List of Nazi ideologues  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

This is a list of people whose ideas became part of Nazi ideology. The ideas, writings, and speeches of these thinkers were incorporated into what became Nazism, including antisemitism, eugenics, racial hygiene, the concept of the master race, and Lebensraum. The list includes people whose ideas were incorporated, even if they did not live in the Nazi era.


Philosophers and sociologists

  • Alfred Baeumler (1887–1968), German philosopher in Nazi Germany. He was a leading interpreter of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy as legitimizing Nazism. Thomas Mann read Baeumler's work on Nietzsche in the early 1930s, and characterized passages of it as "Hitler prophecy."
  • Alfred Rosenberg (1893–1946), considered one of the main authors of key Nazi ideological creeds, including the racial policy of Nazi Germany, antisemitism, Lebensraum, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, and opposition to degenerate art. He is also known for his rejection of Christianity, while playing a role in the development of Positive Christianity. At Nuremberg he was tried, sentenced to death, and executed by hanging as a war criminal.
  • Martin Heidegger (1889–1976), German philosopher who was politically involved with National Socialism. The relations between Martin Heidegger and Nazism remain controversial. He was a member of the Nazi party, he joined the NSDAP on May 1, 1933 three weeks after being appointed rector of the University of Freiburg. Heidegger resigned the rectorship one year later, in April 1934, but remained a member of the NSDAP until the end of World War II. His first act as rector was to eliminate all democratic structures, including those that had elected him rector. There were book burnings on his campus, though he successfully stopped some of them. There was also student violence.
  • Herman Schmalenbach (1885–1950), who refined the concepts of Gemeinschaft and Bund.
  • Carl Schmitt (11 July 1888 – 7 April 1985) was a jurist, philosopher, political theorist, and professor of law. Schmitt joined the Nazi Party on 1 May 1933.<ref>Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience, p 58 ISBN 0-674-01172-4</ref> He presented his theories as an ideological foundation of the Nazi dictatorship, and a justification of the "Führer" state with regard to legal philosophy, in particular through the concept of auctoritas. Nevertheless, in December 1936, the SS publication Das schwarze Korps accused Schmitt of being an opportunist, a Hegelian state thinker and basically a Catholic, and called his anti-semitism a mere pretense, citing earlier statements in which he criticized the Nazis' racial theories. After this, Schmitt resigned from his position as "Reichsfachgruppenleiter" (Reich Professional Group Leader), although he retained his post as a professor in Berlin, and his post as "Preußischer Staatsrat". Although Schmitt continued to be investigated into 1937, further reprisals were stopped by Göring.<ref name="Bendersky">Bendersky, Joseph, W., Theorist For The Reich, 1983, Princeton, New Jersey</ref><ref name="Noack">Noack, Paul, Carl Schmitt - Eine Biographie, 1996, Frankfurt</ref> In 1945, Schmitt was captured by the American forces and released in 1946. Schmitt refused every attempt at de-nazification, which effectively barred him from positions in academia.

Scientists and physicians

  • Hans Friedrich Karl Günther (1891–1968), German race researcher and eugenicist in the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich, also known as "Rassengünther" (Race Günther) or "Rassenpapst" (Race Pope). He is considered to be a major influence on National Socialist racialist thought, and was a member of the Nazi Party.<ref>Christopher Hale. Himmler's Crusade: the True Story of the 1938 Nazi Expedition into Tibet Bantam, 2004. ISBN 978-0-553-81445-3</ref>
  • Alfred Ploetz (1860–1940), German physician, biologist, and eugenicist who introduced the concept of racial hygiene in Germany. He was a member of the Nazi party. His brother Ernst Rüdin, also a committed National Socialist, praised him in 1938 as a man who "by his meritorious services has helped to set up our Nazi ideology."
  • Eugen Fischer. German biologist, member of the Nazi Party, prominent in genetics and "racial hygiene".
  • Fritz Lenz. German geneticist, member of the Nazi Party, and influential specialist in "racial hygiene".

