Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Eric Kurlander

Eric Kurlander is professor of history at Stetson University. His books include The Price of Exclusion: Ethnicity, National Identity, and the Decline of German Liberalism, 1989–1933 and Living With Hitler: Liberal Democrats in the Third Reich, 1933-1945.

Kurlander's newest book is Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich.

From his Slate interview with Rebecca Onion:

Who participated in supernatural thinking in Germany in the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s? Everyone? And do you think Nazis actually believed this stuff, or did they find it politically convenient?

Educated urban liberal elites and Jewish intellectuals were the least likely to embrace any of this as authentic, or see it as anything other than a pathology of modernity that was particularly strong in Austria and Germany and needed to be dealt with. They could see people they otherwise respected finding some of it interesting, and worried about that response, but they were almost universally opposed to it.

Then you have the German and Austrian middle and lower-middle classes. Traditional religious practice was waning over the course of the 19th century. World War I was really galvanizing in that regard because it called everything into question. Many people who were—well, I don’t want to use the term that some of the intellectuals at the time used, like “half-educated,” “semi-educated”; Theodor Adorno [said] “occultism is the metaphysic of dunces.” Let’s say, clearly these were people who were educated enough to want an alternative to traditional religion, to want to be able to argue scientifically or with authority about religion, science, and politics, and they’re finding these alternative doctrines and institutes and classes on parapsychology and tarot reading as a kind of...[read on]
Learn more about Hitler's Monsters at the Yale University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Eric Kurlander's Living with Hitler.

The Page 99 Test: Hitler's Monsters.

My Book, The Movie: Hitler's Monsters.

--Marshal Zeringue