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The Nazi Old Guard

Identity Formation During Apocalyptic Times

David Redles

AbstrAct: This paper describes the process of identity formation that occurred just after World War I as certain Germans converted to National Socialism. Based on the autobiographical narratives of early joiners, these self-described Old Fighters, or the Old Guard, recall the Kampfzeit (the struggle-time) as a difficult period of near apocalyptic collapse. Further, they were convinced that National Socialism and its divinely appointed leader Adolf Hitler were the only means of salvation. The Old Guard identified themselves as an elect community given a holy mission to save Germany, indeed the world, from destruction by defeating Communism and its supposed progenitor, the Jew. The Nazis hoped thereby to usher in the millennial Third Reich by creating a Volksgemeinschaft (a community of people) united by a Glaubensgemeinschaft (a community of faith).

he loss of World War I was a profound shock and humiliation for many Germans. The early post-war years were troubled, to say the least. The economy was in seeming freefall, and social divisiveness was so great many Germans thought a Soviet-style revolution was likely. In fact, one occurred, albeit briefly, in Munich in the winter of 19181919 and sent shock waves throughout the country. The new parliamentary democracy, so long sought after by many liberals, was rejected by just as many other Germans as being more a cause of political chaos rather than its solution. That all this was set against a modernist cultural backdrop that, while enervating to some, left many others profoundly disheartened, only exacerbated the sense of perpetual collapse.
Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, Volume 14, Issue 1, pages 2444, ISSN 1092-6690 (print), 1541-8480 (electronic). 2010 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Presss Rights and Permissions website, at DOI: 10.1525/nr.2010.14.1.24


Redles: The Nazi Old Guard Indeed, many Germans interpreted Weimar Germany as a culture of apocalypse.1 The autobiographical writings of early joiners of the National Socialist party, so-called Old Fighters or the Old Guard, clearly reflect a sense of living in a time that would bring either apocalyptic collapse or salvation. Wilhelm Scherer first heard Adolf Hitler speak at the Deutsches Turnfest in July of 1923.2 Scherer was convinced he had found a national savior.
He begins, his thrilling leadership breaks the ice perhaps half-way through his speech. The first applause resounds. Again the man speaks, one senses itin him a holy seriousness. The water runs by him as by the stern. It became immediately evident to me: yes, only this man can save us and no one else.3

Scherer left that day a self-described fanatic and joined the National Socialists to aid its leader in his salvific mission. In September that same year Scherer attended the German Day celebration in Nuremberg, a gathering of some 100,000 nationalist militiamen and war veterans, including many Nazis. It was here that Scherer became further convinced that he had found a movement that would save Germany.
That was a new milestone, the movement had awakened, and one saw the honest enthusiasm of the co-fighter, a stimulus to press further ahead and not to lose from sight the goal despite this time of despondency and general dissolution. Precisely this day nourished and strengthened the faith that we must be victorious or Germany would go to the abyss.4

He wrote that he was happy to have been able to contribute to what he termed a world-historical epoch. Describing the immediate postWorld War I years, he explained:
A presentiment arose in me that only revolution must follow, like one that the glorious history of Germany had not yet experienced. Yes, like one world history had not yet, till now, produced. Germany put into effect a world turning point, brought about by our Fhrer, his movement, and many of our best who had sacrificed their sacred blood.5

The belief that Hitler and his followers would change world history through the sacrifice of their sacred blood is a telling statement, pointing to an essential religiosity that was at the heart of Nazi identity.6 Indeed, Scherers account, and those of many other early joiners of the National Socialist movement, describes having undergone a powerful conversion experience.7 These Old Guard narratives typically tell of being lost in chaos and darkness, of a difficult journey from darkness to light, from meaningless to meaning and purpose, often, but not always, 25

Nova Religio occurring after hearing the millennial preaching of a Nazi proselytizer or charismatic speaker.8 This paper will consider Nazi identity formation, a process reflecting a transformation of self from simple German national to post-conversion identity as a Nazi holy warrior, an individual willing to die in fulfillment of a divinely inspired salvific mission.9 A cHOsEN NAtION, A cHOsEN PEOPLE, A cHOsEN LEADEr Writing in 1919, Dietrich Eckart, later Hitlers mentor, reflected on the apocalyptic signs clearly visible in post-war Germany:
Signs and wonders are seenfrom the flood a new world will be born. These Pharisees however whine about wretched nest eggs! The liberation of humanity from the curse of gold stands before the door! Its not simply a question of our collapseits a question of our Golgotha! Salvation is to befall our Germany, not misery and poverty. No other people on Earth are so thoroughly capable of fulfilling the Third Reich than ours! Veni Creator spiritus!10

Eckarts Catholic reference to Come, Holy Spirit as linked to the imminent dawn of the Third Reich in a time apocalyptic collapse is telling.11 Eckart is not envisioning the coming Third Reich as simply a chronological successor to Bismarcks defunct Second Reich. Rather, he is alluding to the medieval millennialism of Joachim of Fiore (ca.1132 1202), whose thought has a long history in Germany and had recently seen a revival in European religious discourse.12 Joachim used the term status to invoke the three stages or eras of human existence. These were: the first status, that of the Father (God) and therefore of the Old Testament; the second status, that of the Son ( Jesus) and the New Testament; and the third status, the age of the Holy Spirit, which would witness the transformation of the world into a state of perfection. Significantly, in German, Joachims term status was usually translated as Reich (kingdom, empire, or realm). Reinterpreting Joachim of Fiore with contemporary eyes, Eckart saw the imminent descent of the Holy Spirit along with the arrival of the Third Reich, a holy time of salvation. According to Eckart, the achievement of this Third and final Reich was a special task, or divine mission of the German people.13 Eckart was not alone in this belief that the realization of the Third Reich, conceived as a millennial Reich, was a German mission.14 The conservative writer Moeller van den Bruck also argued that the coming Third Reich would be more than simply a sequence of territorial political empires. It was Moellers 1922 book Das Dritte Reich (The Third Reich) that truly popularized the term the Nazis would use for the coming millennium. In the preface to the book, Moeller likewise makes it clear that achievement of the Third Reich was a particularly German task. 26

