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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63 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.

  • April 28, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    I have never seen such trash and so many false premises as Hicks propagandizes in his Nietzsche and the Nazis DVD. Hicks completely ignores the Cause-and-Effect true definition that Communism was the cause and Nazism the Effect. And then, where Communism should have always been used, Hicks labels it “more politely” as “Liberal Democracy.” Liberal Democracy – democracy always being the front for Communism – was the Cause and Nazism the Effect. To this, Nietzsche and Trotsky (Hitler read both) were subordinate. Communism was/is the left wing and Nazism the right wing on the same Marxist bird of prey. But Nazism wanted a strong Middle Class, whereas Communism wants no Middle Class – and this is why the Middle Class is nearly destroyed in America today. WWII made the world safe for Communism. Striving for no Middle Class, Communism produces a far greater, far heinous, Slave Mentality than Nazism with a strong Middle Class. A strong Middle Class has always been the bulwark of Freedom. Hitler’s SS Occult Bureau and Nazi Occult Bureau, both in Berlin, eliminates Hick’s premise that Hitler spiritually took the best of Christian spiritual values and fused with Nietzschean “values.” Hicks’ “Nietzsche and the Nazis” should be taught in all civics courses as a model of liberal/leftist/naturalistic/Communist propaganda of which the illegal and anti-Constitutional Dept. of Ed aggressively supports. Communism holds to no Absolutes, no afterlife, no good and evil, and is far more Nietzschean on all counts than Nazism. Nietzsche is dead. God lives. Jesus Christ died for the weak and the strong. “Cosmopolitanism” as the DVD depicts it was, in truth, the early socialist-Zionist belief that nationalism is only temporary and must give way to world government. Political and incremental Islam is the proxy for de-stabilizing and de-nationalizing the nations. How utterly ironic Hicks in his Prideful bid to advance the Nietzsche smokescreen, seeks to enslave minds. Illinois is the perfect environment for Hicks.

  • April 28, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Part II: The afore mentioned heinous DVD shows Communism murdered 60 million (some say 65 million) and that Hitler murdered 12 million. The Communist murders of 60 million occurred in the 1920s. Has one Hollywood film on this Communist Holocaust been undertaken? No! This figure included 85,000 Christian medical doctors. Do you think for one moment Hitler wasn’t aware of this, as 6 million Communists voted against him in 1932? Communism was the main Cause (not Nietzsche’s philosophy) and Nazism was the Effect. This is true history. Anything else is intellectual dishonesty.

  • June 19, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    The Proto Nazi…
    A race of Supermen, don’cha know…
    Now they’re all…
    Down Below…

    Ogden Nash

  • August 21, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    This is very powerful analysis, and how very relevant it is at the current moment in history. I first saw the documentary on Netflix a few years back. I find myself coming back to these ideas often as everyone is suddenly called a “Nazi” if they don’t reflexively toe a certain party line.

    I just finished the audiobook, which was just as insightful as viewing the documentary. The very last lines are terribly haunting: the enemy knows what it stands for; do we?

    I’m quite convinced that the “neo-Nazis” and the “AntiFa” are both two sides of the same collectivist coin. I cannot find much daylight between what the Nazis believed (as told in this work) and what these two groups espouse. On the other side are the individualists among us.

    When I first watched Nietzsche and the Nazis, the traditional ideological lines of right/left were still in play. Now that the main ideological battle is collectivist vs. individualist, the analysis and recommendations cannot be more important to understand and incorporate. It is imperative that we understand what the Nazis believed in order for us to prevent their return. I believe that return is imminent if not already upon us, but this time they wear black shirts instead of brown.

    Thank you, Dr. Hicks, for this very impressive and profoundly important work.

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