Theologians and spiritual leaders

  • Dr. Ernst Bergmann (philosopher) (1881–1945), German philosopher who in his work, Die 25 Thesen der Deutschreligion (Twenty-five Points of the German Religion), held that the Old Testament and portions of the New Testament of the Bible were inaccurate. He claimed that Jesus was not a Jew and of Aryan origin, and that Adolf Hitler was the new messiah.
  • Ludwig Müller (1883–1945), was a theologian and church leader who played a major role in the Nazi party's attempt to misdirect the Protestant, mainly Lutheran churches of Germany toward a basis in Aryan ideology and away from its Jewish origins. He had a leading part in the Nazi, Gleichschaltung, the plan to unite the previously independent Protestant churches into a single Church of the New Order, which is part of longer history of an attempt to unify the churches under the German Evangelical Church, see Reichskirche.<ref>Kenneth Barnes, "Nazism, Liberalism and Christianity", University Press of Kentucky, Kentucky 1991.</ref> Withholding baptism from non-Aryans was enforced in most churches during the Nazi period, though not without some protest.
  • Jakob Wilhelm Hauer (1881–1962), German Indologist and religious studies writer. He was the founder of the German Faith Movement.<ref>Carl G. Jung (1970); Collected Works, Volume 10; Routledge and Kegan Paul, London; ISBN 0-7100-1640-9; p 190-191.</ref>


  • Richard Walther Darré (1895–1953), one of the leading Nazi blood and soil ideologists. He served as Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture from 1933 to 1942.
  • Anton Drexler (1884–1942), German Nazi political leader of the 1920s. He joined the Fatherland Party during World War I. He was a poet and a member of the völkisch agitators who, together with journalist Karl Harrer, founded the German Workers' Party (DAP) in Munich with Gottfried Feder and Dietrich Eckart in 1919.
  • Lanz von Liebenfels (1874–1954), monk and theologian who influenced Nazi ideology by inventing a blend of theology and biology called theozoology.
  • Dietrich Eckart (1868–1923), who developed the ideology of a "genius higher human", based on writings by Lanz von Liebenfels. He was a member of the Nazi party.
  • Gottfried Feder (1883–1941), economist and one of the early key members of the Nazi party. He was their economic theoretician. It was his lecture in 1919 that drew Hitler into the party.
  • Gregor Strasser (1892–1934) Involved in the Kapp Putsch he formed his own völkischer Wehrverband ("popular defense union") which he merged into the NSDAP in 1921. Initially a loyal supporter of Adolf Hitler, he took part in the Beer Hall Putsch and held a number of high positions in the Nazi Party. Soon however, Strasser became a strong advocate of the socialist wing of the party, arguing that the national revolution should also include strong action to tackle poverty and should seek to build working class support.
  • Julius Streicher (1885–1946), the founder and publisher of Der Stürmer newspaper, which became a central element of the Nazi propaganda machine. His portrayal of Jews as subhuman and evil played a critical role in the dehumanization and marginalization of the Jewish minority in the eyes of common Germans – creating the necessary conditions for the later perpetration of the Holocaust. He was a member of the Nazi party.<ref>The Number One Nazi Jew-baiter: A Political Biography of Julius Streicher, Hitler's Chief Anti- …

WP Varga - 1981 - Carlton Press</ref>

Intellectuals indirectly associated with Nazism

Some writers came before the Nazi era and their writings were (sometimes falsely) incorporated into Nazi ideology:

  • Madame Blavatsky (1831–1891), founder of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society. Guido von List took up some of Blavatsky's racial theories, and mixed them with nationalism to create Ariosophy, a precursor of Nazi ideology. Ariosophy emphasized intellectual expositions of racial evolution. The Thule Society was one of several German occult groups drawing on Ariosophy to preach Aryan supremacy. It provides a direct link between occult racial theories and the racial ideology of Hitler and the emerging Nazi party.
  • Emile Burnouf (1821–1907) was a racialist whose ideas influenced the development of theosophy and Aryanism.<ref>DİN BİLİMLERİNİN TARİHÇESİ - Dr. Jacques WAARDENBURG - 2004/1 (281-295 s.) [1]</ref>
  • Julius Evola (1898–1974), a philosopher described as an "ultra-fascist" with an interest in the occult and Eastern religions<ref>Aaron Gillette. Racial Theories in Fascist Italy. London Routledge 2002.</ref>-->
  • Bernhard Förster (1843–1889), German antisemite teacher who wrote on the Jewish question, where he characterizes Jews as constituting a "parasite on the German body".<ref>Friedrich Nietzsche - Antisemit oder Judenfreund? - T Hanke - 2003 - GRIN Verlag [2]</ref>
  • Hans Freyer (1887-1969), German sociologist who called for an anti-liberal, anti-materialist, anti-Marxist Revolution von rechts (Revolution from the Right) that would emphasize organic bonds and community (Gemeinschaft) over the atomization of industrialized society (Gesellschaft).

