Over 70 years after the fall of Nazi Germany, the question remains unanswered: How could a leading European cultural nation evolve into a dictatorship that triggered a new world war and committed industrial genocide? What was Nazism and why did the Nazis act as they did? Nazism did not arise in an idea-historical vacuum, but in fact had deep roots in German culture. This book takes us on a fascinating journey from the German romance to the Nazi era. We see how thought flows arise and - perhaps surprisingly - contribute to the emergence of Nazi ideology. The book highlights key characteristics of this ideology: ultranationalism and driver worship, racial thinking and anti-Semitism, anti-violence and totalitarianism, and more. The presentation also covers Nazi strong elements of occultism. We also gain insight into the psychological effect of Nazi ideology - how Nazi ideals and attitudes made individuals end up wholeheartedly and energetically about the Hitler regime. This is a narrative of how a „political religion“ comes into being and gains such power over the minds that people are motivated by the most drastic actions culminating in the Holocaust. The new release of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf has whipped up strong emotions in Germany. The interest in Nazism is greater than never before. The topic is burningly relevant. Nazism sheds light on key issues of our time. Extreme ideologies such as neo-Nazism and Islamism haunt today's Europe. Still, there are people who kill in the name of the race and the faith.

  • ISBN: 978-953-8075-74-2
  • Dimensions: 155x240 mm
  • Number of pages: 464
  • Cover: paperback
  • Year of the edition: 2020
  • Original title: Nazismens idéunivers
  • Original language: Norwegian
  • Translation: Mišo Grundler

„Carl Müller Frøland effectively dissects the ideology of Hitler's brand of national socialism, linking it backward to its philosophical roots in German Romanticism, as well as forward to its implementation and practice by the Third Reich once established in 1933. (...) a challenging yet stimulating examination that clarifies the meaning of Nazism given its historical context. (...) recommended for specialists and would be ideal as a graduate-level text. (...) effectively providing new insight and conceptual ways of thinking about Nazism and its place in twentieth-century political thought. For those interested in an objective, unbiased view of the historical roots of Nazism, the author has provided a valuable service.“

Military Review: The Professional Journal of the U.S. Army

* * *

„Frøland is a young Norwegian scientist, he wrote a book on ideology that is probably the most elaborate in world literature, but in a completely innovative way. Hitler’s intellectual horizon was an integral, not an exceptional, part of German idea history, with roots in Romanticism and ideas evolving after 1790. Nazism added biologism to this. The book is a history of ideas and practices that have turned the system of thought into vicious politics. Frøland showed how it is possible for an ideology to seduce large masses of educated and disciplined people, how such people have accepted the idea that the way out is to liquidate large groups of people. It is precisely after this relativization of evil that the book is current that it is difficult to find more important at this time.“

Jutarnji list, Tvrtko Jakovina

* * *

„A unique account of Nazism from the perspective of the Nazis themselves – a monstrous project through the monster's eyes. (...) In our time of political divisions and the strengthening of extremism on both sides of the socio-political spectrum, this book is more topical than ever.“

The Croatian Literary Translators' Association

* * *

„Frøland and his work are an excellent confirmation of how eternal, inexhaustible, always provocative and controversial this topic is, and how, within a given framework, thoughtful, persistent, critical research work can offer the interested public „new keys“ to understanding and questioning ideas and content, which even today in many ways burden modern man and his world. The author is masterfully maneuvering through extensive literature and hither to lesser-known theoretical paths. This book is a major guide to understanding a dark epoch, which speaks not only of what was, but also of what can easily be repeated.“

Novi list, Jaroslav Pecnik

* * * 

„It is a valuable addition to the historiography of Nazi Germany, one that nicely bridges the gap between Nazism as an ideology and Nazism in practice and as policy. ... Recommended.“

D. R. Snyder, Austin Peay State University, CHOICE

* * *

„Many readers have a good idea of how Nazi Germany's foreign policy led to the Second World War, and many also have an idea of the racial thought that lay behind the Holocaust. However, this book by the Norwegian intellectual historian Carl Müller Frøland should cover another knowledge gap, namely those thoughts and that worldview that lay like a web beneath the political conceptions. ... Those who have an academic interest in National Socialism should appreciate the book ... as it shows the emergence of the ideology.“

Linus Björk, BJT-häfte, 2020 (Sweden)

* * *

„Although Understanding Nazi Ideology was conceived as a crossover text – something to bridge the gap between academic and popular history – both its content and written style make it more appropriate for the former audience. His synthesis of the ideas that formed Nazism, of the events that made Nazism adapt, and of the people who led the movement, is detailed and convincing, turning the contradictory elements of the ideology into a coherent set of quasi-religious beliefs. In tracing the development of the Nazi worldview throughout the book, he really has helped the reader – be they members of the general public or of academia – better understand the essence of Nazi ideology."

Debbie Kilroy, gethistory.co.uk, 2020

* * *

„The past few years have seen the continued rise of ideologies and movements that have sparked the fear of a return to a period of human history to which no sensible person would wish to return. Much of this ideology has its roots in the past, particularly among those groups who espouse and maintain an ideological connection with the Third Reich, or the Nazi party of World War II Germany. Books about the roots and the ideology, and the appeal to those who continue to hold these ideologies seventy five years after the downfall of the Third Reich, are much rarer within academic circles. Frøland explores the philosophy and the history of Germanic heritage through notions of romanticism and the mythology of Germany and its people. This is ultimately a book that allows for those who are interested in a myriad of different schools of thought to view how culture, philosophy, history, and memory all combined in order to create an ideology that still remains sadly relevant, at risk of becoming entrenched and idealised once again."

Raymond Radford, Wiley Online Library, June 2, 2021

* * *

"Carl Müller Frøland’s Understanding Nazi Ideology contains little on the importance of Hitler’s Second Book. While Frøland concedes Hitler’s view of the United States and the Soviet Union as dual instruments of the “Judeo-materialistic spirit”, he does not press the case for a Jewish Anglo-American world conspiracy as the messianic force behind Hitler’s ideology of race war.Frøland locates the roots of Hitlerite thinking in European philosophical thought—in a combination of the German pre-Romantic Sturm und Drang movement, Völkisch nationalism and a Nietzschean worship of war. He describes Nazism as a “kind of political religious community bound by blood and soil” based on a synthesis of conservative, socialist and even liberalist thought (it permitted personal wealth and private property). The essence of National Socialism was, then, the demonisation of communism as an impure manifestation of Jewish Bolshevism."

Michael Evans, Quadrant Online, February 13, 2021

* * *

"Frøland’s work will benefit anyone beginning to study German intellectual history or who is interested in an overview of the intellectual origins of the Third Reich. Indeed, the author impressively engages major historiographical debates with useful brevity."

European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire, 2022.