More than 70 years after the fall of Nazi Germany, the question remains unanswered: How could a leading European nation with an impressive culture develop a violent dictatorship that unleashed a new world war and committed an industrial genocide? What was Nazism - and why did the Nazis act in the way they did?
Nazism did not arise in a historical vacuum, but had deep roots in German culture. From German Romanticism sprang ideas which had great importance for the genesis of Nazism. There arose conceptions of the individual as only a part of the national collective, and of the world as consisting of limitless struggle between opposing forces. This books shows how several currents of thought, like Völkisch Holism and irrationalist Lebensphilosophie, arise and contribute to the emergence of Nazi ideology.
The book throws light on central characteristics of Nazi ideology: ultranationalism and leader-worship, racial theory and antisemitism, totalitarianism and glorification of violence. Additionally, the text deals with the strong element of occultism in Nazism, and gives us insight into the psychological effect of Nazi ideology – how Nazi ideals and attitudes made individuals embrace the Hitler regime wholeheartedly. This is a dramatic tale of fanatical passion and boundary-transcending violence – the story of how a “political religion” is born and acquires such power over men’s minds that people are motivated to the most drastic actions culminating with the Holocaust.
In the finishing chapter, Frøland convincingly sums up his conclusions regarding how Nazism functioned as an expression for the organic and dynamic, with instances of naturalistic world views. It is an impressive task to be a able to summarize these considerations so briefly and to the point.
One of the most important books this fall. 6/6
The idea that you could resolve social issues by extinguishing specific groups of people, existed long before 1940. Carl Müller Frøland's The Nazi Universe can be recommended in this context as well.