Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination by Stefan Ihrig

By Stefan Ihrig

Early in his occupation, Adolf Hitler took notion from Benito Mussolini, his senior colleague in fascism—this truth is well known. yet an both vital function version for Hitler and the Nazis has been nearly solely missed: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of smooth Turkey. Stefan Ihrig’s compelling presentation of this untold tale gives you to rewrite our knowing of the roots of Nazi ideology and strategy.

Hitler used to be deeply drawn to Turkish affairs after 1919. He not just in demand but additionally sought to mimic Atatürk’s radical development of a brand new country from the ashes of defeat in global warfare I. Hitler and the Nazis watched heavily as Atatürk defied the Western powers to grab govt, and so they modeled the Munich Putsch to a wide measure on Atatürk’s uprising in Ankara. Hitler later remarked that during the political aftermath of the good conflict, Atatürk used to be his grasp, he and Mussolini his students.

This was once no fading fascination. because the Nazis struggled in the course of the Nineteen Twenties, Atatürk remained Hitler’s “star within the darkness,” his notion for remaking Germany alongside nationalist, secular, totalitarian, and ethnically particular strains. Nor did it get away Hitler’s realize how ruthlessly Turkish governments had handled Armenian and Greek minorities, whom influential Nazis without delay in comparison with German Jews. the hot Turkey, or a minimum of these elements of it that the Nazis selected to determine, grew to become a version for Hitler’s plans and desires within the years best as much as the invasion of Poland.

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For a long time it appeared as if Mustafa Kemal was fighting for a hopeless cause. What in the end brought success was the sense of honor, the national sentiment, as well as the will for liberty in the Turkish nation and its leaders. ” 46 Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination Long before the final victory, the David-against-Goliath image, among others, was used to underline the importance of the Kemalist success and the fact that there was something to learn from it and from the way it was achieved. Count Vietinghoff-Scheel, in his article “The Significance of the Turkish Victory” in early 1921, offered the fitting sound bite: “The assumption that the Turks’ power of resistance has slackened as a result of the long years of war was erroneous.

Kladderadatsch 30 (1923) In this uncultured country, there still exists national spirit. With their well-known laziness and indolence the Turks have still not managed to ascend to such a sublime position as our government, thank God. ” Later on, one author, again in the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, while overjoyed at the Turkish success, speculated that from now on the prime locus of “civilization” would again be in the Orient: It is easily possible that Orient and Occident will swap their roles again.

45 The papers’ no-comment policy was one means of coping with this difficult topic. Interestingly, it was applied at the same time as the few ideological descriptions and bits of information the papers did offer on this topic squarely placed the Kemalist movement inside the Soviet orbit. 46 In August 1920 the Kreuzzeitung read the world situation not only as a continuation of World War I but also as a conflict between Russia and Britain. ) [exclamation mark and parentheses in original]. 50 Only a few weeks later, in December 1920, the veil of confusion was once and for all lifted and the fi nal interpretation was established across the board.

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