The Roots of Nazi Psychology, by Jay Y. Gonen

What is the mind? What is the mind of a human? What is the mind of the one who investigates the human? Can the human mind understand itself? Can a human mind understand the mind of an other? This is psychology.

Re: The Roots of Nazi Psychology, by Jay Y. Gonen

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:57 am


Chapter 5: The Folkish State

It is the duty of the State to cultivate harmony between the political and private life of the people -- neither more nor less.

-- Germany Speaks

The National Socialist Student Union Association put university students into brown uniforms and taught them to sing such old party songs as:

Sharpen the long knives on the pavements, so they'll cut the bodies of priests more easily! And when the hour of retribution strikes, we'll be ready for every sort of mass murder.

-- The Hitler File

In promoting the idea of the folkish state, Nazi ideology aspired to build up an ideal state form that would maximize the people's chances to actualize the full potential of their inner folkish spirit. A precondition for a lasting future success of this endeavor was for the folkish state to integrate the people into a united community of folk comrades or kindred souls who share a common racial awareness. For that lofty purpose to be accomplished, it was necessary to implement the leadership principle throughout the folkish state. Hitler's reasoning had been that since this principle rejected the democratic mass idea in favor of the idea of personality, it virtually guaranteed that the best minds in the so-called Volksgemeinschaft or folkish community would rise to leading and influential positions. Hitler's statement in this regard speaks for itself:

The best state constitution and state form is that which, with the most unquestioned certainty, raises the best minds in the national community to leading position and leading influence.

... From the smallest community cell to the highest leadership of the entire Reich, the state must have the personality principle anchored in its organization.

There must be no majority decisions, but only responsible persons, and the word "council" must be restored to its original meaning. Surely every man will have advisers by his side, but the decision will be made by one man. (Hitler 1943, 449)

This rejection of the supposed failed ways of democracy coupled with a return to the imaginary older tribal method requiring that the decision within a council be made by one man was presumed to uphold a supposed humanistic promise. Democracy deserved to be rejected since for Hitler it was as dirty and as false as the Jew. "Democracy" could, however, hold a true humanistic promise if it were redefined in proper folkish terms. Thus, in his speech of November 8, 1938, Hitler redefined "democracy" in this clever bit of verbal fancy-foot dancing:

In our opinion, democracy implies a regime supported by the will of a people. I became Chancellor of Germany once in compliance with the rules of parliamentary democracy ... and today I received the complete approval of the German Volk -- let Mr. Churchill doubt this if he pleases. I did not eliminate two democracies this year, rather, I destroyed, as the epitome of a true democrat, two dictatorships! Namely, the dictatorship of Herr Schuschnigg and the dictatorship of Herr Benes .... I am merely the advocate of my Volk! ... Besides that, I am not a head of state in the sense that a dictator or monarch is, I am a leader of the German Volk! ... Mr. Churchill and these gentlemen are delegates of the English people, and I am a delegate of the German Volk. The only difference here is that Mr. Churchill received only a fraction of his people's votes while, I may confidently say, I represent the entire German Volk! (Domarus 1992, 1238-39)

In this brief sample of Orwellian "newspeak," the sarcastic Hitler is "the epitome of a true democrat" while democratic Austria and, even more so, Czechoslovakia are each a "dictatorship," which deserved to be destroyed by him. But he was dead serious when he pitted himself against Churchill to judge who was a more authentic delegate of his people. Churchill represented but a fraction of the people, while Hitler imagined that he represented the entire folk.

In these statements it can be readily seen that the racial ideal of what a true democracy would be is based on some mystical notion of representing the will of the entire people. And in Hitler's ideology, this expression cannot take place unless society is ordered and led by the force of personality to begin with. Then, and only then, is a human community "redeemed from the curse of Mechanism and becomes a living thing" (Hitler 1943,446). The folkish state was thus more than an organization. It was a living organism, which promoted the people's community or Volksgemeinschaft. And it successfully accomplished this in accordance with the people's separate personalities and collective will, with an emphasis on the latter.

Thus, Nazi ideology aspired to a blissful union of individual contentment through collective merging as if there were no contradiction between the two. The contradiction was conveniently brushed aside through the supposition that no personal satisfaction was possible for individuals anyway except through the collective. But in spite of this cozy presumption, there had been an inherent contradiction there all along, as the requirements of the national collective completely preempted the rights of the individual. Nevertheless, Nazi ideologues were eager to promote their discrepant ideals as if they reinforced one another rather than negated each other. Under the umbrella of the Volksgemeinschaft, the folk community, everything was supposed to cohere naturally in pleasant harmony. Some of the peddlers of this harmony may have been aware of the fraud. And some people did not buy it. But many did. Yet we know from psychology that blissful ignorance of contradictions is a defensive maneuver where a supposedly benevolent unconscious spares people conscious pain. It therefore behooves us to take a closer look at the inherent contradiction.

On face value, the hallmark of life in a true people's community according to Hitler is that it is organic. This means that the entire collectivity, rather than being put together like a thoughtless machine, is united like a conscious living organism. Above all the organic promise, so to speak, is a promise of meaningful connectedness. Instead of the alienation of modernity comes the rootedness in the people's historical past. Instead of the isolation of industrialized life comes the ongoing and available friendliness of folk comrades. Instead of mechanistic existence comes a vitalistic way of life that is characterized by intentionality and will. Instead of atomism, which is the epitome of meaningless disconnectedness, comes the consciousness of being a meaningful part of an organic community to which one is linked by blood, by history, by love, and by choice in a thousand ways. The people yearned for this antidote to alienation. And the leadership principle, which was akin to the central nervous system of the folkish state, promised them that the yearning would be collectively fulfilled yet in an individual and humanistic fashion. Was not each person going to be plugged into a slot that suited him by nature rather than by the coincidence of birth and the vagaries of internal class splits? Was not each individual going to be selected for a proper position so as to playa fitting economic, political, and even artistic role according to his natural inclinations as determined by his inherent personality worth? Was there not room for every single person to fit comfortably into the collective racial framework which was so marvelously able to accommodate individual differences exactly because the greatest personal bent of each folk comrade was the identification with that living and breathing organic whole? What could be more humane and democratic than that? And it would have been self-evident that this is truly democratic if it were not for the fact that the term democratic, rather than denoting accurate expression of the will of the entire people, acquired the distorted anti personality principle of rule by numerical majority. This kind of a distorted outlook, which disregarded the value of personality, implied that democracy itself is in effect anti-individual. For if democracy were truly to mean the cultivation of people's inherent personalities while each individual enjoyed a glorious connectedness with the all-important organic whole, then the Volksgemeinschaft would be instantly recognized as the most humanistic form of existence that delivers that fulfillment, which in present -day democracies remained only an empty promise. In short, there had never been a more natural and spiritually rewarding way of life than the Nazi-promised life in an organic community established in the folkish state through the implementation of the leadership principle. But this principle, which required unquestioned obedience from everybody, rested on the cozy assumption that there was no inherent contradiction between each person's "will" and the will of the leader.

All along there was an inherent tension imbedded in the establishment of a folk community. The rigid implementation of the hierarchical leadership principle in the organic community led to a unity that held a dual promise. The first promise of the unity was the assurance of individual connectedness for everyone; no one was going to be left out leading a meaningless, isolated existence. The second promise of the unity was the creation of magical mass power. It was this power part of the formula, the means to get it and the goals that it would serve, that proved to be preponderant in the Nazi state.

Power is what tilted everything in the direction of mechanism and atomism in spite of the existence of the overall organic umbrella. Since the desire for and promise of power was there all along, it pushed things in a certain direction. For power one needed industrialization regardless of how alienating it was and how it disconnected the individual. For power one needed mechanistic existence imposed from above regardless of how deadening and antivitalistic it was for each person. For power people had to be shunted into slots where more production was needed, not where their personalities would find it most natural to be. And for the sake of power, people who were unhappy with their current and past employment were compelled to remain locked into it all in the name of their common will and individual choice. These inherent contradictions were well exposed by David Schoenbaum (1966), who pointed out that Nazi social theory denied equality but at the same time asserted it. While the premise of the Volksgemeinschaft was the natural (racial) superiority of all Germans, the premise of the leadership principle was the natural superiority (personality merit) of only some Germans. As a result the attempt to square the elite leadership principle with the equality principle of the national community was akin to an attempt to square the circle. In practice, opting for industrial rearmament won over other goals (Schoenbaum 1966, 59, 245-46, 251). It can be concluded from this that power, including military power, assumed top priority.

As for the immediate as well as long-term goals of power, they varied. They ranged from the quest for some form of a German hegemony over Europe to outright world domination and from extirpating Jews by social isolation or by expulsions to doing away with them by outright extermination. In short, these goals of power, which received the utmost national priority, reinforced the tendency to generate power by any means, period. Consequently, the exalted unity of the promised organic community came to serve more the needs of creating collective power rather than the individual need for spiritual connectedness or the need to overcome the alienating impact of modernity. Thus, the revolt against modernity that fueled the initial rise of Nazism was subsequently quashed by the victory of the Nazi movement. The major reason for this was that modernity, which came to be identified first and foremost with modern means of production no matter how mechanistic, was necessary for power. This is the reason why the ideal of voluntary connectedness in an organic community fell casualty to the reality of coercive practices within the same community. In the process, the united whole retained the term organic but assumed definite atomistic and mechanistic features. In sum, the discrepancy between ideological claims and mundane reality created a dilemma. Meaningful organic connectedness could not be maintained without loss of power, while the generation of power by an atomistic linking of society could not take effect without sacrificing organic connectedness.

A feature of Nazi ideology that tried to escape between the horns of this dilemma was the well-emphasized credo that the individual is nothing but the nation is everything. Its implication was that true individual fulfillment is impossible anyway unless a person is enmeshed in the united whole. In other words, nothing is more alienating or less meaningful for a person than to detach himself from the central significance of the collective to which he belongs. To try and reach personal fulfillment in this individual and detached condition is a meaningless and self-negating exercise in futility. What Nazi ideology implied was that a person's "groupish" self is not merely his extended national self but is actually his only self. Thus, by narrowing the psychological space of identity and denying the feasibility of any individual fulfillment outside the framework of the collective, Nazi ideology did away with the notion of autonomous persons seeking on their own initiative either individual or group experiences, according to their varying needs and preferences. What the ideology left standing instead was the notion of a collectivity that is the only agent capable of actualizing the personality potential of its members. The paradigm here was that once the magical mystical link of connectedness between the individual and the group is successfully established, the collectivity unlocks the individual capacity for personal fulfillment, which can be defined only as a personal sharing of the collective life. Left to his own devices, the individual is incapable of unlocking this capacity and is therefore denied participation in the exalted experience of mystical union that comes through such a collective sharing. He thus remains a wasted personality or an individual nothing who tragically missed the chance to become everything through his folk.

By this co-opting or even preemption of the psychological space of personal identity by the psychological realm of collective identity, the contradiction between the requirements of unity for connectedness and the requirements of unity for power was seemingly resolved. The roads toward achieving both goals were supposed to be identical rather than one being organic but the other atomistic. By the same token, all roads led to the same place: a united Volksgemeinschaft fast secured by the folkish state. The state formed the all important means for achieving the sacred goal of a true folkish community. As Hitler (1943,393) stated in Mein Kampf: "The state is a means to an end. Its end lies in the preservation and advancement of a community of physically and psychically homogeneous creatures. This preservation itself comprises first of all existence as a race and thereby permits the free development of all the forces dormant in this race." There it was -- the old promise of a psychophysical integrity -- destined to be realized through the homogenizing by the state of the creatures who belong to the folkish community. In consequence, the generation of national power could now proceed under the banner of the organic whole while people were expected to delight in the discovery of personal fulfillment by becoming individual nothings only to be reincarnated as folk "every things." To reinforce the people's predilection of moving in this direction, Nazi ideology routinely called for sacrifice. In essence this was a call for the sacrifice of individuality and even of life itself for the sake of the whole. That is one meaning of readiness to sacrifice on behalf of the group -- voluntarily becoming an individual nothing for the sake of the national everything. A related meaning is the transformation of the entire masses into pure energy. The implications of this method of generating ultimate power merit further discussion.

Richard Koenigsberg compiled various statements by Hitler concerning sacrifice and provided a summary of the basic themes (Koenigsberg 1975,43-46). He concluded that Hitler stressed the necessity of the sacrifice in the individual in relation to his country, species, state, community, people, and the demands of Germany, stating, "You are nothing, your nation is everything." Hitler also asked the Germans to work for the community, to be the servant of the nation and think only of the nation. Finally Hitler expressed a belief in the value of a willingness to die for the country, calling this act the "crown of all sacrifice." The following statements from Mein Kampf were included in Koenigsberg's compilation but are quoted here at greater length:

The Aryan is not greatest in his mental qualities as such, but in the extent of his willingness to put all his abilities in the service of the community. In him the instinct for self-preservation has reached the noblest form, since he willingly subordinates his own ego to the life of the community and, if the hour demands, even sacrifices it. (Hitler 1943, 297)

This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture. From it alone can arise all the great works of mankind, which bring the founder little reward, but the richest blessings to posterity . . . . What applies to work as the foundation of human sustenance and all human progress is true to an even greater degree for the defense of man and his culture. In giving one's own life for the existence of the community lies the crown of all sense of sacrifice. It is this alone that prevents what human hands have built from being overthrown by human hands or destroyed by Nature. (Hitler 1-943, 298)

Care must be taken not to underestimate the force of an idea .... For what made men die then was not concern for their daily bread, but love of the fatherland, faith in its greatness, a general feeling for the honor of the nation .... Therefore it is really necessary to confront the master book-keepers of the present material republic by faith in an ideal Reich. (Hitler 1943, 437)

The italics by Hitler in the last sentence refer to the Weimar Republic and to the would-be Third Reich respectively.

Even a cursory look at these quotations reveals that sacrifice, sometimes in combination with other loaded terms such as love, faith, or honor, is identified as an indispensable instrument for the building of a culture as well as for its preservation. It thus forms a required element for racial survival and self-actualization. Moreover, the act of sacrifice serves as a testimony to such an inspired faith in an ideal that it generates the necessary will or willingness to do anything. Consequently the will to sacrifice consists of the final step in completely bridging the gap between ideas and actions no matter how extreme either of them is. It was no coincidence that the notion of the sacrifice was tied by Hitler to faith, honor, and love. Faith serves to propel people to action. Honor legitimizes the action and also makes it inevitable in order to avoid shame. Finally, "love" has a dual role. It is the "horizontal" love for family and for folk, which endows the action with fanaticism, while it is also the "vertical" love for the leader, which accepts the direction of the action as prescribed by the leader. All of this suggests that the issue of "sacrifice" is one of those fateful issues that deals with national ultimate stakes. Consequently, readiness to sacrifice, not only others but also oneself, can sometimes serve as a danger signal, especially at times when a nation turns a blind eye to objective reality and instead finds itself in the grip of a shared group fantasy.

"Sacrifice" has loomed large on the German psychohistorical agenda in the first half of the twentieth century. This subject was puzzling indeed to Hermann Rauschning, a minor player in the unfolding drama of the 1930s. He was a Nazi who left the movement and moved to England, where he wrote a series of books warning the west of the dangers of Nazism. However, his accounts and opinions remain historically controversial, and in fact he was exposed as a fraud who falsely claimed to have conducted confidential conversations with Hitler. Nevertheless, part of his analysis of the unfolding events was insightful. David Schoenbaum (1966, xxi) characterized Rauschning's 1939 book The Revolution of Nihilism: Warning to the West, as the book that "described the Nazi revolution as the novelty it was." In that book, Rauschning discussed the question of what was unfolding in German history in the aftermath of the First World War and during the Nazi era: was the Third Reich a promising new order or was it a holocaust in the making for Germany itself? His own judgment was that the very same thing that was celebrated by the Nazis as the rebirth of the nation was what he himself regarded as a permanent revolution of sheer destruction. This disparity in perception, between the German public's illusion of rebirth on the one hand and his own personal holocaustal vision on the other hand, caused him to wonder what in actuality is make-believe and what is reality, in the Nazi movement specifically and in German history generally.

Such crucial questions cannot be subjected to a genuine national enquiry unless honest criticism is allowed. But in reflecting upon the fact that in Nazi Germany criticism was regarded as the worst of crimes and as high treason, Rauschning also recalled that already twenty years earlier, in the aftermath of the defeat in World War I, he witnessed a similar "bad psychology." This "bad psychology" consisted of a conviction that maintaining the national will to resist requires the nation be kept in ignorance of the frightful gravity of its situation. It was a conviction of the need for a fixed resolve and unquestioning faith combined with contemptuous belittlement of the moral forces of the nation. He poignantly contrasted this bad psychology of unquestioning faith with the practice of other nations that succeeded in increasing their resolve by facing the truth. This finally led Rauschning to ask the pertinent question whether it was a quality peculiar to the German that his readiness for sacrifice can only be maintained under illusions.

Rauschning seems to have hit upon a major psychological strand that characterized the Nazi revolution, which was seen by him as "dynamic," that is, perpetual and capable of energetic movement toward total nihilism and the destruction of all values. His diagnosis of nihilism implied, of course, that the revolutionary promise was an illusion. And now he hit upon the psychological underpinning of this destructive trend. The psychological strand that he detected consisted of a progression from a totally unquestioning faith leading to complete illusions that culminates in the maintenance of sacrifice. To this one may add that in the Nazi ideology, the sequence of faith-illusion-sacrifice leads from the domain of feeling to the domain of action. And in the process, the self-sacrificing person meshes into a glorified all-powerful collective that will triumphantly march on to eternity. Rauschning thus sensed that both Nazi ideology and pre-Nazi psychology led to and culminated in a notion of sacrifice based on illusionary premises of rebirth. He therefore proclaimed, with great exasperation: "It seems to be our destiny to have to repeat the same mistakes with a berserker's infatuation" (Rauschning 1939, xiii). To him the whole notion of a sacrifice based on illusion seemed like a renewed invitation for a catastrophe. It is interesting to note that in the last two paragraphs of Mein Kampf Hitler seems to have engaged in a denial of this very possibility: "A state which in this age of racial poisoning dedicates itself to the care of its best racial elements must some day become lord of the earth. May the adherents of our movement never forget this if ever the magnitude of the sacrifices should beguile them to an anxious comparison with the possible results" (Hitler 1943, 688). This is the bombastic finale of his book, and it was meant to deliver an ideological punch. But its format betrays an underlying dread. The "results to sacrifices ratio" of this format pits future victory and future hegemony against sizable but worthwhile sacrifices. It totally rejects the possibility of a repeat collapse that would make the sacrifices worthless. Consequently, while it reiterates that Germany will become lord of the earth, it also offers a preemptive denial that the required sacrifices will be catastrophic.

Why was any sacrifice deemed essential on the road to racial paradise? The answer partly depends on which meanings are attached to the word. There are many meanings of the term sacrifice. Belt tightening, for instance, can be called "sacrifice." But the readiness for sacrifice that Hitler demanded from his followers leaves no question as to his meaning. Inspection of the above-mentioned collection by Koenigsberg (1975,44-46) of Hitler's statements about sacrifice shows that his underlying meaning of sacrifice is dying: the readiness of each individual to give up his life for the sake of the collective. The images that Hitler conjured up involved regiments going to their death singing Deutschland uber Alles in der Welt, the joyful sacrifice through faith of the most precious blood, giving one's life for the community as the crown of all sacrifice, dying not for daily bread but for love of, faith in, and honor of the country, young men sacrificing their young lives freely and joyfully on the altar of the beloved fatherland, and finally the notion that, for German boys and girls, life must mean sacrifice.

