. Revolution is hard work.
The revolution cannot be ended. It can never be ended. We are motion itself, we are eternal revolution.
We shall never allow ourselves to be held down to one permanent condition.
What is the meaning of our party ?
In place of the mass, there is now the people's community, developed from the masses, the incorporated nation awakened to self-consciousness: our party.
The term 'party', however, is a misnomer.
I should prefer the term 'order'.
So I build the new Germany, not like a self-centered, and in the profoundest sense, unproductive artist of the present day, but like the pious cathedral builders of the Middle Ages.
National Socialism is a cool and highly reasoned approach to reality based on the greatest scientific knowledge and its spiritual expression… .
Above all, National Socialism is a Völkish Movement in essence.'
Adolf Hitler
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National Socialism was strongly influenced by the post-World War I right-wing in Germany, which held common beliefs such as 'anti-Marxism', 'anti-liberalism', and 'antisemitism', along with 'nationalism', contempt towards the Treaty of Versailles, and condemnation of the Weimar Republic for signing the armistice in November 1918 that later led to their signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
A major inspiration for the National Socialists were the nationalist 'Freikorps', paramilitary organizations that engaged in political activities after World War I.
Kapp-Putsch Freikorps Roßbach
Gustav Noske
Freikorps are German volunteer military or anti-communist paramilitary units.The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards.Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during the Weimar Republic.The Freikorps received considerable support from Minister of Defense Gustav Noske, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, who used them to crush the German Revolution of 1918–1919 and the Marxist Spartacist League and arrest the Jews Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, who were killed on 15 January 1919.

Karl Liebknecht
They were also used to defeat the Jewish Bavarian Soviet Republic in May 1919.Freikorps also fought in the Baltic, Silesia, Poland and East Prussia after the end of World War I, including aviation combat, often with significant success.

Rosa Luxemburg
In 1920, Adolf Hitler had just begun his political career as the leader of the tiny and as-yet-unknown Deutsche Arbeiterpartei/DAP German Workers Party, which was soon renamed the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei/NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party) in Munich. Numerous future members and leaders of the Nazi Party had served in the Freikorps, including Ernst Röhm, future head of the Sturmabteilung, or SA, Heinrich Himmler, future head of the Schutzstaffel, or SS.Hermann Ehrhardt, founder and leader of Marinebrigade Ehrhardt, and his deputy Commander Eberhard Kautter, leaders of the Viking League, refused to help Hitler and Erich Ludendorff in their Beer Hall Putsch and conspired against them.

Weimar Republic
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Initially, the post-World War I German  right-wing was dominated by monarchists, but the younger generation, who were associated with Völkisch Nationalism, were more radical, and did not express any emphasis on the restoration of the Imperial German monarchy.
This younger generation desired to dismantle the Weimar Republic, and create a new, radical and strong state, based upon a 'martial ruling ethic' that could revive the "Spirit of 1914" that was associated with German national unity (Volksgemeinschaft).










Johann Gottlieb Fichte
One of the most significant ideological influences on the national Socialists was the German nationalist Johann Gottlieb Fichte, whose works had served as inspiration to Hitler and other Völkisch ideologues, including Dietrich Eckart and Arnold Fanck.
In 'Speeches to the German Nation' (1808), written amid Napoleonic France's occupation of Berlin, Fichte called for a German national revolution against the French occupiers, making passionate public speeches, arming his students for battle against the French, and stressing the need for action by the German nation to free itself.
Fichte made important contributions to political nationalism in Germany. In his Addresses to the German Nation (1808), a series of speeches delivered in Berlin under French occupation, he urged the German peoples to "have character and be German"—entailed in his idea of Germanness was antisemitism, since he argued that "making Jews free German citizens would hurt the German nation."
Freiherr vom Stein

Fichte answered the call of Freiherr vom Stein, who attempted to develop the patriotism necessary to resist the French specifically among the "educated and cultural elites of the kingdom." Fichte located Germanness in the continuity of the German language, and based it on Tacitus, who had hailed German virtues in 'Germania' and celebrated the heroism of Arminius in his 'Annales'.In an earlier work from 1793 dealing with the ideals and politics of the French Revolution, 'Beiträge zur Berichtigung der Urteile des Publikums über die Französische Revolution' (Contributions to the Correction of the Public's Judgment concerning the French Revolution), he called Jews a "state within a state" that could "undermine" the German nation.
Fichte's nationalism was populist, and opposed to traditional elites, spoke of the need of a "People's War" (Volkskrieg).
Fichte promoted German exceptionalism, and stressed the need for the German nation to be purified (including purging the German language of French words).
Völkisch nationalism denounced soulless materialism, individualism, and secularized urban industrial society, while advocating a "superior" society based on ethnic German "folk" culture and German "blood".
It denounced foreigners, foreign ideas and declared that Jews, national minorities, Catholics, and Freemasons were "traitors to the nation" and unworthy of inclusion.
Völkisch nationalism saw the world in terms of natural law and romanticism, viewed societies as organic, extolling the virtues of rural life, condemning the neglect of tradition and decay of morals, denounced the destruction of the natural environment, and condemned "cosmopolitan" cultures such as Jews and Romani (Gypsy).
During the era of Imperial Germany, Völkisch nationalism was unfortunately overshadowed by both Prussian patriotism and the federalist tradition of various states therein.

Deutsch kaiserlichen Monarchie
The events of World War I including the end of the Imperial monarchy in Germany, resulted in a surge of revolutionary Völkisch nationalism.
The National Socialists supported such revolutionary Völkisch nationalist policies.
The National Socialists declared that they were dedicated to continuing the process of creating a unified German nation state that Bismarck had begun and desired to achieve.



Otto Fürst von Bismark
While Hitler was supportive of Bismarck's creation of the German Empire, he was critical of Bismarck's support of a 'Kleindeutschland' ("Lesser Germany", excluding Austria) versus the pan-German 'Großdeutschland' ("Greater Germany"), however, Hitler stated that Bismarck's attainment of Kleindeutschland was the "highest achievement" Bismarck could have achieved "within the limits possible of that time".
Otto Eduard Leopold, Otto Fürst von Bismark , Herzog von Lauenburg (1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative German statesman who dominated European affairs from the 1860s to his dismissal in 1890 by Emperor Wilhelm II. In 1871, after a series of short victorious wars, he unified most of the German states (excluding Austria) into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership. He then created a balance of power that preserved peace in Europe from 1871 until 1914.
Georg Ritter von Schönerer
During his youth in Austria, Hitler was politically influenced by Austrian pan-Germanist proponent Georg Ritter von Schönerer, who advocated radical German nationalism, antisemitism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Slavism and anti-Habsburg views.
From von Schönerer and his followers, Hitler adopted the Heil greeting, the Führer title, and the model of absolute party leadership.
Karl Lueger
Georg Ritter von Schönerer (17 July 1842 – 14 August 1921) was an Austrian landowner and politician of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A major exponent of pan-Germanism and German nationalism in Austria as well as a radical opponent of political catholicism and a fierce antisemite, his agitation exerted much influence on the young Adolf Hitler.
Hitler was also impressed with the populist antisemitism and anti-liberal bourgeois agitation of Karl Lueger, who as the mayor of Vienna during Hitler's time in the city.
Karl Lueger ( 24 October 1844 – 10 March 1910) was an Austrian politician, mayor of Vienna, and leader and co-founder the Austrian Christian Social Party. He is credited with the transformation of the city of Vienna into a modern city. The populist and anti-Semitic politics of his Christian Social Party are sometimes viewed as a model for Hitler's NSDAP.


