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Body, Blut und Boden: pseudo-religious discourses on health in Nazi Germany
Stockholms universitet, Historiska institutionen.
2013 (English)In: The Book of Abstracts: The European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism 4TH International Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2013, 19-20 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

National Socialist ideology is founded on an intrinsic relation between Volksgenossen, Volksgemeinschaft and Volkskörper – national comrades, ethnic community and racial corpus. Its doctrine of the ”racially outstanding” physiognomy and healthy body as the physical reflections of the true Germanic spirit traces its roots back to the 18th century and the veneration of Greek and Roman sculptures of gods, goddesses and other mythical figures as ideal images of human beings. Although the idea of an a priori correspondence between a healthy body and a healthy soul was by no means a new one, it was further popularized and propagated in the Western fin de siècle counterculture, with the Lebensreform movement as one of its major currents. With explicitly racist and anti-Semitic ideas added to the concept, the healthy German citizen became one of the major ventures of the Nazi regime.While some of the more gruesome practices and crimes – such as the T4 Euthanasia program – are well-known, this paper will focus on their often neglected philosophical foundations. It examines the esoteric connections between body, blood and soil in Nazi Germany, focusing on NSDAP and SS educational practices, and relates them to issues of pseudo-religion and pseudo-science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. 19-20 p.
Keyword [en]
Nazi Germany, SS, blood and soil doctrine, health, religion, esotericism
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-46347OAI: diva2:998778
4th bi-annual international conference of The European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE), "Western Esotericism and Health", Gothemburg, Sweden, June 26-29, 2013
Available from: 2013-11-14 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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