List of Nazi ideologues
This is a list of people whose ideas became part of Nazi ideology. The ideas, writings, and speeches of these thinkers were incorporated into what became Nazism, including antisemitism, eugenics, racial hygiene, the concept of the master race, and Lebensraum. The list includes people whose ideas were incorporated, even if they did not live in the Nazi era.
Philosophers and sociologists
- Alfred Baeumler (1887–1968), German philosopher in Nazi Germany. He was a leading interpreter of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy as legitimizing Nazism. Thomas Mann read Baeumler's work on Nietzsche in the early 1930s, and characterized passages of it as "Hitler prophecy."
- Alfred Rosenberg (1893–1946), considered one of the main authors of key Nazi ideological creeds, including the racial policy of Nazi Germany, antisemitism, Lebensraum, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, and opposition to degenerate art. He is also known for his rejection of Christianity, while playing a role in the development of Positive Christianity. At Nuremberg he was tried, sentenced to death, and executed by hanging as a war criminal.
- Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), German philosopher who was politically involved with National Socialism. The relations between Martin Heidegger and Nazism remain controversial. He was a member of the Nazi party, he joined the NSDAP on May 1, 1933 three weeks after being appointed rector of the University of Freiburg. Heidegger resigned the rectorship one year later, in April 1934, but remained a member of the NSDAP until the end of World War II. His first act as rector was to eliminate all democratic structures, including those that had elected him rector. There were book burnings on his campus, though he successfully stopped some of them. There was also student violence. Although after the war he neither apologized nor publicly expressed regret for his involvement with his affiliation with Nazism, in private he called it "the biggest stupidity of his life" (die größte Dummheit seines Lebens).
- Ernst Krieck (1882–1947), German pedagogue.
- Herman Schmalenbach (1885–1950), who refined the concepts of Gemeinschaft and Bund.
- Carl Schmitt (11 July 1888 – 7 April 1985) was a jurist, philosopher, political theorist, and professor of law. Schmitt joined the Nazi Party on 1 May 1933. He presented his theories as an ideological foundation of the Nazi dictatorship, and a justification of the "Führer" state with regard to legal philosophy, in particular through the concept of auctoritas. Nevertheless, in December 1936, the SS publication Das schwarze Korps accused Schmitt of being an opportunist, a Hegelian state thinker and basically a Catholic, and called his anti-semitism a mere pretense, citing earlier statements in which he criticized the Nazis' racial theories. After this, Schmitt resigned from his position as "Reichsfachgruppenleiter" (Reich Professional Group Leader), although he retained his post as a professor in Berlin, and his post as "Preußischer Staatsrat". Although Schmitt continued to be investigated into 1937, further reprisals were stopped by Göring. In 1945, Schmitt was captured by the American forces and released in 1946. Schmitt refused every attempt at de-nazification, which effectively barred him from positions in academia.
Scientists and physicians
- Hans Friedrich Karl Günther (1891–1968), German race researcher and eugenicist in the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany, also known as "Rassengünther" (Race Günther) or "Rassenpapst" (Race Pope). He is considered to be a major influence on National Socialist racialist thought, and was a member of the Nazi Party.
- Philipp Lenard (1862–1947), Nobel laureate and ideologue of the Deutsche Physik movement.
- Alfred Ploetz (1860–1940), German physician, biologist, and eugenicist who introduced the concept of racial hygiene in Germany. He was a member of the Nazi party. His brother Ernst Rüdin, also a committed National Socialist, praised him in 1938 as a man who "by his meritorious services has helped to set up our Nazi ideology."
- Johannes Stark (1874–1957), Nobel laureate and ideologue of the Deutsche Physik movement.
- Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer (1896–1969), German human biologist and eugenicist primarily concerned with racial hygiene and twin research.
- Eugen Fischer. German biologist, member of the Nazi Party, prominent in genetics and "racial hygiene".
- Fritz Lenz. German geneticist, member of the Nazi Party, and influential specialist in "racial hygiene".
- Karin Magnussen.
- Josef Mengele.
- Heinrich Gross.