Redles: The Nazi Old Guard

We put in place of the patronizing treatment of the Party, the Third Reich. It is an old and great German conception. It arose from the collapse of our first Reich. It was fused early on with expectations of a millennial Reich. Yet always there lived within it a political conception that aimed at the future, not so much upon the end of times, but upon the beginning of a German epoch in which the German people will fulfill its destiny on earth.15

Moeller saw German national identity as meaning something more than simply being part of an ethnic community. Being German carried with it a world historical mission.
Nationalism understands the nation through its destiny. It understands it from the antithesis of a people and gives each people its singular mission. German nationalism is in this way an expression of German universalism and thereby looks upon all of Europe. . . . German nationalism thinks of itself in connection with others. It thinks about the shifting focal point of history. It does not want to preserve what is German simply because it is Germanhow superficial this is, as we have seen, to want to preserve a thing that is past. It wants to preserve much more the German in the Becoming, in the process of creation, in the revolutionary transforming upheavals of the ascending New Age . . . to give the nation the consciousness that it has, because it is German, a task that no other people can assume.16

For Moeller then, the singular mission of the Germans was part of a larger world historical turning point that would transform the world. Ideas such as an ascending New Age returns us to Wilhelm Scherers statement that through Nazism Germany put into effect a world turning point. This was a notion with which Scherers beloved leader, Hitler, completely agreed, as he told a journalist in 1931:
I intend to set up a thousand-year Reich [millennial Reich] and anyone who supports me in battle is a fellow-fighter for a unique spiritualI would almost say divine-creation. At the decisive moment the decisive factor is not the ratio of strength but the spiritual force employed. Betrayal of the nation is possible even when no crime has been committed, in other worlds, when a historic mission has not been fulfilled.17

This belief in a turning point placed a holy mission upon the shoulders of Hitler and his disciples. For Hitler, fulfillment of this divinely inspired task was essential if racial apocalypse was to be avoided. As he wrote in Mein Kampf:
What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence and reproduction of our race and our people, the sustenance of our children and the purity of our blood, the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted


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it by the creator of the universe. Every thought and every idea, every doctrine and all knowledge, must serve this purpose.18

Many of Hitlers followers took on this sense of mission as part of their developing identity as Germans and especially as Nazis. Hitlers pronounced, personal sense of mission, therefore, became a shared mission of all Nazis, all Germans, and by extension, all Aryans.19 For those Germans who became Nazis, struggling to actualize Hitlers worldview for all of Germany played a crucial role in their personal salvific mission, and thus contributed to the formation of their post-conversion identity. While Hitler believed that this mission would entail a final battle with the alleged force of evil, the Jews, for most Nazis the sense of mission itselfof having been chosen to perform some great world task, whatever that task might bewas powerful enough. It provided them with a renewed sense of self-worth and meaning.20 As one man remarked, It is, however, an up-lifting feeling to have taken part in the holy struggle for Germanys greatness under the Fhrer and its savior Adolf Hitler.21 Another explained that for me the essential point is that I may say: You have, through your struggle, helped the Fhrer to take the leadership of the German people in his hands at the right time, and thereby guard it from destruction.22 Finally, Heinrich Gtz remarked simply, So arose in me the resolve to contribute my part in the salvation of the German Fatherland.23 In this way, by becoming Nazis, those previously without hope became themselves the hope for the future of their nation, their race, and indeed, their world. In his speeches Hitler successfully delegated this mission to his loyal followers. For party member Willi Martin, Hitler was the suffering savior, whose struggle and sacrifice for his people, if replicated by his devoted followers, would save the world.
That the Fhrer had suffered spiritually, we saw in his immensely serious features. However, his words were for us a source of power. These words gave us new courage and resolution for the coming struggle-years. And he admonished us of our mission, and said to us with prophetic words that we, if he could count on us, would obtain an impetus of immense dimensions that would form our battalion into a regiment, this regiment into a division, and this division into an army corpsthen the entire Volk [people or race] would be captured. Thereafter our enthusiasm knew no bounds. And this enthusiasm was for us also the loyalty to this man, who alone had, in the last hour, mastered Germanys fate and had taught us about the future.24

Members of the Nazi SA (the partys paramilitary force) especially took pride in their mission. More than other party members, they viewed themselves as holy warriors, crusader knights, fighting with their messiah for the coming Millennium. One SA man, Martin Reihl, 28

Redles: The Nazi Old Guard stated proudly that truly the SA, and especially our old 6th company, brought with their great sacrifice of blood Germanys liberation and resurrection.25 Theodor Schwindel recalled that immediately after the failed Nazi putsch of 1923 many Munich citizens, suffering from hunger caused by inflation, aided the fleeing SA men. He noted, They saw in us their savior and liberator from greatest misery.26 Another Nazi exclaimed, We were not mercenaries, but political soldiers, fighters for a new world view that should and must lead the entire Volk one day into a beautiful future. Only one stood before us: the Fhrer. Explaining further, the above Nazi said of the mission of the SA: This is the wonderful thing about the idea, that in each and every German of good blood slumbers a function, perhaps only a sensation (inherited or maturely developed), and it is the mission of the Old Fighter to awaken this function, and to maintain watch over the movement.27 In other words, through the propaganda efforts of the Nazi elect, the rest of the German people would awaken to the holy truth of the National Socialist worldview. That the Nazi stormtroopers saw themselves as heralds of the New Age, the coming Third Reich, is key to understanding the evolution of Nazism. FrOM GErMAN sOLDIEr tO NAZI stOrMtrOOPEr: tHE NEW MAN OF cOMMUNItY In the same way many German soldiers felt chosen to fight for their country in World War I, many Nazis believed themselves chosen to do their part for Germanys salvation in the post-war years. One man noted, I am thankful, however, to fate for having led me on its eventful run upon the road of fighting men. Ever deeper the perception penetrated into my heart that future generations will envy our combat veterans generation for the great experience in the German [period of] radical change.28 The chosen mission, then, was to proselytize Hitlers idea of National Socialism to the masses in order to save their souls, and the world, from annihilation. Nazi Arno Belger dramatically expressed this vision.
An overstrained, spiritually hollow age drew to its close, as antiquated and decaying liberalistic social orders and forms collapsed into themselves. Europe breathed with difficulty under the stifling nightmare of that Uncertain yet Inescapable which was summoned by the shot at Sarajevo as a purifying bath of steel closed upon the civilized world, and so produced the pre-condition for the evolution of the new man of community.29

