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.
It is with excitement that I have read Carl Müller Frøland’s book 'Nazismens idéunivers'. I am excited because it is so liberating to see a young academic embark on a project of such scope — and succeed with it.
One of the most important books this autumn. 6/6
Undoubtedly, this debut book is a masterpiece in many ways, and will stand for a long time as a text which is hard to ignore.
Ideas that one could solve social problems by exterminating certain groups of people existed long before 1940. In this context, Carl Müller Frøland's 'Nazismens idéunivers' can also be recommended.
Pieces on Nazism as religion of nature, about the Führer cult as shaman adoration and the SS as prime example are places where the author is at his very best. [...] dramatic historical brushstrokes [...] great colour illustrations.
highly informative (...) it covers almost everyhting, which in one way or another can be called proto-Nazi or Nazi ideas, from the conception of art through the legal and social to the political plus the agrarian and the tactical.
A unique account of Nazism from the perspective of the Nazis themselves — a monstrous project through the monster’s eyes. (…) In our time of deep political divisions and the strengthening of extremisms on both sides of the socio-political spectrum, this book is more topical than ever