Aryan Race
The concept of the Aryan race, which is an essential element in völkisch ideologie, stems from racial theories asserting that Europeans are the descendants of Aryan settlers.
Proponents of this theory based their assertion on the similarity of European words and their meaning to those of Indo-Iranian languages.

Johann Gottfried Herder
Johann Gottfried Herder argued that the Germanic peoples held close racial connections with the ancient Aryans, who he claimed were advanced peoples possessing a great capacity for wisdom, nobility, restraint, and science.
Contemporaries of Herder used the concept of the Aryan race to draw a distinction between what they deemed "high and noble" Aryan culture (Aryan means 'noble') versus that of "parasitic" Semitic culture.
Notions of white supremacy and Aryan racial superiority combined in the 19th century, with white supremacists maintaining that white people were members of an Aryan 'Herrenvolk' - (master race) which is superior to other races, and particularly the Semitic race, which they associated with "cultural sterility".

Arthur de Gobineau
Arthur de Gobineau, a French racial theorist and aristocrat, blamed the fall of the ancien régime in France on racial degeneracy caused by racial intermixing, which he argued destroyed the purity of the Aryan race.
Gobineau's theories, which attracted a strong following in Germany, emphasized the existence of an irreconcilable polarity between Aryan and Jewish cultures.

Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Houston Stewart Chamberlain, an English proponent of racial theory, who married into the Wagner family - and was much influenced by the masters works - supported notions of Germanic supremacy and anti-Semitism in Germany.
Chamberlain's influential book, 'Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts' - (Foundations of the Nineteenth Century - 1899) praised Germanic peoples for their creativity and idealism, while asserting that the Germanic spirit was threatened by a "Jewish" spirit of selfishness and materialism.
Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts
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Chamberlain used his thesis to promote conservatism, while denouncing democracy, and liberalism.
The book became immensely popular, especially in Germany.
Chamberlain stressed the need of a nation to maintain racial purity, in order to prevent racial and cultural degeneration, and argued that racial intermingling with Jews should never be permitted.
In 1923, Chamberlain met Hitler, whom he admired as a leader of the rebirth of the free spirit.










Austrian Jews
In Germany, the idea of Jews economically exploiting Germans became prominent upon the foundation of the German Empire, due to the ascendance of many wealthy Jews into prominent positions upon the unification of Germany in 1871.
Empirical evidence demonstrates that from 1871 to the early 20th century, that German Jews were over-represented in Germany's upper and middle classes, while they were under-represented in Germany's lower class, and particularly in the fields of work of agricultural and industrial labour.
German Jewish financiers and bankers played a key role in fostering Germany's economic growth from the 1871 to 1913, and such Jewish financiers and bankers benefited enormously from this boom.
In 1908, amongst the twenty-nine wealthiest German families with aggregate fortunes of up to 55 million marks at the time, five were Jewish, and the Rothschilds were the second wealthiest German family.
The predominance of Jews in Germany's banking, commerce, and industry sectors in this time period was very high with consideration to Jews being estimated to have accounted for 1 percent of the population of Germany.
This over-representation of Jews in these areas created resentment by non-Jewish Germans during periods of economic crisis, such as in response to the 1873 stock market crash that resulted in a severe depression.
The 1873 stock market crash and ensuing depression resulted in a spate of attacks on alleged Jewish economic dominance in Germany, and antisemitism surged.
At this time period in the 1870s, German Völkisch nationalism began to adopt antisemitic and racist themes, and was adopted by a number of radical right political movements.

Eugen Diederichs
Radical antisemitism was promoted by prominent advocates of Völkisch nationalism, including Eugen Diederichs, Paul de Lagarde, and Julius Langbehn.
Eugen Diederichs (June 22, 1867 - September 10, 1930) was a German publisher from Löbitz.
Paul Anton de Lagarde
Diederichs started his publishing company in Florence, Italy, in 1896. He moved on to Leipzig, where he published the early works of Herman Hesse, and from there to Jena in 1904. He started publishing the magazine Die Tat in 1912. He married the writer Lulu von Strauß und Torney in 1916. He died in Jena in 1930
Paul Anton de Lagarde (2 November 1827 – 22 December 1891) was a German polymath, biblical scholar and orientalist.He has been cited as one of the greatest orientalists of the 19th century.Lagarde's racial philosophy laid the foundations for aspects of National Socialist ideology, in particular that of Alfred Rosenberg.
De Lagarde called the Jews a "bacillus, the carrier of decay...who pollute every national culture...and destroy all faith with their materialistic liberalism'.
It was also claimed that Bismarck was unable to complete German national unification because of Jewish infiltration of the German parliament, and that their abolition of parliament ended the obstacle to unification.
The Jews, and other populaces it considered non-German, were accused by many Germans of possessing extra-national loyalties, thereby exacerbating German anti-Semitism about the 'Judenfrage' (the Jewish Question).

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
Positions on racial policy may have also developed from the views of important biologists of the 19th century, including French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, through Ernst Haeckel's idealist version of Lamarckism, and the father of genetics, German botanist Gregor Mendel.
Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (1 August 1744 – 18 December 1829), often known simply as Lamarck, was a French naturalist. He was a soldier, biologist, academic, and an early proponent of the idea that evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws. He gave the term biology a broader meaning by coining the term for special sciences, chemistry, meteorology, geology, and botany-zoology.
Ernst Haeckel
Unlike Darwinian theory, Lamarckian theory officially ranked races in a hierarchy of evolution from apes while Darwinian theory did not grade races in a hierarchy of higher or lower evolution from apes, simply categorizing humans as a whole of all as having progressed in evolution from apes.
Many Lamarckians viewed "lower" races as having been exposed to debilitating conditions for too long for any significant "improvement" of their condition in the near future.
Haeckel utilized Lamarckian theory to describe the existence of interracial struggle and put races on a hierarchy of evolution, ranging from being wholly human to subhuman.
Mendelian inheritance or Mendelism was supported by mainstream eugenics proponents at the time.



Gregor Johann Mendel
The Mendelian theory of inheritance declared that genetic traits and attributes were passed from one generation to another.
Gregor Johann Mendel (July 20, 1822 – January 6, 1884) was a German-speaking Silesian scientist and Augustinian friar who gained posthumous fame as the founder of the new science of genetics. Mendel demonstrated that the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance. The profound significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century, when the independent rediscovery of these laws initiated the modern science of genetics.
Proponents of eugenics used Mendelian inheritance theory to demonstrate the transfer of biological illness and impairments from parents to children, including mental disability; others also utilized Mendelian theory to demonstrate the inheritance of social traits, claiming a racial nature of certain general traits such as inventiveness or criminal behaviour.