It is clear that subscription to these images by the masses, especially the young generation, laid the foundation for successful application of the leadership principle. The willing sacrificers were going to be obedient subjects indeed to the supreme leader. His will was to be their will because his will represented the will of the entire nation. In Nazi ideology, the notion of the sacrifice implies that any individual will, which separates the individual from the group, is a misguided will and is the faulty product of a mechanistic civilization. In contrast, the individual's willingness to sacrifice self for the nation represents that admirable individual will that is an outcome of salutary total identification with the nation. That kind of will, which is based on faith, is the authentic product of the healthy environment of an organic culture. Subordination of personal ego to the collective is the hallmark of the folkish state, while its realization and proof lie in the total readiness of all members of the folkish community to die at the leader's command because his was the guiding brain of the folkish organism.

It is time now to reiterate some of the highlights of Hitler's ideology in order to illustrate how the ideological matrix culminated in the notion of sacrifice. Since the individual is nothing while the nation is everything, each individual should be willing to give his life for the sake of the collective. This is especially true at a time of mortal danger to the national organism when things are not as they ought to be. The national organism should have nonpolluted blood, which makes for a healthy soul -- a psychophysical integrity of mind and body where the power of the will prevails. This would result in magical powers and invincibility. Unfortunately, however, the national body is afflicted by polluted blood and is therefore in a degenerative state and lacks the necessary strength of will. The responsible parties for this decay into death are the universal agents of decomposition: the Jews. It is therefore an absolute must to do something about the blood poisoning immediately. The essential cure for this affliction is the implementation of the leadership principle -- the magic power formula, which results in "one Reich, one Folk, one Leader." It generates mighty energies that enable the nation to restore its health by purging the Jews and by expanding its inadequate living space. But this power surge, by generating human energies on a mass scale, requires total readiness for ultimate self-sacrifice as a necessary condition. Then, and only then, can the leader of will move mountains with the masses' faith.

Hitler's notions imply that the readiness for sacrifice transforms the masses into an effective instrument of unlimited resources, since those who are willing to die are ready to do anything. In his ideology, readiness for sacrifice signals total malleability of the masses to the point of becoming pure energy. And this brings us back to Rauschning, who regarded the entire purpose of the Nazi philosophy to be that of serving as fuel for energy (Rauschning 1939,23 ). This was consistent with his view of the Nazi revolution as a revolution of nihilism that annuls all values including its own ideological credos. But this was not entirely true. Unlike his socialistic principles, Hitler's racial principles (especially the ones concerning the Jewish danger) were nonnegotiable and were not meant to disappear once they served as fuel for action. However, while Rauschning's assertion was incorrect with regard to the Nazi ideology in toto, it was fairly correct in many ways. These included those features that were valued only as useful myths that raise the people's energy level and mobilize them for mass actions. Energy was indeed one of the sacred goals of Nazi ideology, and it was the readiness for sacrifice that signaled the psychological point of transformation of people into readily usable human energy. The premium placed on the concept of energy was also related to key characteristics of Nazism such as dynamism and permanent revolution, which were discussed by Rauschning (1939) and by Neumann (1965) and which stood for a continuous self-propelled action in an incessant state of warlike mobilization and readiness.

Thus, the dominance of sacrifice in the folkish state was in effect the triumph of mechanism. The folk comrades of the people's community were effectively atomized so as to become a rich storehouse of energy available for use. And the energy was supposed to be turned on and off with the precision of a machine. (In reality the Nazi machine never ran smoothly or precisely.) Claims continued to be made that the Volksgemeinschaft was a living organism, but its modus operandi was highly mechanistic. As for the folkish state, it evolved into an elaborate organization as befits a totalistic state, which tries to control all aspects of life for the purpose of generating a mighty power. The outcome of it all was a glaring discrepancy between the ideological celebration of the living organism and the actual practice of mechanism and atomism.

This did not mean, however, that the atomized masses always caught on to the true reality. But sometimes they were aware of how oppressive totalistic regimentation was and did recognize that they functioned like small cogs in a huge machine. On some such occasions this awareness was expressed through humor. For instance, in one well-circulated joke, a busy Nazi family life was described. Each family member was enrolled in a state-sponsored organization. The father belonged to the SA, the mother to the National Socialist Women's Association, the son to the Hitler Youth, and the daughter to the German Girl's League. The time of every single family member, whether young or old, was confiscated entirely by an endless series of mandated meetings and organized activities. The question arose as to when do the busy family members ever get a chance to meet with each other. The surprise answer -- at the annual party rally in Nuremberg. This was a telling joke indeed. It is even possible to perceive it as a humorous sequel to Hitler's portrayal in Mein Kampf (1943, 30-34) of the wrangling family that lacks national pride. In the present sequel of sorts the educational deficiencies that were exposed in Hitler's earlier portrayal have been fully corrected. This time around, the story is of a family that took full part in the process of the "nationalization" of the people, which Hitler promoted as the desired remedy. The results, however, were not as enthralling as Hitler would have expected them to be. Actually the stinging joke illustrates quite poignantly what happens when, through regimentation, the entire nation is maneuvered from above to play the role of everyone's family. Not surprisingly, this form of imperialism with regard to private time preempts the immediate nuclear family. This is why, in discussing this joke, Sigmund Neumann (1965, 192-93) spoke of the Nazi dictatorship's practice of undermining the family by training children to report on their parents and by the elimination of separate spheres for private and public life. The underlying bottom line here was no private domain, ergo, no family domain.

For Hitler, however, this process represented not the destructive preemption of the domain of the immediate family but rather the integration of all into a one big happy family. His private conversations clearly allude to this famous joke in a defensive attempt to put his own slant on it by treating it not as a joke but as a serious statement. In the process he let the cat out of the bag by stating what it was really all about. He made the following statements at a dinner conversation on July 6, 1942:

In the course of our many electoral tours my companions and I have got to know and to love the Reich from Berlin to its uttermost comers. As for the most part I was invited to take my meals en famille, I also got to know intimately Germans all over Germany. There I used to meet whole families, in which the father would be working in our political section, the mother was a member of the Women's Association, one brother was in the SS, the other in the Hitler Youth, and the daughter was in the German Girl's League. And so when we all meet once a year at the Party Rally at Nuremberg, it always gives me the impression of being just one huge family gathering.

The Party Rally has, however, been not only a quite unique occasion in the life of the NSDAP but also in many respects a valuable preparation for war. Each Rally requires the organization of no fewer than four thousand special trains. As these trains stretched as far as Munich and Halle, the railway authorities were given first-class practice in the military problem of handling mass troop transportation. (Trevor-Roper 1953, 458-59)

There it was. The overbusy members of the preempted immediate family finally get to meet once a year in one huge family gathering of the National Socialist German Workers' (Nazi) Party at Nuremberg. But for Hitler the primary value of this family gathering or party rally was that it served as a valuable preparation for war.

What happened in reality was the dissolution of separate spheres for private and public life, which Sigmund Neumann spoke about. In other words, when the nation is everything but the individual is nothing, his immediate family is reduced to nothing as well. The small family was left with no autonomous functions, but only with the officially sanctioned collaborative state functions of keeping workers content, encouraging the young to become warriors, and incubating a new supply of future soldiers. Indeed, as the pressure to produce new babies and future soldiers increased after the outbreak of World War II, a break from traditional family patterns took place with the official encouragement of girls "to present the Fuhrer with a child" (Bleuel 1974,226-27). It was reported by Bleuel that one such determined girl wrote home from a Labor Service training camp warning her family: "You better not beat me if I come home with a baby, or I will denounce you!" This is a prime example of a child who has been indoctrinated to report her parents and who grew up in a folkish community that systematically dissolved the private domain, switching loyalty and identification from the private nuclear family to the public national family.

At any rate, wishing to present the fuhrer with a child was quite consonant with the notion that in the Volksgemeinschaft the whole nation is the family while the fuhrer is the symbolic father of all. Not that there were not plenty of girls around who wrote love letters to the fuhrer dreaming of his becoming the actual biological father of their child. But in actuality the fuhrer had to remain a symbolic mate. As Richard Grunberger reported, good German maidens were resolved to make the fuhrer the gift of a child by means of the Lebensborn (Spring of Life) program, which enabled willing single women to be impregnated by SS men. Clearly such practices added up to a relentless pressure on the nuclear family. Grunberger discussed the Nazi party rally joke as an illustration of the phenomenon of women finding themselves in a situation of "political widowhood" because the active party involvement prevented their husbands from using the home for more than bed and board. He maintained that this was only one aspect of a whole array of pres sures that eroded family cohesion. These included prolonged national service periods out of home by both boys and girls as well as structural changes in the workplaces involving widespread industrial employment of women, more overtime, and irregular shift work as well as work that required being continually absent from home except for weekends (Grunberger 1972, 255-74). Obviously the folkish state did its utmost to preempt the nuclear family by incorporating it into the larger folk community and channeling its labor for the dual purpose of propagation and production, which would both be necessary for fueling future wars.
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Re: The Roots of Nazi Psychology, by Jay Y. Gonen

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:57 am


Since behavioral and mind-control measures were so frequently sugarcoated with the notion of love of the nation, the masses did not always catch on to their true import. There was, after all, the reward of exhilaration each time an individual, who participated in one of those oft-recurring marches and parades, fused with the crowd to become one with the whole nation. Similarly, there was a great sense of exuberance each time that an inspired person, who felt ready for self-sacrifice, experienced the psychological death of his individuality being resurrected in the eternal life of the collectivity. It was, after all, through this willingness to undergo the self-asserting act of self-sacrifice that each insignificant and largely impotent individual moved away from powerlessness toward omnipotence. But the enormous metamorphosis due to these dialectical experiences involving rebirth through willingness to die was an illusion that hid the reality of self-destruction. Yet the energies that are released by such a powerful illusion, which leads from feelings of faith to willingness to sacrifice, are enormous. So is the price. Mass sacrifice for any goal, not to mention an unrealistic goal, is too tragic a price. But it is illustrative of the enormous mobilizing power of certain illusions, such as the conversion of individual death to rebirth into an eternal collective life. It is indeed like converting all matter into energy. Self-sacrificing people are supercharged with energy and are completely available for any kind of an immediate action. It was basically this boundless action potential that Rauschning termed "dynamism." Nothing can hold back the determined self-sacrificer. Such sacrificers are the best followers a totalitarian ideology can recruit.

Thus, in Hitler's ideology, sacrifice represents a self-initiated action that is deliberately induced as a necessary step to acquire collective omnipotence or at least greater collective might. There is a clear element of magic in all of this. The magic is derived from the complete fusion of the would-be sacrificer with the leader and with the nation, which enables each person to partake in the larger glory of the national grandeur. The magic also flows from the tremendous boost given to action potential by the emotional readiness for sacrifice, which is psychologically equivalent to a conversion into a state of pure energy. And finally the magic is also derived from the compelling power of the symmetrical principle of justice, which mandates glorious compensation for the self-inflicted losses. What is more, the magical impact of trading with fate under this archaic principle is being further augmented by the fact that in this unique instance what is being traded is blood. Blood, as we may recall, was the magic content of the folkish container, and with its magical impact it could reward its protectors with racial thriving for all eternity. But it was still necessary every so often, especially at war times, to engage once again in the joyful sacrifice of blood -- the stuff of life and the miraculous essence of the race. Its sacrifice was expected to yield priceless returns while its connection to war was mythologized and glorified. That is why Hitler stated: "In October and November 1914, we had there received our baptism of fire. Fatherland love in our heart and songs on our lips, our young regiments had gone into battle as to a dance. The most precious blood there sacrificed itself joyfully, in the faith that it was preserving the independence and freedom of the fatherland" (Hitler 1943, 201). Independence and freedom were thus the kind of invaluable gains that justify the most painful of losses-the loss of the precious blood.

The general idea that sacrificial losses of life can benefit the collective was not a Nazi innovation and was not really new. We already know that the issue of the sacrifice is related to the magical dimensions of the symmetry of primitive justice. As we may recall, the quest for justice required that punishments should fit crimes. However, it also allowed for ultramanipulative interventions in the distribution of the worldly gains and losses of assets -- both material and symbolic. And nowhere is that distribution more crucial than in the gains and losses of lives. The principle of "a life for a 'life" was a cornerstone of symmetrical justice, but it too was somewhat elastic and subject to ultramanipulative influences. And one of the most manipulative maneuvers available for influencing the distribution of lives is the self-initiated loss of life that is the outcome of sacrifice. A loss cannot stand by itself. In the symmetrical and primitive system of justice, the introduction of a loss in one place exerts an irresistible or magical pressure to produce a gain in another realm. Any sacrificial losses of lives are therefore destined to yield healthy dividends in longevity and health for the rest of the collective. Since biblical times, and even earlier, human sacrifices have been offered to the gods in an attempt to cajole them to abide by the requirements of justice and therefore to repay a life for a life. The repayment to the whole group in the currency of "life," and with additional dividends, could include health, longevity, propagation, growth, and anything else that is life-enhancing for the collective. It could also include victory, the successful sacrifice of others, where the deaths or lost lives of the enemy symbolically stood for life gains for one's own group. Every so often the currency of "life" seemed to be a good investment. Metaphorically speaking, the best stock in the stock market of justice was death by sacrifice of human life. The symmetrical rules of justice were compelled to compensate the dearest of losses with the most precious of gains. It is no coincidence that, in present day financial parlance, making a lot of money in the stock market is characterized as making a "killing." The choice of language here betrays an implicit zero-sum-game assumption that is not the economic reality of the market but sometimes appears to be the psychological reality. It is as if one could not make a handsome profit in the stock market unless it was preceded by someone else being killed financially so that his loss now becomes one's gain. In the game of nations this kind of primitive psychology is far more lethal than in the stock market. The quest for national justice in the international arena legitimizes any and all ultramanipulative measures. All is fair in love of fuhrer and war of expansion; it includes enslavement or even genocide.

We have already discussed love of the leader and faith in him in relation to self-sacrifice. But war is a form of magical intervention that utilizes the ultramanipulative act of sacrificing others no less than the act of sacrificing self. In some magical fashion, through intrapsychic compulsion, the disaster that is inflicted upon others through war translates into added security and prosperity for one's own group. War is thus presumed to shore up fixed boundaries that clearly demarcate who gets disaster and who gets utopia. It is no wonder therefore that, from psychohistorical and psychopolitical standpoints, war has been perceived as designed to settle not only the manifest issue of real physical borders but also the latent issue of psychological borders (Volkan 1988, 124- 32). Who wins and who loses has not only geographical implications but deeply felt psychological ramifications. (See the next chapter). A deadly war machine, not a living organism, is what the folkish state was actually designed to be.

An ever tighter control of this folkish greenhouse for the cultivation of warriors was being imposed by the totalitarian state. The measures of control were designed to extend to all aspects of life. They were fraught with dialectics and inner contradictions that could seem humorous at times if it were not for the fact that their intrusiveness was also backed by terror. The incessant barrage of propaganda that reached the homes, the schools, and the workplaces did not leave many hiding places into which to escape from this constant nationalization of the people. A few hardy individuals who did not escape by emigration from Germany retreated into the so-called internal emigration in an attempt to secure for themselves tiny comers of free thinking, which successfully elude the attention of the all-knowing and coercive state. The state did its best to become all-knowing. And if it were ever going to be fully successful, then it would have to become like God. Religion teaches that, since God can read what is in the hearts of human beings, it is impossible to hide from him. In like fashion, the Nazi state aspired to be all-knowing, leaving no one a possible hiding place, not even in his most private thoughts. Yet in the final analysis, the folkish state could not really be a mind reader fashioned after the godly model. All it could hope to do was to shape the mind of the people as much as possible through everlasting propaganda. Once this was accomplished, the state could indeed "read" all peoples' minds since it shaped these minds to begin with. This would have enabled the state to exercise the desired total control of both body and soul, i.e., not only of peoples' behavior but also their thinking. Dialectically, therefore, the final success of the relentless and coercive propaganda could even lead to the abandonment of terror as a means of control. The reason for this is that control by physical coercion becomes less and less necessary if the behavior to be controlled is emitted more and more voluntarily and presumably even spontaneously. Thus the final success of propaganda as a control measure could have almost rendered it superfluous. Nevertheless in view of Hitler's contempt for the mind of the masses, it seems highly unlikely that propaganda reinforced by terror would ever have been withdrawn because otherwise the masses could easily fall prey to "wrong" ideas. In Hitler's program, the incessant drive to implement utopia was meant to be, among other things, a never ending propaganda endeavor to instill faith or to manufacture spontaneity, depending on the point of view. And the folkish state was tireless in its incessant propaganda activities. Consequently, some people became true believers without any reservation, while others ignored their inner misgivings and deluded themselves that their coerced behavior was voluntary. Finally, there were persons with well-integrated identities who felt good and secure about themselves and remained fairly immune to the persistent national education.

Since women served as the vehicle for the increased production of babies and would-be warriors of the folkish state, it was necessary to instruct them about the limits of their role and the confines of their domain. Hitler clarified these issues in a speech delivered on September 8, 1934, in Nuremberg to the convention of the National Socialist Women's Association (Domarus 1990, 531-35). Sounding somewhat like an Otto Weininger with a sense of humor, he praised women for their sureness of emotion and feeling, which supplements the intellect of man. Following this put-down in the guise of a compliment, he reminded the audience that nature and Providence assigned different tasks to the two sexes. In this connection he asserted that the catchphrase "Women's Liberation" was the invention of Jewish intellect. The clear implication of this was, of course, that women would find true freedom when they fulfill the limited biological and domestic task assigned to them by nature. He went on to explain that while a man's world is the state, a woman's world is a smaller one: her husband, her family, her children, and her home. But the two worlds complement each other. What is more, the larger world could not survive had not Providence assigned to woman the care of the smaller world, her very own world. Finally Hitler arrived at the crux of the matter: "What a man sacrifices in struggling for his Yolk, a woman sacrifices in struggling to preserve this Yolk in individual cases. What a man gives in heroic courage on the battlefield, woman gives in eternally patient devotion, in eternally patient suffering and endurance. Every child to which she gives birth is a battle which she wages in her Yolk's fateful question of to be or not to be" (Domarus 1990, 533). Women were thus told what to expect. Men's larger world of the state (and waging war) is dependent on the emotional, nonintellectual women tending reliably to their smaller world at home. As courageous men will suffer sacrifices on the battlefield, devoted women will ensure that new children replace the losses. The bottom line therefore is that the folkish state is designed to be a war machine and that consequently, and in accordance with the laws of nature, women's true liberation is being in labor.

Hitler's treatment of women was in the best tradition of the kitsch and death mode as described by Saul Friedlander (1984). His perceptive analysis of Nazi culture, as well as the new discourse in the late 1960s and the 1970s on the phenomenon of fascism, unveiled an underlying coexistence and link between an adoration of power and a dream of its explosive annulment. The former represented the craving for order and the willingness for submission, while the latter reflected the gravitation toward chaos and a readiness to discard all existing order in an attempt to become all-powerful even at the risk of annihilation. Friedlander maintained that this coexistence and link between the two opposites represents the very foundation of the psychological hold of Nazism. Moreover, he averred that the linking of this duality as seen in the cultural flow of ideas, emotions, and phantasms was unique to Nazism since in other modern western societies, its two concepts were kept separate. His major contention was that this underlying psychological duality created the aesthetics of kitsch and death.

