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Old October 29th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #1

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The romance of nazism


No i am not a Nazi, or even a neo nazi, in fact i am a bit of tree hugging, pseudo liberal.

Now what do i mean by Romantic Nazism, well certainly not candelit dinners for two with Adolf or one of his goons, what i am referring to is the face value appeal of Nazism rather than its true underlying nature.

There is something rather appealing about newsreel footage of Hitler Youth rallies, where blonde haired boys and girls sang songs around camp fires, and learnt field craft out in the open air, not to mention the pomp and ceremony of staged managed torchlit parades. Yes they were the illusion that hid a far more sinister program but i have the merest hint of sympathy for those that were held spellbound by the spectacles and propoganda.
At a time of hyper inflation where the price of a loaf of bread doubled or even quaroupled in a single day and against a backdrop of political upheavel and mass unemployment the flag waving brownshirt hordes in their smart uniforms seemed somehow less threatening.
" Sign here, it's all jolly good fun, we go drinking, hold festivals and have summer camps and its all free."
For a nation sick to its very soul and crippled by mounting debt the Nazi party of `Romance and illusion' seemed an instrument of spiritual rebirth. To many the Nazi party represented a rebirth not just of nationalism but a rebirth of spritual values, it was a time of grandiose dreams and visions of a Utopia based on Neo classical architeture and an escape from the mundane realities of their hum drum existence.
The news reel footage and torch waving masses put a subtle spin hiding the sick and perverse realities of this sinister organisation
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Old October 29th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #2

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I agree. There is something grand and impressive and rock solid about thousands of torch bearing soldiers marching down wide avenues and saluting their Fuhrer as they pass. I will be the first to admit that if I had lived in '30s Germany I likely would have been taken in by it. I can only imagine how much hope it must have inspired in Germans of the time who saw it as their ticket to a better life and a stronger Fatherland. If only they had known the disaster it would lead to.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 10:48 AM   #3

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Even today, compare the military parade of regimes like china and any western country, and tell me which one looks more magnificent
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Old October 29th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by The merchant of Venice View Post
Even today, compare the military parade of regimes like china and any western country, and tell me which one looks more magnificent
Yes, you had in those times a bit all over Europe these mystifying rituals, banners, symbols, parades. Recently I learned on these boards about one movement in Romania, but also in Italy in between the wars period, even in Belgium with all kind of colours of skirts (of course one and the same colour for one faction). During a study of the several right wing movements of that period I was surprised how many parallels one could be find even in doctrines.

Of course there are always parallels with today. But the difference is perhaps that they due to the past are seen as a bit laughable nowadays...at least in our regions...

Kind regards,

Paul.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #5

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Even the spectacles and propaganda of the nazi regime are thoroughly unappealing. Perhaps I would have had a different opinion had I been a gentile German my age in the '30s.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 01:54 PM   #6

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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:17 PM   #7

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The foundations of Nazism, remember, were essentially Victorian. In Britain, there was a very real and wistful longing for the past: advertisers used quaint images of country cottages and biscuit tins and other stuff had such scenes on them. Christmas cards showed "cosy" cottages, lit by oil lamps and a roaring fire.

Modernity was not completely embraced without reservation. British poets wrote of the damage industrialisation was doing to the very land and the wealthier Victorians attempted to re-capture (or, at least show an interest in) all things medieval and even the "Celtic Twilight" and the Gothic architecture the Victorians left behind (pig's ear though a lot of it is) show this very clearly.

In Germany, this went a step further, into the realms of "Volkism", an umbrella term for a whole range of movements which were broadly united via their belief in a semi-mythical Germanic past: an agrarian paradise before the "evils" of industrialisation and modernity.

Hitler was, believe it or not, deeply sentimental. During their rise to power and early days in power, the Winter Relief Fund was a charity the Nazis started, whereby Germans were encouraged to eat a simple, one pot meal on a Sunday, instead of a more elaborate meal. The money saved would be donated to the above mentioned fund, to be given to the unemployed and hard up. Of course, many wealthier families had their usual big meal and donated anyway, but Hitler protested that that was wrong: the spirit of the thing was very important.

