Early in the Third Reich, Nazi ideologues and propagandists proclaimed the rebirth of the German nation. But when was it first born, and when had it died? Nazis, including Rosenberg, Himmler and Darré, looked back to the late eighth and early ninth centuries, constructing an originary myth of a pristine Germanic and pagan Germany, championed by the Saxon war-lord ‘Duke’ Widukind, and its destruction at the hands of Charlemagne, Romanism and Christianity. But, even within the Nazi Party’s leadership, this proved a controversial view. As Nazism began to fulfil its totalitarian ambitions and impose ideological uniformity, a furious public debate broke out. It concerned the origins and meaning of German history, and ultimately German identity. No Nazi doubted that events from which modern Germans were separated by more than a millennium posed urgent questions for the present, and Charlemagne’s Saxon wars acquired other kinds of immediacy in Nazi historical imaginations.
|Title of host publication||How the Past was Used|
|Subtitle of host publication||Historical cultures, c. 750-2000|
|Editors||Peter Lambert, Björn Weiler|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Aug 2017|
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- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of History and Welsh History - PhD Supervisor - History and Welsh History, Emeritus Lecturer
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