Oswald Spengler, a German cultural philosopher, was a major influence on National Socialism.
Spengler's views were also popular amongst Italian Fascists, including Benito Mussolini.

Oswald Spengler
'Der Untergang des Abendlandes'
Spengler's book 'Der Untergang des Abendlandes' (The Decline of the West - 1918) written during the final months of World War I, addressed the decadence of modern European civilization, which he claimed was caused by atomizing and individualization and cosmopolitanism.
Spengler's major thesis was that a law of historical development of cultures existed involving a cycle of birth, maturity, aging, and death when it reaches its final form of civilization.
Upon reaching the point of 'civilization', a culture will lose its creative capacity and succumb to decadence until the emergence of "barbarians" create a new epoch.
Spengler rightly considered the Western world as having succumbed to decadence of intellect, money, cosmopolitan urban life, atomized individualization, and the end of biological fertility, as well as "spiritual" fertility.
He believed that the "young" German nation as an imperial power would inherit the legacy of Ancient Rome, lead a restoration of value in blood and instinct, while the ideals of rationalism would be revealed as absurd.

'Preussentum und Sozialismus'
Oswald Spengler
Spengler's notions of "Prussian Socialism" as described in his book 'Preussentum und Sozialismus' ("Prussiandom and Socialism", 1919), influenced the Völkisch movement.
Spengler wrote:
"The meaning of socialism is that life is controlled not by the opposition between rich and poor, but by the rank that achievement and talent bestow. That is our freedom, freedom from the economic despotism of the individual."
Spengler adopted the anti-English ideas addressed by Plenge and Sombart during World War I that condemned English liberalism and English parliamentarianism while advocating a national socialism that was free from Marxism, and that would connect the individual to the state through corporatist organization.
Spengler claimed that socialistic Prussian characteristics existed across Germany, including creativity, discipline, concern for the greater good, productivity and self-sacrifice.
He prescribed war as a necessity, saying "War is the eternal form of higher human existence and states exist for war: they are the expression of the will to war."
Spengler's definition of socialism did not advocate a change to property relations.
He denounced Marxism for seeking to train the proletariat to "expropriate the expropriator", the capitalist, and then to let them live a life of leisure on this expropriation.
He claimed that "Marxism is the capitalism of the working class" and not true socialism.
True socialism, according to Spengler, would be in the form of corporatism, stating that "local corporate bodies organized according to the importance of each occupation to the people as a whole; higher representation in stages up to a supreme council of the state; mandates revocable at any time; no organized parties, no professional politicians, no periodic elections."

Wilhelm Stapel
Wilhelm Stapel, a German intellectual, utilized Spengler's thesis on the cultural confrontation between Jews, whom Spengler described as a Magian people, versus Europeans as a Faustian people.
Stapel described Jews as a landless nomadic people in pursuit of an international culture whereby they can integrate into Western civilization.
As such, Stapel claims that Jews have been attracted to "international" versions of socialism, pacifism, or capitalism, because as a landless people the Jews have transgressed various national cultural boundaries.
Wilhelm Stapel (* October 27 1882 in Kalbe (Milde) , † June 1 1954 in Hamburg ) was a political journalist and head of the Hamburg circle , a group of thinkers who Armin Mohler of the Conservative Revolution assigns. Stack was a Protestant, nationalist and avowed anti-Semite.
Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, who initially was the dominant figure of the 'Conservative Revolutionaries', also influenced National Socialism.
He rejected reactionary conservatism, while proposing a new state, that he coined 'Das Dritte Reich' - (the Third Reich), which would unite all classes under authoritarian rule.
Van den Bruck advocated a combination of the nationalism of the right and the socialism of the left.
Arthur Moeller van den Bruck
 'Das Dritte Reich'
Arthur Moeller van den Bruck (April 23, 1876 – May 30, 1925) was a German cultural historian and writer, best known for his controversial 1923 book 'Das Dritte Reich' (The Third Reich), which promoted German nationalism and was a strong influence on the National Socialist German Workers Party.In his 1918 book 'Das Recht der jungen Völker' ("The Right Of Young Nations"), Moeller van den Bruck presents a version of the 'Sonderweg' theory, in which he developed the theme of Russia as representing Communist civilization and the United States representing capitalist civiliation, both of which are rejected. Germany is held up as the model between the two extremes. In the same book, Moeller van den Bruck advocated an expressly anti-Western and anti-imperialist philosophy of the state (Staatstheorie), which was Moeller van den Bruck attempt to bridge the gap between nationalism and concepts of social justice.He had a major influence on the Jungkonservativen (Young Conservatives) in their opposition to the Weimar Republic. He may have also supplied the National Socialists with some of the concepts underpinning their movement.



Benito Mussolini
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The seizure of power by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini in the March on Rome in 1922 drew admiration by Hitler, who less than a month later had begun to model himself and the NSDAP upon Mussolini and the Fascists.
Hitler, at this stage, presented the National Socialism as a German form of fascism.
In November 1923, the NSDAP attempted a "March on Berlin" modelled upon the March on Rome that resulted in the failed Putsch in Munich.
Other National Socialists - especially more radical ones such as Gregor Strasser, Joseph Goebbels and Heinrich Himmler - rejected Italian Fascism, accusing it of being too conservative or capitalist.
Alfred Rosenberg condemned Italian Fascism for being racially confused, and having influences from philo-Semitism.
Strasser, however, criticized the policy of Führerprinzip as being created by Mussolini, and considered its presence in National Socialism as a foreign imported idea.(?)
Throughout the relationship between the Third Reich and Fascist Italy, a number of influential National Socialists scornfully viewed fascism as a conservative movement that lacked a full revolutionary potential.





German National Socialism emphasized German nationalism.
National Socialists held racial theories based upon the existence of an Aryan master race that was superior to all other races.
The National Socialists emphasized the existence of racial conflict between the Aryan race and others, particularly Jews who were viewed as a mixed race that had infiltrated multiple societies, and was responsible for exploitation and repression of the Aryan race.

Heim ins Reich
The NSDAP supported German irredentist claims to Austria, Alsace-Lorraine, the region now known as the Czech Republic, and the territory since 1919 known as the Polish Corridor.
A major policy of the Party was 'lebensraum' ("living space") for the German nation based on claims that Germany after World War I was facing an overpopulation crisis, and that expansion was needed to end the country's overpopulation within existing confined territory, and provide resources necessary to its people's well-being.
Wappen der Sowjetunion
Since the 1920s, the Party publicly promoted the expansion of Germany into territories held by the Soviet Union.
Hitler from 1921 to 1922 evoked rhetoric of both the achievement of 'lebensraum' involving the acceptance of a territorially reduced Russia as well as supporting Russian nationals in overthrowing the Bolshevik government, and establishing a new Russian government, - however Hitler's attitudes changed by the end of 1922, in which he then supported an alliance of Germany with Britain to destroy Russia.
Policy for 'lebensraum' planned mass expansion of Germany eastwards to the Ural Mountains.
Hitler planned for the "surplus" Russian population living west of the Urals were to be deported to the east of the Urals.

