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Is it correct that Nietzsche was Hitler's inspiration?

NR92 6 July 9
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Nietzsche's issues with morality, and the Ubermensch were about rising above the received wisdom, going beyond the unreality of appearances and finding some dreamed of essential, basic truth.

BirdMan1 Level 8 Jan 23, 2020

No. It was Nietzsche's sister's twisting of what he wrote that may have inspired Hitler. She was married to a devout racist, may have already been one herself. After N. died, she took over as editor, and owner, of his works and bent his writings to her needs.

BirdMan1 Level 8 Jan 23, 2020

I think mistranslations, misreadings, and worse yet, misinterpretations not in any way based on any act of reading of Neitzsche can inspire a lot of hatred. The man had his issues, to be sure, but i've found that those who quote him with the intention of equating atheists with monsters, quote him very selectively.

snthszr Level 4 Sep 1, 2019

Neitzsche abhorred anti-Semitism.
From a letter to his sister:
“Your association with an anti-Semitic chief expresses a foreignness to my whole way of life which fills me ever again with ire or melancholy.”

towkneed Level 7 July 11, 2019

Perhaps Hitler thought that, but I doubt if he had ever read him. Neitzsche's concept of the "ubermensch" is really rooted in individual superiority and he never goes into race. Zarathustra was proclaiming the ubermensch as rising above the men around him, finding his truth in himself and not being tied to the traditional morality of the group. There's no racial component to it at all. In fact, it was antithetical to "racial" superiority as that's just another group which a true ubermensch would rise above.

towkneed Level 7 July 11, 2019

Not quite so. In Genealogy of Morality he associates the “blond beast" race with Celts and Gaels which he states were all fair skinned/fair-haired and were the aristocracy of the time, associating the "good, noble, pure” as originally a blond person.

This is probably allegorical in Nietzsche’s writing but can be interpreted in a racial manner if one has the mind to.

@Geoffrey51 One interprets things in such a way as to fit into one's pre-conceived ideas, yes.


Not really. As previous contributors have stated it’s a bit of a misconception although it is possible that some of Nietzsche’s ideas may have endorsed Hitler’s philosophy.

Geoffrey51 Level 8 July 9, 2019

I've read Neitzsche extensively and none of his ideas endorse anything like Nazism. He did espouse "superiority" but it was the superiority of individuals.

@towkneed Sorry I wrote that entirely wrongly and thank you for correcting me. I was probably nearly snoozing when I wrote. What I meant was that Hitler could easily have used Nietzsche’s texts as propaganda to endorse his position.




Much of the alleged inspiration came from The Will to Power, which was not actually written by Nietzche, but is a book of notes drawn from the literary remains of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche by his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche and Peter Gast in order to generate some income after Nietzche's death. It was primarily Heinrich Himmler who used these notes, often out of context, to support his Nazi propaganda. Nietzche, once greatly admired, has suffered a bad reputation ever since.

Heraclitus Level 8 July 9, 2019

Yes, as I've read, she took advantage of his reputation, after his death for simply selfish purposes.

I too read decades ago that any anti-Semitism in Nietzsche’s work was added by his sister.


John Vervaeke traces the development of will to power and antisemiticism from Luther to Hitler:

brentan Level 8 July 9, 2019

NO not exactly.
Hitler was an admirer of Nietzsche writings, but after the philosophers death, Nietzsche's money hungry sister who was on friendly terms with "Der Phooey" published and gifted to Hitler a series of writings of her brothers older writings (most later contradicted by actual published works) that Nietzsche had long since dismissed as the "rantings of youth"
These works were Hitler's professed inspiration and passed off by Hitler as "new" writings by Nietzsche, the last thoughts of a genius, when they were no such thing, but rather inferior ideas rejected and dismissed decades before.

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