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Hitler's MonstersA Supernatural History of the Third Reich$
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Eric Kurlander

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300189452

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300189452.001.0001

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From the Thule Society to the NSDAP

From the Thule Society to the NSDAP

Fashioning the Nazi Supernatural Imaginary, 1912–24

(p.33) 2 From the Thule Society to the NSDAP
Hitler's Monsters

Eric Kurlander

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the organizational and ideological connections between late-Wilhelmine occult organizations such as the German Order and Thule Society and the early National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP). The Thule Society and early Nazi movement shared a supernatural imaginary that transcended the particulars of their internal political and organizational differences. They were all, to varying degrees, fascinated by Nordic mythology and Germanic paganism, occult doctrines such as ariosophy, and border scientific theories of race (‘blood’), space (‘soil’), and psychology (‘magic’). In contrast to the mainstream parties that dominated the first decade of the Weimar Republic, the NSDAP drew upon a broader supernatural imaginary which spoke to a diverse social milieu that had lost faith in secular liberalism, traditional Christian conservatism, and Marxist socialism. Like the Germans themselves, many Nazis, living in a society riddled by crisis, increasingly viewed popular aspects of occultism, paganism, and border science as fundamental to negotiating the complexities of modern life.

Keywords:   German Order, Thule Society, National Socialist Workers' Party, Nazi movement, Nazi supernatural imaginary, Nordic mythology, Germanic paganism, occult doctrines, border science

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