The reference above to the restoration of community as being essential for the salvation of Germany is a common theme found throughout the Old Guard confessionals. This party member saw World War I 29

Nova Religio as producing men who could presage the Third Reich, the new community of racial comrades (Volksgenossen). Veterans of that war saw themselves as a special generation of Germans who bonded in the trenches of western Europe, a place where caste and class were seemingly secondary to ones blood, ones status as a German. The remembered experiences that produced these new men of community were not so much based on the recollection of real events, for they largely ignored such unpleasant memories as the mass desertions that occurred at the end of war.30 The veterans tended to focus more on the sense of camaraderie and the will to sacrifice for something greater than themselves. This myth of the war experience, as George Mosse called it, generated a sense of shared experience and thus shared identity among these veterans.31 As Richard Bessel has noted, such a sense of generational identity is based largely on imaginary constructs, but such public declarations of identityof ways in which people identify and represent themselves in the public spherecan be powerful sources of political motivation.32 So it is not surprising that this front generation became a potent force in post-war German politics. Members of this cohort became quite active in Weimar politics, became active members of political parties, including the Nazis, and joining various paramilitary groups, including the SA. That Hitler was also a member of the front generation was not lost on his followers who were veterans, but only increased the bonds between leader and followers. As Karl Drr explained, As the Fhrer was what he was through his war experience, I was through the war made a faithful fighter for the Fhrers holy idea.33 Those veterans who became Nazis interpreted the social divisiveness that plagued the post-war years as the antithesis of the front experience, and more broadly, as reflecting a general moral decline in Germany. This sense of moral depravity as indicative of apocalyptic collapse in turn generated a search for a messianic leader who would bring German unity, and therefore, salvation. The following description of post-war Germany by a returning veteran exhibits this tendency.
A new Germany appeared before the eyes and one felt the moral decline of a formerly strong nation. Marxist false teaching had caused the Volk, already in the broadest circles, to forget the concept of national honor. Then came the madness of the Marxist revolt of November 9, 1918 and with it the final collapse of the German nation. Party quarrels and squabbles fragmented the Volk. Always standing upon a national basis, I made a spiritual search for an unknown power, which embodied the notion of a national and social Germany . . . The faith was certain in me that only a strong personality could vanquish the hate and strife through a national and social greatness.34

It is not surprising that returning veterans were some of the first to convert to Nazism, as their post-war state of alienation and confusion is 30

Redles: The Nazi Old Guard typical of a pre-conversion mentality.35 Such a crisis state is often experienced as a feeling of disorientation. This sensation was especially acute for German front-soldiers who returned home to find a world that seemed, and to a great extent was, quite different from the one they left before the conflict. Adalbert Gimbel recalled that as a veteran I came back from the World War and found before me a state where nothing corresponded with that which, as a volunteer, I had left behind. Similarly, Otto Leinweber found that when I came home after the war, everything was different than one had imagined it. Another veteran explained that my brain could not grasp that everything should be different than it had been, while Gustav Bonn found that the disorder was too great to comprehend, so that one interested oneself in what should happen to this knocked down and prone Fatherland. As Karl Adinger stated, With all these experiences it was incomprehensible to me why in our Fatherland such conditions dominated. Finally, one veteran and future Nazi explained that as a Front-fighter the collapse of the Fatherland in November 1918 was to me completely incomprehensible.36 This sense of confusion and incomprehensibility reflects the inability to reconstruct a perception of ordered reality in the face of the collapse of reality. Becoming a Nazi and accepting the Nazi worldview helped these men create a new identity, one that maintained the front identity and extended it to a new war, the war for the Third Reich. As the political and social fragmentation of the Weimar period imparted a sense of apocalyptic collapse for many Germans, the Nazi millennial worldview in turn conferred a sense of oneness via its racial concept of a unified Volk (race or people), a community of shared blood. This was the basic idea behind the term National Socialism. It signified a nation conceived as a community of racial comrades, the Volksgemeinschaft (Community of People), linked together by a Glaubensgemeinschaft (Community of Faith), all following one Fhrer (Leader). Hitler exclaimed that politicians who turn workers against employers are turning racial brother against racial brother, a sin against the blood. Thus abandoning Communism as a form of racial fratricide, he argued that we must release these misled people from foreign allurements! These people who feel abandoned by the Volk even though they themselves are the Volkwe must reunite them with the other racial comrades! A united Volk must come into being! One faith! One will!37 As division creates chaos, unity generates order. This type of reasoning can be seen in the following testimonial.
The struggle of a few SA men, workers, white-collar workers and peasantsalmost entirely unemployed for a lengthy periodwas almost desperate. Each and every one of them was a hero. More and more, however, through the indefatigable canvassing of the Fhrer and his faithful, knowledge of the correctness and purity of the Idea [National Socialism], and above all, the single most possibility of a turning away


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from communistic chaos, penetrated the masses. Helpers and fighters from all political camps gradually came to assist. The will to sacrifice knew no bounds. Long hours, day and night, and the last penny, were joyfully given up. With helplessness the government at that time watched as Adolf Hitlers followers grew.38