Arischen Herrenrasse
Arno Breker
In its racial categorization, Völkisch ideology viewed the Aryan race as the master race (herrenvolk) - a race that was superior to all other races.
It viewed Aryans as being in racial conflict with a mixed race people, (including the Jews), who were identified as a dangerous enemy of the Aryans.
Other groups deemed "degenerate" and "asocial" received exclusionary treatment by the Völkisch state.
One of Hitler's ambitions at the start of the war was to expel most or all Slavs from central and eastern Europe so as to make 'lebensraum' for German settlers.
Nazi racial theorist Hans F. K. Günther identified the Aryan race in Europe as having five subtype races: Nordic, Mediterranean, Dinaric, Alpine, and East Baltic.
Günther applied a Nordicist conception that Nordics were the highest in the racial hierarchy among these five Aryan subtype races.

Hans Friedrich Karl Günther
Hans Friedrich Karl Günther (February 16, 1891 – September 25, 1968) was a German race researcher and eugenicist in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. He is considered to be a major influence on National Socialist racialist thought. He taught at the universities of Jena, Berlin, and Freiburg, writing numerous books and essays on racial theory. Günther's 'Kliene Ethnologie des deutschen Volkes' - (Short Ethnology of the German People - 1929) was a popular exposition of Nordicism. In May 1930 he was appointed to a new chair of racial theory at Jena. He joined the NSDAP in the following year.He received several honors during the Third Reich, notably in 1940 the Goethe Medal for arts and science from Hitler.Eugen Fischer, the professor of anthropology in Freiburg, was an influential proponent of Günther's ideas, and had lectured at Albert Ludwigs University when Günther studied there.
Eugen Fischer
Eugen Fischer (5 July 1874 – 9 July 1967) was a German professor of medicine, anthropology and eugenics. He was director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics between 1927 and 1942. He was appointed rector of the Frederick William University of Berlin by Adolf Hitler in 1933, and later joined the NSDAPFischer was influential with National Socialists early on. A two-volume work, 'Foundations of Human Hereditary Teaching and Racial Hygiene' served as the academic basis for Nazism's attitude toward other races.He was made an honorary member of the German Anthropological Society in 1952.


Aryan Male
Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes
In his book 'Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes' (1922) ("Racial Science of the German People"), Günther recognized Germans as being composed of all five Aryan subtypes, but emphasized the strong Nordic heritage amongst Germans.

Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes
Hitler read 'Rassenkunde des deutschen Volkes', and it probably influenced his racial policy.
Völkisch ideologues described Jews as being racially-mixed group of primarily Near Eastern and Oriental racial types.
As such racial groups were concentrated outside of Europe, it was stated that Jews were "racially alien" to all European peoples, and did not have deep racial roots in Europe.
Furthermore the assertion of Near Eastern and Oriental racial mixture, as well as other mixtures, such as elements of the Mediterranean race, made Jews a hybrid race, with strong non-European heritage, and Völkisch ideologuess believed that such a population in Europe had to be kept as low as possible.
Günther empashized Jews' Near Eastern racial heritage.
Günther claimed the Near Eastern type were commercially spirited and artful traders, that the type held strong psychological manipulation skills that aided them in trade.
He claimed that the Near Eastern race had been "bred not so much for the conquest and exploitation of nature as it was for the conquest and exploitation of people".

Dr. Joseph Goebbels
Propagandist Dr. Joseph Goebbels frequently employed antisemitic rhetoric to underline this view: "The Jew is the enemy and destroyer of the purity of blood, the conscious destroyer of our race ... As socialists, we are opponents of the Jews, because we see, in the Hebrews, the incarnation of capitalism, of the misuse of the nation's goods."
Günther described that European peoples had a racially-motivated aversion to peoples of Near Eastern racial origin and their traits, and showed as evidence of this multiple examples of depictions of satanic figures with Near Eastern physiognomies in European art.
Günther cited the origins of the Jews as being the result of two migrations of the Hebrews - a people who were of Oriental racial heritage.

Jews invade Egypt
The first migration was that of the Hebrews invading Egypt where the Hebrews had intermixed with peoples of Negroid and Hamitic (Egyptian) racial heritage.

Jews in Canaan
The second migration brought the Hebrews/Israelites into Canaan where they intermixed with the Canaanites, who were largely of Near Eastern racial heritage, but also had some Nordic heritage.
He identified further intermixing between Israelites and the Near Eastern type as occurring after Babylonia exiled the Israelites.

Jews in Babylon
He asserted that in the 6th century B.C. the standardization of Judaism began the creation of the Jewish people, and practice of exogamy between Jews and non-Jews solidified this identity.
Günther identified the most major alteration of racial composition of Jews after the 6th century B.C., was the mass conversion of the Khazars to Judaism in the 8th century.
The Khazars were deemed primarily of Near Eastern racial origin.

Khazar Rabbis
Günther identified this mass conversion of the Khazars to Judaism as creating the two major branches of the Jewish people, those of primarily Near Eastern racial heritage became the Ashkenazi Jews (Eastern Jews) while those of primarily Oriental racial heritage became the Sephardic Jews (Southern Jews).
Hitler's conception of the Aryan race explicitly excluded the vast majority of Slavs from central and eastern Europe (i.e., Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, etc.) from being part of the master race, regarding Slavs as having dangerous Jewish and Asiatic influences.
Because of this Slavs were identified as 'untermenschen'.

Spartan Herrenmensch
Exceptions were made for certain Slavs who were deemed to have sufficient Aryan characteristics.
Hitler described Slavs as "a mass of born slaves who feel the need of a master".
The notion of Slavs being inferior served as legitimizing the goal for creating 'lebensraum' for Germans and other Germanic people in eastern Europe, where millions of Germans and other Germanic settlers would be moved into conquered territories of Eastern Europe, while the original Slavic inhabitants were to be removed.
In Germany, the idea of creating 'herrenvolk' resulted in efforts to "purify' the Deutsche Volk (German People) through eugenics.
The ideological justification was Adolf Hitler's view of Sparta (11th century – 195 BC) as the original Völkisch state.

