- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Kensal Press; 1st edition (1985)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0946041334
- ISBN-13: 978-0946041336
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,285,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Richard Walther Darre (1895-1953) was Hitler's Agriculture Minister until 1941. He was also a major figure in the Nordic racialist movement, and was one of those people who was responsible for the "pagan" wing of the Nazi Party.
I got hold of this book expecting it to be just another book on the "evils" of the Nordic Renaissance. I was surprised, however, to read a book that shed light on the fact that the Nordic movement was far more complicated than the "blond hair-blue-eye-let's-breed-superpeople syndrome" so often found in the American press.
Ms. Bramwell writes about many figures in the movement, such as Paul Schultze-Naumberg a nd his wife, Hans F.K. Gunther, Bernhard Kummer, Johann van Leers and L.F. Clauss. I learned a lot about how the Nordic ideal was just that, an ideal, and that not all Nordics were supposed to be blond, for instance. Nordicism encompassed more than just a "racial" stereotype. It was a temperament, a way of life, a philosophy. It was a back-to nature movement, that stressed temperance and healthy living.
It is interesting that many of the Nordicists regarded the Nazis as "un-Nordic", i.e. loud, showy, aggressive, and a few even went so far as to suggest that the Nazis were "mediterranean", "middle-Eastern" or "oriental" in their outlook and actions.
In short, this book is valuable to me because it got me on a new path of reading, and I have come a long way since I first laid hands on this book back in 1992. There is an interesting bibliography at the end. Some people will not agree with this book, probably because they, for some reason or another, do not think they are "Nordic", and they may say that this book is seriously flawed, or even repugnant. But, Hans Jurgen Lutzhoft, in his monograph Der Nordische Gedanke in Deutschland 1920-1945, wrote that the Nordic movement was more international and liberal in scope, and the Nazi Party could never completely contain it.
I strongly recommend reading this book, for the education about a misunderstood movement, and about a possible new way of living.