Miracle Weapons, Supernatural Partisans, and the Collapse of the Third Reich
This chapter looks at the regime's increasingly desperate, if futile, investment in ‘miracle weapons’, partisan warfare, and cataclysmic ‘twilight’ imagery during the final years of the war, providing a fitting corollary to the disintegration of the Third Reich. During the final months of the war, when defeat appeared inevitable, many Nazis and millions of ordinary Germans wanted to believe that death was not permanent, that fantasy was reality, and that a ‘magical priest’ might rescue them from annihilation. In this way, the regime's fanciful invocation of miracle weapons, of partisan werewolves and vampires, and of ritual self-immolation, functioned as a form of therapy for Germans suffering through material and psychological distress. However, if twilight imagery helped Germans reconcile themselves to everyday violence, criminality, and loss, it also augured the disintegration of the Third Reich and Germany's post-war rebirth.
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