des races humaines - A de Gobineau, H Juin - 1940 - [3]</ref>

  • Paul de Lagarde (1827–1891) was a German biblical scholar and orientalist. His Deutsche Schriften (1878–1881) became a nationalist text.<ref>Stern, Fritz The Politics of Cultural Despair: a study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology, 1961 (see Chapter I, "Paul de Lagarde and a Germanic Religion").</ref>
  • Martin Luther (1483–1546), German theologian who wrote On the Jews and Their Lies in 1543.<ref name=Michael110>Michael, Robert. Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 110.</ref> He argued that the Jews were "devil's children". He wrote that the synagogue was a "defiled bride ... an incorrigible whore and an evil slut".<ref name=Michael112>Michael, Robert. Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 112.</ref> and Jews were full of the "devil's feces ... which they wallow in like swine."<ref>Obermann, Heiko. Luthers Werke. Erlangen 1854, 32:282, 298, in Grisar, Hartmann. Luther. St. Louis 1915, 4:286 and 5:406, cited in Michael, Robert. Holy Hatred: Christianity, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, p. 113.</ref> He advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, smashing up their homes, and ensuring that these "poisonous envenomed worms" be forced into labor or expelled "for all time."<ref>Luther, Martin. "On the Jews and Their Lies", Luthers Werke. 47:268-271.</ref> He also seemed to sanction their murder,<ref name=Roberts1985>Michael, Robert. "Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews", Encounter, 46 (Autumn 1985) No.4:343.</ref> writing "We are at fault in not slaying them."<ref>Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, cited in Michael, Robert. "Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews", Encounter 46 (Autumn 1985) No. 4:343-344.</ref> His statements that Jews' homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, money confiscated and liberty curtailed were revived and used in propaganda by the Nazis in 1933–1945.<ref>McKim, Donald K. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003, 58; Berenbaum, Michael. "Anti-Semitism", Encyclopaedia Britannica, accessed January 2, 2007. For Luther's own words, see Luther, Martin. "On the Jews and Their Lies", tr. Martin H. Bertram, in Sherman, Franklin. (ed.) Luther's Works. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971, 47:268–72.</ref> Some scholars see Luther's influence as limited, and the Nazis' use of his work as opportunistic. Johannes Wallmann argues that Luther's writings against the Jews were largely ignored in the 18th and 19th centuries, and that there is no continuity between Luther's thought and Nazi ideology.<ref>Johannes Wallmann, "The Reception of Luther's Writings on the Jews from the Reformation to the End of the 19th century", Lutheran Quarterly, n.s. 1 (Spring 1987) 1:72-97.</ref>
  • Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher who developed the concept of Übermensch.<ref>The Nietzsche Legacy in Germany: 1890 -1990 - SE Aschheim - 1992 - University of California Press - ISBN 0520085558 [5]</ref> The Nazi regime's ideas of the German superman were similar to those expressed by Nietzsche. However, it seems that Hitler probably never read Nietzsche, or if he did, the reading was not extensive.<ref>Weaver Santaniello, Nietzsche, God, and the Jews, SUNY Press, 1994, p 41: "Hitler probably never read a word of Nietzsche".</ref><ref>Berel Lang, Post-Holocaust: Interpretation, Misinterpretation, and the Claims of History, Indiana University Press, 2005, p 162: "Arguably, Hitler himself never read a word of Nietzsche; certainly, if he did read him, it was not extensively".</ref>
  • Oswald Arnold Gottfried Spengler (1880–1936), German historian and philosopher. He is best known for his book The Decline of the West and the cyclical theory of the rise and decline of civilizations. He wrote extensively throughout World War I and the interwar period, and supported German hegemony in Europe. The National Socialists held Spengler as an intellectual precursor but he was ostracized after 1933 for his pessimism about Germany and Europe's future, and his refusal to support Nazi ideas of racial superiority.
  • Lothrop Stoddard (1883–1950), American political theorist, historian, eugenicist, and anti-immigration advocate who wrote a number of prominent books on scientific racism. He developed the concept of the untermensch.
  • Adolf Stoecker (1835–1909), court chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm and an antisemitic German theologian who founded one of the first antisemitic political parties in Germany, the Christian Social Party. He proposed severely limiting the civil rights of Jews in Germany. In September 1879 he delivered a speech entitled "What we demand of modern Jewry", in which he spelled out several demands of German Jews.<ref>Journal of Church and State - JC Fout - Adolf Stoecker Antisemitism – 1975. [6]</ref>
  • Georges Vacher de Lapouge (1854-1936), French anthropologist, eugenicist, and antisemite who developed the idea of a "Selectionist State" that would implement coercive measures to maintain the dominance and purity of dolichocephalic Aryans. His work strongly influenced Nazi eugenicists such as Hans F. K. Günther.

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