For the most part, English language research on the Third Reich has focused on its political, economic and military structures. Comparatively little attention has been paid to the ideological underpinnings of National Socialism, however; to the ideas and discourses that informed the beliefs and actions of both major and minor actors in Hitler’s Germany.
In the sense proposed here, ideology is not to be understood in opposition to rationality, but rather as a precondition for rational thinking. Ideology, in other words, is a prism through which individuals, groups, and state authorities see the world, whilst also providing justification for their actions.
This project is based on the assumption that, if we want to understand the relationship between politics and people’s lived realities, or between the period’s inhuman atrocities and the worldview that informed them, then a deep understanding of National Socialist ideologies is required.
The core of our project is a four-volume reference resource entitled ‘’Ideologies in National Socialism’’, designed to be unprecedented in its detail and encylopaedic in its coverage.
Edition - The Service Diaries of Wolfram Sievers
Wolfram Sievers was the Reich director of the SS research institution "Ahnenerbe". His now largely reconstructed service diaries are a unique source for understanding the SS, the history of science in Germany and Europe from 1935 to 1945, and the ethnic and racist ideologies that shaped the SS.
The three-volume edition consists of an introductory volume with a Sievers biography and an introduction to the structure and origins of the diaries. With the exception of a few weeks, the main volume shows Sievers' daily appointments and telephone calls, as well as the numerous projects of the Ahnenerbe. It mentions thousands of people who played a role in the SS, the other branches of the NSDAP, the military including Waffen-SS, and above all German and European science. The last volume gives an encyclopaedic overview of many of these persons and projects.
The work will also be published as online versions, with an extensive search function for actors and projects, as well as links to links in the Ahnenerbe network.
The Science Policy of the "SS-Ahnenerbe
Wolfram Sievers - A science manager in the service of the SS
The Scientific Policy of the "SS-Ahnenerbe
The SS research network in the service diaries of Wolfram Sievers
Documents 1941-45 (in two extensive volumes, ISBN 978-3-11-069996-8)
Volume III: The Science Policy of the "SS-Ahnenerbe
Selected actors and their projects in European science. The Ancestral Heritage Network. (ISBN 978-3-11-071221-6)
Politics, Ideology and Democracy
Volume 1: Ethnic thinking 1848 to 1948
Part 1: The Paulskirche Parliament between a national awakening and democratic decision-making.
Part 2: From a national awakening to murderous politics. The National Socialist Ideology's Ethnic Origins.
Part 3: How do you get the folk out of your head? The re-education and re-orientation in occupied Germany.
The emergence of parliamentary democracy and political public opinion in the 19th century created the conditions for the emergence of group-bound ideological vocabularies in Germany. This volume spans the arc from Paulskirche in Frankfurt/Main through the interwar period to re-education after the zero hour, as an elementary component of the creation of today's parliamentary democracy in Germany.
At the center of the present volume is the great theme of the relationship between ethnic thinking and German democratic aspirations for about one hundred years.
It thus offers an exemplary overview of one of the ideologies that have long preoccupied German politics and are currently preoccupying it again.
The approximately contributions of the anthology are based on conference results. The CfP/conference programs can be found here.
The anthology will be published by De Gruyter Publishers (ISBN 978-3-11-069734-6)
We are currently working on a series of publications on the property confiscation due to persecution from 1933 to 1945. More information will be available here shortly.