Nazism represented radical identification between self and nation: insistence that a sense of self can be achieved only in
a symbiotic tie with the national group. Hitler explained to the German people:
Fusion, Merriam-Webster: a union by or as if by melting: such as a merging of diverse,
distinct, or separate elements into a unified whole.
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.
Nazism was a religion. Hitler declared, "We do not want to have any other God, only Germany." Hitler
was a preacher, inspiring his flock to worship the German nation.
Deutschland ueber Alles ("Germany Above All"), Hitler said, was a “profession of faith that
fills millions with a strength that is mightier than any earthly might." Our love for our people, Hitler
said, will never falter, and our "faith in this Germany of ours is imperishable."
group was rooted in the Nazi
belief-system. The two cannot be separated. The Nazis
became a group because they attached to a sacred object. They shared a sacred object,
Germany, and thus fused together.
The extreme forms of self-sacrifice performed by the Nazis were undertaken
in the name of the sacred object, that is, in the name of the “group”—which came into being by virtue
of being bound to the same sacred object.
The idea of fusing with the nation enhanced the power of the self—but also denied the self. Hitler explained
to his people, "You are nothing, your nation is everything."
Fritz Reinhardt, Nazi political theorist, observed that
Hitler has set his stamp on the word folk-community (
Volksgemeinschaft). This word is to make completely clear to the members of our people that the individual
is nothing when not a member of a community.
In order to bring men gradually nearer to each other, Hitler explained, they had to be thrown into the “great
melting pot, the nation”—that they might be “purified and welded one to another.” Organizations promoting
disunion or disintegration had to be uprooted and “all those must be ruthlessly eliminated who disturb this
This bring us to the
dictionary definition of fusion: a union by or as if by melting: such as a merging of diverse, distinct,
or separate elements into a unified whole.
Hitler sought to melt the German people together—to fuse them into one. He insisted that each and every German
unite with the national group. He promoted this idea endlessly, insisting that individuals could not exist
unless fused with the group. “The nation is not merely the root of your strength,” he explained to his people,
“It is the root of your very life.”
Nazi totalitarianism sought fusion of self and society, declaring that the individual could not exist in a
state of separation from the national group. The totalitarian idea is that individuals and society are one—human
fused inseparably with their nation.