The Murderous Paradise: German Nationalism and the Holocaust

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - History - 203 pages

Where did the idea to eliminate European Jewry originate? This study embarks upon an historical exploration of this question, identifying its Biblical origins and its expression throughout German history. Even a cursory glance at National Socialist propaganda reveals the Nazi belief that a utopian Germany would rise from the ashes of Europe's Jews. In tracing the ideological roots of the Final Solution, James investigates how German nationalism came to incorporate aspirations to a perfect nation and why such expectations were intimately connected with the desire for an end to all Jews.

The aggressive nationalism and anti-Semitism of the National Socialists were not solely the products of Hitler's fanaticism. Rather, themes of national redemption and the elimination of the Jews are present throughout recent German history and have their origins in the Bible as well as in the earliest German patriotic writings of the twelfth century. By tracking these ideas back through their various sources, James places the Holocaust squarely within its historical and cultural context.


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Biblical Origins of Redemptive AntiSemitism
Early Christian Sources
Medieval German Patriotism and Hopes for the Extermination of the Jews
German Humanist AntiSemitism and Patriotism
The Baroque Era Tolerance and the Decline of Patriotism
Pietisms Contribution to German Utopianism
The Enlightenment and the Emergence of German Nationalism
Romantic Nationalist AntiSemitism
Radicalization of AntiSemitism
After the Revolution Intellectual Redemptive AntiSemitism
Popular Nationalism and AntiSemitism of the Late Nineteenth Century
National Socialism The Triumph of Redemptive AntiSemitism

A Belief in Germany Religious Nationalism after Napoleon

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Page 15 - For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
Page 18 - GB Caird, A Commentary on the Revelation of St. John the Divine (New York: Harper and Row, 1966), 74-75.
Page 9 - Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (London: Little, Brown, and Company, 1996).

About the author (2001)

PIERRE JAMES has taught at a number of universities in Australia and Germany, including the University of South Australia and the Philipps University of Marburg./e He has published on a diverse range of topics concerning the Holocaust, the contemporary extreme right, racism, and the history of anti-Semitism.

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