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 Between Occultism and Nazism presents a close old exam based at the anthroposophist flow based through Rudolf Steiner. Its remarkable findings display a awesome point of Nazi help for Waldorf faculties, biodynamic farming, and different anthroposophist tasks, at the same time Nazi officers tried to suppress occult developments. The publication additionally contains an research of anthroposophist involvement within the racial regulations of Fascist Italy. in keeping with wide archival learn, this research deals wealthy fabric on debatable questions about the character of esoteric spirituality and replacement cultural beliefs and their political resonance.

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Additional resources for Between Occultism and Nazism: Anthroposophy and the Politics of Race in the Fascist Era (Aries Texts and Studies in Western Esotericism)

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G. the very brief reference to Steiner’s racial teachings in the critical appraisal of anthroposophy by Wilhelm Michel, Der abendländische Zeus (Hannover: Paul Steegemann, 1923), 42, or the slightly more thorough critical discussion of Steiner’s race doctrines in Friedrich Traub, Rudolf Steiner als Philosoph and Theosoph (Tübingen: Mohr, 1921), 19, 29–30, 33. Ernst Bloch’s 1935 critique of anthroposophy refers in passing to Steiner’s root-race theory: Bloch, Heritage of Our Times, 174. Other critical assessments of anthroposophy do not address Steiner’s racial views; cf.

The Germans and the East, 109–28; Reinhart Koselleck, “Volk, Nation, Nationalismus” in Koselleck, Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe vol. , The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 499–526; Jost Hermand, Verlorene Illusionen: Eine Geschichte des deutschen Nationalismus (Cologne: Böhlau, 2012). 29 The conjunction of evolutionary and esoteric themes can be seen in Steiner’s pamphlets Haeckel, die Welträtsel und die Theosophie (Berlin: Philosophisch-Theosophischer Verlag, 1909) Germany ’ s Savior 37 social Darwinist, Lamarckian, and Goethean elements, Haeckel’s theory offered an evolutionary interpretation for a vast array of social and cultural phenomena.

Just as Steiner’s turn-of-the-century conversion to theosophy resists facile explanation, so too does his simultaneous adoption of the esoteric race doctrines elaborated by his theosophical forebears. One of the chief connecting threads between Steiner’s pre-theosophical intellectual orientation and his mature race theories was the polyvalent theme of evolution, which Steiner came to understand in physical, spiritual, and cosmic terms. 29 Incorporating 28 Judson, Exclusive Revolutionaries, 269–70.

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