This perception that the Nazis were a heterogeneous movement was extremely important for the early joiner, for it was this that underpinned the idea of National Socialism. Indeed, for many it was precisely this perception that gave them the sense of unity that they longed for. Georg Klinger recalled that he first heard of the Nazis from a friend, who recounted to me that he had known in Bavaria that the worker, the craftsman, the peasant and the professor marched behind the swastika flag. Another convert, after hearing a Nazi speech, found his desired clarity in the conception of German unity. He stated, I agreed with what he said, and everything that the speaker had spoken was so clear and selfevident and everything so easily comprehendible, that one could nearly believe it, that we all could again be welded together as one Volk. Paul Schneider described his fellow party members as an eternally welded together sworn fanatical community. Still another party member defined the Nazis as a strongly tight knit unity which struggled for Adolf Hitlers idea.39 Speaking of the SA, one man explained that in these days the SA represented a unity of purpose such as has never been achieved, nor shall be hereafter. According to another, the quest for unity was the hidden power of the National Socialist idea, explaining: This then is the secret of our idea, and in it lies the power of National Socialism: Unity is the goal of our leader, who wants to make the people strong, so it may become powerful again.40 This collective mission of the Nazis gave them the sense of belonging to community of like-minded individuals, a solidarity that overcame the alienation wrought by the end of the war and the chaos of Weimar. As one man explained, We had the feeling of being a new embattled community, the consciousness of a great mission in the service of the German Volk.41 Belief in this mission was psychologically liberating. One man found that the stifling spiritual burden is taken from me, liberated and inwardly joyful and blissful, I have faith again in the future of our Volk and in its mission.42 SA man Johannes Christ responded to a speech by Joseph Goebbels with a feeling of liberation, concluding, Finally we could speak out about the party and its mission. How beautiful it appeared to us that we were convinced by our Fhrers idea and had faith in the holy cause.43 This sense of mission in turn generated a feeling of pride. As Christ explained, When I was asked about it, I said freely that I was a follower of the Hitler party, because I had seen therein a great and holy mission. Already at that time I said that one day the time would come when each and every German will march with us.44 Similarly, another SA man stated that I was a 32

Redles: The Nazi Old Guard Nationalist Socialist, and today I am proud to wear the brown uniform and as my Fhrers brown soldier to have saved the Volk and the Fatherland, and therefore also myself, from destruction.45 Another man explained that for us to imagine that we had been allowed to aid in the salvation of the German Fatherland before its destruction by Bolshevism makes the struggle-time the most beautiful period of our lives.46 Paul Schneider lauded the SA for its camaraderie, a strong unshakable faith in the mission of our Volk, will to sacrifice, and eternal readiness.47 Similarly another man explained that
the unshakable faith in the epoch-making and great mission of National Socialism and its Fhrer, seized us like a holy fire and dragged us with elemental force to its spell, so that one placed oneself irresistibly from a spontaneous unselfishness unconditionally in the service of the movement. So it brought our all-embracing struggle, that each and every one of us had to fulfill his mission and thereby maintain inwardly the power to not one day become lost.48

The will to sacrifice noted by so many of the Old Guard is an important component of their developing identities as chosen national saviors. The mystique of the front generation in the post-war years had raised the notion of sacrifice to near-messianic levels. Those who died in World War I became simultaneously victims of a tragically lost war and willing sacrifices to the holy idea of the German nation. Indeed, the German word Opfer means both victim and sacrifice. After the war, feelings of victimization and a desire to fight and potentially die for a higher cause continued and even grew to new heights. This was certainly the case with the Nazis. As Julius Stehl explained, We were instantly ready to dismiss our lives for Hitler, not only to rise up with him, but if it must be, also to sink down . . . We have sworn our lives to Hitler and it will belong to him until our end.49 To be willing to die for something greater than ones self, whether nation, Volk, or the Idea of Hitler, not only raised the self-esteem of the Nazis, particularly within the SA, it was used to justify the violence that became a part of their lives during the struggle-years and continued throughout the Second World War.50 As one man recalled, Who knows the sacrifices and privations of those years of battle, who knows the inner feeling of those party comrades who sacrificed everything in constant faith to the idea and to its first soldier, Adolf Hitler?51 Those who sacrificed their lives for Hitler and his holy idea of National Socialism became martyrs for the mission.
The word, Hitler, became for me a symbol of our future. Those who had fallen before the Feldherrnhalle in Munich became martyrs. I preserved the memory of this great event deep in my heart, even throughout the years when it seemed as though everything must drown in materialism and individualism.52


Nova Religio Hitlers appointment as Chancellor on 30 January 1933 was taken to be the beginning of the longed for Third Reich. But the mission itself was not yet achieved. Here we return to where we began, with Old Guard Nazi Wilhelm Scherer, who said of the assumption of power:
It was clear to me that with the attainment of power in the state the struggle is not yet completed. Now it means to aid our worldviews awakening within the outer community, and to erect a unity also within the soul. For in this struggle all powers (Germanys spiritual servants), must struggle against the Jewish spirit within the German Volks soul, struggle against foreign elements, teachings and religions, which weigh down upon the souls of German men and desecrate their spirit, so strongly embattled in outer unity. Struggle against the hypocrisy outside the movement and also within its ranks. Today we struggle further, for the genuineness of our revolution, for the awakening of our worldview. Only when the Volk has risen to our worldviewto victorywhen it has ripped out root and branch all foreign, Jewish and foreign-type Christian elements, is our mission completed.53

That Scherer saw the goal of the Nazis to cleanse or purify the German soul on non-German elements, whether Jewish or foreign-type Christian is crucial if we are to understand, not only the construction of Nazi identity, but how the Nazi goal of world salvation became so horribly violent. tHE PUrItY OF tHE cOMMUNItY AND tHE JEW As EVIL OtHEr The Third Reich was conceived as a time of German unity, a time that would witness the creation of a Volksgemeinschaft, a community of pure blood. In other words, the stress on achieving German unity was always based on racial exclusivity. Such visions of a utopia in which a nation, people, or faith are cleansed of impurities often leads to incidences of mass violence, genocide, or eliminationism.54 Indeed, from Hitlers perspective the historic mission of the Aryan could only be realized if racial purity was achieved. Early in the nineteenth century many liberal German nationalists saw national identity as being an essentially civic matter, with inclusion of emancipated and largely assimilated German Jews as full members of the developing national community. Many German Jews themselves, especially of the middle class, believed that adopting the German language was sufficient for membership in this community.55 For other German nationalists, however, language and race were so interconnected that the two could not be separated. For these, national identity became more a matter of racial identity than anything else.56 And indeed, the scientific community of the time seemed to prove that race was determined by blood and that race should determine membership in the national community.57 34

