The March Of Nazism: The Theoretical And Ideological Justification Of Violence In Nazi Germany

2743 words - 11 pages

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The Second World War was, and still remains, the most destructive conflict the world has ever seen. Twenty five years later, people had referred to the First World War as the Great War, kept safe in the assumption that nothing would ever come close to the destructiveness of it. However, the approximately 50,000,000 deaths worldwide as a result of the Second World War put all such assumptions to rest with resounding finality. While the military aspects and campaigns of the Second World War have been studied with great detail and little room for improvement, the theoretical and ideological justifications of the war are more vague. The ideology of Nazi Germany is often demonised without enough attention being paid to why the Nazis fought; what was the society they sought to create? What was the reasoning behind the pursuit of territory and power that characterised the regime of Adolf Hitler from his rise to power in 1933 until the final collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945? The violence used by Nazi Germany falls into almost all categories, including violence by the State against both its own citizens and against other systems; previous to their seizure of power through democratic means, the National Socialist Germany Worker's Party had attempted to overthrow the government through use of violence. What was it that drove these violent impulses?The main blueprint for the violence of the Nazi period comes from Adolf Hitler's book, Mein Kampf. Although much of it is autobiographical, some portions shed a great deal of light on the more obscure aspects of Nazi ideology: the militaristic Keynesianism that enabled the gigantic Nazi campaigns of conquest and rebuilt the German economy, the anti-religious nature of much of Hitler's teachings, and the grandiose justifications of virulent anti-Semitism and other forms of racism that pervade the entire document. In addition to this, other factors, such as extreme German nationalism, came into play. All of these would have been dangerous on their own, but together they allowed Hitler to spread his message across the world at the point of a bayonet. It is no coincidence that the long version of the Nazi Party's name begins with 'National': the major justification for Germany's participation in the Second World War can be described as an extreme form of German nationalism. There are several important factors lumped within this larger classification including the Nazi plans to greatly enlarge the territory of the German Reich, the desire to 'purify' the German race, and the often pseudo-religious belief in the destiny of the Aryans.The German Wehrmacht's campaign to conquer the U.S.S.R. began on June 22nd, 1941. Operation Barbarossa as it was initially called, invoking memories of that great medieval German emperor, was not merely a campaign against an ideological enemy - as Hitler viewed Stalin and the country he led - but also a campaign against an enemy race in pursuit of carving out a...

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