The March of Nazism: The Theoretical and Ideological Justification of Violence in Nazi Germany

Essay by Monty725University, Bachelor'sA-, February 2008

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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...