The Nazis (selectively) rejected modernity, believing Urban living to be "Jewish" with its dependency upon trade, commerce and dealing- and the fact that Jewish people tended to live in large urban centres. All "evils" associated with modernity were associated with Jews: modern art, modern music, modern films.......

To be contrasted with this wishful thinking agrarian past, "Blood and soil": a "pure" Aryan past with no modern "contamination". This was not just propaganda, this was what the Nazis wanted for Germans and those deemed good enough, racially. The rest were to provide the labour for industrialisation, and the Jewish people were not invited at all.

The Nazi propaganda film, "The Eternal Jew" was an extremely clever piece of propaganda. OK, so sometimes it looks a bit comical to us now, but that's hindsight. But in a world already tainted with anti-Semitism than our own, and with no knowledge of what was to come, one can imagine how "The Eternal Jew" would be seen as many as fact and as "revelation", since it passes itself off as "science".

To be contrasted, at all times, by the "hard working, decent, pure blooded and inventive" Germanic peoples.

Flattery of one's own race and pseudo scientific (cold) condemnation of another which was already demonised was rather like shooting fish in a barrel.

Many of the scenes were forced. Famously, the German cameras (in several of the Polish ghettoes after the invasion) were filming a Jewish service, (everyone concerned was forced into it), and the reader of the Torah started his "service" by saying, in Hebrew, "Today is Tuesday". None of the German crew spoke Hebrew and of course the Torah would not be read out loud on a Tuesday.

But the main message of the film was to contrast "human" Germanics with "subhuman" Jews, and then to compare the latter with rats. And then come to the "conclusion" that just as we would not tolerate rats and do not kill them out of hate, so Jews should be removed from German life.

If one watches this odious film and then watches their propaganda films and "Kraft durch Freude" (Strength through joy), the contrast could not be clearer: this was no ordinary war, but a "biological" necessity and the restoration of an entire nation.

Hitler loathed events like Kristallnacht and open demonstrations of hatred. He always attempted to show the way "by reason"- and Goebbels made the film to placate him over the Kristallnacht mess he created. (Kristallnacht was instigated mostly by Goebbels).

Nothing is more insidious than showing "proof" of how superior one race is, and how "subhuman" and different another is. The blonde kids and flowers etc were just one side of the coin. The marches, to show loyalty and good German characteristics, like loyalty, organisational skills and obedience.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 12:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRyckier View Post
Yes, you had in those times a bit all over Europe these mystifying rituals, banners, symbols, parades. Recently I learned on these boards about one movement in Romania, but also in Italy in between the wars period, even in Belgium with all kind of colours of skirts (of course one and the same colour for one faction). During a study of the several right wing movements of that period I was surprised how many parallels one could be find even in doctrines.

Of course there are always parallels with today. But the difference is perhaps that they due to the past are seen as a bit laughable nowadays...at least in our regions...

Kind regards,

Paul.
I hope they are not seen as laughable as by risus abundat in ore stultorum.

Best regards,
Ficino
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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:10 PM   #9

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Expanding on Black Dog's post. Nazism WAS a romantic movement and drew heavily on back-to-nature, and heritage movements that sprung up all over Europe in the early 20th Century.
In Britain there was the Kibbo Kift back-to-nature movement that rebelled against the perceived militarism of the Boy Scouts and itself spawned the Greenshirts and the Social Credit Party. One inspiring youth movement in Germany was the Wandervogel movement, a back-to-nature organisation that emphasised hiking, camping, conservation and teutonic heritage--elements of which passed smoothly into the Hitler Youth as that organisation first poached the membership and then swallowed it.
The ideals of the Wandervogel movement showed up in Nazi policy on anti-smoking and concerns for public health, workplace safety, outdoor vacations, health and fitness, animal and countryside conservation. In fact, had the Nazi Party not taken a wrong turn along the way, they may well have developed into the Green Party. The Green Party takes a similar dictatorial, pie-in-the-sky, we-haff-ways-of-making-you-do-this,attitude as the NSDAP did.


An interesting read
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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #10
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Haha awesome Linschoten xD
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