Redles: The Nazi Old Guard The Nazis envisioned the Third Reich, their millennial kingdom, as a community, indeed a world cleansed of all impurities, whether biological or spiritual.58 Therefore those of mixed blood, such as young Germans of partial African descent, many conceived shortly after World War I when France used black African troops to occupy parts of Germany, were sterilized as a supposed eugenic measure.59 The so-called Mischlinge, children who resulted from marriages between German Christians and German Jews, were considered tainted and thus given inferior status during the Nazi period.60 Similarly, the Sinti-Roma (Gypsies), after a long scientific study by Nazi-sponsored researchers, were determined to be too mixed to be considered Aryan, as they were once thought to be. They were therefore considered no longer salvageable as a people. Thousands died in the concentration camps.61 Germans with mental and physical disabilities were also singled out as having tainted blood and were subject to sterilization and euthanasia in an effort to heal the Volk body.62 However, it was German Jews who would suffer in the greatest numbers. Point 4 of the Nazi party program of 1920 stated quite clearly: Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one of German blood without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.63 German national identity therefore became equated solely with German racial identity. In 1935 the infamous Nuremberg Laws would strip German Jews of their citizenship and begin the process of removing them from membership in the developing Volksgemeinschaft. But denial of national identity was only the beginning of the horrors for German Jews, and soon millions of others, for Nazis singled out Jews as a demonic and eternally destructive force in world history that had to be utterly eliminated if the Third Reich was to be the Final Reich. The Russian Revolution of 1917, the German loss of World War I in 1918, and the brief Communist rebellion in Munich in 19181919, convinced many Germans that a conspiracy of epic proportions was afoot. The publication in Germany of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion in 1919, a spurious document revealing the existence of a purported Jewish plot to use war, revolution, and the control of capital to take over the world, became an instant sensation. The Nazi leadership believed that if the Jews were successful in this plan, the result would be the literal end of the world.64 That same year Hitlers mentor Dietrich Eckart interpreted the recently concluded World War as a holy war, writing, This war was a religious war, that one finally sees clearly! A war between light and darkness, truth and lies, Christ and Antichrist. This meant only one thing to Eckart. When light clashes with darkness, there is no coming to terms! Indeed there is only struggle for life and death, till the annihilation of one or the other. Consequently the World War has only apparently come to an end.65 While it was not uncommon for World 35

Nova Religio War I to be interpreted as a type of holy war as the conflict unfolded, it was during the post-war years that the combatants were transformed.66 From the emerging Nazi perspective, the perceived external enemy was now reinterpreted as an internal enemy. World War I was no longer viewed as having been a holy war between Germans and non-Germans (i.e., the Allies), but a war between Aryan and Jew. Moreover, it was a war that continued on a new front. According to Eckart, the eschatological turning point had arrived: The hour of decision has come: between existence and non-existence, between Germany and Jewry between all and nothing, between truth and lies, between inner and outer, between justice and caprice, between sense and madness, between goodness and murderand humanity once again has the choice.67 And that choice, for Eckart, was between salvation or apocalyptic destruction. Hitler learned well from his mentor. Again and again in his early speeches and writings, and continuing throughout his life, he cast the Aryan/Jewish conflict in apocalyptic terms. Having linked the Communist menace to the Jewish prophet Karl Marx, Hitler viewed the fate of the world as a final confrontation between National Socialism and Communism (conceived as Jewish-Bolshevism). In his first important speech after leaving prison in 1925 Hitler stated that the mission of the Nazis was clear and simple: Fight against the satanic power which has collapsed Germany into this misery; Fight Marxism, as well as the spiritual carrier of this world pest and epidemic, the Jews . . . As we join ranks then in this new movement, we are clear to ourselves, that in this arena there are two possibilities; either the enemy walks over our corpse or we over theirs.68 Joseph Goebbels likewise saw contemporary history in starkly dualistic and frankly religious terms.69 In his diary in the early 1920s he wrote, Money is the force of evil and the Jew its protector. Aryan, Semite, positive, negative, building up, tearing down. The Jew has his fateful mission to bring the sick Aryan race back to itself. Our salvation or our ruinit depends on us.70 The Nazis therefore had the mission to save the world from the Jewish menace: We are the will of the future. We want Germany to save the world and not the world to save Germany.71 How to achieve this world salvation? Goebbels returned to the vision of the coming Third Reich: We want to stamp German conceptions into a new form, the form of the Third Reich. We want this Third Reich with the last fervency of our heart; the Third Reich of a Greater Germany; the Third Reich of a socialistic common destiny.72 The German people now unified in the Third Reich, the enemy could be vanquished: We want to take up the fight against the world enemy. We want Germany to be the state that will make the German people into a nation. This people should be made ready to stab its enemy in the middle of the heart.73 36

Redles: The Nazi Old Guard If such rhetoric of redemptive violence had been simply the parlance of Nazi leaders, perhaps it would tell us little of Old Guard identity. But in their autobiographical writings many Nazis found in the Jewish conspiracy theory a powerful tool for making sense of the German collapse, and thereby distancing the many troubles of post-war Germany from their own developing identities.74 One veteran and future Nazi described his experience shortly after end of the World War I this way:
Barely 18 years-old, I went to the field to defend our homeland against a world of instigating enemies. Twice I was wounded. Then in November 1918 the Marxist revolution broke outdark thunderclouds descended over Germany that for fifteen years allowed no rays of light and no sunshine upon the earth. In Germany everything went upside down. The Spartacists, clothed in sailors uniforms, devastated and destroyed everything they could lay a finger on. The Jew rose to the pinnacle.75

As class divisions were routinely interpreted as being the main impediment to German national unity and thus the creation of the desired Volksgemeinschaft, many Nazis in turn saw those divisions as having been deliberately exacerbated by the Jews to serve their own ends. Emil Hofmann believed that class conflict was a deliberate ploy of the Jews within and without Germany, and his belief that such divisions were the primary cause of Germanys near apocalyptic destruction is typical of the Nazi millennial mentality.
It was clear to me what had brought the war and the revolt of 1918, namely a class state: here peasant, here city person, there worker and the laughing third, the Jew. Each party believed itself to be right. They went after, however, the final goal which was not the welfare of the Volk, rather each was concerned solely for itself. No wonder the German Volk had lost the faith and will to live. In its place tread shame, disgrace and baseness. The Versailles Dictate robbed us of our colonies and we had to surrender entire districts to the enemies. Our beloved Fatherland appeared heading for its complete ruin. Jews governed with their helpers, the Marxists and the bourgeoisies. Only one man understood these politics and that was Adolf Hitler, who opposed this madness.76

