Between Occultism and Nazism: Anthroposophy and the Politics - download pdf or read online

By Peter Staudenmaier

ISBN-10: 9004264078

ISBN-13: 9789004264076

The connection among Nazism and occultism has been an item of fascination and hypothesis for many years. Peter Staudenmaier’s among Occultism and Nazism presents an in depth old exam established at the anthroposophist flow based through Rudolf Steiner. Its astounding findings demonstrate a extraordinary point of Nazi help for Waldorf colleges, biodynamic farming, and different anthroposophist tasks, whilst Nazi officers tried to suppress occult developments. The publication additionally comprises an research of anthroposophist involvement within the racial rules of Fascist Italy. in response to huge archival learn, this research deals wealthy fabric on arguable questions about the character of esoteric spirituality and replacement cultural beliefs and their political resonance.

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Though incorporating standard anthroposophical assumptions and thus of limited scholarly usefulness, it is an encouraging sign of increasing attention to the evolution of Steiner’s worldview. 64 Rom Landau, God is my Adventure: A Book on Modern Mystics, Masters and Teachers (London: Ivor Nicholson and Watson, 1935), 47. See especially chapter 3, “Occult Truth: Rudolf Steiner” (45–83). 65 Alfred Heidenreich, Im Angesicht des Schicksals (Stuttgart: Verlag der Christengemein­ schaft, 1928), 87. 66 The approach adopted here thus contrasts sharply with accounts which hew more closely to internal anthroposophist perspectives.

After a decade as head of the German branch of the Theosophical Society, Steiner broke with mainstream theosophy and founded his own movement, establishing the Anthroposophical Society at the end of 1912. In 1913 Steiner moved the headquarters of the Anthroposophical Society to the village of Dornach in Switzerland. 11 257; Heiner Barz, Anthroposophie im Spiegel von Wissenschaftstheorie und Lebensweltforschung (Weinheim: Deutscher Studien Verlag, 1994). 11 For brief discussion of Steiner’s place within the broader religious landscape of early twentieth century Germany see Thomas Nipperdey, Religion im Umbruch: Deutschland 1870–1918 (Munich: Beck, 1988), 145–46; a more thorough analysis is available in Bernhard Maier, Die religionsgeschichtliche Stellung der Anthroposophie (Munich: Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Religionsund Weltanschauungsfragen, 1988).

28 Such analyses can help account for the contradictory aspects of anthroposophical thinking on ethnic and national questions, contradictions which were already manifest in Steiner’s early works. Steiner’s espousal of a unique cultural mission for the German people, a central thread running throughout his mature anthroposophical teachings, was a prominent presence in his public career from its beginnings. This is the intellectual backdrop against which his later anthroposophical followers cast him as Germany’s would-be savior.

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Between Occultism and Nazism: Anthroposophy and the Politics of Race in the Fascist Era by Peter Staudenmaier

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