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December 18, 2017

How the Nazis Hijacked Nietzsche…

Filed under: Germany — furtherglory @ 3:15 pm

Friedrich Nietzsche, a famous German philosopher

When I was in college, back in the Dark Ages, it was often said that to understand the Nazis, one had to study the writing of Nietzche.  So I read some of his writing, but it was beyond me — very difficult to understand. But nevertheless, I could quote his writing like an expert.

You can read a recent article about Nietzche at http://bigthink.com/scotty-hendricks/how-the-nazis-hijacked-nietzsche-and-how-it-can-happen-to-anybody

The following quote is from the article cited above:

Begin quote

If there was one philosopher the fascists of the mid-20th century loved, it was Nietzsche. He was so adored by them that Hitler gifted Mussolini the complete works of Nietzsche for his birthday. The Nietzschean ideals of anti-egalitarianism, the Superman, and the will to power inspired them to act, and millions died because of it. They adored his ideas, and anointed him as the prophet of their ideology.

And most of it was due to misunderstandings and willful changes.

Nietzsche’s philosophy is purposefully difficult to read. His criticisms of the “Slave Morality” he credits the Jewish people with inventing can seem like an anti-Semitic rant from time to time. When in reality, he saw the Jews as a powerful people with a fine culture, his attacks are on their ideas: not on the people. His idea of the Superman was not a racial concept but rather a spiritual one.

He claimed that the Germans were great because of the “Polish blood in their veins”, and saw German nationalism as a dangerous joke. He ended relationships over his disapproval of anti-Semitism, including ones with his sister and the composer Richard Wagner. After he went mad, he wrote letters urging the great powers of Europe to attack Germany before it was too late.

End quote