Theologians and spiritual leaders
- Ernst Bergmann (1881–1945), German philosopher who in his work, Die 25 Thesen der Deutschreligion (Twenty-five Points of the German Religion), held that the Old Testament and portions of the New Testament of the Bible were inaccurate. He claimed that Jesus was not a Jew and of Aryan origin, and that Adolf Hitler was the new messiah.
- Savitri Devi, pseudonym of the Greek-French writer Maximiani Portas. A prominent proponent of animal rights, deep ecology and Nazism, who served the Axis cause during World War II by spying in India.
- Ludwig Müller (1883–1945), was a theologian and church leader who played a major role in the Nazi party's attempt to misdirect the Protestant, mainly Lutheran churches of Germany toward a basis in Aryan ideology and away from its Jewish origins. He had a leading part in the Nazi, Gleichschaltung, the plan to unite the previously independent Protestant churches into a single Church of the New Order, which is part of longer history of an attempt to unify the churches under the German Evangelical Church, see Reichskirche. Withholding baptism from non-Aryans was enforced in most churches during the Nazi period, though not without some protest.
- Jakob Wilhelm Hauer (1881–1962), German Indologist and religious studies writer. He was the founder of the German Faith Movement.
- Richard Walther Darré (1895–1953), one of the leading Nazi blood and soil ideologists. He served as Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture from 1933 to 1942.
- Anton Drexler (1884–1942), German Nazi political leader of the 1920s. He joined the Fatherland Party during World War I. He was a poet and a member of the völkisch agitators who, together with journalist Karl Harrer, founded the German Workers' Party (DAP) in Munich with Gottfried Feder and Dietrich Eckart in 1919.
- Lanz von Liebenfels (1874–1954), monk and theologian who influenced Nazi ideology by inventing a blend of theology and biology called theozoology.
- Dietrich Eckart (1868–1923), who developed the ideology of a "genius higher human", based on writings by Lanz von Liebenfels. He was a member of the Nazi party.
- Gottfried Feder (1883–1941), economist and one of the early key members of the Nazi Party. He was their economic theoretician. It was his lecture in 1919 that drew Hitler into the party.
- Gregor Strasser (1892–1934) Involved in the Kapp Putsch he formed his own völkischer Wehrverband ("popular defense union") which he merged into the NSDAP in 1921. Initially a loyal supporter of Adolf Hitler, he took part in the Beer Hall Putsch and held a number of high positions in the Nazi Party. Soon however, Strasser became a strong advocate of the socialist wing of the party, arguing that the national revolution should also include strong action to tackle poverty and should seek to build working class support.
- Julius Streicher (1885–1946), the founder and publisher of Der Stürmer newspaper, which became a central element of the Nazi propaganda machine. His portrayal of Jews as subhuman and evil played a critical role in the dehumanization and marginalization of the Jewish minority in the eyes of common Germans – creating the necessary conditions for the later perpetration of the Holocaust. He was a member of the Nazi party.
- Ernst Rudolf Huber (1903–1990) was a German lawyer who provided legal rationalizations for the Nazi regime.
Intellectuals indirectly associated with Nazism
Some writers came before the Nazi era and their writings were incorporated into Nazi ideology:
- Madame Blavatsky (1831–1891), founder of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. Guido von List took up some of Blavatsky's racial theories, and mixed them with nationalism to create Ariosophy, a precursor of Nazi ideology. Ariosophy emphasized intellectual expositions of racial evolution. The Thule Society was one of several German occult groups drawing on Ariosophy to preach Aryan supremacy. It provides a direct link between occult racial theories and the racial ideology of Hitler and the emerging Nazi party.
- Emile Burnouf (1821–1907) was a racialist whose ideas influenced the development of theosophy and Aryanism.
- Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855–1927) was a British-born author of books on political philosophy, and natural science. His two-volume book Die Grundlagen des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (Foundations of the 19th. Century) (1899) became a manual for Nazi racial philosophy including the concept of the master race.
- Julius Evola (1898–1974), a philosopher described as an "ultra-fascist" with an interest in the occult and Eastern religions
- Bernhard Förster (1843–1889), German antisemite teacher who wrote on the Jewish question, where he characterizes Jews as constituting a "parasite on the German body".