As Friedlander pointed out, kitsch is a term that characterizes art and decorations adapted to the taste of the majority. It represents the harmony so dear to the petit bourgeois, who sees in it a respect for beauty and order. There is no adequate English word with which to translate the term kitsch. Cheap taste, ticky-tacky sentimentality, and shoddy come to mind, but they do not do full justice to kitsch. Very significantly Friedlander included in it expressions of the notorious everyday Gemutlichkeit -- the German image of comfortableness, cosiness, snugness, and hominess. This inclusion serves to accentuate the contrast between the homey everyday cosiness of kitsch and the terror of death. It is the juxtaposition of kitsch aesthetics with death themes that creates a surprise response, or a frisson. What starts as comfortable kitsch conjures up images of death including the popular theme of the hero dedicated to sacrifice. There is therefore a kitsch of death, which in its grandest scale even includes a kitsch of the apocalypse. Consequently, Friedlander made the bold assertion that kitsch is a debased form of myth. He illuminated an important channel through which the emotive power of myth is funneled into the mundane life of the common man so as to create room enough for cosmic happenings. Sugarcoated as kitsch might be in its provision of delicious excitations in homey comfort and complete safety, it nevertheless opens the door to the influx of the mythological and horrendous. Friedlander's indication that this pairing creates the juxtaposition of such violently contradictory feelings as harmony and terror has wide-reaching implications. It is possible to conclude from this that the juxtaposition of such widely discrepant strong emotions shifts the psychological reactions onto the larger universal arena of cosmic messianic and apocalyptic forces where German romanticism can usher in its notorious demonic urges.

Hitler's portrayal of the little world of women was a good illustration of how kitsch can be paired with death. It began with the Gemutlichkeit of a woman's small world being her husband, her family, her children, and her home. This, however, led to a kitschy description of a woman who sacrifices in her own way just as a man does in his way (in war). Her way is eternally patient devotion and eternally patient suffering and endurance as she wins yet another battle for the folk's survival by every child she bears (who, if a boy, will one day be a man sacrificing in the struggle for the folk). What creates a quiver of surprise here is that a sentimental hominess has found a direct route to battle and sacrifice, to future wars and death. All of a sudden the sweetness of home becomes transformed into the ordeals of war. So there can be death in kitsch. And since kitsch and death are thus habitually juxtaposed, an express route also exists leading in the opposite direction, this time from death to kitsch. Robert Waite (1977,402) cited the following triumphant announcement by Hitler's Ministry of Propaganda one week after the invasion of Russia: "In seven short days, the Fuhrer's offensive has smashed the Red Army to splinters ... the eastern continent lies, like a limp virgin, in the mighty arms of the German Mars." In seven horrible days, death and devastation were inflicted on Russia, and there was yet much more to come. But this death news was reported via certified kitsch. The frisson this time involved the metamorphosis of the conquered land into a limp (but not necessarily unhappy) virgin. In a rather mythological way, she rests in the mighty arms of the German Mars, the old Roman God of War now turned German. So the godly conquering hero got his virgin. And being a German incarnation of a Roman God, he could even reverberate with echoes of the old Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, which remained a living German fantasy for centuries. How trite it all was and a truly debased form of myth. The portrayal of the seized land through the image of a limp virgin in the arms of a conquering German War God is a poignant illustration of how death can be reduced to kitsch. But when this happens, the gruesome reality of death may be obfuscated by the nonfrightening image of a limp virgin. This probably insures that no matter how horrendous death and terror are, they nevertheless remain tolerable because of their link to kitsch.

The pairing of kitsch with death and their habitual coexistence is what ensures this tolerance. And the folkish state was saturated with this mode. The folkish state thus has created a land of kitsch and death regulating and predisposing all its members toward the coming and highly dubious "Gemutlichkeit" of war and its miraculously effective sacrifices. Not even the fuhrer escaped this fate. His last hours were summed up by Karl Dietrich Bracher (1970, 463): "After finally accepting how fantastic were his hopes for the relief of the encircled capital, and after macabre final scenes combining a Wagnerian Gotterdammerung mood with the petty-bourgeois marriage to his long-time secret mistress Eva Braun, he committed suicide with his wife on April 30, 1945." This combination of a Wagnerian Gotterdammerung mood with a last-minute, petit bourgeois marriage to Eva Braun was a classical pairing of kitsch with death. To his alleged mistress, Hitler presented the final interlocking acts of conventional respectability followed by death. The psychological reality and hidden logic of the folkish state caught up with Hitler just as they did with so many other Germans who collectively shared his delusions.

By no means, therefore, could the folkish state's control be confined to the little world of women. It had to include the larger world of men, which meant all functional aspects of the totalitarian folkish state. For this purpose the policy of Gleichschaltung, or total coordination of activities, was devised. The particular choice of this term was in itself a giveaway. Gordon Craig (1982, 326) pointed out that this is an engineering term that means "putting into the same gear." He made the astute observation that this term was sufficiently abstract and technical to mask what it might mean in human terms -- the elimination from public and professional life of persons whom the Nazis regarded as dangerous or undesirable. Very aptly the historian William Sheridan Allen (1965, 209-26) described the implementation of this policy as "the atomization of society." In this reorganization of the community, all societies, clubs, professional organizations, and the like came under Nazi control. Some clubs were dissolved while others were fused together. Free unions were broken up. All societies were required to have a majority of Nazi party members in their executive committees. It was all done in the name of reproducing national unity in every governmental or institutional body. To this one may add that actually all institutions became quasi-governmental bodies through this process of coordination or synchronization. What this process actually produced was atomized individuals who faced the stark choice between solitude or mass relationship through some Nazi organization. As Allen rightly indicated, each individual related not to his fellow men but only to the state and to the Nazi leader, who became the personal embodiment of the state. This important point brings us back to the inherent connection of the coordination project with the magic power formula that was embedded in the leadership principle. The aim of it all was to forge a united single political will of mighty power that would be symbolized by the supreme leader and solely controlled by him. This underlying connection between the concepts of coordination and of will was clarified by Hitler in a speech at Munich on March 12, 1933: "It was in this city that years ago I began the struggle the first part of which can now be regarded as finally closed. What for centuries has been longed for but could not be attained has now become accomplished fact. Already a co-ordination (Gleichschaltung) of the political will has been achieved such as we have never yet experienced, and we shall do everything in our power to secure that this co-ordination shall never be lost" (Baynes 1942, 1:269-70).

Although coordination of all activities in the state was not aimed at men alone, they were nevertheless a prime target since the state as such constituted the domain of the larger world of men. Thus, men did not escape the privilege of being totally coordinated or controlled in their larger world. The process was never completed internally, as certain church bodies were not coordinated. Nor was it ever completed externally in occupied territories even though, in the long run, the whole world was destined to be coordinated. Losing the Second World War took care of that. But it was a spreading process that was designed to expand internally and subsequently also externally until it filled up all existing vacuums and controlled everything. In practice, however, the folkish state was afflicted with typical symptoms of administrative incoherence such as rival hierarchies, competing agencies, uncertain chains of command, duplication of responsibilities, reluctant pooling of information, and inadequate machinery for coordination (Caplan 1978, 234). What is more, the Nazi party did not succeed in becoming "the most voracious animal in world history" as Hitler hoped. Despite the ostensible merger of state and party, the Nazi party actually lost the battle for turf to the civil service (Schoenbaum 1966, 221). But the underlying rationale of synchronization was that of a united organization that expands within the national community by gradually bringing everything under coordination. It thus stood, at least in theory, for internal expansion on the home front, which paralleled and complemented the expansion dreams outside Germany. It is ironic to reflect upon the fact that this particular Gleichschaltung goal of aggressive spreading looked very suspiciously like the racist fantasy concerning the alien Jewish trait of global spreading and domination, which was so castigated in the anti- Semitic Nazi propaganda.

In the process of molding the members of the folkish community into a homogenized single collective, the folkish state endeavored to exercise total control over the arts. It would have been unthinkable to allow autonomous cultural activities. An unsupervised production of art by either misguided or malicious persons and an unchecked consumption of such art by the gullible public could open the door for a destruction of racial health and psychophysical integrity through spiritual corruption by degenerate art. Besides, it was the inherent nature of the totalistic state to control everything. After all, one never knows whether today's independent artistic trends might not be the harbingers of tomorrow's independent political actions. Art, which is so influential over people, is power. It could therefore be practiced in Nazi Germany only under the aegis of the all-powerful state.

Art has form as well as content, and both can project messages. The Nazis were determined to control both. The form had to be clear and realistic in terms of shape and proportions. It had to be easily recognizable and readily identifiable with no hint of modernism or experimentalism. Anything that approached formlessness or displayed nontraditional forms was condemned as degenerate. Psychologically, this traditionalist stance can be seen as drawing a rigid line against chaos (formlessness) and against revolution (radical forms). It is a drawing of an ideological line no less than of an artistic one. As for the contents of art works, they all had to depict National Socialist ideals and myths, racial origins, and folkish values that were officially sanctioned by the authorities. Nothing else was permitted. When it came to the arts, not only were alien values forbidden but so were any useless musings of art for art's sake. Put differently, art's contents had to express the spirit and soul of the folk without ever being infiltrated and corrupted by the alien values of inferior races.

Art, of course, is one of the major pools that serves as a reservoir of themes and mottoes for ideological use whenever the zeitgeist catapults them to the foreground. In our earlier discussion of the role of ideologies, it was pointed out that effective ideologies promise newness, meaning "revolution," while at the very same time connecting to powerful old themes of the past. There are two major ways in which they can play on revolutionary drives. They seek the kind of newness that would reverse, revise, or improve the past as they cater to radical sentiments. Or they play on conservative instincts as they promote a newness that actually protects the current status quo by linking it with the restoration of an ideal condition of the past. The tightening control of the arts in the folkish state sent ideological messages related to this issue.

The basic Nazi approach to art did not undergo significant changes before or after the Nazi takeover of the state. But the zeal and rigidity of the new enforcement of the old conceptions concerning healthy folkish art carried a clear ideological message. Before taking over the state, it may have been opportune for Nazis to promote chaos in order to generate new opportunities for fomenting revolution. And because revolution is always something that is perceived as more new than old, even old stuff had to be sold as new. After the accession to power and the implementation of the National Socialist revolution, the Nazi new order be- came the established order of the day while chaos became anathema. New revolutions against the Nazi state were therefore condemned as counterrevolutionary, as when, after the Rohm purge, Hitler denounced his victims as putschists. This basic ideological message was included in a Proclamation to the People that was read in Nuremberg by Gauleiter (regional leader) Adolf Wagner of Bavaria on September 5, 1934: "The German form of life is definitely determined for the next thousand years! For us, the nervous nineteenth century has finally ended. There will be no revolution in Germany for the next one thousand years!"

The journalist William Shirer who witnessed the occasion reported that the words provoked the brown mass in the great hall into a frenzy as thirty thousand people leaped to their feet and wildly cheered and clapped (Shirer 1985, 119-21). It was a defining moment indeed. Germany was brimming with confidence as the current myth-selling ideology affirmed that the new was as fully established as the past ever was. But this was not the tainted recent past of a nervous nineteenth century. The clear implication was that this new German form of life was a revival of the remote past that stretched all the way back to tribal origins and a mythological racial health. And so, since it is usually the fate of victorious revolutions to turn conservative, the accent of zeitgeist manipulations shifted somewhat after the Nazi takeover. If until then more of the old stuff was presented as revolutionary, from then on more of the new was presented as the reaffirmation of the old. Consequently, neoclassicism and neoconservatism were bound to receive growing reinforcement in the statewide control of the arts. John Hanson, an expert on literature and psychology, has produced a perceptive analysis of Nazi aesthetics. He summed up Nazi art as follows:

Fundamentally, Nazi art is the expression of a mobilization against the strains of primitivism and depersonalization in modernism. It rejects, on the one hand, non-Western modes of perception based on the art of Oceania and Africa and, on the other, the impersonal vision of the machine aesthetics. Against both it affirms (with Fascist and Soviet Art) a vigorous anthropomorphism and a cultural chauvinism based on the glorification of neoclassic ideals. Psychoanalytically, it represents a narcissistic formation against the loss of boundaries or egolessness at work in both primitivism and constructivism. Its response remains a manic affirmation of race-consciousness on the level of the group and a deliberate archaism with regard to technical culture. (Hanson 1981, 251-52)

The coercive insistence on recognizable forms and traditional contents in the arts can indeed be viewed as a reaction to fear of loss of ego boundaries as pointed out by Hanson. In a rather narcissistic fashion, the reaction has indeed been carried out in an overcompensatory tilt that resulted in a manic affirmation of the superior and well-defined racial self. Yet, in spite of this presumed superiority, the folk comrades who comprised the master race were deemed to be in dire need of external limits that symbolically represented psychological internal borders. They needed outer limits or inner borders against which to bounce repeatedly in order to reconfirm their selfhood. The entire folkish state imposed these limits in all of its functions. In this respect the arts were no exception, and became a reflection of politics just as politics became a reflection of art. They all expressed a compulsive as well as an anxiety-laden need for order in an attempt to fortify inner psychological boundaries so as to ward off a dissolution of self. It is as if everything must always be in order in Germany; otherwise both the outer world and the inner self will disintegrate in the ensuing chaos. One could speculate that during periods in which such anxieties reach new heights, people become more willing to sacrifice various aspects of their individual self to the collective self. It is then easier for a determined savior to impose a "new order" because of the greater public readiness to preempt the individual self for the sake of the collective self so long as the latter offers greater order. It may very well be the case that the Germans have traditionally savored order possibly in response to a perceived threat emanating from their own dim fears of a deep fatal flaw in their personality makeup. In offering them a "new order," Hitler the myth seller engaged in a classical maneuver: the new thing he offered was a beloved thing of old.

A specific strand of the expression of a craving for order in Nazi aesthetics was nicely captured by George Mosse (1991). He discerned in the portrayal of men and women in Nazi painting and sculpture a particular standard of beauty that was designed to cement the unity of the nation by projecting a moral code to which everyone should aspire. That special standard of beauty, which was meant to signify that proper moral and sexual behavior, consisted of beauty without sensuality. The stipulation that beauty should be without sensuality is what ensured the aura of respectability. And respectability was crucial for maintaining security, order, and proper values as well as for taming the chaos that seemed always to threaten society from within. The pairing by Mosse of beauty without sensuality with respectability was very insightful. Respectability does indeed reflect a combination of order and conservatism. It therefore seems justified to view it as an antidote to chaos. Respectability was also a central motif of Nazi diplomacy (Beisel).

Moreover, by subtly anchoring respectability in an aesthetic standard of beauty without sensuality, the Nazis were able to keep it pretty and appealing but at the same time defanged of uncontrolled sexuality and other instinctual or impulsive behaviors. Respectability thus stood for maintaining order (beauty) and preventing chaos (sensuality). But there was something more to it. As Mosse pointed out, respectability came to reflect people's attitude toward themselves as well as their attitude toward all that was "different." It is therefore possible to conclude from his assertion that the defensive stance of respectability encapsulated the archaic split of the world into orderly good us and chaotic bad them. This primordial split received a symbolic expression in 1937 as two art exhibits opened in Munich: the Great German Art exhibition on July 18 and the Degenerate Art exhibition on July 19. Good and evil were thus symbolically pitted against each other, with "evil" winning the popularity contest hands down. This was so because the Degenerate Art exhibition included much more interesting works and because it represented what was likely to be the last chance to view such works before they were taken out of circulation The Great German Art exhibition was designed to extol folkish virtues. But the Degenerate Art exhibition was assembled for an unusual purpose. As Mosse (1991) summed it up, the exhibit aimed to depict society's views of the "outsider." These views included such diverse images as the mentally ill, Jews, homosexuals, criminals, the physically unbalanced, as well as nervousness, exhaustion, contortions, and grimaces. In retrospect, though, it seems that this contrived attempt to teach the populace the pitfalls of degeneracy and chaos that spring from the outsider was a failure. The enormous popularity of the exhibit suggests that the attending visitors learned not only about the corrupt nature of "the others" but also about the rewards of viewing art containing sensuality, disorder, impulse, and lack of respectability.

In the final analysis, the arts were but one part of many interlocking activities which together symbolized the collective national body or Volksgemeinschaft and which were all controlled by the ubiquitous folkish state. These included work and hobbies, economics and finance, education and propaganda, politics and party rallies, sports and recreation, parades and marches, family and nation, and, last but not least, a fuhrer. Although he was originally one of the people who therefore knew them well, with his providentially endowed force of personality and genius for symbolizing their collectivity, he stood there in unique glory all by himself. And it was the fuhrer who on July 18, 1937, delivered in Munich a major speech on the arts on the occasion of the opening of the House of German Art (Baynes 1942, 1:584-92). The speech confirmed that the rules for art were part of a totalistic program. He called for a German art that would correspond to the increasing homogeneity of the German racial composition and thus represent its characteristic of unity and homogeneity. As we already know, this homogenizing process was the primary business of the folkish state in toto. It was not specific to the arts. The arts, like everything else in the folkish state, were simply coordinated. Hitler's message was therefore applicable to the Gleichschaltung or synchronization of everything inside the totalistic state. He basically reiterated the same message at the end of his speech when he expressed his confidence that the "value of personality" will assert itself in artistic achievements as in so many other spheres of life. As we may recall, the value of personality is a basic assumption of intraracial stratification of individuals, which is analogous to the interracial stratification of peoples. It requires the leadership principle as the basis for a hierarchical organization of individuals within the folkish state. And this was the underlying meaning of a basic slogan that he voiced in the speech: "To be German is to be clear." It was applicable to the arts, where clarity of form and contents was a must. But this German quality was also supposed to be true for all other aspects of life in the folkish state. Above all, everyone was clear about his place in the firmly established new order, which was not going to be rocked by future German revolutions.

Nevertheless, things were not as clear as all that. In the prevailing Nazi perspective, internal revolutions had indeed ended. The German master race was not going to witness a new seizure of power within Germany. But external revolutions, meaning wars, were still the order of the day even though Hitler refrained from making this fully clear. Non-Germans were destined to witness some unwelcome changes. The destructive Jews did not qualify for Gleichschaltung and would therefore have to be spewed out from whatever territories the Third Reich came to control. Luckier races in the world, which were deemed to be a bit more meritorious than the Jews, would have to wait their turn to undergo subjugation and Gleichschaltung. But this could never have been done without the kind of war in which a Germany pitted against most of the world was bound to lose. Not even the wholesale transformation of the Germans into a united folk, energized for sacrifice at the fuhrer's command, could change this reality. Unfortunately most Germans failed to recognize this, due to the psychological effectiveness of Nazi ideology. Little did they realize that as the folkish state cemented itself for war, it was programmed to redress a trauma by repeating it. So to be German is not always to be clear.
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Re: The Roots of Nazi Psychology, by Jay Y. Gonen

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:58 am


Chapter 6: Ideology as Psychology

An effective utopia cannot in the long run be the work of an individual, since the individual cannot by himself tear asunder the historical-social situation. Only when the utopian conception of the individual seizes upon currents already present in society and gives expression to them, when in this form it flows back into the outlook of the whole group, and is translated into action by it, only then can the existing order be challenged by the striving for another order of existence.

-- Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia

It is time now to put together Hitler's basic ideological principles with an emphasis on their underlying psychological meanings, which were extracted in the course of this exploration.

First Principle: The world is permeated by an ill-understood mortal danger. At this eleventh hour, the historical clock for removing this danger is about to run out.

The Jews are a killer alien race whose inherent nature is to destroy its victimized hosts parasitically. Being duplicitous by nature, they are frequently cunningly disguised and at times are even utterly invisible. They thus represent a mortal danger to the national organism from within and from without. By poisoning Aryan blood, they decompose the psychophysical integrity of body and soul. This fatal disconnection deprives the sickened folk of effective use of the power of the will and plunges it into a course of impotence followed by death. Unless the magic potency of the folkish spirit is regenerated, the Jews, who pose the greatest mortal danger to humankind since time immemorial, will win. The entire folk is both guardian and container of its precious blood. Betrayal of this holy charge is original sin, which may be punished by racial extinction. The Jewish danger, therefore, thrusts the folk into an apocalyptic life-and-death struggle, which must result not in a folkish failure to survive but rather in a destruction of the Jews and in a redemptive utopia for the Aryan race.

Second Principle: To cling to the magic substance of life is to cling to biomystical health.

Blood is the be-all and end-all of existence. It is the currency of life and death. If the currency is not devalued, it buys life. It has magic qualities that secure the integration of mind and body. This monistic magic guarantees health and longevity because it allows the mind to command the body, i.e., it lets the power of the will prevail. The blood is the sacred charge that Providence or nature bequeathed to the folk. Kept pure, it not only guarantees freedom from Jewish corruption and destruction but also ensures the material and spiritual fulfillment of the Aryan racial destiny.

Third Principle: The omnipotent leader confers magic power.

The leadership principle represents the hierarchical ordering of society according to the personality merit of its members. Such personality value is an outcome and manifestation of the inherent quality of each individual's blood. Therefore, this raw psychobiological building block lends itself to natural stratification both between different races and among individuals of the same race. Consequently it is crucial for survival that society's ordering of its members should not violate or preempt their inherent personality worth. When this ordering conforms to the natural principle of racial and personality merit, it inevitably lifts the gifted genius to the top and places all others under his command in a descending hierarchy. Implementation of the leadership principle yields a magic power formula, based on a single national will expressed through the person of the leader, who now becomes the talisman of his nation. He is the genius, the timeless man, the expert on national destiny who knows how to navigate the ship of state safely in the sea of history.

The people's faith can perform miracles and can even move mountains, but it is the leader's will that determines which mountains to move. When everyone's faith is aligned behind the single leader's will, all wonders are possible and sheer willing materializes results.

Fourth Principle: The urge to merge is nature's way of making people feel both good and powerful.

The Volksgemeinschaft is the spiritual outcome of the folkish state. It is an organic blood brotherhood under the rule of the fatherly leader. In this people's community, the leader is the national brain while the people are the national body. Organic connectedness prevails while mechanistic meaninglessness or atomistic isolation are eliminated or relegated to the realms of foreign and degenerate democracies. Not only is the organic connectedness of all members of the national body uplifting, but it also places the followers' faith at the disposal of the single leader's will. This cohesion generates the kind of mighty power surge that enables the folkish state to utilize its capacity for war in a quest for a new justice and a redress of old injustices.

Fifth Principle: It is only just that no one should do it to us, but we should do it to them.

Justice is the distribution or redistribution of all the material and psychic assets of this world, which are available in only limited quantities. It is also symmetrical, which means that a corollary of one's fortune is someone else's misfortune. Moreover, it is magical, which means that it can be influenced by ultramanipulative interventions. Justice is therefore Darwinian and requires constant struggle. The distribution of justice is affected not only by peoples' inherent racial merits and personality values but also by ultramanipulative ploys and magical maneuvers that tilt the distribution one way or another. This is unfortunately how, through foul wizardry, less meritorious people sometimes gain unfair advantage over more meritorious folks. Such injustices go against nature and should therefore be rectified. This kind of rectification can be accomplished by a powerful reordering of justice through potent ultramanipulative redistributions of assets, which this time are completely "fair" to us.

Being a master race by virtue of a noble blood and superior personality is itself a claim to justice. An inherent racial merit ordains a right to fulfill racial destiny by arrogating to oneself the lion's share of the world's material and cultural assets whenever one has the power to do so.

Sixth Principle: We can do it.

Power is the ability and hence the duty to enforce justice. Not only does it insure survival for those who possess it, but it also secures a model existence for them. And now the folk has the power to claim its blood entitlement and in the process magnify its power. The two major requisites of a growing power are wider boundaries for the national organism -- to be gained by expansion -- and greater homogeneity of the people to be achieved by purges. Both require initial power for their accomplishment, which in turn multiplies the power exponentially. And both serve as a prime example of what justice means.

Seventh Principle: We shall gobble up!

Lebensraum is the prize booty of redistributive justice; it is on a par with thwarting the Jewish danger. Justice is retribution by redistribution of both peoples and lands. Among the peoples the Jews are at the top of the list. It is only just to extricate the Jewish poison and to remove infecting agents of decomposition. Of the available, living spaces, the eastern territories are the most inviting target in line with the old historical drive to expand Germany eastward. Expanding the living space is the epitome of justice, since Germany was too weak in the past and was therefore shortchanged in territorial extension by comparison with other European powers and their colonies. Territorial redistribution is absolutely necessary for survival since the current German living space is woefully inadequate and cannot guarantee autarky. Opting for expansion also reaffirms the self-confident judgment that the national strength has now reached such a height that grabbing in different directions is at last possible and pushing against previous limits is now feasible.

Eighth Principle: We shall spew out evil since the urge to purge is nature's way of healing.

Being homogeneous, both physically and psychologically, is a prerequisite for exercising the power of the will effectively and for restoring the lost condition of tribal health and happiness. Non-sameness (heterogeneity) within the group betrays the dangerous presence of poisonous foreign elements. Therefore the purging of material and spiritual poison by whatever means necessary in order to protect the homogeneity and health of the folk is a dictate of fate.

Ninth Principle: Sacrifice is the best investment.

Sacrifice is the apex of the fully developed folkish character that enables a mature people to become a storehouse of readily accessible human energies. And its most important use is for a bold trade-off with fate in the currency of life and death. In essence, sacrifice represents current payments in folkish blood for hefty future returns in folkish life dividends. He who loves his folk and who understands this simple equation fears not war and does not engage in futile and anxious comparisons of war's inescapable sacrifices with its fantastic results.

A cardinal verdict of Hitler's ideology consists of the grim diagnosis that the national organism would be helpless in facing its mortal danger without being aided by some form of special intervention, which appears to us to be a form of magic. This was so because the invisible or well-disguised Jews possessed devilish powers; unless stopped, they could pour out enough undetected poison to decompose both body and spirit and to sow disunion, which creates impotence. This diabolic threat of internal splits to produce total weakness could not be resisted by the masses alone. Left to their own devices, these "brilliant dummies" of sorts could not be relied upon to recognize the insidious, invisible infection infiltrating them to sap their health and strength. Only one remedy could provide the desperately needed magical cure. This antidote consisted of the implementation of the leadership principle, which worked like a magic power formula and yielded near omnipotence because it created internal unity of one will under a single leader. It was miraculous exactly because it conformed to the laws of nature, comprised of racial principles. Because the uniquely gifted person was placed at the top, the only person who was purely brilliant and no dummy, the vulnerable masses could be saved. Providence itself decreed that, under the guidance of the natural leader endowed with the racial gift of genius, power and victory were assured.

Armed with a natural understanding of racial principles, the fu8hrer and savior prescribed a formula of removal of Jews followed by national unity and culminating in conquest of land (Binion 1981, 104-5). This prescription of homogenization and expansion required purging the national organism and redrawing borders. This program, which involved much more than issues of geography or of political persecution of minorities, had the elements which could lead to a world war as well as to genocide. What was at play here regarding homogeneity and territorial expansion were definitions of the group self that provided basic security. It was the group identity, with its new portrayal of the changing status of power and boundaries, that determined how it felt to be a member of the group. This determination applied not only to external borders but also to the inner environment within the psychic territory of the extended national self. Through purification the inner space had to feel comfortable so that one no longer lived in an infectious environment, meaning inner badness in the domain of the group self. Inner badness means unharnessed instincts and uncontrolled aggressive drives, which can boomerang upon the individual self or the extended group self. By labeling inner badness as "Jewish" and offering a remedy, Nazi ideology tried to relieve the folk comrades of the fear that social interactions within the national community will be characterized by a discomfiting sense of being intruded upon by invasive and destructive "others." Although the Nazi goal was group cohesion, it also appealed to some individuals in an internal psychic sense. It helped them to avoid, by defensive maneuvers if need be, any clashes or contradictions between various parts and clusters of the self that would result in aggression turned toward the self.

No less important was a badly needed sense of comfort concerning invulnerability with regard to destructive assaults by external enemies. The geographic borders had to be fortified and made impregnable for that purpose. But the outer borders signaled more than just the realities of geopolitics. They also reflected psychic undercurrents concerning issues of identity and ego boundaries. The outer enemy could reflect the old inner self; thus the currently barbaric Slavs to the east wanted to do to the German civilization that which the formerly barbaric Germans from the northeast once did to the Roman civilization. Another fantasy concerned the Jews, who allegedly tried to enslave everybody else, which is exactly what the Germans were planning for the Slavs after the successful extension of the German living space to the east.

Put differently, both the racial myths and their concomitant geopolitical moves signify the psychological reality of a national organism at odds with itself and characterized by some kind of a schism of "two souls in one breast," to use Peter Viereck's phrase (1965, 3-15) borrowed from Goethe. Viereck was referring to an inner conflict, almost a schizophrenic split, between rationalism and force, between classicism and romanticism, and between Christianity and tribal paganism, which included the heritage of the barbaric tribal cults of war and blood. In his opinion, this old German cultural schizophrenia is what made Nazism possible (Viereck 1965, 20). At any rate, the psychological reality of a breached national organism seemed to hearken back to the conflicted world of infancy when identity is insufficiently integrated.

Since the national body was conceived by Hitler as a living organism, it was sometimes portrayed in the image of the human body. But with ever-present mortal danger, the national organism was subject to infectious assaults, which enfeebled the body and created internal splits, such as those between brain and brawn or brain and hands. The ubiquitous enemy was internal and external at the same time. It was therefore going to remain eternal unless it was to be completely destroyed, not just inside or outside, but literally everywhere. In the meantime, however, the repeated attacks by the eternal enemy wore the organism down. Perpetual impotence in the face of such a menace produced both rage and terror and created a counterpressure in the direction of action and omnipotence.

All this is of great psychological significance. The dread of an internal split betrays the dual fear of having one's boundaries penetrated and of being powerless to resist. It was to this sick and sickened, terrorized yet enraged, national organism that Hitler prescribed the leadership principle as an antidote to the ubiquitous and toxic Jewish/Bolshevik germ. What complicated his task enormously was the widely shared conviction that it was not just the national organism that was split and splintered; the whole world was actually split between the racial forces of construction and of destruction, with the latter permeating inner and outer spaces and crossconnected in a myriad of hidden ways. By this logic, therefore, as Germany was dashing toward the expansion of its living space by means of a final and just redistribution of the world, it was also fleeing forward in the direction of a worldwide split organism whose sickness could no longer be exported elsewhere. There would be no "abroad" left in such a Nazi dominated and "coordinated" global living organism. The infection could therefore no longer be eradicated by expelling it from the organism. Its mortal sickness would therefore have to be dealt with by an internal process of elimination. Consequently, genocide formed a major milestone on the road to fulfillment of the racial destiny. But since inner splits proliferate everywhere both within and without, the program for extirpating sickness everywhere required limitless expansion. In reality this exceeded German capabilities and invited disaster. For this reason, the plan to extirpate sickness while expanding bore all the characteristics of an unconscious program for failure as well as a repetition of traumas.

As the inner space of the German self turned unlivable because it was saturated with inner demons and enemies that needed to be expelled, the projection of these malevolent parts of the self to the outside made the whole world a source of danger since it now proliferated with mortal enemies of the Germans. But when the whole world needs to be taken on, a glorious victory is less likely than a traumatic repetition of defeat in an earlier world war. The aspired conquering of Eurasian spaces and domination of the world could always result in the physical destruction of Germany itself. What is more, the planned annihilation of Jewish and other disease agents was at a deep emotional level akin to psychological self-immolation. The reason the Jews were larger than life yet so real is that they were a projection of the hidden aspects of German life. After all, in an uncanny sense, all these "bad" Jews were split off "bad" parts of the German self. And destruction of some parts of the self, albeit disowned parts, is not a sound recipe for security. At an emotionally intense and unconscious level, it serves as a perturbing reminder that any part of the self can be destroyed at any time. It therefore does not eliminate the internal terror. At any rate, since at a very deep level the external physical genocide reflected also an internal psychological self-immolation, there was going to be a steep price to be paid. Only individuals who were thoroughly psychopathic could escape paying the price. For most Germans the damage done to their own identity was unavoidable. It left them well adept at not knowing what happened, which meant not being in touch with themselves.

It also left them fearful of their own impulses, with the legacy that nowadays they frequently seek a "European" umbrella for their foreign actions while being leery of activities that could be labeled as specific and independent German initiatives. When other Europeans express anxiety concerning what the Germans might do, they regard it as an anti- German bias and an inability to let bygones be bygones. But they themselves have deep anxieties concerning how they might behave should rampant inflation ever hit them again. Their scrupulous efforts to keep a tight lid on inflation are reinforced not just by economic concerns, but also by fears of a Nazi revival. The psychic damage also left the Germans oversensitive to any analysis of their psychology and personality that might suggest any form of German uniqueness. It is as if such explorations represent nothing less than reverse racism, which this time treats Germans, rather than non-Aryans, as a pseudospecies. Such explorations may look like inverted anti-Semitism where the collective guilt for all eternity is now being stamped upon Germans for actual genocide, rather than upon Jews for alleged deicide.

In describing the lethal impact of the pervasive Jewish disease, Hitler warned that the corruption it causes is both material and spiritual. By linking the fate of the two, Hitler advocated the kind of monism that provides justification for totalitarian practices. The ideal of unity implied that in practice everything without exception, whether physical or cultural, must be totally controlled. This monistic ideal included also a promise of magical deliverance from need and tension and enfeeblement. The promise here was that the aspired unity could enable the mind to have complete command over its well-synchronized body. Herein lies the power of the will: that most potent executive power whose magic rested on the supposition of an intact national organism, one with a complete psychophysical integrity.

From a psychological standpoint, however, this all-powerful unity is reminiscent of the omnipotence of early infancy when in a magical fashion sheer willing by itself materialized results. In those early and fuzzy times, the limitless self included the entire world within. But the infant gradually discovers that he is not omnipotent because others have power over him. He senses therefore some tugging and pulling inside due to developing fissures between mental representations of self and of others. Some aspects of the Nazi ideology can therefore be seen as contemporary political derivatives of infantile psychology. The obsessive fear of internal splitting is particularly relevant here. In early infancy the developing splits between good and bad parts of oneself, as well as between self and nonself, contribute to the formation of both inner boundaries and outer borders. However, with this psychological birth of the human infant, no longer does the self include a whole world subject to its mighty will. The mental legacy of all this is that splits or inner breaches that are due to internal and/or external pressures can be associated with lost magic and weakened powers. This development may facilitate collective predilections to embrace psychogeographic solutions to identity conflicts. In psychogeographic solutions, external geographic features such as borders and rivers come to symbolize internal psychological concerns such as ego boundaries and inner splits. If the history and identity of a given national group include heightened concerns with threats to unity and loss of power, then the group is likely to rely upon those particular archaic infantile features that reflect the elementary emotions of the group's basic assumptions. In this connection such features as fear, rage, and aggressive orality come to mind.

Of course the bitter infantile lesson of lost magic is not consciously remembered. Rather, it becomes ingrained as a prototypical perceptual structure into which future events can be fitted under certain limited circumstances. Clearly in Hitler's political ideology, internal splitting represented the diabolical Jewish formula for inducing impotence. This contemporary and growing disaster sounded a lot like a repetition of the ancient loss of infantile omnipotence. It is therefore highly likely that the magic power formula of the leadership principle unconsciously aimed to restore an imaginary lost omnipotence of Germans of the past. It was therefore not just a case of consciously playing politics on Hitler's part, but also an instance of unconsciously acting out psychopolitics on behalf of the masses. And the enthusiasm with which the notion of a single will was greeted by many Germans suggests that this archaic yearning to be all-powerful was collectively, albeit not uniformly, shared. The omnipotence of the single will was, on face value, a product of the unity of all the members of the folk. It symbolized the recreation of a primordial condition of lost tribal unity with its imaginary omnipotence. A group is unlikely to embark on a search for the total power of infantile omnipotence unless there is something in its history that propels it in this particular direction. In Germany, that psychohistorical "something" involved shared feelings of national impotence coupled with revered myths of past omnipotence. But it was well nigh impossible for the group to recapture absolute omnipotence in the contemporary geopolitical world.

Hitler's ideology portrayed a Manichean world. Evil was lurking everywhere in an eternal battle against all that is good. The good was a mystical/biological concept of racial superiority, which was always under threat since the omnipresent evil force of destruction imposed on it a ceaseless battle for survival. This portrayal is typical of messianic psychologies that tend to deal with the ultimate and mythical battle over the fate of the world. But some of the basic assumptions involved in the determination of who would prove fit to survive were paranoid par excellence. The world was one of misleading appearances. Evil operated on a conspiratorial basis, which not only organized and orchestrated its vile activities, but also disguised its true nature. Appearances, therefore, could serve as cleverly disguised traps for unaware victims. And those who tripped into them failed the survival test. In other words, underneath the benign-looking but misleading appearances lurked a malignant reality of evil consisting of well-organized activities aimed at inflicting sickness and death through diabolically disguised means. Sickness phobia as well as paranoid fear of imagined enemies combined here to shape the ground rules for the contest of who shall survive. Therefore, the major countermeasure had to be the education/nationalization of the people so that they could unmask the enemy in order to confront him with their united strength. Fighting mere appearances was a losing proposition. What survival really required was a fight against the hidden and well-camouflaged reality of a conspiratorial evil that plotted to subjugate and destroy all else.

Thus, Hitler's ideology projected a worldview in which a Messianic end-of-days final battle was imminent. This worldview blended three major psychological strands. The first was the rigid and absolutist division of the world along the Manichean dualism of an eternal struggle between good and evil. The second was a paranoid stance that faced a well-organized conspiracy masked by the world of appearances. And the third was phobia against infection, disease, and death. As was noted before in the chapter on the Jewish danger, this phobia signaled fear of a malignant process or a fatal flaw that already emanates from the inside.