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Karl Marx

National Socialism rejected the Marxist concept of internationalist class struggle, but supported "class struggle between nations", and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation, while it identified Germany as an essentially proletarian nation fighting against plutocratic nations.
Karl Heinrich Marx (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a Jewish 'economist', 'sociologist', 'historian', journalist, and revolutionary socialist. He published numerous books during his lifetime, the most notable being 'The Communist Manifesto' (1848) and 'Das Kapital' (1867–1894). Born into a wealthy middle-class family in Trier in the Prussian Rhineland, Marx studied at the University of Bonn and the University of Berlin, where he became interested in the philosophical ideas of the Young Hegelians. After his studies, he wrote for a radical newspaper in Cologne, and began to work out his theory of dialectical materialism.
In 1922, Adolf Hitler discredited all other nationalist and racialist political parties as disconnected from the mass populace, especially lower and working-class young people:
'The racialists were not capable of drawing the practical conclusions from correct theoretical judgements, especially in the Jewish Question.In this way, the German racialist movement developed a similar pattern to that of the 1880s and 1890s. As in those days, its leadership gradually fell into the hands of highly honourable, but fantastically naïve men of learning, professors, district counsellors, schoolmasters, and lawyers - in short a bourgeois, idealistic, and refined class. It lacked the warm breath of the nation's youthful vigour'. - Adolf Hitler.
Despite many working-class supporters and members, the appeal of the NSDAP was arguably more effective with the 'Mittelstand' -  (middle class).
Moreover, the financial collapse of the white collar middle-class of the 1920s figures much in their strong support of National Socialism, thus the great percentage of declared middle-class support for the Party.
In the poor country that was the Weimar Republic of the early 1930s, the Party realised their socialist policies with food and shelter for the unemployed and the homeless.



Predictably Hitler had little interest in money or economics in general.
In addition, after he became Reichskanzler on 30 January 1933 he never touched his salary from the state.
At the national level, Hitler left the subject to others.

Alfred Hugenberg
In the early days of the Nazi government Alfred Hugenberg, the party leader of the conservative German-National party, DNVP, was the Minister of Finance - the Reichswirtschaftsminister.
He continued to serve in this position for a short time even after all parties except the NSDAP were prohibited in March 1933.
In June Hugenberg was replaced by Kurt Schmitt, a man that had joined the Nazi Party in late spring of 1933.

Hjalmar Schacht
Schmitt's time in office was also short and in 1934 the president of the national German bank Hjalmar Schacht become the third man responsible for the economy of Nazi Germany.
He lasted until 1938 when the first real Nazi, Walther Funk was appointed to the position.
Afterwards, Schacht remained minister without portfolio.
Hitler believed that private ownership was useful in that it encouraged creative competition and technical innovation, but insisted that it had to conform to national interests and be "productive" rather than "parasitical".
Private property rights were conditional upon the economic mode of use; - if it did not advance National Socialist economic goals then the state could nationalize it.
Although the government of the Third Reich privatised public properties and public services, they also increased economic state control.

Charles Darwin
Under National Socialist economics, free competition and self-regulating markets diminished; nevertheless, Hitler's social Darwinist beliefs made him reluctant to entirely disregard business competition and private property as economic engines.
Social Darwinism - derived from the theories and writings of Charles Darwin -  is an ideology that applies biological concepts associated with Darwinism or other evolutionary theories to sociology, economics and politics, often with the assumption that conflict or cooperation between groups in society leads to social progress as superior groups out-compete inferior ones.
To tie farmers to their land, selling agricultural land was prohibited.
Farm ownership was nominally private, but discretion over operations and residual income were proscribed.
That was achieved by granting business monopoly rights to marketing boards to control production and prices with a quota system.

May Day - Berlin - 1930s
May Day was declared a day celebrated by organized labour, to be a paid holiday to honour German workers.
National Socialism stressed that Germany must honour its workers.
The regime believed that the only way to avoid a repeat of the disaster of 1918 was to secure workers' support for the German government.
The Party wanted all Germans take part in the May Day celebrations in the hope that this would help break down class hostility between workers and burghers.

German Village May Day Celebrations
Songs in praise of labour and workers were played by state radio throughout May Day as well as an airshow in Berlin and fireworks.
Hitler spoke of workers as patriots who had built Germany's industrial strength and had honourably served in the war, and stated that they had been oppressed under economic liberalism.
Berliner Morgenpost that had been strongly associated with the political left in the past praised the regime's May Day celebrations.
The Party continued social welfare policies initiated by the governments of the Weimar Republic and mobilized volunteers to assist those impoverished, "racially-worthy" Germans through the National Socialist People's Welfare organization.

Winterhilfswerk - WHW
This organization oversaw charitable activities, and became the largest civic organization in Nazi Germany.
Successful efforts were made to get middle-class women involved in social work assisting large families.
The Winter Relief campaigns acted as a ritual to generate public feeling.
The Winterhilfswerk (WHW "winter help work") was an annual drive by the Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt (National Socialist People’s Welfare Organization) to help finance charitable work. Its slogan was "None shall starve nor freeze". It ran from 1933-1945 during the months of October through March, and was designed to provide food, clothing, coal, and other items to less fortunate Germans during the inclement months. The Hitlerjugend and Bund Deutscher Mädel (boys' and girls' associations, respectively) were extremely active in collecting for this charity. As part of the effort to place the community over the individual, totals were not reported for any individuals, only what the branch raised.





The National Socialists were one of many nationalist and right-wing political parties contending for the leadership of Germany's anti-communist movement.
The NSDAP claimed that communism was dangerous to the well-being of nations because of its intention to dissolve private property, its support of class conflict, its aggression against the middle class, its hostility towards small businessmen, and its atheism.
Völkisch ideology rejected class conflict-based socialism and economic egalitarianism, favouring instead a stratified economy, with social classes based on merit and talent, retaining private property, and the creation of national solidarity that transcends class distinction.
During the 1920s, Hitler urged disparate Nazi factions to unite in opposition to "Jewish Marxism".
In 1930, Hitler said:
"Our adopted term 'Socialist' has nothing to do with Marxist Socialism. Marxism is anti-property; true Socialism is not."
In 1942, Hitler privately said: "I absolutely insist on protecting private property ... we must encourage private initiative".
During the late 1930s and the 1940s, anti-communist regimes and groups that supported National Socialist ideology included the Falange in Spain; the Vichy regime and the 33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French) in France; and in Britain the Cliveden Set, Lord Halifax, the British Union of Fascists under Sir Oswald Mosley.
 Gottfried Feder
In the years immediately following World War I, Gottfried Feder, an engineer, dominated discussion on the subject of capitalism in the Party.
In the early 1920s, his pamphlet, 'Das Manifest zur Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft des Geldes' (The Manifesto on Breaking the Interest Slavery of Money) was, along with Hitler’s 'Mein Kampf' and Alfred Rosenberg’s 'Mythos der 20. Jahrhundert' (Myth of the 20th Century), one of the party’s most important tracts.
Feder distinguished between “Jewish finance capital” and “national capital,” thereby encouraging anti-capitalist rhetoric that left actual property relations intact.
Creative labor” and industrial capital would have to be liberated from the tentacles of international Jewish power.
His works borrowed from Marxist vocabulary, speaking of the “liberation of productive labor” and calling on the peoples of all nations to unite against the force of international finance.
In his 1923 pamphlet, 'Der deutsche Staat auf nationaler und sozialer Grundlage' (The German State on National and Social Foundations), Feder insisted that “the Jew” had remained remote from productive labor and was the bearer of a parasitic spirit.

