Nazism is the name of a political movement and a series of uniform ideas, an ideology , about an extreme right-wing attitude toward society. Nazism emerged in Germany shortly after the end of World War II as a counter-movement to socialism and in response to the political and economic chaos after the war.
What is National Socialism (Nazism)?
The word ‘nazism’ comes from German and is a contraction of the word ‘national socialism’. Nazism as a movement grew in the post-war period and became widespread by the Nazi party leader, Adolf Hitler, who had the power in Germany from 1933-1945. During this period, Nazi-controlled Germany was also known as Nazi Germany.
As an extraordinary political movement, Nazism pursues nationalist and antidemocratic views in the effort to achieve a totalitarian and classless society. Nazis believe that a society must be led dictatorically by a leader and cleansed from Jews and others who do not belong to the White Aryan race.
Nazism in Nazi Germany
Nazism has many features in common with fascism, and it is also accepted as the German form of fascism. Nazism advocates theories of race hierarchy and Social Darwinism, which is expressed through anti-Semitism. Against this background, Nazi nation divided all the nations of the world into races, claiming that some breeds with certain characteristics were more sophisticated than others. The Aryan race was the most advanced race and this category mainly belonged to the Germans and northern Europeans. The Nazis, for example, believed that white people with blond hair and blue eyes were purest type. The Slavic people from Eastern Europe, on the other hand, were an inferior race. The Nazis believed, the Jews were the lowest class race and were a direct threat to the Aryans because of their alleged crimes and great intelligence.
Nazism is a totalitarian ideology, in favor of dictatorship. The leader of the nation is placed at the top of the hierarchical system, and the entire community should be governed by his decisions.
The identity, greatness and possibilities of the nation also plays an important role in Nazi politics, which struggle to expand the so-called ‘Lebensraum’; the German concept of Lebensraum comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s.
Lebensraum was largely part of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi ideology, and the ideas about this became the main reason for Germany’s violent expansion policy, which began with the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, which started World War II. The peasants formed the basis of the German people, and the Nazis often used pictures and descriptions of the hard-working farmer and his diligent wife as propaganda for the Nazi society. Lebensraum meant that the German people should not be separated from the earth and the land, which naturally belongs them. Therefore it was necessary to restore the relationship to the soil, which had been lost over time due to modernization and urbanization of society. This policy was called ‘Blut und Boden’ (German for ‘blood and soil’). In practice, the lebensraum would be procured by expelling the Slavic people from Eastern Europe, and instead, Germanic people settled there.
The German Nazi Party greatly used the graphic symbols in the context of their dissemination policies. The most well-known Nazi symbol is swastika, which the party used as its primary symbol in all propaganda activities. The red and black color is thought to represent ‘Blut und Boden’.