Those Nazis who rejected the modernist culture of Weimar as an immoral poison for the German soul also looked to blame the Jews. This tendency can be seen in the cultural impressions of one minor Nazi who portrayed Weimar culture as a decadent world ripe for apocalyptic cleansing, with the usual blaming of the Jewish Other.
Meanwhile Germany further decayed. In unpleasant ways an entire Volk was alienated from itself. A new society spread out which only recognized the majesty of ones own ego. Sinister poison gushed forth into the


Nova Religio
brains and blood of German men in theaters and cinemas, in varieties and in dance halls. German youth, often still children carried in ones arms, moved about this hideous depravity, as all that was great and holy in our Volk drifted away. An unbelievable sensual orgy had seized Germany and a Volk danced a death dance to the rhythm of foreign music--and the Jew held the baton.77

Those Germans who became Nazis constructed an identity as holy warriors, a divinely-ordained elect struggling to save the world from an evil force of disintegration and decomposition in a time of apocalypse, the Jew. As the Nazi identity was an imaginary construction that gave these individuals a heightened sense of meaning and purpose in their lives, the Jew as Evil Other was also an imaginary construction.78 It was a form of identity compensation, allowing the elect, the purified Nazis, to project their unwarranted impurities upon persons of actual Jewish descent. Their subsequent elimination from the Volksgemeinschaft, or so the Nazis believed, would bring about the imagined millennial Reich. These imagined constructions led to the persecution and murders of millions of innocent people.

1 I discuss this in chapter one of Hitlers Millennial Reich: Apocalyptic Belief and the Search for Salvation (New York: New York University Press, 2005). See also James M. Rhodes, The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1980); Klaus Vondung, The Apocalypse in Germany, trans. Stephen D. Ricks (Columbia, Mo.; University of Missouri Press, 2000). 2 The Turnfest was a sports celebration, primarily involving gymnastics. It also honored the memory of Turnvater Jahn (Friedrich Ludwig Jahn), the father of modern gymnastics and an ardent German nationalist of the early nineteenth century. Although a liberal nationalist himself, the Turnfest in time became a venue for conservative nationalists as well. See Michael Krger, Krperkultur und Nationsbildung: Geschichte des Turnens in der Reichsgrndungsra (Schorndorf: Hofmann, 1996). At this particular festival the Nazi SA (Stormtroopers) clashed violently with police for disobeying prohibitions on flying party banners. 3 Scherers testimony is found in Die Alte Garde spricht, a four-volume typescript collection of short autobiographies of early Nazi party members, mostly prior to 1933, commissioned by Rudolf Hess in 1936 for the party archives. Two sets of this collection are housed at the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.). Hereafter, citations to this collection appear as DAGS, followed by volume number, author, and page number. In this case, DAGS, vol. 3, Wilhelm Scherer, 3. 4 DAGS, vol. 3, Wilhelm Scherer, 5. 5 DAGS, vol. 3, Wilhelm Scherer, 12.


Redles: The Nazi Old Guard

Eric Voegelin, writing originally in the 1930s, was one of the first scholars to see National Socialism, as well as fascism and communism, as forms of political religion. He argued that such totalitarian movements were secular faiths that arose to replace traditional faiths that had been weakened by the forces of modernity. See the essays found in Eric Voegelin, Hitler and the Germans, ed. and trans. Detlev Clemens and Brendan M. Purcell (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1999) and Eric Voegelin, Modernity without Restraint, ed. Manfred Henningsen (Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 2000). Other scholars who noted the essential religiosity of Nazi rhetoric and ritual include Hans-Jochen Gamm, Der braune Kult: das Dritte Reich und seine Erzatzreligion (Hamburg: Rttigen and Loening, 1962); Friedrich Heer, Der Glaube des Adolf Hitler: Anatomie einer politischen Religiositt (Munich: Bechtle, 1968); Manfred Ach and Clemens Pentrop, Hitlers Religion: Pseudoreligiose Elemente im nationalsozialistischen Sprachegebrauch (Munich: Arbeitsgemeinschaft fr Religions- und Weltanschauungsfragen, 1977); and Uriel Tal, Political Faith of Nazism Prior to the Holocaust (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University Press, 1978). 7 I discuss the nature of the conversion experiences as they apply to becoming a Nazi at length in Hitlers Millennial Reich, 77107. Here I will focus on how the reconstruction of the conversion process in the Nazi confessionals reflects the post-conversion identity formation of these early party members. 8 There has been a resurgence of writings on Nazism as a form of political religion recently that has demonstrated the religious rhetoric and beliefs of the Nazi leadership and the Old Guard testimonies demonstrate that such rhetoric found a receptive audience. See Michael Ley, Apokalypse und Moderne: Aufstze zu politischen Religionen (Vienna: Sonderzal, 1997); Michael Ley and Julius H. Schoeps, eds., Der Nationalsozialismus als politische Religion (Bodenheim b. Mainz: Philo, 1997); Claus-Ekkehard Brsch, Die politische Religion des Nationalsozialismus: Die religise Dimension der NS-Ideologie in den Schriften von Dietrich Eckart, Joseph Goebbels, Alfred Rosenberg und Adolf Hitler (Munich: W. Fink, 1998). Richard Steigmann-Gall questions, I think rightly, whether National Socialism is really a political religion in the sense of a secularized faith, or a form of religious politics, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. See his Nazism and the Revival of Political Religion Theory, Totalitarian Movements and Political Religion 5 (2004): 37696. Stanley Stowers argues in the same vein that Nazism was inspired by traditional religious notions and was not attempting to replace Christianity with a new secular political faith. See his The Concept of Religion, Political Religion, and the Study of Nazism, Journal of Contemporary History 42 (2007): 924. 9 Along with Die Alte Garde spricht, I use the Theodore Abel Collection, housed at the archives of the Hoover Institute on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University. This collection is composed of original autobiographies of Old Guard Nazis collected by Columbia sociologist Theodore Abel in 1934 for use in his study, Why Hitler Came to Power (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986). As the names of the authors of the autobiographies are not always readily apparent in this collection, I cite references by Abel number (designations created by Abel himself) and page numbers. Used together, both collections present the best evidence available for understanding the construction of Nazi identity in the pivotal early years of the movement.


