var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-7352264-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
Nazism refers to the ideology and policies instilled and practiced by Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers party from 1921 to 1945.1 After a slow beginning, the party accumulated strength rapidly in the 1930’s until it was able to prevent its opponents from forming a majority in the “Reichstag, or lowerhouse of parliament”.2 Hitler, by 1933 became chancellor, and one year later, he had overthrown the “Weimer Republic”3, and destroyed all political parties but his own, wiping out labour unions, took Jews out of the public eye, abolished freedom of speech and press, co-ordinated the political, social, economic and cultural life of the German people under Nazi rule. In August, President Hindenburg died and Hitler took over. He was known as Fuehrer rather than president.
Although some beliefs of Nazism, such as nationalism and anti-semitism, had existed earlier in European history, the Nazi ideology as a whole had yielded from the beliefs of Hitler, as suggested in his book Mein Kampf (My Struggle [fight]). Nazism was a practicing ideology based on specific integral elements: The first being, a belief in one superior race, the Aryan race, who were chosen to rule as the hierarchy of all beings and in addition, exercised violent hatred of chosen groups and races (ie. Anti-semitism).
With the way that the Aryan had to go was clearly lined out. As a conquerer, he subjected the lower peoples and then he regulated their practical ability according to his command and his will and for his aims.4 The stronger has to Rule and he is not to amalgamate with the weaker one, that he must sacrifice his own greatness.5
Moreover there seemed to be an extreme element of nationalism that called for the unification of all German speaking peoples namely two nations specifically, Germany and Austria, furthermore, leading to the occupation of Austria and of Czechoslovakia, which had begun claiming self-rights as stated in the quotation below.6
The National Socialist movement must find the courage
To gather our people and their strength for an advance along the
road that will lead this people from its present restricted
living space to new land and soil.7
He had also begun to produce a private army with enhanced capabilities and power called the SS (schutzstaffel), which intensified the militaristic framework of fascism. An appreciation for youth and the declaration of future generations have been a goal from the beginning as fascism took on a role that many of the more matured could not continue, as it was the youth that were to carve the path to the success of the third Reich. This resulted in Hitler emphasizing sports and sciences as mandatory in the curriculum of all Germanic schools “gymnasium”.8
“The National Political Schools” as they were called, were to train the new Nazi civil servant; the Adolf Hitler Schools aimed at producing Nazi political leaders. In addition to supporting education, Hitler would be known to control what was taught and who taught it. For example:
“…Under the tight leadership of old Nazi hands, was
given a decisive role in selecting who was to teach and what
they taught was in accordance with Nazi theories.”
Propaganda, as a tool for power to distort events and create false misinformation was masterminded by Joseph Goebbels (propaganda minister).10 Adolf Hitler, instilled the final element of Nazism which was to be the authoritarian and lead his new found empire to a pseudo-destiny of a pure Aryan race.
Although Nazism had similar characteristics to that of it’s original doctrine, Italian facism, one can see that many of the present elements deviate from its original meeting. Hitler suggests, in his book, Mein Kampf, that his feelings and goals of the future for Germany and Austria should be of strong nationalistic values and stressed the absence of racial impurities. Anti-semetism has been an element of world history for some time, only to have arisen with such magnitude and exponential hatred via the Nazi movement. Hitler’s racial element strongly suggests a sui generous nature which ultimately pinpoints a very distinct deviation from the original fascism doctrine and suffice to say, racism was a truly unique element of Nazism.
Hardly in any people of the world is the instinct of self-preservation
More strongly developed than in the so-called ‘chosen people’.
“In the Jews life as a parasite in the body of other nations and states,
His characteristic is established..”…the Jew is the ‘great master of lying.’
Anti-semitism outside Nazi Germany had not been prominent, furthermore, adding to its uniqueness. At a unified country, Germany became prone to an intense nationalism that manifested itself quite often as a belief in natural superiority of the Aryan people. In the decades between 1910 and 1920, the concept of racism had achieved popularity in the middle class. By the 1920’s, certain authors argued that racial characteristics and art were linked and attempted to suggest that the style of a work of art was determined by the race of the artist. Painting represented the pinnacle of a long tradition of true Aryan art, resulting in the founding of the German art association, which had as its goals a “common action against the corruption of art” and the promotion of an “art that was pure German, with the German soul reflecting art.”12
This period on German history also saw the efflorescence of modern art, literature, film and music created by individuals who would be labeled immoral. German art virtually exploded and the emergence of the artists’ groups Die Bruecke (The Bridge) and Der Blau Reiter (The Blue Rider), the publication of important radical periodicals to which artists contributed and the intense response by artists and writers to the cataclysmic events of the First World War characterized the first phase of German expressionism.13 This identification of the more abstract art movements with internationalism and progressive politics created highly visible targets for the aggressive nationalism that gave birth to the National Socialist Party.14
Nazism stressed the superiority of the Aryan, its destiny as the ‘Master Race’ to rule the world over other races and a violent hatred of Jews, which it blamed for all of the problems of Germany. Nazism also provided for extreme nationalism which called for the unification of all German-speaking peoples into a single empire. The economy envisioned for the state was a form of co-operative state socialism, although members of the party who were leftists (and would generally support such an economic system over private enterprise) were purged from the party in 1934.