'Kampf gegen Hochfinanz'
 Gottfried Feder
Feder summarized his theoretical contribution to National Socialism in the formula, “creative versus parasitic capital” (schaffendes gegen raffendes Kapital), which appeared in his 1933 work, 'Kampf gegen Hochfinanz'.
Völkisch ideologues argued that capitalism damages nations due to international finance, the economic dominance of big business, and Jewish influences.
Adolf Hitler, both in public and in private, expressed disdain for capitalism, arguing that it holds nations ransom in the interests of a parasitic cosmopolitan rentier class.
He opposed free market capitalism's profit-seeking impulses, and desired an economy in which community interests would be upheld.
Hitler distrusted capitalism for being unreliable due to its egotism, and he preferred a state-directed economy that is subordinated to the interests of the Volk.
Hitler said in 1927, "We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions."
Hitler told a party leader in 1934, "The economic system of our day is the creation of the Jews."
Hitler also said that the business bourgeoisie "know nothing except their profit. 'Fatherland' is only a word for them."
Hitler was personally disgusted with the ruling bourgeois elites of Germany during the period of the Weimar Republic.
In 'Mein Kampf', Hitler effectively supported mercantilism, in the belief that economic resources from their respective territories should be seized by force; he believed that the policy of 'Lebensraum' would provide Germany with such economically valuable territories.
He argued that the only means to maintain economic security was to have direct control over resources rather than being forced to rely on world trade.
Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels adamantly stressed the socialist character of National Socialism.





To understand National Socialism one must consider the concept of `reactionary modernism' - a concept which reconciles anti-modernism, romanticism, and tradition with modernity - and it is this apparently contradictory combination  of  traditional culture and aescetics and  a  modern reliance on instrumental reason and modern means that made the Third Reich a unique political system.

Gas Attack on the Western Front
People in Germany realised the importance of technology before 1914, but the First World War nevertheless came as a shock because it fundamentally questioned the widespread belief that technology was an occasionally difficult but potentially obedient servant of humanity.
Not only the common soldiers in combat felt the overwhelming power of modern weapons, but so also did the military and political leadership, who were forced to change all of their plans to adapt to the realities of industrial and technological warfare.
War was no longer a matter solely of the military sector as scientific achievements, the potential for industrial production, and the mental preparedness for war were at least as important for success as the armed forces themselves.
The pressure to attempt total mobilisation in modern warfare forced Germany to accept the industrial and technological logic unreservedly, that is to say, with all the often unwanted consequences a strong focus on efficiency implied.

Ernst Jünger
Ernst Jünger was one of the many middle-class volunteers who in 1914 saw the First World War as a chance to escape from the boredom of a secure everyday life.
He was motivated by the hope of finding his `true self ' and a more `elemental reality' outside bourgeois society.
This hope and desire to engage on an adventurous journey to discover one's authentic existence beyond the false conventions of civilised society was not a `pre-modern' notion, but an expression of a `romantic individualism' originating in the artistic way of life of early romanticism, giving the central motif to many modern writings and representing a common ambition for the avantgarde and 'life-reform' movements at the turn of the century.
In a similar vein, Jünger believed that society in the `mechanical age' restricted the potential of a much richer self, while a more authentic life promised the discovery of one's own individuality and the experience of the `multitude of life, its diversity and the glowing beauty of its intoxications'.
But Jünger was quickly forced to realise that his naive notions of a warrior's life had little in common with modern warfare.
The desire for adventure and emotional intensity is an integral part of modernity, but for achieving success the industrial world demands, in war as much as in peace, the precise work of every soldier or worker as a small cog in a large technical system.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Inspired by Nietzsche, Jünger could not reject technology, which was clearly the prime instrument of the human `will to power' in modern times.
As there was no escape from the all-pervasive power of technology, he had to find a way of integrating it into his world-view.
The acceptance that it was not the 'abilities of the individual' which counted in modernity (in particular in modern warfare), but `production, level of technology, education and railway systems' was a difficult step for Jünger as it challenged his hope and desire for a less civilised space in which one could realise an adventurous path of life.
On the one hand, he admitted a `deep fear' of modern technology, but on the other, his Nietzschean convictions forced him to embrace all aspects of the modern condition.
After a laborious struggle, he reached a position towards the end of the 1920s where he strongly rejected any glorification of nature or 'rural life' by critics of civilisation as sterile `romanticism', demanding an unreserved acceptance of modern life instead.

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It was not the conservative acceptance of technology which was original about Jünger's position, nor was it the attempt to integrate it into his world view and employ it as a means for his own objectives.
What was new about Jünger and other conservative revolutionaries at the end of the Weimar Republic were the two following convictions:
Firstly, while earlier conservatives had the confidence to believe that modern technology could be used at will, Ernst Jünger was correct in realising that technical developments and applications followed their own logic and thus placed demands on users.
Different technical means could not be employed by any person for any purpose, but only by people prepared to accept fully all demands of the technical age, because individual technical means are part of an interdependent technical system and cannot exist in isolation.
Furthermore he developed the conviction that a productive engagement with technology demanded a certain `language'.
As users have to follow a certain code to live in the technical world and make use of technical means, modernity turns them not `just into subjects of technical processes, but simultaneously into their objects'. `The application of these [technological] means demands a specific lifestyle, which encompasses every single aspect of life. Technology is thus by no means a neutral force, no reservoir of effective and simply convenient means, which any traditional power can take from at pleasure'.
The First World War had taught Jünger an important lesson which the Weimar Republic could only reinforce: that modern technology places precise demands on its users, produces unintended results and becomes a force in its own right, shaping history in unexpected ways.

Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer
Equally, Hitler called himself a techno-enthusiast (`Narr der Technik').
Goebbels said, programmatically, that National Socialism `consciously approves' of technology, and a publication of the SS called it a `weapon in the struggle for life'.
Himmler and Walther Darré were more critical, but Albert Speer, Fritz Todt and Robert Ley were also advocates of the unreserved embrace of modern technology.
Even one of the main representatives of the  völkisch wing, Alfred Rosenberg, saw technology as an expression of an `eternal Germanic drive', and Peter Schwerber's book `National Socialism and Technology', published in the official NSDAP series of pamphlets stressed technology's positive role.

Essen Krupp Werke
While it attacked the banking system and the primacy of profits in the capitalist system as an expression of allegedly Jewish materialism and greed, it praised the potential of modern technology and the deeds of entrepreneurs such as Krupp.
The Krupp family, a prominent 400-year-old German dynasty from Essen, have become famous for their steel production and for their manufacture of ammunition and armaments.


Adolf Hitler and Gustav Krupp

The family business, known as Friedrich Krupp AG, was the largest company in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century.Gustav Georg Friedrich Maria Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, (7 August 1870 - 16 January 1950) ran the German Friedrich Krupp AG heavy industry conglomerate from 1909 until 1941Alfried Felix Alwyn Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach was an amateur photographer and Olympic sailor, he was an early supporter of the NSDAP and, joined the SS in 1931, never disavowing his allegiance to Hitler.
At the center of National Socialist views on technology and modernism stood a mythic historical construction of a racial battle between Aryan and Jew, blood and gold.
However, the National Socialists accepted technology `consciously and happily' as the foundation of the nation, of a high standard of living and of military strength.