Nova Religio
Eckart, Luther und der Zins, Auf gut deutsch (5 July 1919): 38687. the exception of a few leaders like Heinrich Himmler, the notion that the Nazis were anti-Christian is simply incorrect. On the importance of traditional Christianity for most Nazis, see Richard Steigmann-Gall, The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 19191945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003). While Steigmann-Gall focuses primarily on German Protestant support of Nazism, a number of emerging new religious movements also supported the movement. See Karla Poewe, New Religions and the Nazis (New York and London: Routledge, 2006). Prior to 1923 the Nazis embraced a so-called positive Christianity, a largely Catholic faith purified of supposed Jewish elements. The pronounced Catholic identity of the early movement is discussed in Derek Hastings, Catholicism and the Roots of Nazism: Religious Identity and National Socialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). 12 See Marjorie Reeves and Warwick Gould, Joachim of Fiore and the Myth of the Eternal Evangel in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001). 13 I discuss this further in Nazi End Times: The Third Reich as Millennial Reich, in End of Days: Essays on the Apocalypse from Antiquity to Modernity, ed. Karolyn Kinane and Michael A. Ryan (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2009), 17396. See also Thomas Flanagan, The Third Reich: Origins of a Millenarian Symbol, History of European Ideas 8, no. 3 (1987): 28395. 14 Belief in a divinely ordained national mission was a common aspect of national identity as it developed in the nineteenth century. See, for instance, Ernest Lee Tuveson, Redeemer Nation: the Idea of Americas Millennial Role (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968); David G. Rowley, Redeemer Empire: Russian Millennialism, American Historical Review 105, no. 5 (1999): 15821602; and Peter J. S. Duncan, Russian Messianism: Third Rome, Revolution, Communism and After (New York and London: Routledge, 2000). 15 Quoted in Redles, Nazi End Times, 177. Moeller here uses the term tausendjhrige Reich, a term taken from Martin Luthers translation of millennial kingdom from Revelation 20. I have translated it as millennial Reich to better reflect the true meaning of the phrase. The usual translation of tausendjhrige Reich as thousand-year Reich is, while more literal, less accurate. 16 Quoted in Redles, Nazi End Times, 179. 17 douard Calic, Secret Conversations with Hitler: Two Newly Discovered 1931 Interviews, trans. Richard Barry (New York: John Day, 1971), 68. 18 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. Ralph Manheim, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971), 214. 19 On Hitlers personal sense of mission, see Michael Rissman, Hitlers Gott: Vorsehungsglaube und Sendungsbewusstein des deutschen Dikatators (Zurich: Pendo, 2001). 20 I discuss this at length in Ordering Chaos: Nazi Millennialism and the Quest for Meaning, in The Fundamentalist Mindset: Psychological Reflections on Religion, Violence, and History, ed. Charles B. Strozier, James W. Jones, David M. Terman and Katharine Boyd (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 15674. 21 Abel #70, 3.
11 With 10 Dietrich


Redles: The Nazi Old Guard

vol. 3, Balzer, 2. vol. 3, Heinrich Gtz, 1. 24 DAGS, vol. 2, Willi Martin, 17. By struggle-years Martin is referring to what the Nazis termed the Kampfzeit, the period from the beginning of the Nazi movement in 1919 to its assumption of power in 1933. In Nazi eschatology it was the period of tribulations before the dawn of their millennial Reich. 25 NDSAP Hauptarchiv, Hoover Institute microfilm collection, roll #4, folder #100, Martin Reihl, 8. Reihl is discussing his companys role in the 1923 putsch. Interestingly, many of the reminiscences in this folder recall the putsch in millenarian terms. 26 NSDAP Hauptarchiv, roll #4, folder #100. Theodor Schwindel, 4. 27 Abel #526, 34. 28 Abel #50, 1. 29 Abel #33, 1 30 Richard Bessel, The Great War in German Memory: the Soldiers of the First World War, Demobilization, and Weimar Political Culture, German History 6, no. 1 (1988): 2034. 31 George L. Mosse, Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (New York: Oxford, 1990), 7. 32 Richard Bessel, The front generation and the Politics of Weimar Germany, in Generations in Conflict: Youth Revolt and Generation Formation in Germany 1770 1968, ed. Mark Roseman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 12122. See also Benjamin Ziemann, Das Frontlebnis des Ersten Weltkrieges eine sozialhistorische Zsur? Deutungen und Wirkungen in Deutschland und Frankreich, in Der Erste Weltkrieg und die europische Nachkriegsordenung: Sozialer Wandel und Formvernderung der Politik, ed. Hans Mommsen (Kln: Bhlau Verlag, 2000), 4382. 33 DAGS, vol. 2, Karl Drr, 5. 34 Abel #70, 12. 35 As Lewis Rambo notes, some crisis, whether religious, political, cultural or psychological, usually precedes the conversion process. See his Understanding Religious Conversion (New Haven: Conn.: Yale University Press, 1993), 4455. See also William B. Bankson, H. Hugh Floyd, Jr., and Craig J. Forsyth, Toward a General Model of the Process of Radical Conversion: An Interactionist Perspective on the Transformation of Self-Identity, Qualitative Sociology 4, no. 4 (1981): 27997. 36 DAGS, vol. 2, Adalbert Gimbel, 2; vol. 1, Otto Leinweber, 1; Abel #20, 1; DAGS, vol. 2, Gustav Bonn, 2; vol. 1, Karl Aldinger, 23; Abel #563, 1. 37 Quoted in Otto Wagener, Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant, trans., Ruth Hein, (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985), 212. The desire for Germany to be united in one faith had a long history, radicalized by World War I and culminating in the Third Reich. See Thomas Rohkrmer, A Single Communal Faith? The German Right from Conservatism to National Socialism (New York: Berghahn Books, 2007). 38 Abel #24, 9. 39 DAGS, vol. 3, Georg Konrad Klinger, 2; Abel #477, 1; DAGS, vol. 4, Paul Schneider, 2; Abel #369, 1.
23 DAGS, 22 DAGS,