This takes us back to the German masses once again. The issue of what is appearance and what reality, or the fear that things may not be what they seem, already existed with regard to the masses. Nazi ideology did not present them in a simple-minded fashion as the forces of good. They were a breached entity, which contained both great promise and a fatal flaw. As a folk they could be glorious, but as masses they were foolish. In spite of their splendid cultural potential due to their racial merit, they were handicapped by internal limitations such as stupidity, gullibility, and femininity, the latter possibly representing a touch of Jewishness. Consequently, even though the German masses basically belonged to the forces of good, they nevertheless comprised a split entity, which harbored within itself evil ingredients that could destroy it from within. With the forces of good so compromised and weakened, the evil methods of Jewish duping could still prove victorious. In the midst of battle, the forces of good could be stabbed in the back as evil sneaked up on them from inside. Put differently, in the murky reality of the world of appearances, even the predominantly good camp was a place of blurry boundaries whose compromised and flawed inhabitants were already contaminated. It is possible that in Hitler's view only the Japanese escaped this contamination. According to Trevor-Roper's book Hitler's Secret Conversations, Hitler stated that the racial instinct of the Japanese was so highly developed that even the Jews realized that Japan cannot be attacked from within but only from the outside (Trevor-Roper 1953, 255-56). There was no such luck though for the contemptible German masses, who were befuddled idiots. Living in a very confusing world, they were subjected to both paranoid and phobic fears as they faced the ultimate Manichean battle of survival/salvation for the racially fittest.

No wonder that such a condition of extreme vulnerability invited a miracle. And it came in the form of the providential single leader, a Messiah of sorts, who provided distinctions between appearances and reality or between deception and truth, and who was thus able to shore up psychological borders by imposing greater clarity on the condition of the folk and the state of the world.

The great hope of emerging with a new utopia out of the impending messianic trials and tribulations encapsulated within it the dream of recreating a lost utopia of the past. These messianic yearnings rode upon and were nourished by a deeply ingrained German national fantasy concerning the Holy Roman Empire. The notion of a Holy Roman Empire dates back to Christmas Day of the year A.D. 800, when Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne at 51.Peter's Cathedral in Rome and hailed him as the august emperor of the Romans. Charlemagne succeeded in establishing a kingdom that at the time included France, Holland, Flanders, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, as well as a part of Spain and a large part of Italy. This gave rise to the notion that an empire had been created that was Roman, Christian, and Germanic in one (Reinhardt 1961, 1:43-44). These Frankish successes, however, could be construed only in fantasy as a new and holy revival of the old Roman Empire. Voltaire's oft-quoted barb that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, amounts to a diagnosis of the entire idea as a fantasy construction. But this fantasy involved the comforting belief that so long as the empire existed, the end of the world and the last judgment would be postponed (Heer 1968, 3). In the course of time the German component of this fantasy of a new empire was further reinforced. In A.D. 962 after the Saxon king Otto the Great entered Italy at the request of Pope John XII, the pope bestowed upon him an imperial crown. This event marked the beginning of the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" although the term itself was not applied until the fifteenth century (Heer 1968, 63). And even though the empire changed forms or stayed alive only in peoples' imagination, the idea survived for centuries until its official end in 1806 in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat of Prussia.

The German stake in a Holy Roman Empire of the German nation always seems to have been high. Long before the repetitive waves of German assaults finally succeeded in crumbling the actual Roman empire, Germans already had penetrated the daily life of that empire by serving the Romans as mercenaries and in other capacities. Against this historical background, new fantasy elaborations could be construed. Some Germans could now see themselves as the barbarians from the northeast who infused an older and higher order civilization with new blood, thus revitalizing it and thereby earning the right to carry the mantle of the new civilization. That is one reason why, after the collapse of the first Holy Roman Empire founded by Charlemagne in A.D. 800 (his successors failed to hold it together), it was revived again in the tenth century. Heer (1968, 10) pointed out that it was Saxon imperial bishops and lower-level clergy, nobly born people both ecclesiastical and lay, who built the empire afresh. Heer attributed their motivation to a desire to preserve the double aspect of the original Carolingian religious-political incorporation of the Saxons into the empire. Under this arrangement, the clergy exercised both a religious and a political authority. But this religious-political stake in holding on to existing power and economic privilege does not explain the amazing staying power of the popular idea of a Holy Roman Empire among Germans for generations. This staying power seems to have come from a shared fantasy of being the continuation of Greco-Roman civilization. This meant being the contemporary upholders of the most advanced civilization (Greece) as well as being an imperial power with martial superiority and subjugation of inferior peoples (Rome.)

As practically every German schoolchild was familiar with the ideal of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, the idea and its reverberations became a standard staple in the common pool of German national fantasies. In drawing from this pool, Hitler accentuated the racial ramifications that attached to this blend of political and cultural fantasy construction. His assorted ideas, which will now be summed up, led inexorably toward racial destiny. One of Hitler's notions was that without Christianity, but under Germanic (pagan) influence, the Roman empire would have continued to develop in the direction of world domination, while humanity would not have extinguished fifteen centuries of civilization at a single stroke due to Christianity. Another notion of Hitler's was that the Romans did not dislike the Germans, as attested by his assertion that blond hair was popular among the Romans. Moreover, according to Hitler, many Goths (German tribes) had dark hair. What Hitler seemed to maintain was that some Romans tried to look like Germans while some Germans already looked like Romans -- a situation that facilitated intermingling. Hitler went on to assert that there was such a preference in Rome for fair-haired women that many Roman women dyed their hair; the result was that Germanic blood constantly regenerated Roman society (as Roman men interbred with real blond German women).

Still another ideological crotchet of Hitler's was the notion that Rome was destroyed by Christianity, which bolshevized it. What he meant by bolshevization was the annulment of the hierarchy of personality as a cardinal principle in the conduct of Roman civilization. In this connection, he asserted that in its time this bolshevization was as destructive in Rome as it later proved to be in Russia. Thus, the fall of Rome was brought about not by Germans or Huns but by Christianity. A related idea of Hitler's was that Bolshevism was achieving on the materialist and technical level what Christianity had achieved on a metaphysical level. What these ideas might have meant was that Bolshevist corruption started with the body while Christian corruption began with the soul. All this accorded with Hitler's view of both Christianity and Bolshevism as Jewish inventions. Nolte (1969, 417-22, 511-13) has described how, under the influence of Dietrich Eckart, Hitler came to view Moses as the originator of Bolshevism and the Apostle Paul as its great reinforcer. By contrast, Hitler provided the racial stamp of approval to the Holy Roman Empire. He claimed that Charlemagne gathered the Germans into a well-cemented community and created an empire that was made of the best stuff of the ancient Roman Empire. It was therefore seen for centuries as a successor to the universal empire of the Caesars. That it was named "the Holy Roman Empire" had nothing to do with the church or religion (Trevor-Roper 1953, 6, 7, 64-65, 207, 310). It should be noted that in Hitler's description, Charlemagne's well-cemented community sounds similar to a Volksgemeinschaft, while the creation of the Holy Roman Empire out of the "best stuff" of the ancient Roman Empire alludes to blood and racial merit.

Trevor-Roper summed up Hitler's broad outlook on this subject as follows:

A barbarous millennium! Hitler would not have denied it; for barbarism, he maintained, was the first basis of all culture, the only means whereby a new civilisation could replace an old. The German conquerors of the Roman Empire had been barbarians; but they had replaced an old and rotten society by the basis of a new and vigorous civilisation. Similarly, the Nazis must be barbarians to replace with their millennium the dying culture of the west. "Yes," he had declared in 1933, "we are barbarians! We want to be barbarians! It is an honourable title. We shall rejuvenate the world. This world is near its end." By "historical necessity" barbarian forces must break up decaying civilisations and "snatch the torch of life from their dying fires." (Trevor-Roper 1953, xix)

Trevor-Roper was right in underscoring the identification with barbarians. This identification was a natural for a racially colored self-image. It was not difficult for Nazis to view the Germans as healthy barbarians whose rejuvenation of the Roman Empire was based on the infusion of new blood. Whereas the scourge of blood mixture with Jews represents the original sin of humanity, blood mixture among noble stocks such as old Greco-Roman with the new Germanic can do wonders. For a while blood, the magic stuff of life, rejuvenated a civilization that had started to decay. A glorious future of world domination could have been accomplished by this fusion of blood and empire if it were not for the metaphysical corruption by Christianity (Jewishness in disguise) that led to the fall of Rome. And nowadays Bolshevism is doing the same thing at a materialist and technical level.

This last key point of the racial fantasy propelled it from the past into the immediate future to produce dread. For one thing, in the weltanschauung of psychophysical integrity, there is no real separation of the metaphysical domain from the materialist and technical domain. Any damage to one destroys both. That is why it is not surprising that Christianity destroyed both spirit and body then, while Bolshevism was' destroying body as well as spirit now. For another thing, Bolshevism represented not only yet another derivative form of decomposing Jewishness, but was also associated with Russia, i.e., with a different racial stock of the new barbarians: the Slavs. And they were fear-inspiring, as can be gleaned from Martin Bormann's conversational report to Hitler upon returning from the Ukraine: "Such prolific breeding may one day give us a knotty problem to solve, for as a race they are much hardier by nature than we are" (Trevor-Roper 1953, 477). This could have been a Roman speaking centuries ago about the Germans.

It is not difficult to surmise what existential hopes, as well as fears, reverberated throughout the new racial colorings of the old fantasy of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Once upon a time the Germanic barbarians of the northeast gobbled up Rome to become a kind of "new improved" Rome. In turn, however, the new Rome -- a civilization reinvigorated by what might be called the blood, or should one say bloody, injection of Germanic tribal health -- came to fear the new barbarians from the east, namely the Slavs. By now the new Germanic Rome is itself a civilization that is infected with symptoms of degeneracy. After 1918, its big hope was to regenerate from the inside and expand to the outside. Its big fear was of the new Slavic barbarians who became the tool of world Jewry. It did not wish to be rejuvenated by them the way the Roman Empire was rejuvenated by the German barbarians. Nevertheless, a terrible fear prevailed concerning the unstoppable motion of the wheel of historic justice, which turns like the repetition of a trauma. Since it could not be stopped, the new barbarians ultimately might do to the new civilization what the old barbarians had done to the old.

Such frightening perceptions about cyclical turns of justice, or yoyo swings of fate, were facilitated by a German history of ever changing borders. The historian A.J.P. Taylor (1962) provided some daring speculations about the historical impact of indistinct and unstable borders upon Germany and its people. The Germans were living in a country without a defined natural frontier. Mostly without sharp limits of mountain ranges but with a great plain, which is intersected by four rivers creating sharp enough dividing lines to split the Germans among themselves, there were no settled frontiers to determine either German expansion or German contraction. As a result, "in the course of a thousand years, Geographic Germany has gone out and in like a concertina." Throughout that time the Germans were imitating the west, the heir to the Roman Empire, but defending civilization against the east and its new barbarians, the Slavs. Thus, from Charlemagne to Hitler, the Germans have been "converting" the Slavs from either paganism, Orthodox Christianity, or Bolshevism or from being Slavs. These conversions often involved extermination. To quote A.J.P. Taylor, "no other people has pursued extermination as a permanent policy from generation to generation for a thousand years .... No one can understand the Germans who does not appreciate their anxiety to learn from, and to imitate, the West; but equally no one can understand Germans who does not appreciate their determination to exterminate the East" (A.J.P. Taylor 1962, 14). All this presumably came about as a result of the pressure of being stuck between two opposite worlds. The Germans were "the people of the middle," the barbarians on the edge of a great civilization.

Geographical position has thus influenced the German national character to foster universalism, aping of foreign traditions, and ruthlessness toward the Slavs (A.J.P. Taylor 1962, 13-16). To this short list of Taylor's, one may add strong counterreactions to all three tendencies. The Germans also developed a deep suspicion of universalism, an ardent desire for specific German ways, and a grudging admiration for the barbaric vigor of the Slavs.

The impact of the internal splintering was also felt for generations. A prime example of this was, as A.J.P. Taylor (1962, 20-21) pointed out, that the Roman Catholic Emperors tried to defend Germany from foreign invasions in spite of their universalist orientation. By contrast, the Lutheran princes, who were concerned solely with their own existence, aligned themselves with foreign invaders. And there were still other inner divisions that resulted from an old inheritance of internal German borders. In discussing Germany's legacy of centuries of religious and dynastic divisions, Sigmund Neumann (1965, 21-22) emphasized that the centrifugal forces and competitive strife between brother states led to the historical dualism between Prussia and Austria. He also underscored the idea that these divisions also reflected inner frontiers that formed insurmountable dividing lines of a European consciousness. The old Limes Germanicus that was the boundary path that separated "the barbarians of the north" (the Germans) from the Roman empire still continue to run right through Germany. But Hans Kohn (1960, 18-19), who traced the history of Germany's growing alienation from the west, cautioned against overstressing the impact of the old historical divisions on twentieth-century German civilization. He was referring to the establishment of a western Germany as part of the Roman orbis. To the east of the Limes Germanicus lay the primitive barbaric lands of central Germany, which were incorporated into Christianity and civilization by Charlemagne around A.D. 800, and eastern Germany, the semicolonial land of barons and serfs, which the German knights conquered in the thirteenth century. Although Kohn urged caution in interpreting these historical differences, he nevertheless surmised that it was no accident that Konrad Adenauer and Theodor Heuss, the leading statesmen representing the new Germany after 1945, came from the west. By contrast, speaking on the same subject, Peter Viereck (1965, 6) elaborated the psychological consequences of this inner conflict over the Roman wall. He maintained that they included projection, fanaticism, hysteria, instability, delusions of persecution plus persecution of others, and convulsive outbursts of physical violence.

Geography and history have thus left Germany with a problematic and mixed legacy. The lack of distinct external frontiers left the door wide open for expansion mania and contraction dread. But invading as well as being invaded lost some of its traditional territorial meaning of crossing frontiers and became equated instead with people's movement. When the bulk of one people moves into the midst of another, this constitutes an invasion. The country or homeland is simply wherever the people are. From these basic notions grew the conviction that Germany is, or at least should be, wherever the Germans are. This is why for Hitler there was eventually nothing contrived or unhistorical in dreaming of a Greater Germany, which would include, for instance, the Ukraine. But far-reaching implications also stemmed from the inner dividing lines, be they rivers, principalities, religions, or Roman "Limes," which came to symbolize the malaise of Germany and to reinforce an habitual dread of the weakening impact of splitting and strife. The combined effect of all of this was that issues of borders came to represent also issues of identity. Borders came to stand not only for external geography but for internal choices of cultural orientation, religious preference, the extent of identification with neighboring German groups, and the degree of security or amount of basic dread concerning one's place in one's locale. What all this means is that all sorts of borders now reflected issues of identity and became somewhat functionally equivalent to ego boundaries. It stands to reason to assume that such psychohistorical developments strengthened the predilection to seek psychogeographical solutions, such as the expansion of the living space, to psychological problems and identity issues.

Dreams of creating or recreating utopias require, almost by definition, a major act of reparation for what would otherwise remain a highly flawed world. Frequently, however, such a cosmic repair job cannot be executed peacefully: it requires battle. It should only be expected that the forces of evil, whose presence makes the world flawed to begin with, are going to resist repairs to the bitter end or might even try to launch a preemptive attack. The impending mythical battle over the fate of the world that is embedded in Hitler's ideology is in the worst tradition of messianic acts of salvation. It deals with a flawed world that was actually a projection of a deep sense of a flawed group self. The world was flawed, first and foremost, because it was permeated with a hostile Jewish force that aspired to world domination by means of a global state without boundaries. (This was obviously a projection on the part of Hitler and other anti-Semites.) In the case of the Jews, Hitler maintained that this alleged characteristic of being territorially unlimited was a direct outcome of an abnormal alien nature. The Jewish abnormalities included formlessness, chameleon like appearances, and even outright invisibility. Another abnormality of the Jews was the lack of a natural attachment to a landscape, which in turn dispenses with the normal need for defined territorial borders. Last but not least the Jews possessed an abnormal as well as a demonic capacity to infect others with a deathly disease that causes the decomposition of other peoples' psychophysical well-being. To make matters worse, this creeping process of gaining world domination through the subtle afflictions of slow enfeeblement and gradual death is aided by another inherent defect of the world. Its people are flawed, even those who are of good racial stock. Their gullibility, femininity, and other internal flaws, some of which are present to begin with while some others are infused or augmented by Jewish contamination, make these basically good people classical candidates for victimization.

Pure evil thus wreaks havoc upon a flawed world with defective people, and there is only one intact force of pure goodness left. This is the genius leader, the timeless man who correctly reads history's eternal truths, the one and only one who cannot be duped. He can chart for the people the right course that avoids the original sins of blood mixture, a course that ensures survival. Thus, the Jewish people of pure evil were pitted against the fuhrer of pure goodness in a battle over the fate of the contaminated Aryans. One could paraphrase Hitler by saying that in this battle the Jews tried to keep the people as dumb masses while he tried to turn them into a brilliant folk. A successful outcome was dependent on a basic stipulation. Only if the people aligned their will with that of the supreme leader could that magic power be found that would be capable of counteracting the demonic force of decomposition. Only the imposition of the leader's will upon the compromised people of a contaminated world could cancel the existential defect and usher in a global reparation. Then the well-guided people could be smart for a change, but only because their leader's brain would be equivalent to their collective brain. Additionally they would be powerful because their leader's indomitable will would be their very own will as well. And in this state of greater clarity, power, and effectiveness, the folkish people would be masters rather than slaves and would inherit and dominate a world of clearer territorial borders and be free of the flow of invisible infections across boundaries. It would therefore also be a safer inner world where self-boundaries are more securely demarcated and less vulnerable to internal inundations that trigger identity crises. But this sort of redemption in both inner space and outer space implied all along that the mythical battle for the fate of the physical as well as psychological world would result not in Jewish victory and Aryan defeat but rather in life for the Aryans and death to the Jews. There was going to be ultimate justice such as befits cosmic solutions, i.e., there was going to be a holocaust.

The issue of how the Holocaust could happen has baffled humanity in the twentieth century. Only partial answers can be offered, and they inevitably involve the convergence of several factors. The following suggestions are therefore offered in the modest hope that they will somewhat enhance our understanding of how such incredible horrors could ever take place.

A necessary but not sufficient condition for the Holocaust was the highly virulent anti-Semitism that took hold on German soil. Two major contributions to this subject of how the Holocaust could have been carried out by Germans other than the fanatical SS troops have been published recently. John Weiss (1996) explored the special nature of German and Austrian history, which produced an ideology of death that led to a holocaust. And Daniel Jonah Goldhagen (1996) traced the evolution of German anti-Semitism from an eliminationist mind-set into an exterminationist one. These kinds of mind-sets are akin to a preexisting cultural disposition or prior mental readiness that facilitates the final leap from theory to implementation when the call to action is heralded. It stands to reason that without such a "preexisting condition" of sorts, the participation of ordinary Germans in the extermination process, which was so aptly illustrated by Goldhagen, would not have been as widespread as it actually was. At this point it behooves us to recall that in many instances the fanatically anti-Semitic Hitler was preaching to the converted. Armed with his racist weltanschauung, which enabled him among other things to endow exterminationist anti-Semitism with a respectable German nationalist stamp of approval, the relentless Hitler did succeed in becoming the final catalyst for genocidal collective action.

Many thoughtful and highly informed people find it very difficult to accept the conclusions of Weiss and Goldhagen. But two basic reasons lead me to accept them. The first is the depth to which racism became integrated into the German self-concept. For over a century now, there were so many mystical notions concerning German superiority that race became an important component of German identity. It was supposed to be the basis for being uniquely masterful and far better than any other group. Unfortunately this turned German anti-Semitism into a key ingredient in German self-definition. For many Germans self-affirmation and the upholding of a conviction concerning the unique superiority of the German collective now required anti-Semitic expressions for validation.