- Hans Freyer (1887–1969), German sociologist who called for an anti-liberal, anti-materialist, anti-Marxist Revolution von rechts (Revolution from the Right) that would emphasize organic bonds and community (Gemeinschaft) over the atomization of industrialized society (Gesellschaft).
- Arthur de Gobineau (1816–1882) was a French aristocrat, novelist and man of letters who developed the racialist theory of the Aryan master race in his book An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853–1855). Although the book condemns antisemitism and describes Jews in positive terms, the Nazis still referenced the work since it condemns race mixing and describes the Jews as "alien". De Gobineau is credited as being the father of modern racial demography.
- Madison Grant (1865–1937), American lawyer, known primarily for his work as a eugenicist and conservationist. As a eugenicist, Grant was responsible for one of the most widely read works of scientific racism, and played an active role in crafting strong immigration restriction and anti-miscegenation laws in the United States.
- Paul de Lagarde (1827–1891) was a German biblical scholar and orientalist. His Deutsche Schriften (1878–1881) became a nationalist text.
- Guido Karl Anton List (1848–1919), his concept of renouncing Christianity and returning to the paganism of the ancient Europeans found supporters within the Nazi party. He created Ariosophy, a precursor of Nazi ideology.
- Martin Luther (1483–1546), German theologian who wrote On the Jews and Their Lies in 1543. He argued that the Jews were "devil's children". He wrote that the synagogue was a "defiled bride ... an incorrigible whore and an evil slut". and Jews were full of the "devil's feces ... which they wallow in like swine." He advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, smashing up their homes, and ensuring that these "poisonous envenomed worms" be forced into labor or expelled "for all time." He also seemed to sanction their murder, writing "We are at fault in not slaying them." His statements that Jews' homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed were revived and used in propaganda by the Nazis in 1933–1945. Some scholars see Luther's influence as limited, and the Nazis' use of his work as opportunistic. Johannes Wallmann argues that Luther's writings against the Jews were largely ignored in the 18th and 19th centuries, and that there is no continuity between Luther's thought and Nazi ideology.
- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher who developed the concept of Übermensch. The Nazi regime's ideas of the German superman were similar to those expressed by Nietzsche. However, although Hitler quoted Nietzsche, it seems that Hitler probably never read Nietzsche, or if he did, the reading was not extensive.
- Oswald Arnold Gottfried Spengler (1880–1936), German historian and philosopher. He is best known for his book The Decline of the West and the cyclical theory of the rise and decline of civilizations. He wrote extensively throughout World War I and the interwar period, and supported German hegemony in Europe. The National Socialists held Spengler as an intellectual precursor but he was ostracized after 1933 for his pessimism about Germany and Europe's future, and his refusal to support Nazi ideas of racial superiority.
- Lothrop Stoddard (1883–1950), American political theorist, historian, eugenicist, and anti-immigration advocate who wrote a number of prominent books on scientific racism. He developed the concept of the untermensch.
- Adolf Stoecker (1835–1909), court chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm and an antisemitic German theologian who founded one of the first antisemitic political parties in Germany, the Christian Social Party. He proposed severely limiting the civil rights of Jews in Germany. In September 1879 he delivered a speech entitled "What we demand of modern Jewry", in which he spelled out several demands of German Jews.
- Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854–1936), French anthropologist, eugenicist, and anti-semite who developed the idea of a "Selectionist State" that would implement coercive measures to maintain the dominance and purity of dolichocephalic Aryans. His work strongly influenced Nazi eugenicists such as Hans F. K. Günther.
- Henry Ford (1863–1947) American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His book "The International Jew" was praised by Hitler for its antisemitic rhetoric.
- Thomas Mann und Alfred Baeumler, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1989, p. 185
- Richard J. Evans (2004). The Coming of the Third Reich. London: Penguin Books. pp. 178–179. ISBN 0-14-100975-6.
This was intended to provide the Nazi Party with a major work of theory. The book had sold over a million copies by 1945 and some of its ideas were not without influence.
- Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger - E Ettinger - Yale University Press - 1995 - ISBN 0-300-07254-6
- For critical readings of the interview (published in 1966 as "Only a God Can Save Us", Der Spiegel), see the "Special Feature on Heidegger and Nazism" in Critical Inquiry 15:2 (Winter 1989), particularly the contributions by Jürgen Habermas and Blanchot. The issue includes partial translations of Derrida's Of Spirit and Lacoue-Labarthe's Of Spirit and Heidegger, Art, and Politics: the Fiction of the Political.
- Quoted by Heinrich Wiegand Petzet, Auf einen Stern zugehen. Begegnungen und Gespräche mit Martin Heidegger 1929-1976, 1983 p. 43, and also by Frédéric de Towarnicki, A la rencontre de Heidegger. Souvenirs d'un messager de la Forêt-Noire, Gallimard-Arcades p. 125
- Max Weinreich. Hitler's professors: the part of scholarship in Germany's crimes against the Jewish people. Yiddish Scientific Institute-YIVO, 1946. Pp. 18.
- Herman Schmalenbach on Society and Experience. University of Chicago Press. 1977. ISBN 0-226-73865-5.
Some of the terms that he had earlier refined such as Gemeinschaft and Bund, were incorporated into the Nazi ideology. ...
- Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 58 ISBN 0-674-01172-4
- Bendersky, Joseph, W., Theorist For The Reich, 1983, Princeton, New Jersey
- Noack, Paul, Carl Schmitt - Eine Biographie, 1996, Frankfurt
- Christopher Hale. Himmler's Crusade: the True Story of the 1938 Nazi Expedition into Tibet Bantam, 2004. ISBN 978-0-553-81445-3
- "Die Tüchtigkeit unserer Rasse und der Schutz der Schwachen", 1893, p. 141, 142. cited by Massimo Ferari Zumbini: The roots of evil. Gründerjahre des Antisemitismus: Von der Bismarckzeit zu Hitler, Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt a. M. 2003, ISBN 3-465-03222-5, p.406
- Ernst Ruedin: "Honor of Prof. Dr. Alfred Ploetz", in ARGB, Bd 32 / S.473-474, 1938, p.474
- McNab, Chris (2009). The Third Reich. Amber Books Ltd., p. 182
- Kenneth Barnes, "Nazism, Liberalism and Christianity", University Press of Kentucky, Kentucky 1991.
- Carl G. Jung (1970); Collected Works, Volume 10; Routledge and Kegan Paul, London; ISBN 0-7100-1640-9; p 190–191.
- "Dietrich Eckart". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
Later on, he developed an ideology of a 'genius higher human,' based on earlier writings by Lanz von Liebenfels; he saw himself in the tradition of Arthur Schopenhauer and Angelus Silesius, and also became fascinated by Mayan beliefs, but never had much sympathy for the scientific method. Eckart also loved and strongly identified with Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt.
- Nazi Ideology: Some Unfinished Business - BM Lane - Central European History, 1974 - jstor.org
- Munich 1923, John Dornberg, Harper & Row, New York, 1982. pg 344
- Henry Friedlander (1977). The Holocaust: Ideology, Bureaucracy, and Genocide.
Gottfried Feder gave technocratic ideology a racist twist. ... arouses interest because he helped to shape Nazi ideology during the early 1920's. ...
- The Number One Nazi Jew-baiter: A Political Biography of Julius Streicher, Hitler's Chief Anti- … WP Varga - 1981 - Carlton Press
- Jackson J. Spielvogel and David Redles (1986). "Hitler's Racial Ideology: Content and Occult Sources". Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual. 3. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- DİN BİLİMLERİNİN TARİHÇESİ - Dr. Jacques WAARDENBURG - 2004/1 (281-295 s.)
- Shirer, William L. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 1959, p.105 of 1985 Bookclub Associates Edition.
- Aaron Gillette. Racial Theories in Fascist Italy. London Routledge 2002.
- Friedrich Nietzsche - Antisemit oder Judenfreund? - T Hanke - 2003 - GRIN Verlag
- Arnold Horrex Rowbotham, The literary works of Count de Gobineau, (1929), p. 102
- Essai sur l'inégalité des races humaines - A de Gobineau, H Juin - 1940 - uqac.ca."Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original on October 30, 2005. Retrieved 2013-08-18.
