• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Nietzsche and the Nazis.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Nietzsche and the Nazis The word "Nazi" has been recalled with feelings of regret, fear, horror and the threat of violent crimes throughout human history. However, nothing can conceal or change the reality of the period of Nazi Weltanschauung and its consequences for humanity and culture. It was a deep refreshment of German souls as the Aryan race and a collective movement of intellectuals, writers and social leaders in support of Christian and Protestant society against Jews. Nevertheless, the appealing eccentricity of the growing ideology among anti-Semite writers and thinkers very much attracted the attention of the Nazis. They examined the complex philosophical works of Nietzsche, Hegel, Fichte, Treitschke, and Huston Stewart Chamberlain, and ultimately concluded with the hard philosophy of Nazism, including racist, nationalistic, and anti-Semitic attitudes (Aschheim, 1992, p. 123). It was not very difficult for Nazis to find a way to utilize many intellectuals' ideal systems, philosophies and literature as they proceeded in the way that led to the holocaust and racial genocide. For instance, Wagner hated Jews, thus, his operas contained myths, fighting, pagan gods, heroes and demons. As an artist, Wagner had bred the growing hunger of anti-Semitism with his art to a great extent. ...read more.

Middle

At this point, it is clear that, according to the point of view of the Nazis, Nietzsche's open-ended philosophy was working for them and their goal, while making Nazis' ideologies concrete and reliable. The Nietzschean overman was the model of the Aryan race, which was destined to conquer other lesser races in the global struggle for racial supremacy (Canada, 1997). Nietzschean "heroic idealism" embodied the virtues of hardness, masculinity, leadership, courage, power, struggle, and the various other characteristics promoted by the Nazis. By introducing the overman to humanity, Nietzsche advised people to challenge themselves, not to live passively. It was a good reason for anti-Semites to take action and responsibility in the way that led toward creating a higher against reproducing a lower. Having a great willingness to be powerful in order to take possession of the life and destiny of a superior race, Nazis needed the cooperating hand and inspiration of Nietzsche's philosophy, and Nietzschean themes and phrases, such as "the will to power." Because Nietzsche cried out for the survival of the strongest, thus, a strong world while building his philosophy and creating the overman, at the same time, he supplied Nazis with a strong argument that they later used to reinforce their ideological system and movement. ...read more.

Conclusion

As it is clear in the preceding quotation, the educational system based on Nietzschean doctrines was inevitably one of the main points of argument for the reasons of genocide and other violent acts committed by Nazis. Without a question, Nietzsche was perceived by the Nazis as being the intellectual and spiritual pillar of their regime (Canada, 1997). Such a creative policy gave the Nazis an intellectual justification and respectability to their ideology, while being the source of legitimization to their actions as well. Perhaps the most telling explanation of Kohn (as cited in Canada, 1997) concerning the Nazis' motivation for appropriating Nietzsche, was that the former were attempting to create a mythical continuity in German history that would serve as a means for legitimizing the Nazi Weltanschauung.. As a result, with the great desire of being the biggest power not only in Germany, but also in the rest of the world, the Nazis made use of everything that would serve their purposes. And building upon a philosophical basis of a very appropriable scheme of Nietzsche, Nazis managed to draw their political culture upon vital foundations of one of the turning points of German history. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. This essay will examine the rise of anti-Semitism from ancient times to the Holocaust ...

    However the putsch failed, largely because of a lack of planning, a lack of support from the military, and an overestimation of public backing for the Nazi Party. Hitler was put in jail for his actions and whilst here he wrote "Mein Kampf" which formed the basis of future Nazi ideology.

  2. Hitler and the Nazi Regime - revision sheet.

    1937 Goering began issuing decrees which shut down a variety of Jewish business Hardening of anti-Semitic activity accelerated by takeover of Austria in march 1938 - beat up + humiliated 200,000 Austria Jews, looted their homes and business Aug. 1938 Eichmann set up a central office for Jewish emigration in

  1. Leni Riefenstahl The Propagandist or Artist? A Historiographical Debate.

    * Anti-Nazi sentiment frightened potential distributors away from the film, and it was never shown commercially in the US. World War 11 experiencs * When the war broke out, Riefenstahl organized a film crew to report at the Front. * She and her crew experienced death at close quarters and

  2. Hitlers Germany

    and was at its core not a mere genocide (V´┐Żlkermord), but was really a reaction born out of the anxiety of the annihilating occurrences of the Russian Revolution."" Such speculations can only trivialize the Nazi experience and, by so doing, play into the hands of racist revisionists who argue that

  1. The Wannsee Conference was entirely responsible for the Holocaust. How valid is this assessment ...

    This document is important as it had the purpose of instructing the people how to discriminate and isolate the Jews. This suggests that anti-Semitism was thrust upon the German people. This document is a contemporary source directly issued by the Nazi party, therefore a clear reflection of their views.

  2. Mussolinis econ policies

    The 'Battle for Land' was one of the most iconic battles by Mussolini which paved the way for the 'Battle for Grain'. The 'Battle for Land' was aimed to show a new government and to impress foreign countries; it was also used in order to make land available for grain

  1. The Holocaust

    However, despite the presence of anti-Semitism in Germany, Jews here were more favourably treated than those in France or Russia where pogroms and legal discrimination were the norm (ibid pp 18-19). The rise in anti-Semitism at this time corresponded with a rise in Zionism or Jewish nationalism.

  2. Describe the Nazi's stance on Homosexuality

    Approximately 50,000 men served prison terms as convicted homosexuals, while an unknown number were institutionalized in mental hospitals. Others perhaps hundreds were castrated under court order or coercion. Analyses of fragmentary records suggest that between 5,000 and 15,000 homosexual men were imprisoned in concentration camps, where many died from starvation, disease, exhaustion, beatings, and murder.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work