The second is the internal logic of the Nazi ideology and its dynamism, which always left room for far-flung escalation of both ends and means. Just as the quest for lebensraum could lead to world domination down the road, so could the call for the "removal" of the Jews lead to killing and extermination. In discussing what Hitler meant by the "removal" of the Jews, Jackel pointed out that Hitler's statements ranged from being ambiguous to clear advocacy of murder (Jackel 1981, 47- 66). There was no guarantee that it would all stop at forced emigrations or expulsions. In a country where the storm troopers sang "when Jewish blood spurts from the knife, things will go better still," people were not left completely in the dark about what the "removal" of the Jews might possibly mean. With the climate so saturated with virulent anti-Semitism, even people who did not necessarily agree knew full well that the potential for killing was there. By the time the genocide was happening, it had its enthusiastic supporters and its passive tagalongs. There were also those who disagreed but were afraid to voice opposition, as well as a handful of active resisters.
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Re: The Roots of Nazi Psychology, by Jay Y. Gonen

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:59 am


A related issue was the availability of the executive powers of the complex organization of a totalitarian state. It could be argued, after all, that the Germans did not have the sole copyright to eliminationist anti-Semitism and that exterminationist tendencies could be found in other places, such as Lithuania or the Ukraine. But in the absence of the proper organizational structure and power of an intact state, their dabbling in holocausts was bound to remain amateurish and largely based on collaboration with the occupiers. It was the Germans who had the necessary organization, power, and wherewithal for implementing their ideology and systematically carrying out the Holocaust.

Most important was the existence of a comprehensive ideology whose world view concerning Germany's place in the sun amounted to a collection of dangerous shared group fantasies. Germany's glorious world mission -- yet its unfair fate and its dangerous exposure to vile conspiracies emanating from everywhere -- were all ingredients that were waxing and waning in strength within the zeitgeist for ages. Ever since the trauma of Versailles, there has been an increasing pressure to unleash the kind of decisive German acts that would provide ultimate relief. The relief sought was presumed to be an all-inclusive redemption rather than a repetition of trauma. But the sheer force of the compelling pressure to act quickly suggested that action as such was sought for its immediate relief value regardless of its later consequences -- be it salvation or another catastrophe. Thus, the worldview of the Nazi racial ideology drove the nation to violent acts not only against Jews based on anti-Semitism, but also against other peoples and countries, as the redistribution of the world was to be accomplished by a new justice based on German power.

The importance of ideology cannot be overstated. As used throughout this work, the term ideology denotes a set of ideas that provide a prescriptive world view of life. Therefore, when embraced by a group, an ideology supplies and defines key elements of group identity; It can also, however, serve as an ersatz personal identity for individuals whose personality is in such a shaky state that they rigidly substitute for it ideological prescriptions for what a good person should be. What the term ideology also connotes is a reflection of personal identity issues at the group level. Certain unresolved and usually also very early individual identity issues receive new expression through the collective ideology. First and foremost, however, ideologies shape the emotional climate of the whole group. In this new arena for struggling with identity issues, lots of pathological notions can be flushed out of the zeitgeist to receive not only coherence but also legitimacy. The collective sharing, the intersubjectivity so to speak, is what gives it "objectivity" and legitimacy. And the weight of history, the reverberations of old echoes from one's bona fide past, is what gives it force. Ideologies are, therefore, very important; because they are collectively shared, they "resolve" sticky identity issues, are capable of sanctioning not only reality but also fantasy, and have the power to trigger mass action.

The availability of a lethal ideology that was embraced by the masses, and its clever manipulation by a vicious but charismatic leader, was a key element in the unleashing of destructive actions. People do not gas other people, young and old, or shoot them or smash their skulls out of mere obedience to orders. People do not engage in wholesale murder out of administrative momentum, or in retail killing out of bureaucratic inertia. There always can be individual sadists who seek opportunities to act on their personal impulses. But when a whole group carries out mass murder, what sustains the willingness and even lust to annihilate is a zealous ideological conviction that these actions are right and just. By and large it was a prior ideological commitment that enabled many Germans to persist in the dutiful and even enthusiastic execution of the murderous orders. It was the ideological sanctioning of these inhumane measures as both necessary and good that made it all possible. And it could not have happened unless large segments of the German public had truly internalized that lethal ideology and allowed it to define their individual as well as their collective identities.

The importance of this last point cannot be overemphasized. As John Weiss (1996, 287) stated, "It is time to stop believing that 'without Hitler, no Holocaust.''' Throughout his well-documented book, he demonstrated how it was an "ideology of death" that led directly to the Holocaust. For various historical, political, psychological, economic, and social reasons, this racial ideology gained momentum during the nineteenth century but even more so during the twentieth. Its adoption by wide strata of German and Austrian societies is what made its implementation possible. Indeed, attributing it all to Hitler is a defensive myth. Hitler was not a foreign implant in Germanic culture that corrupted it and altered its nature. This notion amounts to still another shared group fantasy of a contaminating agent, Adolf Hitler, who infected the decent but helpless German people with the disease of exterminationist anti-Semitism. In the prevailing group fantasy until the demise of Nazism, German society was viewed as the victim of Jewish machinations. Yet with this new fantasy twist of blaming Hitler alone, German society is now seen instead as a victim of a Hitler's malfeasance.

But Hitler was not an external plague that descended from far away. He actually came from within the zeitgeist where he fleshed out the prescription order for the desired ideology and leadership notions that was left there by the public at large. After duly filling this prescription, he went back to the people to deliver the requested remedies. And he did it in a demagogic fashion, presenting his newfound cures as if they were the original product of his individual genius rather than plagiarized material that was borrowed from the masses themselves. They were the ones who clamored for the old/new remedies with increasing frequency. It is therefore conceivable that without Hitler a holocaust could still have taken place, although under another racist ideological leader. This, however, certainly was not inevitable. In all likelihood, a Hitler in Denmark would have gotten nowhere, not only because it was too small a country to dream on a global scale (so actually were the trauma-hungry Germans), but because that country was not receptive to such an ideology. In sum, either the tacit or enthusiastic acceptance of the Nazi ideology by wide segments of the German populace was a major factor in propelling Germany toward a second world war and genocide. As for the somewhat murky issue of how much of this development can be attributed to Hitler and how much to the Germans, a recent formulation by Ian Kershaw, a biographer of Hitler, seems like a fair statement: "The Nazi assault on the roots of civilization has been a defining feature of the twentieth century. Hitler was the epicenter of that assault. But he was its chief exponent, not its prime cause" (Kershaw 1998, xxx).

Two additional factors facilitated the ideologically driven tendency among Germans to strike out in explosive actions so as to play out the preprogrammed and largely unconscious national fantasies. The first has to do with the European concert of nations between the two world wars, which also acted out unconscious fantasies. The inexorable European dance of death assigned to Germany the hopeless role of an uncontrollable and incorrigible bete noire that was destined to launch future wars of conquest as hereditary enemies inevitably do. This deathly and mutually reinforcing development was very aptly described in great detail by the psychohistorian David R. Beisel as a process of a "suicidal embrace" using one of Neville Chamberlain's expressions. This unfortunate process resulted in rigid policies on the part of the former allies, especially France, which were supposedly designed to ensure that the past will not be repeated in the future but which actually secured its future recurrence. This unconscious trade of role assignments by the European powers was instrumental in catapulting some of the worst German shared fantasies into the forefront of the national psyche. It therefore made the outbreak of war all the more probable. And in the brewing Nazi ideology, war on Germany's enemies was going to include all the Jews wherever they were.

The second factor is more an internal German product and consists of a particular trait that was part of the German national character, inadequately understood as that concept may be (Inkeles 1997, 214- 20). It was Rauschning (1946, 212) who underscored this German trait of passion for absolutes. After noting an increasing centuries-long trend toward the total conversion of the nature and values of social institutions into organized barbarism, and after highlighting in this regard the inherent connection between biological pessimism and barbarism, Rauschning diagnosed the major cause for these unfortunate long-term trends as follow: "The Germans with their everlasting passion for absolutes and extremes were so unfortunate as to draw the ultimate conclusions in the universal debunking of all values-to accept these conclusions not merely in the realms of adventurous thinking, as did Nietzsche, but in the hard, literal, brutal world of reality. The Germans first demonstrated what all nations might come to" (Rauschning 1946,211-12).

Rauschning's diagnosis carries with it far-reaching implications. It suggests that the German passion for working with ultimate dimensions sweeps the total range of experience. Consequently, ultimates do not remain the preserve of the merely theoretical or the sole domain of the abstract dimension. To the contrary, if a concept is ultimately right in the abstract, then it is also no less correct in the concrete. Thus, what is right in the absolute continues to remain right no matter what. Since the starting point as an ultimate idea or first principle is absolutely right, its subsequent implementation and conversion to operational definitions must also be absolutely correct and must therefore be fully carried out. Its implementation must therefore proceed in an unhindered fashion to its very logical conclusion and end without any interference by extraneous thoughts that would inevitably detract from the ultimate correctness of the whole endeavor. But by so trafficking with absolutes to the point of the absurd, the flexibility so needed for pragmatic action gets thrown out the window. Whenever what is right in the abstract must at all costs be also correct in the concrete, then pragmatism, moral scruples, and even the commonsense logic of daily life are all sacrificed. What takes their place is a rigid moralistic stance capable of implementing with a vengeance a variety of cruelties that are nevertheless deemed to be ultimately right. Consequently, the world of absolutes is narrow, constrictive, and unidimensional. In this kind of world, whatever is ultimately not right must perforce be righted, and anything that is incorrect must be thoroughly corrected. Any tolerance that opens the door to compromises where things might be somewhat wrong is judged to be utterly wrong at all levels of experience. This passion for the absolutes is therefore not exactly a formula for an Anglo-Saxon type of pragmatism. It is rigid thinking, which insists on drawing unbridgeable boundaries between right and wrong even in complicated and overlapping situations. Because of this, even that which does not look all that bad in the here and now and might even do some good is immediately ruled out because it is presumed to be ultimately bad. Conversely, no matter how terrible something might look in the here and now, even a horrible holocaust, no moral brakes will be applied to veto it. This is because the ultimate good commands staying the course and also because absolute moral imperatives must always be obeyed. Hitler's insistence on unconditional obedience may have benefited from some confusion in the public's mind between ultimate orders and absolute moral imperatives. It is this passion for absolutes and habitual dealing with ultimate dimensions that rigidly and preemptively prejudges all situations and events.

Clearly all this reverts back to primitive needs to set up well-defined psychological borders that shore up ego boundaries and definitions of self. It leads to rigidity among playing toddlers, who think that it is absolutely right not to share one's own toy for the reason that it is one's very own. It also leads to the notoriously rigid moralism that is characteristic of adolescents who apply black-and-white thinking to moral dilemmas, a type of thinking in which a legalistic letter-of-the-law approach wins hands down over the spirit of the law. Finally, a relic of this drift down toward primitivism appears in many academic exercises in situation ethics, where plenty of common sense and even compassionate concrete solutions are rejected by being linked to an absolutistic principle that would ultimately be violated by the concrete solution. The result of this Platonic-like insistence on patterning the fleeting world of the senses as much as possible after the eternal models of the world of the ideas is a catastrophic loss of psychological maturity. Plenty of concrete and reasonable options in the mundane world are negated and effectively ruled out by their compulsive linkage to absolutes whose standards they violate. But these academic scenarios do not even come close to actually sanctioning inhuman and barbarous acts as moral because of their supposed linkage to an ultimate aim equated with an absolute good. With this kind of mind-set applied without any brakes, one could even rationalize and withstand unspeakable horrors because, in the final analysis, what is right is right.

Two comments need to be made at this point. The first is that the Germans demonstrated what the rest of humanity is potentially capable of under certain conditions where a destructive ideology, demagogic leadership, uncontrolled emotions, and historical traumas coalesce into an explosive combination. Indeed, what is doubly and triply frightening about the German example is that it illustrates the dangers of a murderous drive that is embedded in the human psyche and that under certain circumstances can be triggered in more than one country. It would be comfortable to believe that only Germans could ever be capable of something like this, but this is not true, and such a belief reflects a defensive flight from self-knowledge.

The second comment cautions us not to regard national character and specific national traits as something immutable, which seals a people's psychological fate by locking them in the grip of a cultural vise from which there is no escape. I do not believe that, as the twentieth century draws to a close, contemporary Germans are as rigid about the process of concrete implementation of what is ultimately right as their forefathers were. It rather seems that their conception of historical justice has mellowed considerably. Consequently, as German reunification (October 3, 1990) and further European integration came about, the Germans did not let historical grievances go to their heads and did not allow ghosts of the past, such as the post-World War II Polish border issue or the expulsion of the Sudetenland Germans from Czechoslovakia, torpedo pragmatism in the name of lack of "justice." It is thus heartening to observe that today's Germany, with all its flaws, is a far cry from what Nazi Germany was.

But we need to get back to the predominant view of the particular nature of the world as depicted in Nazi ideology. It was a most precarious world. The universe was Manichean so that it split the world into good and evil forces. Appearances were deceptive to the point of masking true reality. The ongoing obfuscation included external borders as well as inner boundaries, so much so that what were clear and solid demarcations at one moment proved fuzzy and permeable at the next. Thus the whole uncertain world came to reflect the inner precarious self. When things were not as they appeared to be, good might hide evil, safety might harbor danger, innocence sheltered conspiracies. When what looks benign is quite malignant, and the outside can turn into the inside, then the world can turn into self and vice versa. In such a chronic state of confusion and fear, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that even the enemy will prove to be a mirror image of no less than the self. No wonder that in defensive maneuvers the enemy is repeatedly projected outside as much as possible. And through paranoid and phobic outlooks the hitherto baffled self disperses confusion, imposes clear demarcations, and escapes impotence by attacking the newly exposed enemies, both within and without. But this restoration of omnipotence proves fleeting indeed because underneath its deceptive appearance lurks once more a reality of impotence in the face of a mortal threat. Somehow the elusive and highly mobile enemy is never fully vanquished, and for some mysterious reason it stays alive as long as the self persists.

Under the compelling psychological rules of this kind of a Manichean universe, identity is highly rigid, but also extremely volatile, and can always revert to its flip side. It becomes somewhat like a sock that can be presented in its normal exterior side but can be instantaneously turned inside out and presented that way. Psychologically speaking, therefore, the split Manichean world of deceptive appearances and treacherous boundaries, which induces paranoid and phobic fears, is an uncanny universe. It is uncanny because there is always something about it that is both recognizable and not recognizable, namely the old self. While this archaic self can shrivel in terror to become infinitesimal, it can also expand into primordial omnipotence to encapsulate the whole world, yet fail to recognize this world even though it looks strangely and eerily familiar. Thus, in a psychohistorical irony of fate, the geographically wandering Jews have been superseded by the psychologically nomadic Germans, who stumbled everywhere upon uncanny encounters with their own, unrecognizable but eerily familiar, group self.

The cardinal role of blood in Hitler's ideology also serves to expose the vulnerability of a universe that is characterized by permeability. Blood, which is the magical substance par excellence, has a free-flowing and border-crossing quality on multiple levels. It is a concrete biological concept that also transcends into the mystical dimension. As such it could propel Nazis from biological pessimism (the impact of pollution) to barbarism (annihilating polluters) as indicated by Rauschning. It is body but also spirit, thus uniting what would otherwise be the great psychophysical divide. It resides inside, yet can be spilled onto the outside. It giveth life but also decrees death. Most alarming is its predilection to cross racial lines -- that kind of border crossing that represents the original sin of humanity according to Hitler. Left unregulated, it can float back and forth from Aryans to Jews and lose its magical qualities. This forfeiture of magic is indeed an unpardonable sin, which is punished by sickness, decline, and death. But when it is strictly regulated by the power of the will, it regenerates and imparts its magic to its protectors. The fantasy of the pure blood of old -- its unfortunate contamination but also its future purification -- is a story of magic lost and won as racial destiny moved across symbolic borders passing from the phases of past utopia and post-utopian disaster into the coming phase of a new utopia. Time and again the multisymbolism of blood, as well as its inherent predilection to flow across both concrete and imaginary boundaries, pointed toward the pitfall of mortal dangers but also toward the glorious opportunity of scooping up the magic stuff and miraculous powers of this world. No longer did godly powers belong to God in heaven. They were now on earth at the disposal of that gifted man who had the vision to see them and the will to use them. Under his divine, i.e., racially inspired, regulation the German folk became the organic body within which its blood evolved into spirit that remained protected by a constant war against all enemies Jewish, Slavic, and otherwise. Thus, the magic of a utopian enclave within the faulty and highly permeable world yielded permanent barbarism. Chances are that utopian barbarism is the worst kind there is because it legitimizes inhumanity as an act of reparation and because it is carried out with the fanaticism of wounded and narcissistically injured groups who believe in the healing powers of revenge.

The biomystical concept of blood served also as the ideological basis for imposing totalitarian control upon society and state. The correlate of the underlying level of blood quality was personality worth, and it dictated the ordering of society in accordance with the stratification of this inherent merit across individuals. All this gives new meaning to the standard notion that "everything is in order." It now means that everything without exception should be regulated, that the imposition of this regulation should be compulsory and done by force when need be, and that the wide-scale assignment of roles to everybody should not cross forbidden boundaries. What the latter means is that the assignments should conform to the limits of the personal merits of each individual and should not transgress racial rules of blood quality. Seemingly everything must always be in order in Germany; otherwise the resultant crossing of symbolic borders spells peril to the self. Hence magic comes with an inordinate amount of regulation, which means that it comes at a very high cost. And if the cost is at the expense of reality, then it is indeed too high.

The mythology of blood served also to justify Hitler, the gifted genius and supreme leader, in his total control over the multitudes of brilliant dummies. It was the great chasm in force of personality between him and them by which nature ordained him to exercise the power of his will over them. And he did it in a style that made him a spellbinding dominator, a forceful seducer, and a masculine charmer of the receptive audiences. And while he became identified as the collective talisman of his nation, he even acquired a sort of "ego quality" that enabled all individuals to partake in his magic. The result was a widespread magical feeling of a benevolent transformation basically from impotence to omnipotence. This kind of radical transformation is just one more illustration of the ease with which an identity may revert to its flip side. Under the impact of such a ravishing seduction, which triggered an orgasmic switch from inferiority to superiority, almost the whole nation felt ready and destined for racial glory even as it was in actuality thoroughly regimented by Hitler. As the legend went, it was by virtue of his force of personality that he evolved into the mightiest protector of blood purity of all time, and he was chosen for this role by destiny, which meant by the underlying quality of his own blood. Now the entire nation was expected to catapult itself by this kind of a tautological magic, where the people guard the blood, which in turn invigorates them, in an ever escalating folkish prowess of a master race ready to dominate the world.

