What was the core of National Socialist doctrine which enabled Germany to stand against the combined might of the USA, the USSR and the British Empire for six years? What could inspire a people to struggle on even as their cities were incinerated by genocidal British saturation bombing? Observers and historians have offered countless, largely fanciful explanations since the 1930s. According to Johann Chapoutot, we need to understand how National Socialism saw itself and its role in turning back the tide of social atomization and hegemony of international finance. In particular, how they recognized that history gave them little choice: it was either kill or be destroyed. In this respect little has changed since Adolf Hitler was first elected chancellor,
Chapoutot, one of France’s leading historians, spent years immersing himself in the texts and images that reflected and shaped the world view of National Socialist ideology, and its reception by the German public. The party had no official handbook of ideology, values, and history. But a clear narrative emerges from the myriad works of intellectuals, party members, journalists, and film-makers that Chapoutot explores.
This ideology contended that in the ancient world, the Nordic-German race lived in harmony with the laws of nature. But since Late Antiquity, corrupt foreign norms and values—Jewish values in particular—had alienated Germany from itself and from all that was natural. The time had come to return to the fundamental law of blood. Germany must either fight and procreate, or perish. The Fates do not concern themselves with claims of right and wrong, only survival. A remarkable work of scholarship and insight, The Law of Blood explores the ideas and aspirations of National Socialism for the German people, and European man generally.
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