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Hitler and the Apocalypse Complex Salvation and the Spiritual Power of Nazism

by David Redles

  • ISBN: 9780814775240
  • ISBN10: 0814775241

Hitler and the Apocalypse Complex Salvation and the Spiritual Power of Nazism

by David Redles

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: New York Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 05/30/2005
  • ISBN: 9780814775240
  • ISBN10: 0814775241
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Description: After World War I, German citizens sought not merely relief from the political, economic, social, and cultural upheaval which wracked Weimar Germany, they sought salvation, argues David Redles, who believes that millenarian sentiment was central to the rise of Nazism. In holding forth promises of order, prosperity, and community, Hitler fulfilled a profoundly spiritual need on behalf of those who converted to Nazism, and thus became not only Fuhrer, but Messiah.

As opposed to many works which depersonalize Nazism by focusing on institutional factors, Redles offers a fresh view of the impact and potential for millenarian movements. The writings of both major and minor Nazi party figures, in which there echoes a striking religiosity and salvational faith, reveal how receptive Germans were to the notion of a Millennial Reich such as that offered by Hitler. Furthermore, such sources prove that Nazism was a heterogenous movement, which drew from across class, gender, and educational barriers. Redles illustrates how Hitler's apocalyptic prophecies of a coming "final battle" with the so-called "Jewish-Bolsheviks", one that was conceived to be a "war of annihilation", was transformed into an equally eschatological "Final Solution".

Extending his inquiry from the apocalypticism which catalyzed Nazism, Redles offers a cross-cultural examination of apocalyptic movements. He shows that apocalyptic mentalities are rooted in anxieties over rapid change, in searches for new constructions of order out of perceived chaos. Armed with a new understanding of the development of such movements, Redles turns to the present, and offers thoughts on current apocalyptic movements and their ties to those past.As a cross-disciplinary study, Hitler and the Apocalypse Complex will be of interest to students and scholars of Nazism, the Holocaust and religion, as well as to anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and general readers alike.

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