Reichsautobahn
Hitler Promotes the Reichsautobahnen
With an equally strong belief in the positive role of modern technology in changing society, Franz Lawaczeck, one of the three founding fathers of the National Socialist engineers' association, 'Kampfbund Deutscher Architekten und Ingenieure', believed that the Third Reich could generate an abundance of cheap electricity that would promote small farms and businesses and promote a decentralisation of modern society.
In its presentation to the public, National Socialism also stressed its positive attitude towards technology.
With the slogan `Hitler above Germany', National Socialism drew attention to his use of an aeroplane.
Hitler also presented himself  as the father of the autobahn, opened car exhibitions and promoted the idea of a cheap car for the mass of the people, not primarily for military or economic purposes.
He wanted to become a moderniser of German cities, and had a book of photographs published in which he presented himself alongside cars, aeroplanes, ships and industrial sites.
Also, the hope that a `Wunderwaffe' might miraculously change the outcome of the war indicates a strong belief in the power of technology.

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While Ernst Jünger, and other conservatives in the Weimar Republic, had eventually realised that systematic work in large technological systems is a necessary prerequisite for efficiency under modern conditions (this was exactly their original contribution to a conservative understanding of modern technology), National Socialism largely maintained the belief held by earlier or less advanced techno-enthusiasts that exceptionally gifted personalities with strong will-power could overcome all the odds and turn technology into an obedient servant.
It neither saw the need to speak the `language' of technology, and adapt to its imperatives, nor did it realise the dialectical connection between using technology and submitting to a technological lifestyle.
On a more practical level, Nazi policy never aimed for the consistency and all- pervasive planning necessary to realise a technocratic state.
The National Socialist cultural policy was also marked by certain apparent inconsistencies.
While the modernists on the left and right demanded that all cultural forms should reflect the functions of the technical age by abandoning all unnecessary decoration (`form follows function'), National Socialism embraced more traditional styles.

Triumph des Willens
Triumph des Willens
In contrast to Jünger's  futurist demand for a functional logic, and a technical style, which was to penetrate and determine all aspects of society and human existence, National Socialism rejected such attempts to close the gap between technology and culture, favouring an non-dogmatic mix instead.
In literature, novels about exceptional engineers and technological achievements co-existed with stories about rural life.





Hitler Over Germany
Nürnberg Reichsparteitag in 1934
For the Nürnberg Reichsparteitag in 1934 (communicated to us mainly through the modern medium of film, via the famous 'Triumph of the Will') the historic city of Nuremberg was used as background for Hitler's arrival in his aeroplane, for mass rallies and military parades with modern armaments.

Traditional Costumes
Adolf Hitler auf dem Bückeberg
The `beauty of work' programme promoted swimming pools, grass and gardens, but also an increase in productivity; and the attempt to increase agricultural production was connected with an invention and promotion of traditions such as wearing traditional costumes, engaging in folk dance or accompanying the passing on of the farm to the son with a festive ritual.
From 1933 to 1937 the NSDAP arranged an annual Harvest Festival at Bückeberg, close to the city of Hamelin. More than one million people gathered there, dressed in elaborate traditional folk costumes, in order to celebrate the German peasant, and to listen to speeches. To manage this number of participants a special arena designed by Albert Speer was built. The site was intended to be one of the symbolically important in the Third Reich.
Entartete Kunst
This enhancement of modern reality with all forms available from past and present as well as the ousting of a more critical 'Entartete Kunst' (decadent art), was essential to National Socialist aesthetics and culture.

Traditional Regional Style Architecture
This is particularly clear in Nazi architecture.
It did not break completely with the modern functional style, but used it primarily for commercial buildings, in road construction and town planning.
Official buildings were designed in a refined classical or monumental style, and residential housing was ideally built in accordance with a traditional regional style.
While the industrial sphere was thus supposed to be functional and the political sphere awe-inspiring, the private sphere was aiming to give a feeling of warmth and gemütlichkeit.
Gemütlichkeit means a situation that induces a cheerful mood, peace of mind, with connotation of belonging and social acceptance, coziness and unhurry.
National Socialism accepted that even people who want to be heroes have secret selves, whose `tastes lie toward safety, soft beds, and beer'.
National Socialists thus used heroic imagery on an ideological level, but sensibly tried to keep the sacrifices of their followers to a minimum.
Different opinions could exist, because technology was not seen as a the sole principal in society.
If one accepts that the creation of a 'pure Aryan' race was the main goal of National Socialism, then the attitude towards technology could vary and alter, because its value was determined by the question whether it threatened or helped to achieve that goal.

Arischen Rasse
Some National Socialists were against technology, because they believed that it would undermine the strength of the 'Arischen Rasse' (Aryan race), but most were convinced that the National Socialist goals could only be achieved by means of a full embrace of modern technology.
Like the group of those right-wing extremists in the Weimar Republic which have been named `reactionary modernists' (but also like many other conservatives), National Socialism accepted technology as an important tool in achieving their militaristic and racist goals.
But while the modernists on the right tried to face the fact that technology also places demands on its users and thereby alters them and society, National Socialism drew on less sophisticated beliefs more typical of conservatives in imperial Germany.

Relaxation and Distraction
Liegender Frauenakt - Ernst Liebermann
The technical age was accepted as a practical necessity, but not celebrated in a 'technical style'; people had to fulfil their function, but relaxation and distraction were granted; and culture was consciously employed as an escape from a certain aspects of material reality.
In this respect, the National Socialists arrived at a more sustainable lifestyle within modern reality than the modernists: in their openness to compromise in all but their core beliefs they accepted that the demands of the modern functional age were only bearable if allowance was made for traditional values and culture.
National Socialism was popular and politically successful because it acknowledged and tolerated different forces and desires in human beings, thereby avoiding purist extremes.
Ironically, the National Socialists world-view (with their trust in the positive potential of a pure Nordic race) allowed them to absorb pragmatically a whole variety of impulses of the time, and thereby integrate different important social groups.

Olympia-Schwimmhalle - National Socialist Modernism
National Socialism cannot be understood as completely anti-modern, because it made full use of technology.
It is simply not strange or paradoxical to reject modernism and embrace technology at the same time.
National Socialism does not have just one cultural root.
It is eclectic, drawing on many different traditions and reacting pragmatically to the circumstances.
As its attitude towards technology is mainly pragmatic, it could take many different forms.
The requirement to maintain power and achieve its central policy goals largely determined its usage of technology, not a preconceived world view.
Thus National Socialism can be seen as the optimum position with regard to the apparently antagonistic positions of modernity and tradition.
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GERMAN  REACTIONARY  MODERNISM
(MODERNITY & TRADITION)




Alpine Sketch
A. Hitler - Unknown Date
'Der Rufer'
Prof. Arno Breker
Over sixty years after the defeat of the Third Reich National Socialism still casts it spell.
Despite all the attempts by Jews, Marxists, Liberals and may others, National Socialism not only retains its appeal, but appears to many to be a viable alternative to the collapsed claims of the current political establishment.
One of the reasons for this is the fact that National Socialism is the only political philosophy that not only utilised aesthetic, but also incorporated cultural values as part of its 'weltanschauung'.
It is a well known fact that Adolf Hitler considered himself to be an artist.
While Jews, Marxists, Liberals and the post-war so-called 'art establishment' have denigrated his paintings and sketches - and refer to him as an untalented amateur, it is a fact that for many years Hitler supported himself through his art, (something that most of his critics have never been able to do), and therefore he can rightly be described as a 'professional artist'.

