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“The Final Solution as Shared Fantasy” and “Nazi Faith”
Parts II & III of  “Nazism as Bodily Fantasy”
by Richard A. Koenigsberg
“The Final Solution as Shared Fantasy” and “Nazi Faith” appear below.
Click here to read the complete paper, “Nazism as Bodily Fantasy”
“The ideas expressed by Hitler resonated with many Germans. Hitler was tuned in to certain fantasies, and able to convey these so that others were moved by the fantasies that moved him.  Hitler's ideas excited the German people.

Many Germans were turned on by the words he spoke. Hitler and many other Germans were dreaming the same dream. Hitler was director of an enormous drama—a passion play enacted upon the stage of reality.”
II: The Final Solution as Shared Fantasy

I study the psychological sources of collective irrationality, focusing upon shared fantasy as the fundamental determinant of social movements. Hitler's Ideology demonstrated a relationship between fantasy and ideology for Hitler. Robert Lifton's Nazi Doctors (1986) demonstrated that the relationship between fantasy and ideology which I discovered for Hitler was present in the minds of many other Nazis as well. I hypothesize that a shared fantasy—projected into the political arena—gave rise to the Final Solution.

I view ideology as a manifestation of transference, allowing the externalization of unconscious material into social reality. Nazism was a social movement created by human beings. What motives gave rise to this movement and made it meaningful for participants?

Early research focused on the personality (and psychopathology) of Hitler. This approach is insufficient. We need to understand how a civilized nation could have been persuaded to embrace and enact the ideas Hitler put forth. Joachim Fest (1973):

Were it not for the congruence between the personal and the social-pathological situation, Hitler could never have wielded such hypnotic power over his fellow-citizens. He could not have bewitched the masses if he had shared their secret emotions and incorporated all their psychoses into his own psyche. When he spoke, the masses met, hailed and idolized themselves. An exchange of pathologies took place.

Similarly, Aronson:

What is most remarkable about (Nazism) is that it became enough of a mass outlook for a movement, and then a society as a whole to be organized around it. In power, the Nazis were able to reshape reality until it conformed to the distorted fantasy. In achieving his position, wasn't Hitler giving voice to the malignancy, the irrationality of the social forces that brought him to power? It distorts the course of events to describe the locus of the Final Solution as being Hitler. Among Nazis, there was general agreement about the "Jewish Problem:” how could it be solved?

The ideas expressed by Hitler resonated with many Germans. Hitler was tuned in to certain fantasies and able to convey these in such a way that others were moved by the fantasies that moved him. Hitler's ideas excited the German people. Many Germans were turned on by the words he spoke—the phrases and images he used to express his ideas. Hitler and many other Germans were dreaming the same dream. Hitler was director of an enormous drama—a passion play enacted upon the stage of reality.

III: Nazi Faith

The core of Nazism was nationalism, patriotism—devotion to Germany. The Nazis embraced the ideology of nationalism more deeply than it had ever before been embraced, and enacted its basic premises.

Nazism represented radical identification between self and nation: insistence that a sense of self can be achieved only in a symbiotic tie with one’s nation. Hitler spoke to the German people:

Our Nation is not just an idea in which you have no part; you yourself support the nation; to it you belong; you cannot separate yourself from it. Your life is bound up with the life of your whole people. The nation is not merely the root of your strength, it is the root of your very life.

Nazi totalitarianism insisted that the German nation encompassed everything. Consequently, there could be no such thing as life lived separately from the community. Hitler said that if each one thinks only of himself and his own interests, then “no community of the people can come into being.” Volksgemeinschaft meant overcoming bourgeois privatism, “unconditionally equating the individual fate and the fate of the nation.”

According to Hitler, no one was exempt. There could not be a “single person who excludes himself from this joint obligation.” He asked Germans to demonstrate that the Volk was “a single unit, indivisibly clamped and bound together.”

In Constitutional Law of the Third Reich (see Murphy, 1943) political theorist Ernst Rudolf Huber stated that according to National Socialism there are “no personal liberties of the individual which fall outside the realm of the state.” The “member of the people organically connected with the whole community, had replaced the isolated individual.”

The Nazi’s totalitarianism fantasy, then, was that of the nation as a single entity to which each and every individual was bound—and from which it was impossible to separate.

Nazism grew out of profound idealism revolving around loyalty and devotion to Germany. The evil of Nazism arose out of this quest for absolute goodness. Goebbels (in Rhodes, 1980) stated that to be a socialist meant to “subordinate the I to the Thou, sacrifice the personality for the whole.” National Socialism, he said, is “service, renunciation for individuals, fanatic love, courage to sacrifice, resignation for the Volk.”

Hitler spoke endlessly of his faith in the Reich and German people:

Our future is Germany. Our today is Germany. And our past is Germany. Let us take a vow this morning, at every hour, in each day, to think of Germany, of the nation, of our German people. You cannot be unfaithful to something that has given sense and meaning to your whole existence.

Nazism was an orgy of nationalistic self-exaltation rooted in profound devotion toward Germany. "The community of the people," "the community of the people"—this was Hitler's battle cry. His mission was to overcome "divisions,” and to unite his people into a single, unified body.

Hitler demanded that everyone embrace the Nazi faith. No one was excluded from the obligation to serve Germany. Hitler’s insistence—that no one was exempt—turned idealism into a rage of destruction. “We are fanatic in our love for our people,” Hitler declared. “We can go as loyally as a dog with those who share our sincerity, but we will pursue with fanatic hatred the man who believes that he can play tricks with this love of ours.”

Fred Alford (1988) defines "narcissistic rage" as “aggression in response to threats to the grandiose self and omnipotent object.” Narcissistic rage “denies separation and otherness,” rather it is activated when separateness and otherness impinge on narcissistic grandiosity.

Hitler’s rage was against anything that called into question the fantasy of a grandiose self—embodied in the omnipotent ideal, the German nation. The devoted Nazi defined existence as a symbiotic tie between self and nation, equating his own ego with the idea of Germany. To call into question the idea of Germany—doubting its goodness and omnipotence—was to negate the Nazi self.