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English and German Nationalist and Anti-Semitic Discourse, 1871-1945


Edited By Geraldine Horan, Felicity Rash and Daniel Wildman

This volume contains selected papers from an international conference of the same name held at Queen Mary, University of London, on 10-11 November 2010. The contributions from scholars working in the fields of modern political and cultural history, political science, modern European literature and linguistics provide interdisciplinary perspectives on nationalism and anti-Semitism in English- and German- language contexts from the beginning of the German Second Reich (1871) to the end of World War II (1945). Some articles examine critically theoretical constructs used to justify and defend anti-Semitism in Germany, focusing on the realms of science, music, the press and film. Others discuss the role of anti-Semitism in constructing völkisch-nationalist notions of ‘German’ identity, as well as discourses of German colonialism. As a counterpart to German perspectives, several articles chart contemporary British reactions to German anti-Semitism and radical nationalism.


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Helen Roche ‘In Sparta fühlte ich mich wie in einer deutschen Stadt’ (Goebbels)


: The Leaders of the Third Reich and the Spartan Nationalist Paradigm1 When Goebbels visited Sparta in 1936, he declared that here, he truly felt as if he were in a German city.2 Yet, as the Greek historian Thucydides had predicted nearly 2,500 years before, all that remained of the city-state which had been so renowned in Classical times were a few unimpres- sive ruins. Nothing here could compete with the surviving architectural splendours of the Athenian acropolis; nor was anything left to suggest that Sparta’s citizens had been at one time, militarily and politically, the most powerful in all the Mediterranean. Why, then, should Goebbels have 1 This paper was inspired by the realization, very early on in my PhD research (on the inf luence and idealization of Sparta in nineteenth- and twentieth-century German elite education, specifically at the Prussian cadet-schools [1818–1920] and Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten [1933–45]), that the Nazi appropriation of Sparta extended far beyond the field of education. Indeed, it rapidly became clear that something tantamount to Spartan self-identification could be found in the thought of many leading National Socialists, including Hitler himself. This there- fore represents a preliminary overview of a topic which I will investigate fully upon completing my doctorate. All translations are my own unless otherwise stated. 2 Athenian Embassy-Report, 30 September 1936. I am indebted to Professor Hagen Fleischer for this reference, which originally appeared in his 1998 article, ‘Die “Viehmenschen” und das “Sauvolk”. Feindbilder einer dreifachen Okkupation: Der Fall Griechenland’, in...

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