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New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Monday, November 28

the disturbing matter of Nazi entailment

Whether in America or Germany, talk of Holocaust seems to upset some folks -- though probably less, we can guess, than the people on whom such acts were perpetrated.

The quote below is from an anonymous Amazon.com reader review of John Carey's (in my opinion and that of many others, excellent) The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880-1939, which the writer calls "a hatchet job."

When I adjudicated secondary-school debating competitions, there was always one dependable red flag that signalled a crumbling argument: the comparison with Hitler. Hitler was the teenager's favourite: if you could infect your opponent's argument with just a touch of Hitlerism, the crowd was instantly on your side and your opponent now had to climb a mountain of odium to win them back.
The following quote from a book review in The Canadian Journal of History (December 1, 2001) provides a better than average starting point for exploring why so many people reach for their revolvers -- or simply stop listening -- when they hear the word Nazi.
More than ever, it is apparent that certain myths about Nazism will never fully disappear. If for no other reason, Nazism serves as a useful foil, a way of gauging good and evil in the world. The things we tend to dislike in modern society we usually presume reigned triumphant in Nazism. In fact, what we suppose Nazism must surely have been about often tells us as much about contemporary societies as about the past purportedly under review.
The book purportedly under review is Hitler's Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth and Neo-Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, whom the reviewer, Richard Steigmann-Gall (author of The Holy Reich Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945), goes to some lengths to make appear a fool.
  • [pretend this is a footnote]

    In fact, Steigmann-Gall seriously misrepresents the book. "The reader is strongly encouraged," he writes, "to believe that Nazism had more to do with 'the occult, Green issues, vegetarianism, and the New Age' (p. 92), all cast as eastern in inspiration."

    What Goodrick-Clarke actually wrote on page 92 -- regarding Savitri Devi's A Son of God (1946) and Impeachment of Man (1959) -- was this: "Mindful as she was of the general opprobrium attaching to the Third Reich in the postwar years, these books make only coded references to her idol Hitler and National Socialism. Free of any obvious Nazi taint, both books have been recently republished for new audiences interested in mysticism and the occult, Green issues, vegetarianism, and the New Age."

    That's called reporting, not a la Steigmann-Gall, something we are "strongly encouraged to believe." That this was the opportunistic enticement Savitri Devi's neo-Nazi publisher pitched to a New Age audience was also explained at some length on page 3. Perhaps Steigmann-Gall's clear error on this point can be simply written off as one more reviewer who never read the book. Or, less simply, as one more jealous academic trashing a more competent colleague.

A fool Goodrick-Clarke is not. He heads the Centre for Western Esotericism in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Wales, Lampeter (see Wikipedia entry). His book, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany, 1890-1935, is widely judged by his peers to be one of the small handful of credible books on the subject.

Contrast the above review clip with this one:

Although the gas chamber mythos has been the center-piece of ongoing Establishment efforts to diabolize the Third Reich, there has been a parallel attempt to remove that epoch from objective consideration by casting it in a less homicidal but more bizarrely demoniacal light. Linking National Socialism to occultism has served several purposes: making the Hitler period look spooky, or at least a bit "kooky"; alienating people of traditional religious outlook, and not least, cashing in on the lucrative bookselling fad of recent years sometimes called the "occult explosion."
The opening gambit about "the gas chamber mythos" should be a tipoff that the publication in which this appeared -- The Journal of Historical Review -- is among a growing number of books and web sites dedicated to questioning whether the Holocaust ever took place.

Exhibit: Holocaust Denial
The following is from the web site of Castle Hill Publishers, which disseminates The Journal of Historical Review, as well as books such as The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry.

It is the goal of Castle Hill Publishers to scientifically investigate historical events, particularly those of the 20th century, without limitations imposed by dogmas or axioms.

It is also Castle Hill Publishers' goal to defend human rights and to combat discrimination, especially when it is directed against the German people. This shall be done within the widest possible framework and particularly by means of proper historical research into the events of the 20th century in Europe.

It is also Castle Hill Publishers' goal to correct unjust reporting or accounts of events of the 20th century. It is also the Foundation's goal to further public debate about the subject generally described as 'Holocaust'.

It is also Castle Hill Publishers' goal to financially assist Revisionists who, due to their work, are subjected to prosecution, physical assault or slander, or who are otherwise victimized or persecuted.

It is also the Foundation's goal to oppose, with all available legal means, those persons, institutions and organizations who denounce, charge, convict or otherwise inflict harm on Revisionists for not believing in the existence of gas chambers.

Lastly, it is Castle Hill Publishers' goal to restore, with all available legal means, the honor and reputation of all persons and/or organizations who are found to have been unjustly accused or even convicted of criminal acts, especially such as were allegedly committed during World War Two.


The caption for the photo below (from The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum) reads: "Corpses of Auschwitz prisoners in block 11 of the main camp... as discovered by Soviet war crimes investigators."

[NOTE: Apologies for the confusion with the above image. For the correct image, see here. For an explanation, see here.]

Holocaust deniers might argue that, from such a picture, we have no definitive way of knowing whether these people are perhaps not merely napping. It is left as an exercise for the reader to ponder this perplexing question. Clicking here may help.


"President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush tour the
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C."
White House photo by Paul Morse [reduced]

The above image is a work of an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. [via Wikipedia]

savitri devi, the hindu-aryan myth and neo-nazism


secret aryan cults and their influence on nazi ideology: the ariosophists of austria and germany, 1890-1935







the growing assault on truth and memory


history, holocaust, and the david irving trial



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