- The New Race Consciousness: Race, Nation, and Empire in American Culture, 1910-1925 – Matthew Pratt – Journal of Word History – Volume 10, Number, Fall 1999, pp. 307–352.
- Norman Solkoff (2001). Beginnings, Mass Murder, and Aftermath of the Holocaust. University Press of America. ISBN 0-7618-2028-0.
The book by the American lawyer Madison Grant ... was turned on its head by Nazi ideology. ...
- Stern, Fritz The Politics of Cultural Despair: a study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology, 1961 (see Chapter I, "Paul de Lagarde and a Germanic Religion").
- Michael, Robert. Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 110.
- Martin Luther (1543). On the Jews and their Lies.
Our Lord also calls them a "brood of vipers"; furthermore in John 8 [:39,44] he states: "If you were Abraham's children ye would do what Abraham did.... You are of your father the devil. It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham's but the devil's children, nor can they bear to hear this today.
- Michael, Robert. Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 112.
- Obermann, Heiko. Luthers Werke. Erlangen 1854, 32:282, 298, in Grisar, Hartmann. Luther. St. Louis 1915, 4:286 and 5:406, cited in Michael, Robert. Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 113.
- Luther, Martin. "On the Jews and Their Lies", Luthers Werke. 47:268-271.
- Michael, Robert. "Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews", Encounter, 46 (Autumn 1985) No.4:343.
- Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, cited in Michael, Robert. "Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews", Encounter 46 (Autumn 1985) No. 4:343-344.
- McKim, Donald K. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003, 58; Berenbaum, Michael. "Anti-Semitism", Encyclopædia Britannica, accessed January 2, 2007. For Luther's own words, see Luther, Martin. "On the Jews and Their Lies", tr. Martin H. Bertram, in Sherman, Franklin. (ed.) Luther's Works. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971, 47:268–72.
- Johannes Wallmann, "The Reception of Luther's Writings on the Jews from the Reformation to the End of the 19th century", Lutheran Quarterly, n.s. 1 (Spring 1987) 1:72-97.
- The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany: 1890-1990 - SE Aschheim - 1992 - University of California Press - ISBN 0520085558
- The Roots of Evil. Cambridge University Press. 1992. ISBN 0-521-42214-0.
Many Nazi beliefs and ideals seem to be highly similar to those expressed by Nietzsche.
- Jacob Golomb & Robert S. Wistrich (2002), "Nietzsche, Godfather of Fascism? On the Uses and Abuses of a Philosophy", Princeton University Press, 2007. Retrieved on June 8th, 2013. "In Hitler's Table Talk, [Hitler] refers to Nietzsche, saying: "In our part of the world, the Jews would have immediately eliminated Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Kant. If the Bolsheviks had dominion over us for 200 years, what works of our past would be handed on to posterity? Our great men would fall into oblivion, or else they'd be presented to future generations as criminals and bandits."
- Weaver Santaniello, Nietzsche, God, and the Jews, SUNY Press, 1994, p 41: "Hitler probably never read a word of Nietzsche".
- Berel Lang, Post-Holocaust: Interpretation, Misinterpretation, and the Claims of History, Indiana University Press, 2005, p 162: "Arguably, Hitler himself never read a word of Nietzsche; certainly, if he did read him, it was not extensively".
- Golomb 1997, p. 9: "To be sure, it is almost certain that Hitler either never read Nietzsche directly or read very little."
- Andrew C. Janos, East Central Europe in the Modern World, Stanford University Press, 2002, p 184: "By all indications, Hitler never read Nietzsche. Neither Mein Kampf nor Hitler's Table Talk (Tischgesprache) mentions his name. Nietzschean ideas reached him through the filter of Alfred Rosenberg's Myth of the Twentieth Century, and...through what was coffeehouse Quatsch in Vienna and Munich. This at least is the impression he gives in his published conversations with Dietrich Eckart."
- Journal of Church and State - JC Fout - Adolf Stoecker Antisemitism – 1975.