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Why Hitler Came to Power, 179, 138. #244, 7. 42 Abel #163, 6. 43 DAGS, vol. 2, Johannes Christ, 14. 44 DAGS, vol. 2, Johannes Christ, 15. 45 Abel #524, 3. 46 Abel #67, 3. 47 DAGS, vol. 4, Paul Schneider, 36. 48 DAGS, vol. 1, Lange, 1. That this individual experienced the sense of mission as being seized by a holy fire, and that he felt dragged with elemental force to its spell, reveals the profound emotional power of millennial rhetoric for the converted. 49 DAGS, vol. 1, Julius Stehl, 23, 8. 50 Bernd Weisbrod Violence and Sacrifice: Imagining the Nation in Weimar Germany, in The Third Reich Between Vision and Reality: New Perspectives on German History, 19181945, ed. Hans Mommsen (Oxford: Berg, 2001), 521. This blurring of willing sacrificer and victim would continue through the Nazi years, and in fact grew as the death toll mounted in World War II. See Michael Geyer, There is a Land Where Everything is Pure: Its Name is Land of Death: Some Observations on Catastrophic Nationalism, in Sacrifice and National Belonging in Twentieth-Century Germany, ed. Greg Eghigan and Matthew Paul Berg (College Station, Tex.: Texas A&M Press, 2002), 11847. 51 Quoted in Abel, Why Hitler Came into Power, 278. 52 Quoted in Abel, Why Hitler Came into Power, 293. He is, of course, speaking of those who died in the failed putsch attempt of 1923. The Nazis would in time develop elaborate rituals for their fallen martyrs. See Jay W. Baird, To Die for Germany: Heroes in the Nazi Pantheon (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1990); Sabine Behrenbeck, Der Kult um die toten Helden: Nationalsozialistische Mythen, Riten, und Symbole (Vierow: S-H Verlag, 1996); Yvonne Karow, Deutsches Opfer: Kultische Selbstauslschung auf den Reichsparteitagen der NSDAP (Berlin: Akademie, 1997). 53 DAGS, vol. 3, Wilhelm Scherer, 12. 54 On the linkage of attempts to create utopias leading to genocide, see Omer Bartov, Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide, and Modern Identity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000); Eric D. Weitz, A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003); and Aristotle Kallis, Genocide and Fascism: The Eliminationist Drive in Fascist Europe (New York and London: Routledge, 2009). 55 Dietz Bering, Jews and the German Language: the Concept of Kulturnation and Anti-Semitic Propaganda, in Identity and Intolerance: Nationalism, Racism, and Xenophobia in Germany and the United States, ed. Norbert Fintzsch and Dietmar Schirmer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 25191. 56 Christopher Hutton, The Language Myth and the Race Myth: Evil Twins of Modern Identity Politics, in The Language Myth in Western Culture, ed. Roy Harris (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 2002), 11838. For a broader discussion of German identity formation and Jewish exclusion, see Helmut Walser Smith, The
41 Abel 40 Abel,


Redles: The Nazi Old Guard

Continuities of German History: Nation, Religion, and Race Across the Long Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008). 57 Uli Linke, Blood and Nation: The European Aesthetics of Race (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999). For comparisons of German and American examples of this fact, see Allyson D. Polsky, Blood, Race, and National Identity: Scientific and Popular Discourses, Journal of Medical Humanities 23, nos. 34 (2002): 17186. 58 This is seen best in Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann, The Racial State: Germany 19331945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). 59 See Clarence Lusane, Hitlers Black Victims: The Historical Experiences of AfroGermans, European Blacks, Africans, and African Americans in the Nazi Era (New York and London: Routledge, 2002); Tina Campt, Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Memory in the Third Reich (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2004). 60 See Beate Meyer, Jdische Mischlinge: Rassenpolitik und Verfolgungser fahrung, 19331945 (Hamburg: Dlling und Galitz, 1999); James F. Tent, In the Shadow of the Holocaust: Nazi Persecution of Jewish-Christian Germans (Lawrence, Kan.: University Press of Kansas, 2003). 61 See Guenter Lewy, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000); Donald Kenrick and Grattan Puxon, Gypsies under the Swastika, 2nd ed. (Hatfield, U.K.: University of Hertfordshire Press, 2009). 62 Suzanne E. Evans, Forgotten Crimes: The Holocaust and People with Disabilities (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2004). 63 Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946), vol. 4, 209. 64 Discussed in David Redles, The Turning Point: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Eschatological War between Aryans and Jews, in Reconsidering the Protocols: 100 Years after the Forgery, ed. Steven T. Katz and Richard Landes (New York: New York University Press, forthcoming). 65 Dietrich Eckart, Immer lcheln, und doch ein Schurke! Auf gut deutsch, 7 February 1919, 8384 66 Gerd Krumeich, Gott mit uns? Der Erste Weltkrieg als Religionkrieg, in Gott mit uns: Nation, Religion und Gewalt im 19. Und frhen 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Gerd Krumeich and Hartmut Lehman (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Rupprecht, 2000), 27383. 67 Dietrich Eckart, Die Schlacht auf den Katalaunischen Feldern, Auf gut deutsch, 20 February 1920, 86. 68 Quoted in Redles, Hitlers Millennial Reich, 6566. 69 Claus-Ekkehard Brsch, Der Junge Goebbels: Erlsung und Vernichtung (Munich: Boar, 1995). 70 Quoted in Claus-Ekkehard Brsch, Der Jude als Antichrist in der NS-Ideologie, Zeitschrift fr Geistesgeschichte 47, no.2 (1995): 173. 71 Goebbels, quoted in Brsch, Der Jude als Antichrist, 174. 72 Goebbels, quoted in Brsch, Der Jude als Antichrist, 174. 73 Goebbels, quoted in Brsch, Der Jude als Antichrist, 17576. 74 Discussed in greater detail in Redles, Ordering Chaos, 16874.


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Abel #35, 1. The Spartacists were one of the leading German communist groups. Many were former sailors who had mutinied or had been dismissed from service and still wore their uniforms during protests. 76 DAGS, vol. 3, Emil Hofmann, 12. 77 Abel #579, 1415. 78 Claus-Ekkehard Brsch, Die Konstruktion der kollektiven Identitt der Deutschen gegen die Juden in der politischen Religion des Nationalsozialismus, in Die Konstruktion der Nation gegen die Juden, ed. Peter Alter, Claus-Ekkehard Brsch and Peter Berghoff (Munich: Fink, 1999), 191223.


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