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Chapter VI: The Psychological Interpretation of Culture and History

Organic Metaphors, Phantasy and Ideology
Richard A. Koenigsberg
Hitler's Ideology: A Study in Psychoanalytic Sociology

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“The best critical analysis in English of Hitler’s thought.” --Colin Day
The Tables that appear in Hitler’s Ideology are bedrock: the foundation of my theorizing. Presented below is Table 1 that appears in Hitler’s Ideology.

Based on Mein Kampf and Hitler’s speeches, I discovered that organic metaphors lay at the heart of Hitler’s ideology. These organic images, phrases and metaphors contained within Hitler’s rhetoric reveal the phantasies that defined Hitler’s ideology.

Hitler’s fundamental phantasy—as one can see from the table below—was that of the German nation as an organism; an actual “body” politic.

One might say that Hitler’s phrases were “just” metaphors. On the contrary, I found that everything Hitler said (and eventually did) grew out of this phantasy—of Germany as an actual body.

Beginning with this fact—that Hitler thought of (experienced) Germany as an actual organism, everything else followed. Based on Hitler’s phantasy of the nation as an organism, it is not difficult to trace the “logic” of National Socialism—and of the Holocaust.

Table 1. The Country is a Living Organism

Statement Number Statement Source
Book Page
1 France was tearing piece after piece out of the flesh of our national body. MK 133
2 Could anyone believe that Germany alone was not subject to exactly the same laws as all other human organisms? MK 155
3 Our movement alone was capable of creating...a national organism. MK 329
4 From a dead mechanism (the state) there must be formed a living organism. MK 398
5 It will be the task of a folkish state to make certain...that...an influx of fresh blood...takes place. MK 432
6 An attempt to restore the border of 1914 would lead to a further bleeding of our national body...so that there would be no worthwhile blood left. MK 651
7 In case of a war...the German nation (would be) bled white. MK 659
8 The state...is a "volkic" organism. S-I 85
9 In place of...the State--must be set the living organism--the people. S-I


10 The towns would not exist...if the peasant did not fill them with his blood. S-I 242
11 What remains is the substance, a substance of flesh and blood, our nation. S-I 433
12 The "living substance," the German people, is a present reality. S-I 441
13 (The) task...was...to build up the entire administration (of the state)...until it became a close organic whole, pulsing with life. S-I 486
14 So much blood has been drawn off...into German economic life abroad...that the circulation has been stopped. S-I 829
15 Economics...is a living process, one of the functions of that body which is the people. S-I 851
16 The Polish Corridor...is like a strip of flesh cut from our body...a national wound that bleeds continuously, and will continue to bleed till the land is returned to us. S-I 995
17 The German people...had become a body corporate pulsing through and through with a vital inner life. S-I 1253
MK: Hitler, A. (1962). Mein Kampf (R. Mannheim trans.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
S-I: Baynes, N. H. (Ed.). (1942). The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press.