Karl's Church in Winter - Adolf Hitler
Zeichnung-Hund - Adolf Hitler
As far as we know, however, Hitler had no academic art training, and was apparently 'self-taught'.
Interestingly, in recent research, a number of Hitler's paintings and drawings were offered to supposedly 'artistically uneducated' members of the public.
The signatures were obscured, and over ninety percent of those involved believed that the works were of an talented, established late 19th / early twentieth century professional artist.
One can imagine their surprise when informed that the works were by Adolf Hitler.

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Hitler was also an excellent graphic designer, and he was responsible not only for many propaganda posters in the early days of the party, but also designed the party emblem and flag.
Thule Swastika
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Swastika Flag
The principal symbol of the NSDAP was the swastika flag. The black-white-red colour scheme is based upon the colours of the flag of the German Empire, the black-white-red colours were commonly associated with anti-Weimar Republic German nationalists after the fall of the German Empir.
In his 1925 work 'Mein Kampf', Adolf Hitler wrote that: 'I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black swastika in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the swastika'.
What inspired Hitler to use the swastika as a symbol for the NSDAP was, of course, its use by the Thule-Gesellschaft - although the 'Thule swastika' has curved arms.
Hitler was also closely involved in the design of many of the banners, standards, items of regalia, and even uniforms of the evolving Party.

Art Deco Interior
Neue Reichskanzlei
NSDAP Propaganda Poster
Hitler was convinced that his 'Weltanschauung' should be portrayed not only in speeches and writing ('Mein Kampf'), but also is dramatic and graphic form, and he used both traditional classical styles, and the new 'Deco Style' to this end, and here we see once again the seamless combination of 'tradition' and 'modernity' (see above) that is so much a feature of National Socialism.
Art Deco or 'Deco', is an influential visual arts design style which first appeared in France in the 1920s, flourishing internationally in the 1930s and 1940s, before its popularity waned after World War II.
It is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with so called 'Machine Ag'e imagery and materials.
The style is often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation.
'Art Deco' emerged from the Interwar period when rapid industrialization was transforming culture.
One of its major attributes is an embrace of technology.

Deco Style Führerbau - Munich
Deco Reichsnährstand Emblem
This distinguishes Deco from the organic motifs favored by its predecessor Art Nouveau (known as Jugendstil in Germany and Austria).
Art Deco is an assertively modern style that ran to a classical form of symmetry rather than asymmetry, and to the classical rectilinear rather than the curvilinear; in many ways it responded to the demands of the machine and of new materials, and the requirements of mass production.
During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.
It is the last coherent and traditionally based style in Western Art.
Although it is rarely admitted, Hitler used the 'Deco' style as the 'house style' of the NSDAP precisely because it  represented glamour, exuberance, modernity and faith in social and technological progress, while at the same time preserving traditional forms.

Zepplinfeld Stadium - Albert Speer
Albert Speer
Hitler's abiding interest, however, was for architecture - and he used his talent in the design of numerous buildings in the Third Reich, (some of which were completed, and some of which only exist as drawings and models).
Perhaps his most successful project, in partnership with his young protege Albert Speer, was the Reichsparteitagsgelände in Nürnberg.
These buildings and projects re[present accurately the National Socialist aesthetic, being in most case a seamless combination of Deco and Classicism - Modernism and Classicism.

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Hermann Giesler
Hitler's favourite project, however, was his proposed designs for the rebuilding of his adopted home-town of Linz.
For this project Hitler chose the more experienced Hermann Giesler, whose style was more in keeping with Hitler's taste for a style that was more ornate and obviously classical that Speer's 'stripped-down' classical 'Deco' style.
Giesler's Linz Model
Hermann Giesler (April 2, 1898, Siegen - January 20, 1987, Düsseldorf) was a German architect during the Third Reich, one of the two architects most favoured and rewarded by Adolf Hitler (the other being Albert Speer).Hermann Giesler was born into a family of architects. He volunteered for the German Army in 1915, became a Lieutenant, and ended as a WW I pilot. He completed his architectural study at the Munich Academy of Applied Art after the war.
Oswald Spengler
Linz Art Gallery - Hermann Giesler
Giesler was impressed by Oswald Spengler, whom he met in 1919 at a symposium at the Munich City Hall. In 1923 he married and had two sons. Beginning in 1930, he worked as an independent architect, winning several awards. He joined the NSDAP well before 1933.
Obersalzberg
In 1937 he gained a professorship, received the Grand Prix and gold medal for his architectural designs at the World Exhibition in Paris, and was assigned in 1938 to the overall design of Germany’s exhibits at the 1942 World Exhibition in Rome. That year, Adolf Hitler asked him to plan Munich’s architectural renovation, as well as to design and build his private residence at the Obersalzberg.Later on, Giesler was put in charge of planning Hitler’s pet project, the city of Linz. He worked on plans and a large model for the Danube Development of the Banks, and on designs for the cultural center, which Hitler regarded with particular interest.
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Architektur im Dritten Reich


The true purpose of National Socialism, of course, is the preservation, and eventual exaltation of the Nordic Aryan Race, which is the source of all true culture and all true aesthetic values.
This is the actual meaning of the term 'the aestheticization of politics'.
In the light of these vital principles, in September 1933 the Reichskulturkammer (RKK - Reich Culture Chamber) was established by Adolf Hitler, as Führer und Reichskanzler, with Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's 'Reichminister für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda' (Reich Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment) in charge.
Sub-chambers within the Culture Chamber, representing the individual arts (music, film, literature, architecture, and the visual arts) were created; these were membership groups consisting of artists supportive of the Party.
In the same year Hitler made a speech in which he defined the true nature of Nordic Aryan Art.
'Germany wants again a “German Art,” and this art shall and will be of eternal value, as are all truly creative values of a people.Should this art, however, again lack this eternal value for our people, then indeed it will mean that it also has no higher value todayWhen, therefore, the cornerstone of this building was laid, it was with the intention of constructing a temple, not for a so-called modern art, but for a true and everlasting German art, that is, better still, a House for the art of the German people.It is therefore imperative for the artist to erect monuments, not so much to a period, but to his people.For time is changeable, years come and go.Anything born of and thriving on a certain epoch alone would perish with it.And not only all which had been created before us would fall victim to this mortality, but also what is being created today or will be created in the future.But the National-Socialists know of only one mortality, and that is the mortality of the people itself:As long as a people exists, however, it is the fixed pole in the flight of fleeting appearances.It is the quality of being and lasting permanence.And, indeed, for this reason, art as an expression of the essence of this being, is an eternal monument.'
Adolf Hitler 1933
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