Historians have long debated the role of the occult in the Third Reich. After 1945 the consensus held that occultism, an ostensibly anti-modern, irrational blend of pseudo-religious and -scientific practices, directly facilitatedthe rise of National Socialism. 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 beliefinformed it 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.
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Monica Black is Associate Professor and Associate Head of the Department of History at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Eric Kurlander is Professor of Modern European History at Stetson University. 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.
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