Nietzsche and the Nazis

A Personal View by Stephen Hicks, Ph.D.

Ockham’s Razor Publishing, 2006, 2010.

nn-cover-colorFriedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) is famous for his statement that “God is dead” — and for the fact that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis claimed Nietzsche as one of their great inspirations.
* Were the Nazis right to do so — or did they misappropriate Nietzsche’s philosophy?
* What were the key elements of Hitler and the National Socialists’ political philosophy?
* How did the Nazis come to power in a nation as educated and civilized as Germany?
* What was Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy — the philosophy of “Live dangerously” and “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”?
* And to what extent
did Nietzsche’s philosophy provide a foundation for the horrors perpetrated by the Nazis?


* Hardcover book version published August 2010.
* Kindle version at Amazon published 2011.
* Audiobook edition published 2013. MP3 and YouTube links below.
* 2:45-hour documentary at Netflix and on DVD at Amazon; published 2006.
nn-polish-cover-front-150px* Polish translation by Izabela Kłodzińska (Chojnice, Poland: Fundacji Fuhrmanna, 2014). Preface in English. Przemysław Zientkowski’s foreword.
* Persian translation by Mohsen Mahmoudi (Tehran, Iran: Bourgeois Publishing, 2015).
Ukrainian translation (Mariupol, Ukraine: Mariupol State University Press, 2016).
* Spanish translation by Luis Kofman (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Babarroja Ediciones, 2016.)
* Russian translation forthcoming in 2017.
* Portuguese translation forthcoming in 2017.
* Samples of the manuscript are below in PDF format.

Table of Contents [PDF]
Part 1. Introduction: Philosophy and History [PDF] [MP3] [YouTube]

NN-Persian vitruvian_man-50x1. Fascinated by history
2. What is philosophy of history?

Part 2. Explaining Nazism Philosophically [PDF] [MP3] [YouTube]

nazibks-50px3. How could Nazism happen?
4. Five weak explanations for National Socialism
5. Explaining Nazism philosophically

Part 3. National Socialist Philosophy [MP3] [YouTube]

nsdap-cover-50px6. The Nazi Party Program
NN-Spanish-front-17. Collectivism, not individualism
8. Economic socialism, not capitalism
9. Nationalism, not internationalism or cosmopolitanism
10. Authoritarianism, not liberal democracy
11. Idealism, not politics as usual
12. Nazi democratic success

Part 4. The Nazis in Power [MP3] [YouTube]

icon-waffen-50px13. Political controls
14. Education [PDF]
15. Censorship
16. Eugenics
17. Economic controls
18. Militarization
19. The Holocaust
20. The question of Nazism’s philosophical roots

Part 5. Nietzsche’s Life and Influence [MP3] [YouTube]

21. Who was Friedrich Nietzsche? [PDF] nn-cover-kindle-150px
22. God is dead
23. Nihilism’s symptoms
24. Masters and slaves
25. The origin of slave morality
26. The Overman

Part 6. Nietzsche against the Nazis [MP3] [YouTube]

lion-50-px27. Five differences
28. On the “blond beast” and racism
29. On contemporary Germans
30. On anti-Semitism
31. On the Jews
32. On Judaism and Christianity
33. Summary of the five differences

Part 7. Nietzsche as a Proto-Nazi [MP3] [YouTube]

luft-50px34. Anti-individualism and collectivismnn-dvd-wrap-150px
35. Conflict of groups
36. Instinct, passion, and anti-reason
37. Conquest and war
38. Authoritarianism
39. Summary of the five similarities

Part 8. Conclusion: Nazi and Anti-Nazi Philosophies [MP3] [YouTube]

earth_50px40. Hindsight and future resolve
41. Principled anti-Nazism

Part 9. Appendices

nn-audio-version-150px42. Appendix 1: NSDAP Party Program [PDF]
43. Appendix 2: Quotations on Nazi socialism and fascism [PDF]
44. Appendix 3: Quotations on German anti-Semitism [PDF]
45. Appendix 4: Quotations on German militarism [PDF]


Covers of the various editions and translations (at right).

NN-Ukrainian (1)Reviews: Tibor Machan, Ph.D. Piotr Kostyło, Ph.D. Lorenzo Warby. Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. Dan Schneider. James Henderson. Mike Lumish, Ph.DMagdalena Wędzińska.

Nietzsche and the Nazisdocumentary screenshots.

The brochure with the full table of contents [PDF].

The first several minutes of the documentary are posted at YouTube:

On a lighter note: Ricky Gervais’s “Politics (Hitler interprets Nietzsche).”

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56 thoughts on “Nietzsche and the Nazis

  • December 17, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I will surely read your papers – with respect to whatever you suffered to achieve your PhD degree.
    But what do you mean in your title?
    Nietzsche and the Nazis – there may never have been an interaction in that direction – the influence is opposit in time – surely. enlighten me, please.

  • September 28, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Is “Nietzsche and the Nazis” documentary available for purchase? I do not see it on Netflix any more, and its $75 for a used DVD on Amazon.

  • March 28, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Why didn’t Nazism happen in the USA ? Are there any writings on this, besides your excellent Youtube lectures?

  • March 28, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Thanks. Interesting question, but one I haven’t taken up.

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