Revisiting the "Nazi Occult"

October 2015
6 black and white illustrations
306 pages
9x6 in
German History in Context
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC HIS014000, HIS027100

Revisiting the "Nazi Occult"

Histories, Realities, Legacies

Edited by Monica Black, Eric Kurlander

New collection of essays promising to re-energize the debate on Nazism's occult roots and legacies and thus our understanding of German cultural and intellectual history over the past century.

Scholars have debated the role of the occult in Nazism since it first appeared on the German political landscape in the 1920s. After 1945, a consensus held that occultism - an ostensibly anti-modern, irrational blend of pseudo-religious and -scientific practices and ideas - had directly facilitated Nazism's rise. More recently, scholarly debate has denied the occult a role in shaping the Third Reich, emphasizing the Nazis' hostility to esoteric religion and alternative forms of knowledge. Bringing together cutting-edge scholarship on the topic, this volume calls for a fundamental reappraisal of these positions.
The book is divided into three chronological sections. The first, on the period 1890 to 1933, looks at the esoteric philosophies and occult movements that influenced both the leaders of the Nazi movement and ordinary Germans who became its adherents. The second, on the Third Reich in power, explores how the occult and alternative religious belief informed Nazism as an ideological, political, and cultural system. The third looks at Nazism's occult legacies. In emphasizing both continuities and disjunctures, this book promises to re-open and re-energize debate on the occult roots and legacies of Nazism, and with it our understanding of German cultural and intellectual history over the past century.

Contributors: Monica Black; Jeff Hayton; Oded Heilbronner; Eric Kurlander; Fabian Link and J. Laurence Hare; Anna Lux; Perry Myers; John Ondrovcik; Michael E. O'Sullivan; Jared Poley; Uwe Schellinger, Andreas Anton, and Michael T. Schetsche; Peter Staudenmaier.

Monica Black is Associate Professor and Associate Head of the Department of History at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Eric Kurlander is J. Ollie Edmunds Chair and Professor of Modern European History at Stetson University.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782046080), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

Esoteric Alternatives in Imperial Germany: Science, Spirit, and the Modern Occult Revival
An Elite Class of Thinkers: Monism between Science and the Spiritual in Wilhelmine Germany
Max Hoelz Haunts the Vogtland: The Visible and the Invisible in Germany, 1914-21
Siegfried Kracauer, Spirit, and the Soul of Weimar Germany
Pseudoscience Reconsidered: SS Research and the Archaeology of Haithabu
Hitler's Supernatural Sciences: Astrology, Anthroposophy, and World Ice Theory in the Third Reich
Pragmatic Occultism in the Military History of the Third Reich
Disruptive Potential: Therese Neumann of Konnersreuth, National Socialism, and Democracy
A Messiah after Hitler, and His Miracles: Bruno Gröning and Popular Apocalypticism in Early West German History
On All Channels: Hans Bender, the Supernatural, and the Mass Media
Beyond Good and Evil: Nazis and the Supernatural in Video Games
The Wewelsburg Effect: Nazi Myth and Paganism in Postwar European Popular Music
Notes on the Contributors


[I]lluminating and well conceived . . . sure to stimulate new debates on the topic. . . . [R]eopens the conversation about how the occult in Nazi Germany informs our understanding of cultural and intellectual history in twentieth-century Germany. GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW

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