Yet this appetite for taking on the whole world was a dressed-up version of the archaic oral urge to take in the whole world. The illusion of omnipotence that sustains such limitless drives is based on a fundamental condition of the primordial psychic environment where most things are still largely merged with each other. This merged condition, which places everything within easy reach, is what enabled the rudimentary self to devour everything. It is therefore the very condition of being merged that serves as an illusionary source of surpassing power. In consequence, if a given group is overly concerned with historical divisions and is obsessed with fears of powerlessness, the urge to merge can reassert itself in future times in an attempt to revive the old kind of magical power, which would once again make possible the great oral engulfment of everything. It is therefore no coincidence that the Nazi ambition to rule Europe and to dominate the world was conditioned on the merging of people and leader to produce a single omnipotent will. The condition of ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer was a merged state of being that psychologically recreated in the modern and complex totalitarian state the much less differentiated condition of an infant who thrusts at the blurry world with all his oral might. And with the emergence of the unified political will, there was also the reemergence of the archaic oral will, the old devouring and omnipotent will, that kind of will that magically transforms "wanting" into "having." Nothing, therefore, could stand in the way of such an indomitable will (Hitler's favorite concept). Should reality have the temerity to stand in the way between wish and wish-fulfillment, the magical will would unceremoniously brush it aside.

One way of looking at Hitler's ideology is that it designated a specific racial group, the Aryans, as "chosen people" of sorts. They were chosen by nature to be the carriers of better blood. This made them superior, in fantasy, in a fully integrated psychophysical sense. And it entitled them, again in fantasy, by virtue of their blood to a special justice that would grant them the extra allotment that, it was believed, providentially superior people deserve. The underlying assumptions that go into such a sweeping perception are powerful and carry a psychological allure. Hence the unfortunate attraction-power of some racist notions. First and foremost there is the health notion of psychophysical integrity with its imposition of a monistic fate upon the old dualism of body and soul. It meant that everything, both material and spiritual, had to be manipulated in tandem. This had to be done because without such uniform control any damage to psychophysical health could spread and bring about decline and death in conformity to the rules of monistic fate. Thus, the ideological requirement of the monistic health notion was the practice of that kind of complete control that amounted to totalitarianism. In turn, totalitarianism involved the wholesale and rigid implementation of the hierarchical leadership principle that served as a magic power formula. The implementation of the leadership principle was expected to result in the preservation of psychophysical integrity throughout the national organism, thus fulfilling a prerequisite of an ideal unity of mind and body where the power of the will prevails. And the resultant magic that was ultimately derived from blood was going to be used to secure the blood entitlement -- the special justice for the chosen people. For blood entitlement was thus far not rewarded with the proper extra allotment of worldly fortunes because of the machinations of other evil powers. This criminal discrepancy between original entitlement and actual allotment was against nature and was in and by itself an irrefutable proof of injustice. Being shortchanged -- in spite of providential entitlement -- was the core meaning of injustice. Even the famous injustice of Versailles was but the outer symbol for this underlying ontological conception of injustice. Versailles, however, provided Hitler with the smoking gun, proof positive of the crime of injustice against Germany, which he was going to rectify with blazing guns.

In his study of the Nazi doctors and the psychology of genocide, Robert Jay Lifton put forward the principle of doubling as a psychological mechanism for handling conflicts of identity. Doubling is the division of the self into two separate functioning wholes so that each part-self could act as an entire self (Lifton 1986,418). He also suggested that although a certain amount of doubling is a pervasive phenomenon, a destructive version of it, which he named "victimizer's doubling" and which is less prevalent, was in operation in Nazi Germany. Resorting to this mechanism enabled the Germans to tap in a more extensive way the underlying and general human potential for mobilizing evil (Lifton 1986, 464). While Lifton's suggestion concerning doubling and the Nazi doctors seems plausible, its extension in the form of victimizer's doubling to cover most German Nazis is problematic. The Nazi doctors encountered a clash of two ideologies. Their Hippocratic oath mandated healing, not killing. But the Nazi ideology promoted killing for the sake of healing the collective. To overcome the healing versus killing contradiction, which Lifton depicted so well, doubling was a handy psychological maneuver since it provided two separate selves for two separate tasks. But this was not the case for the population at large. Those who became committed Nazis did not view Nazi ideology as something that contradicted their previous beliefs. There was no clash there. The new ideology reaffirmed long-held convictions but provided new ways of living up to them. The ideology of death to the Jews but life to the Germans did not put the German self in conflict with its past beliefs. Consequently no doubling of the self for the sake of handling a conflict was necessary. By contrast, total psychological repression of any awareness of the possibility that the mythical Jew is a projection of the German self was very necessary. For with such an awareness creeping into consciousness, death to the Jews would have also meant death to the Germans. In that case the barbarism of killing would have lost its utopian quality of healing. Such a stupendous loss would require giving up such precious psychic commodities as the possession of magic, self-righteous cruelty, claims to superiority, and mighty dreams for eternal victory. In sum, rather than creating contradictions, which could stress the self, the ideology of death, which relied on massive repressions, tied everything neatly together into the psychological package deal of an harmonious single self.

The fusion of contradictory images that went into the portrayal of the ideal national organism is of great psychological significance. As we may recall, in practice the folkish state represented the triumph of mechanism. This led Franz Neumann (1966, 439) to speak about the destruction of spontaneity, the incorporation of the population into a super-machine, and the cardinal role of magic in Nazi culture. In a somewhat similar fashion, Mumford regarded the coercive political organization of human beings into megamachines as an inherently destructive force, which kills people and which suppresses the spontaneity, individuality, and creativity of the living. Nazism also fell into this pattern but with a certain distinction. Mumford described the work of the Nazi megamachine in concentration camps as "far more thrifty in carefully conserving the by-products -- the human wastes, the gold from the teeth, the fat, the bone meal for fertilizers -- even the skin for lamp-shades" (Mumford 1970,278-79). What Mumford seemed to have implied here was that the thrifty, possibly anal, Germans cared more than others to put the physical remains of the destructive work of the megamachine into material production. They therefore excelled in the conversion of living humans into inanimate material goods.

There also are important psychocultural implications to Neumann's pairing of a super-machine with what amounts to the infantile magic of old. The blurring of boundaries among members of the folkish community and the attempted reduction of their collective existence to the undifferentiated level that characterizes infants were both utopian and totalitarian. In reality there are no such creatures as psychologically borderless adults except for instances of very severe psychopathology, and this fact could not be obliterated by the promise of an orgasmic redemption through fusion with the collective national being. The whole venture was unrealistic to begin with since such an infantilization could not be fully implemented and permanently sustained with adults, in spite of the regressive tendencies that groups can foster and in spite of the totalitarian coercion by the folkish state.

But as the myth went, this undifferentiated, i.e., infantile, national organism was supposed to continue functioning at the level of technologically capable adults able to wage the most modem of warfares. What this meant was that the folk comrades should technically fight like adults, but psychologically function like infants, or fight like machines but die like humans. Indeed, in spite of its "organic" label, the folkish state was a war machine whose infantilized inhabitants were imbued with the spirit of the sacrifice. And this hallowed national organism, this undifferentiated collectivity that was a "crossbreed" between infant and machine, was programmed for the two interlocking tasks of incorporation and expulsion. With its limitless dynamism, it was going to engage in permanently gobbling up new living spaces while at the same time expelling poison, decay, and rot. In other words, it was going to eat territories and shit Jews. It was going to roll over the entire world, take it all in, decompose the decomposers, and expel the decay into oblivion. This was the universal Nazi juggernaut, an infantile perpetuum mobile machine for cleansing the earth. And as usual, the endeavor to set up a perpetual motion device represented magic rather than science. In the best Nazi traditions of "movement" and "energy," the mechanical human organism was set up to accomplish its task by incorporating more and more chunks of the earth into the ever extended German self while spewing out all its disease agents. And there was no chance that it was ever going to stop. It was meant to last for a thousand years, meaning forever, and it was never meant to come to a halt in some static state of summum bonum (highest good). Energy and life mean constant dynamism and ceaseless action. Only death means eternal rest. And there had never been a destiny of eternal rest set up for the collective national organism, which was going to live forever. The infantile machine was therefore destined to keep on rolling, finding new sacrificial humans to waste wherever it could. After disposing of all Jews, it would have done away with all corrupted others, all Judaized non-Jews who represent the new ferment of decomposition, which would eventually include everybody. Even Germans were no longer safe from it. It was therefore necessary for the world to stop the infantile living machine, and it was time for the Germans to grow up.

In the present context "to grow up" implies some form of character change. Our exploration of what Weiss (1996, 317) called the twin "final solutions" of lebensraum and genocide exposed underlying psychological drives for incorporation and expulsion, which pattern themselves after biology. It is not surprising that themes that float in the public domain and affect popular imagination and the life of the collective can have personality implications. One need not, however, go through a lengthy detour of studying psychology, ideology, history, and shared fantasies in order to "discover" that people can be oral and anal. The pertinent issue here is not that people have basic drives, but rather how these drives are woven into a symbolic expression of the conflict between their hopes and dreams on the one hand and their terrors and fears on the other. Whatever "resolution" this conflict receives, it ends up shaping character, including national character.

In popular parlance, the Germans have a reputation for being overwhelmingly on the side of what can be stereotypically labeled as anally retentive in character. Who has not heard that Germans are pedantic, meticulous, sticklers for details, compulsive about cleanliness, obsessive about executing work with precision, and extremely punctual with just about anything ranging from train schedules to social engagements. Under the impact of such stereotypes, one could easily forget that the Germans are also hopelessly romantic and even capable of the kind of upheavals and explosions that demonic romanticism generates. One could even acknowledge that the Germans are fairly oral and seem to love to eat good food and drink beer. But in spite of the prevalence of pot bellies among Germans, they do not let it get out of hand, and they distinguish between eating like a human being (essen) and gobbling like an animal (fressen). Thus, in spite of some observable oral characteristics, the overall reputation of the German character is predominantly anal.

But I do not think that this popular verdict is correct, and in order to help settle the issue we need to identify the psychological ramifications of orality and anality. Orality as a character trait goes way beyond the love of food. The old mode of oral incorporation comes to symbol- ize the desired satisfaction of any nice or nasty wish taken from a huge wish list of wants. The oral mode signifies a fixation on that kind of stance toward life that repeatedly proclaims, "I want, I want, I want. ... " Not only can the "wants" be limitless in number, but they each can be unlimited in quality. One wants to be the best, to have the most, to dominate others, to be worshiped, to receive the sweet tasting food of recognition, and so on and on and on. Another way of putting it would be to say that one wants nothing less than all the material and spiritual assets of this world. And incorporation, both actual and symbolic, stands for the actual fulfillment of each specific desire. It reaffirms that what was wanted has been taken, even taken in, has become part of the self. The character trait of orality is therefore in the business of incorporating the unlimited. It is a trait that betrays vestiges of infantile magic, harking back to a time when fulfilling limitless wishes was still "possible" because the world did not yet include a sufficient amount of borders, boundaries, or for that matter, limits.

By contrast, the anal mode is supposed to have evolved out of the social pressure to learn to control retention and elimination. It therefore puts a premium on rules and regulations, on propriety and impropriety, on delay and on timing, and, on the whole, on maintaining control over the entire process. Consequently, the anal mode becomes an expression of preference for setting limits and boundaries on a wide array of human endeavors that go way beyond the regulation of bodily functions.

We are in a better position now to understand the role of the reputed anality of the German national character. It is a reaction to as well as setting limits upon an insatiable oral greed. With its unyielding demand for magical wish fulfillment, oral greed could easily burst out of control. There is a good chance that the historical impetus for settling upon the oral mode came from a deeply felt sense of injustice that justified the taking of exceptional measures in line with oral excess. Kohn (1960, 97) described this feeling as follows: "Situated in the center of Europe, open to influences and incursions from all sides, deprived by historical fate and enemy envy of their national unity and world-historical rank, the Germans felt that they had been ill-treated by history. Therefore they had a right -- and even a moral obligation -- to take recourse to exceptional measures in order to remedy this intolerable situation."

One possible implication of all this is that the constant need to reverse the existential status quo out of a sense of victimization reinforced the predilection to adopt the sweeping style of the oral mode. It signaled readiness to challenge history and represented the protest of the victimized. This implied that with a German self-image changing away from victimization, the vigor of the oral mode could lessen. It should be remembered, though, that the fixation at the level of the limitless oral avarice came at the price of fuzzy boundaries. This made limits impossible and the fulfillment of limitless wishes possible. But such a borderless state of affairs carried with it not only the glory of wish fulfillment but also the terror of being invaded, diffused, sucked dry, and annihilated. Therefore limit-setting in the anal mode must have been welcomed grudgingly, as some magic had to be forsaken, but also with relief, as some of the internal terror was kept at bay. Together the two modes reflected an orientation toward life that aspired for the mental luxury of the simultaneous utilization of discipline combined with uncontrollability. The combination of the two modes kept the German character in a psychological blend that can best be termed meticulously emotional.

History has shown by now that the reinstitution of psychological boundaries and limits through anal compulsiveness is a poor substitute for reality. So long as the reaching out continues to be primarily oral in nature and is anchored in limitless magic, many endeavors are fated to remain programs for failure. Ultimately the character flaw is biting off more than one can chew. And the end result of this flaw in the German national character has been repetition of trauma. In order to break this vicious cycle, one needs to undergo character changes. Growing up means realizing that one is special because one is unique, not because one is providentially superior. The rewards of setting out to achieve realistic endeavors outstrip illusionary oral magic as well the oppressing constraints of anality. My impression, for whatever it is worth, is that the majority of Germans nowadays have their feet anchored in reality.

But there is no question that the horrors that were visited upon humanity during the Nazi era point toward the flawed nature of human beings, which allows them to commit atrocities when under the influence of ideologies of death. The underlying problem, and not specifically with regard to Germany, merits a few metapsychological speculations, which are offered here as metaphors, perhaps useful ones. In terms of the psychological birth of the human being, it seems that in the beginning there was the primordial split between self and world, which slowly arose out of a state that until then was characterized by total diffusion and nondifferentiation. Therefore, the first available model of a sense of being was already a split model. In consequence, when a sense of self crystallized a bit more it also settled into a split model after which it was initially patterned. Thus, there may always be traces of a breach within the individual as well as group self, which reflect the fuzzy primordial split of self and world. This newer breach within the self has been frequently handled or surmounted by endowing one part with a "bad" ego quality and projecting it outside to others. Through this maneuver the "bad" element is transformed from being part of one's conscious self into an external alien. This early development receives further elaborations in individuals and in collective life by externalization to other groups. The developmental sequence may therefore be as follows. Out of total followed by near-total diffusion arises a barely differentiated being that revolves around a split between self and world. The primordial split develops into a breached self that utilizes projections. These projections create a collective division of "us" and "them," which the group members maintain by means of externalizations. The mechanism that facilitates this practice of dividing the world into enemies and allies lies in the postverbal development of specific and suitable targets of externalization, as amply illustrated by Volkan (1988).

So in the psychological beginning there was the split after which all later developments have been patterned. But what happens if at some future time, for traumatic, ideological, or other reasons, the externalization of "bad" parts as a "remedy" proves insufficient for retaining a sense of inner wholeness and goodness. At such times, for the sake of "healing" the breach, externalization may be compelled to proceed further into annihilation of the split-off part of the self, i.e. killing in war, or even extermination in a holocaust. The breached being of human beings may every so often erupt into cosmic rage as the narcissistic injury of "injustice" propels a dynamism of limitless revenge against the bad side of the split. Be it tiny terrorist groups or small as well as large nations, the capacity for mass murder during surging rage is there because of the mounting psychic pressure to do away with the existential condition of being split, by exterminating the bad part of the split self. With traumatic histories and under the influence of ideological world views, which make the tolerance of "badness" narcissistically impossible, a shared fantasy of healing through killing can take over and usher in a new venture of utopian barbarism. Due to different psychohistorical developments, different human groups are not alike in being so predisposed. But the genocidal potential of humanity is unfortunately always there. It bodes ill for the future.

It would be easy to succumb to a pessimistic mood and to a judgmental conclusion that says that Germans will always be Germans and that, if they did it once, they could do it again. But try as I may to anticipate future trends, I keep coming up with a more optimistic conclusion. In essence it seems to me that the cycle of trauma repetition has been broken. My impressions, which are based only on observations from afar, pertain to the more general and dominant trends. They are not meant to ignore the disturbing phenomenon of Holocaust deniers or to underestimate vestiges of the past among some Germans of the older generation and the existence and activities of neo-Nazi groups that include young people. I can only paint the following picture in broad strokes.

To begin with, the post-World War II history of Germany did not seem at all to consist of a psychohistorical replay of the Weimar Republic, where a shaky democratic government was under constant violent attacks from both the extreme political right and the extreme political left. This time the democratic center patterned itself more after the British model of the party in power facing a loyal opposition. The reasons for this break with the past may go back to the two world wars. Fritz Stern (1965) conducted a penetrating analysis of a particular type of cultural despair that drove Germans toward a leap from despair to utopia across all existing reality. And .he maintained that this mood, which originated in the second half of the nineteenth century, seized both the German right and the Nazis. He thus concluded that in many respects Nazi ideology resembled this earlier Germanic ideology. It was because of this particular historical legacy of cultural despair that certain consequences followed. Peace in 1919 signified only the continuation of war by other means, it ushered in a period of unprecedented violence, and in fact a second Thirty Years' War had begun (F. Stern 1975, 120). To elaborate, within the German psyche the First World War did not really end in 1918, so that eventually the Second World War unfolded as a psychohistorical replay of the first.

But this time there has been no replay of the original defeat scenario. It was as if the politics of cultural despair lost their potency for one reason or another. Germany was indeed defeated. Yet the "almost factor" in German history did not repeat itself. It did not seem that by cruel machinations, which require conspiratorial explanations, defeat was snatched at the last moment from the jaws of a tantalizing "almost" victory. No surprise this time. Some Germans had already figured it out when Germany proved incapable of invading England. Others had an inkling of what was to come when the Wehrmacht was pushed away from the gates of Moscow. But most Germans knew after Stalingrad that only defeat lay ahead. The increasingly extensive bombing of German cities as the war progressed also alerted the population to the prospect of an impending defeat. There was therefore no last-minute and shocking surprise to leave the seemingly victorious Germans highly baffled over the sudden turn of events. In other words, this second Thirty Years' War, in which World War II was but a continuation of World War I, finally ended. It ended in a definite verdict of defeat. This time there would be no lost victories to retrieve and no defeats to reverse during future psychohistorical replays of the past. An exhausted Germany accepted defeat.

Defeat brought with it the division of Germany. In past times such a condition of cutting into the national body could easily foster dreams of power and revenge. But it seems that the majority of people in both Germanies felt, quite realistically, like midgets among giants. It was a reality that was hard to ignore. Rather than clinging to illusions concerning the redressing of injustice by German might, most Germans seemed to have felt the way the Poles traditionally did, i.e., like a small power stuck between two superpowers.

Fortunately the aftermath of defeat did not seem to resemble the history that followed the Versailles peace treaty. In East Germany total subservience to the Soviet Union was the order of the day, as it was in the rest of Eastern Europe. It was not pleasant but it represented the consequences of superpower rivalry, which was not reserved for Germans only by virtue of being Germans. This fact defused any fantasies concerning Germans' being singled out unfairly. In West Germany, America was viewed as a benefactor ever since the final days of the war, when German soldiers were trying to surrender in droves to the Americans. And the allies were conscious of the post-Versailles history in which to the Germans "the terms of the armistice, of the interim demands for deliveries from current German production, and the peace treaty and the interpretation that France put upon its fulfillment became one of the most monumental pieces of hypocrisy of all time" (Davidson 1977, 114). Therefore, all three allies were this time determined to avoid economic suffocation (the Marshall Plan included Germany) and a repetition of political measures that would make Germans feel like pariahs and cause them to seek revenge. They succeeded. Most Germans did not sin~ into a bitter obsession over maltreatment by the victorious powers. So once again a replay has been avoided -- this time a replay of the psychic trauma of the Diktat of Versailles.

