Esoteric Mystery

Between Occultism and Nazism: Anthroposophy and the Politics by Peter Staudenmaier

By Peter Staudenmaier

The connection among Nazism and occultism has been an item of fascination and hypothesis for many years. Peter Staudenmaier’s among Occultism and Nazism offers an in depth old exam established at the anthroposophist circulate based by means of Rudolf Steiner. Its incredible findings show a awesome point of Nazi aid for Waldorf colleges, biodynamic farming, and different anthroposophist projects, whilst Nazi officers tried to suppress occult traits. The booklet additionally contains an research of anthroposophist involvement within the racial guidelines of Fascist Italy. in accordance with huge archival learn, this research bargains wealthy fabric on debatable questions about the character of esoteric spirituality and substitute cultural beliefs and their political resonance.

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Regardless of interpretive orientation, anthroposophist sources from the 1930s are especially problematic due to the severe divisions within the movement at the very time the Nazis rose to power. introduction 23 under an all-out Nazi campaign against occultism. Chapter Six analyzes this campaign, surveying the treatment of Steiner’s followers and of other esoteric movements. Anthroposophy’s fate in Hitler’s Germany was finally decided by the outcome of this struggle between rival Nazi tendencies.

24 For a penetrating study of the dynamics of increasing nationalist radicalization among Austro-Germans see the chapter “From Liberalism to Nationalism: Inventing a German Community, 1880–85” in Pieter Judson, Exclusive Revolutionaries: Liberal Politics, Social Experience, and National Identity in the Austrian Empire 1848–1914 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), 193–222. Germany ’ s Savior 35 nationalism. For many Austro-Germans, an originally universalist vision of Germanness—seemingly embattled and undoubtedly embittered by nonGerman resistance to their assumed right to cultural pre-eminence—gave way to increasingly intolerant variants of nationalist defensiveness.

This weekly Viennese paper, bearing the subtitle “organ for the national interests of the German people,” was a major mouthpiece of deutschnationale sentiments. ”17 Steiner’s articles for the Deutsche Wochenschrift portrayed Germans in Austria as threatened by an “onslaught from all sides,” comprising “Czech agitators” and “the evil Russian influence” along with Poles, Magyars, and other non-German ethnic groups. ” He condemned accommodation to non-German ethnic groups and cooperation with Presse was the organ of the “Deutscher Verein” in Troppau in the Sudetenland.

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