A few years ago I was in a discussion with somebody named Tom on the
TSE-List (or maybe some poetry site like Eratosphere, but I think here)
about the connection between Nazism and Nietzsche and I quoted from Joachim
Kohler's book "Nietzsche & Wagner: A Lesson In Subjugation" (trans. by
Ronald Taylor).  I think the book has some relevance here, it may be
limited but still there is some.  The strained relation the two had in
their latter years was intentified by the Wagner's wife Cosima (1837-1930)
and Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth (1846-1935) with their two competing
camps; except during the years that Hitler, who gave both men some kind of
prophet status, was in power.  In both cases, I would have to largely agree
with Nancy's statement (with a small quibble in both).  Wagner's work was
based on "great literature" (the poetry of Wolfram von Eschenbach,
Gottfried von Strassburg, etc) but I doubt it was "deeply" read, probably
most Nazis just went to the operas with a 'Yay Germany' attitude, like a
Rambo movie.  On the other hand, they pretty well knew and believed in the
basic premises of Nietzsche's philosophy, but Nietzsche's work falls far
short of any claim to be "great literature" in my opinion.

Kohler's book says, "In 1931, three decades after Nietzsche's death, Hitler
paid a visit to the Weimar villa.  Standing in reverence before the marble
bust [of N.], he mused on The Will To Power. The now aged Elisabeth
...presented Hitler with ...her brother's sword, which looked like a
harmless walking-stick.  As late as 1943 ...Hitler still saw a connection
between the destruction of the Jews andthe challenge of Nietzsche's
Superman to live a more intense life, a life of heightened awareness. 
'This is why,' said Hitler Goebbels recorded in his diaries,
'Nietzsche is inevitably far closer to the way we see the world than is
Schopenhauer, for the task of philosophy is to simplify and to intensify
life, not to cover it with a veil of pessimism.'" (p.13).  Later in the
book it talks a symbolic resurrection of Nietzsche with "a resurrection not
of the body but of his ideas, his words and his works, finally celebrated
in the moment when Hitler declared the Nietzsche Archive in Weimar to be a
center for 'the dessemination of the ideology of National Socialism'." (p.

The book was published by Yale University Press, so is that documented
enough for an assertion?  Or is it still "not much of a performance,

Robert Meyer

> [Original Message]
> From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: 11/6/2007 12:33:03 PM
> Subject: Re: Test of Time
> I confess to not having a citation but to having read it frequently.  One
could point to many others, I'm sure.  But I will make an effort if it
seems essential.
> N
> >>> <[log in to unmask]> 11/6/2007 3:19 PM >>>
> Nancy Gish wrote:
> It has often been pointed out that members of Hitler's SAS were deeply
> in great literature.
> Citation?