More recently still another replay failed to materialize when the reunification of east and west Germany took place. There was jubilation, of course, which was tempered by pocketbook concerns that Chancellor Kohl tried to minimize. This was not exactly a picture of running amuck with heady nationalism. After some initial hesitation, Kohl accepted the need to leave the issue of the Polish border as is, and not open up a hornets' nest. Pragmatism prevailed as Germans living abroad were welcomed back from Silesia, Volga, etc. Reunification so far does not seem to have revived the old dreams of a German Middle Europe that would serve as a springboard toward world domination.

The latest evidence for positive changes in German identity and character is the passage on May 21, 1999, by the Reichstag of a new immigration law that makes it easier for residents of foreign origin to acquire German citizenship. Beforehand, the conception of German nationality and the resultant eligibility for German citizenship rested on the notion of ethnic German blood lines, which disqualified many immigrants. It was not easy for the German public to reach this point, and it took a lot of political bickering and heated public debates to finally get there. The painful controversy and subsequent success of the new immigration law were of great psychological significance. They signaled the collective process of a gradual redefinition of German identity by moving away from the historically lethal notion of the sacred status of blood. This latest evidence of flexibility and change within the culture is heartening.

All in all, the second half of the twentieth century does not show a German history that is significantly saturated with psychohistorical replays. Such a saturation is the basic criterion for passing or failing "the sense of foreboding" test. Contemporary Germany gets a definite pass, and the situation is most likely going to improve even more as the younger generation takes over. As a matter of fact, most young Germans feel very friendly toward the French and vice versa; neither of them represents the hereditary enemy any longer. To these young Germans "replay" dreams of marching in a victory parade in the Champs-Elysees would truly seem like madness. Psychohistorical replays just don't seem to be the order of the day, but historical reexamination is. The great popularity, albeit not among the establishment of the historical profession, of Goldhagen's book (1996) on the participation of many ordinary Germans in the Holocaust is another sign that contemporary Germans seek new understandings rather than old/new replays. There is a good chance that the seeking of such knowledge is going to serve as a major antidote to racism. At the end of this journey it may no longer be necessary for large numbers of Germans to project disowned parts of the self into demonic others, such as Turks, or to carry a split self-image of brilliant dummies. It all signals a growing willingness on the part of Germans to acknowledge responsibility for the past and to secure a realistic future that is neither utopian nor barbaric.
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Re: The Roots of Nazi Psychology, by Jay Y. Gonen

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Re: The Roots of Nazi Psychology, by Jay Y. Gonen

Postby admin » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:59 am


Adenauer, Konrad, 186
Allen, William Sheridan, 161
America, 210
antisemitism: in Der Sturmer, 54-55;
"emotional," 18; exterminationist/
eliminationist, 189, 190;
Fenichel's psychological theory, 55; "inverted," 177; historical, in
Germany, 189; Hitler's writings, 46, 48; in Mein Kampf, 22;
"messianic," 101; Nazi plays, 57; "racially informed/
grounded" 24; "rational," 18;
"reason" 47; "redemptive," 22;
religious, 25, 26; "scientific,"
24, 26, 27, 53, 83; "unsentimental,"
24; in Viennese press, 46
art/aesthetics in Nazi Germany, 162-
67; Degenerate Art exhibition, 166; Great German Art exhibition, 166; speech at opening of
House of German Art, 167
Aryans, 18, 19, 21, 22, 29, 35, 36, 41, 62, 65, 84, 135, 144, 170, 188, 198, 200
Augsburg speech, 133
Austria, 44, 139, 181, 186
Austrian Christian Social Party, 25, 26
Bailey, George, 131-32
Beisel, David, 166, 193-94
Berlin Sportpalast speech, 52
Bessel, Richard, 33
Binion, Rudolph, 6, 47, 100, 101, 102, 117, 118, 123, 129-30, 131
Bismarck, Quo von, 32, 125, 131, 132
blood: as a central concept in Nazi
racial doctrine (a blood cult), 62, 66-68, 170, 171, 184, 198, 199, 200; ethnic German blood no
longer necessary for German
citizenship, 211; fantasy of Jews
as vampires drinking Christian
blood, 57; in Host-desecration
libels, 63-64; as immortality, 62-63, 67; magical qualities of
blood, 53, 62, 63, 66, 67-68, 170, 184, 198; pollution/
poisoning of blood, 43, 53, 62, 69, 111, 149; as sacrifice, 148, 154; and soil, 69; supposed
Jewish ritual murder of Christian
children for their blood, 54, 63;
use by Richard Wagner in racist
theorizing, 64-65
borders/boundaries/frontiers: Limes
Germanicus, 186, 187; their
psychological meanings, 125-
28, 155-56, 165, 174, 175, 177-
78, 180, 185-86, 195, 197, 198, 203, 205-6
Bormann, Martin, 184
Bracher, Karl Dietrich, 160
Braun, Eva, 160
Brest-Litovsk peace treaty, 118, 119, 120
Chamberlain, Neville, 193
Charlemagne, 180, 183, 185, 186
Christians/Christianity, 20, 25, 36, 220
53, 111-12; Christianity vs.
tribal paganism, 175; destruction
of Rome by Christianity
according to Hitler, 182-84;
Orthodox Christianity, 185
Churchill, Winston, 139
Craig, Gordon, 160
democracy: faults according to
Hitler, 47, 72-73, 76, 138-39, 140; of Jewish origin, according
to Hitler, 19, 73; in the Weimar
Republic, 208-9
Der Stumer, 54
Dusseldorf speech to Industry Club, 116
Eastern Europe, 210
East Germany, 210
Eckart, Dietrich, 34, 183
energy: as vital in the Nazi state, 9, 76-77, 83, 84, 109, 149, 150, 153, 154, 204
England/English people, 139
Erikson, Erik, 6
Europe/Europeans, 108, 109, 142, 176, 186; role increasing the
probability of World War II, 193-94
fake diaries of Hitler, 49
Falk, Avner, 125
fascism in Germany, 158; ideology, 44, 46
femininity of the masses, 11, 14, 79, 85, 95, 180
Fenichel, Otto, 55, 82, 127
Fest, Joachim, 47
final solution to the Jewish question, 69
Foch, Marshall, 117
folkish state/people
(Volksgemeinschaft), 11, 19, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 68, 72, 100, 105, 108, 109, 137-68, 171, 183, 188, 202, 203; as infantile
perpetuum mobile machine, 203-4
Ford, Henry, 94
France, 44, 181, 193, 210; "Jewish-dominated,"
39; Jews, 101;
middle-class, 58; "negrified," 39
Frankfurt Parliament of 1848-1850, 132
Freud, Anna: theoretical concepts
regarding trauma, 127-28
Freud, Sigmund, 13; "Beyond the
Pleasure Principle," 13; book on
group psychology, 44, 77, 92;
concept of the "uncanny," 55, 56, 121, 197; psychoanalytic
postulates, 2; repetition compulsion, 56; theoretical concepts
regarding unresolved traumas, 125-27; theory of sublimation, 32
Friedlander, Saul, 158, 159
Fromm, Eric, 114
Fuhrer, 49, 74, 75, 103, 110, 124, 152, 155, 159, 160, 167, 168, 173, 188
Gemlich, Adolf, 17
genocide/genocidal potential, 14, 136, 155, 173, 175-76, 189-93, 201, 204, 208
German group psychology, 8, 9;
"almost factor," 131-32, 209; as
"brilliant dummies," 81, 82, , 173, 199; damage to German
identity because of the Nazi
period, 176-77; national
fantasies about the Holy Roman
Empire of the German Nation, 182, 183; no longer "brilliant
dummies," 211; passion for
absolutes, 194-95
German romanticism, 159; apocalyptic
forces, 159; messianic forces, 159
German tribes, ancient, 53, 175;
_______ Goths, 181
German Workers' Party, 10
Gilbert, Martin, 135
Gleichschaltung (coordination), 160-
Goebbels, Joseph, 134, 135
Goethe's concept of two souls in one
breast, 174
Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah, 189;
interest in his book by contemporary
Germans, 211
Greater Germany, 187
Gregor, A. James, 44-45, 77
Grimm brothers fairy tales, 9
group development and group
identification, 124, 187, 191
group psychology, 128, 187;
fantasies, 2, 3-5, 9, 102, 191;
themes, 5, 54, 122
Grunberger, Richard, 152
Hanseatic League, 132
Hanson, John, 164
Heiden, Konrad, 14, 92-93, 95
Heuss, Theodor, 186
history: German, 7, 89, 125, 186, 189, 196, 208; Israeli, 4; Jewish, 4
Hitler's Secret Book, 11, 12
Hitler's Secret Conversations, 17, 99, 106, 180
Hohenstauffen emperors, 132, 186
Holocaust, 2, 4, 135, 136, 189-91, 195
Holocaust deniers, 208
Holy Roman Empire of the German
Nation, 160, 181, 182, 184
ideology: of death, 189, 202, 207;
definition of, 2, 191-92;
overwhelming importance of, 192
Israel: enemies (Amalek, Haman), 4;
fighters of today, 4; illusion of
omnipotence, 4
Italy, 44, 181; fascism, 44, 77;
friendship with Germany, 12
Jackel, Eberhard, 11, 12, 21, 190
Japanese, 180
Jews: European, 4; fighting, 4;
nonfighters of yesteryear, 4; as
poison/sickness, according to
Hitler, 22, 17-70, 169, 172, 173, 188; psychohistory, 3; as a race, according to Hitler, 17, 169
Joly, Maurice, 93
Jung, Carl: psychoanalytic postulates, 2
justice, 97, 103, III, 113, 171, 185;
asymmetrical justice, 116, 119, 120; correcting injustice through
magic, 118, 120, 121, 155, 171;
Germans entitled to special
justice, 200, 201; historical
injustice, 100, 108, 109, 110, 114, 116-17, 119, 171, 201;
symmetry of, 111, 114-16, 122, 154, 171; zero-sum game, 112-
13, 114, 115, 116, 118
kaisers, 33, 64
Kershaw, Ian, 193
kitsch and death 158-60
Koenigsberg, Richard, 144
Kohl, Helmut, 210
Kohn, Hans, 186
lebensraum (living space), 21, 37, 53, 69, 91, 97, 99-136, 172, 190, 204
Le Bon, Gustave, 13, 14, 37, 44, 45, 48, 50, 77-80, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 89, 93, 95, 96; book on the
psychology of crowds, 92
Lerchenfeld, Count, 24
Leschnitzer, Adolf, 56
Lex Talionis, 114
Lifton, Robert Jay, 201-2
Loewenberg, Peter, 128-29
Ludendorff, Erich, 119
Lutheran princes, 186
magic: black magic, 111; magic
power formula, 23, 71, 88, 89, 96-97, 102, 111, 133, 141, 148, 149, 161, 170, 173, 178, 188, 201; political magic, 154, 173, 177; reality catching up to, 118, 168
Malleus Maleficarum, The (The
witches' hammer), 43
Mannheim, Karl, 1, 169
Marshall plan, 210
Marxism/bolshevism, 23, 36, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 73, 87, 100, 104, 109, 182, 183, 184, 185; started
by Moses and the Apostle Paul, according to Hitler, 183
Masada Complex, 4, 40
Mein Kampf, 10, 11, 12, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 37, 46, 47, 49, 80, 82, 84, 86, 103, 107, 143, 144, 147
Mommsen, Theodor, 19
Mosse, George, 105, 165-66
Mumford, Lewis, 202, 203
Munich speech (March 12, 1933), 161
Mussolini, Benito, 44
myths, 2, 149; of Hitler himself as
solely responsible for the
Holocaust, 192; of the Holy
Roman Empire, 181; kitsch as
debased myth, 159; and magic, 54, 62, 105; myth making, 6, 53;
myth selling, 6, 7, 10, 12, 164, 165; past utopias/omnipotence, 62, 178; "stab in the back," 8, 60-61, 180
Napoleon (I), 181
Napoleon III, 93
National Socialist Women's Association
speech by Hitler, 157
Nazism, 45; apocalyptic features, 48, 105, 135, 170; barbarians as
honorable, 183, 184; as a
complex organized totalitarian
state, 1, 190; control of clubs, societies, and other organizations, 161; Gnostic features, 105; ideological messages, slogans, and songs, I, 2, 34, 45-
46, 69, 96, 152, 167, 187, 190;
Manichean features, 105, 113, 178, 179, 180, 197; messianism, 10, 14, 22, 40, 52, 69, 179, 187;
millenarianism, 48, 105; party
meetings and rallies, 5, 74, 86, 151, 153, 167; putsch, 117; role
of magic, 202; as a secular
religion, 105; youth, 128. See
also magic
neo-Nazis, 208
Neumann, Franz, 202, 203
Neumann, Sigmund, 149, 151, 152, 186
Nolte, Ernst, 8, 183
Ochrana secret police (of tsarist
Russia), 93, 94
"original sin" is racial pollution, according to Hitler, 39, 44, 53, 170, 184, 198
"personality worth" ideology, 73-76, 79, 80, 84, 90, 140-41, 143, 167, 170, 171, 199
Poisonous Mushroom, The, 54
Polish peoplelborder, 196, 210
Pope John XII, 181
Pope Leo III, 180
propaganda from the Nazis, 72, 9-2, 103, 135, 156, 157, 159, 162, 167
Protocols o/the Elders o/Zion, 14, 30, 37, 54, 91, 92-93, 94, 96
Prussia, 181, 186; Prussian army, 73-74
psychoanalytic models, 2
psychobiography, 5, 12, 129
psychogeography, 123, 125, 178, 186, 187
psychohistory, 6, 10, 12, 128, 129;
myths as group fantasies, 9;
power and boundaries, 12, 27, 174; psychohistorical replays, 6, 9, 117, 209
psychology, 2; anality, 204-5, 205-6, 207; defenses/defense mechanisms
3, 174, 192, 196, 197;
doubling, 201-2; drives 6;
magic to overcome
psychohistorical trauma, 54, 82;
megalomania, grandiosity, 109, 110; motives, 6; narcissism and
narcissistic wounds, 3, 102, 114, 120, 130, 164, 165, 199, 208;
orality/oral aggression, 123, 124, 178, 200, 204, 205, 206, 207; paranoia underlying
Hitler's anti-Jewish ideology, 14, 52, 54, 55, 57, 59, 60, 94, 102, 113, 179, 180, 197; phobic
theme of Jews causing "sickness/
infection," 53-54, 59-60, 91, 96, 169-70, 173, 179, 180, 188, 197; primordial split, 207-
8; projection, 109, 120, 121, 122, 186, 187; regression, 89, 203; repetition of undigested
trauma, 6, 7, 102, 117-18, 120, 121, 125, 128, 129, 131, 168, 176, 185, 191, 207, 208;
repression, 202; splitting, 81-82, 122-23, 129, 132, 166, 173, 175, 177-78, 180, 186, 187;
"uncanny" experience for
Germans regarding German
Jews, 58-59, 176, 19
psychophysical integrity, 105-6, 143, 148, 169, 177, 184, 198, 200, 201
race and racism: the German "master
race," 11, 14, 19, 21, 25, 26, 33,
37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 52, 53, 62, 64-65, 66-67, 73, 75-76, 80, 84, 89, 90, 91, 107, 116, 141, 147, 168, 170, 171, 173, 179, 180, 189, 190, 199, 200;
reverse racism, 177; unfortunate
attraction of some racist notions, 200-201
Rauschning, Hermann, 146, 149, 194, 198
Reichstag speech, 51, 74
Rhodes, James, 48, 105
Rohm purge, 164
Roman Empire/Greco-Roman
civilization, 4, 53, 122, 174, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186
Roman God of War, 160
Rosenberg, Alfred, 94
Russia/Russians, 50, 51, 52, 93, 108, 184; losing on the eastern front
of World War II, 134-35;
military strength, 118; World
War II German attack on the
U.S.S.R., 121, 134, 159
sacrifice, 144-50, 153-55, 159, 168, 173, 203
Satan/the devil, 43, 44
Saxons, 181; imperial bishops and
lower level clergy, 181; King
Quo the Great, 181
Schoenbaum, David, 69, 141-42, 146
second Thirty Years' War, 209
Shirer, William, 117, 164
Sighele, Scipio, 44
Six Day War, 4
Slavic people, 51, 53, 122, 184, 185, 198; German fantasy myth about
Slavic intentions toward
Germany, 174; historical drive to
expand Germany into their
territory, 172; Nazi plan to
enslave them, 174
social Darwinism, 20, 38, 44, 65, 66
Sorel, Georges, 67
South Tyrol, 12
Stem, Fritz, 209
Stem, J.P., 19, 49
Stierlin, H., 6, 80
Streicher, Julius, 54
Sudeten land Germans from Czechoslovakia, 196
syphilis, 31, 32, 33
Taylor, A.J.P., 119, 185, 186
Teutonic knights, 132
Thirty Years' War (second), 209
thousand year Reich/Third Reich, 40, 96, 145, 146
Turks, 211
utopia, 7, 10, 53, 69, 113, 155, 157, 170, 187, 198, 203, 209, 211; as
ideology, 14, 54, 180; utopian
barbarism, 198, 208
Versailles: injustice of, 201; insult!
trauma of, 20, 21, 116, 191, 210;
Treaty (Diktat) of, 18, 20, 110-
11, 118-19, 120, 210
Viereck, Peter, 174, 186
violence, 67, 186, 209
Volga, 210
Vo1kan, Vamik, 124, 125, 208
Voltaire, Francois, 181
Wagner, Adolf: Proclamation to the
People, 164
Wagner, Richard, 7;
Gotterdammerung, 160; the
Grail Quest, 64-66; operas, 8, 64
Waite, Robert, 85, 92, 159
warlbatt1e as ideology, 67, 89, 151, 155, 159, 168, 171, 173;
permanent war on the Jews, 68
Wehrmacht, 209
Weimar Republic, 19, 145, 208-9
Weininger, Otto, 14, 42, 79, 80, 82, 84, 86, 87, 88, 92, 95, 106, 107;
theory ofheterosty1ism, 34-37, 85, 96
Weiss, John, 119, 189, 192, 204
West Germany, 210
will, power of, 13, 20, 21, 23, 76, 78, 79, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 92, 96, 109, 110, 116, 120, 141, 148, 169, 170, 177, 178, 189, 198, 200
Women's liberation: invented by
Jews, according to Hitler, 157
world domination: theories of, 11, 21, 22, 37, 39, 40, 41, 50, 54, 92-95, 96, 100, 101, 142, 184, 188, 191
World War 1, 6, 8, 18, 19, 61, 82, 117, 209; Hitler's war injury, 6;
territorial loss of the losers, 6, 18, 118; trauma/humiliation of
defeat, 2, 102, 117, 128
World War II, 152, 193, 209; French
surrender, 117; German surrender, 162; origin in World War I
and Great Depression traumas, 129
Yiddish, 43, 55, 57
zeitgeist, 3, 5, 13, 34, 92, 163, 164;
Hitler as scanner of, 5, 33, 82-
83, 85, 96, 165, 193; ideological
themes within, 10, 44, 66, 69, 84, 89, 106, 191
Zionism: First Zionist Congress, 94;
Hitler's theory of, 21, 41
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