English language historiographical study of National Socialism has concentrated overwhelmingly on the political, economic, and military aspects of this enormously rich topic. Yet, comparatively little scholarly attention has been paid to the ideological aspects of Nazism, particularly the extent to which ideology informed the actions of individuals and institutions throughout the Third Reich. Recent research and debates have deepened our understanding of the goals and inconsistencies within Nazi ideology, but the picture remains confusing in both detail and overall structure.
We therefore believe the time is ripe for a major scholarly reference publication devoted to this important yet complex historical topic, one that will provide a unique repository for scholarship and encourage future collaboration.
The publication will comprise a series of volumes covering Nazi ideology in its various manifestations and contexts, including the military, the family, the humanities and natural sciences, medicine, racial science, religion and theology, the law, language, popular and elite culture, to name but a few.
In addition, the volumes will be supported by a series of conferences and workshops that will help shape the published texts by encouraging collaborative research and dialogue among some of the most distinguished experts in this field.
In this project, we see ideology as a referential framework that guided the actions of institutions and actors to varying degrees and in different ways. It is a systematically interconnected structure of ideas with specific political, social and epistemic relevance which can influence both the general cognitive and psychological orientation of individuals and groups within society, and of society itself. Ideology, in other words, can serve as a lens through which individuals, groups and the state see the world and endow it with experiential meaning and relevance.
It is our conviction that if we fail to understand both the Nazi worldview and how it shaped behaviours in the Third Reich, we will never truly comprehend the relationship between ideas and actions, particularly the perpetration of extreme and inhuman atrocities which occurred throughout the period.
Publication Structure of “Ideologies in National Socialism”
The first volume: Persons explores the extent to which individuals engaged with Nazi ideology, both as a belief structure and as a determinant of their actions. From well-known protagonists to middle and lower level representatives of the Party, State, the military, the economy, culture and the arts, the coverage will be detailed and wide-ranging.
The second volume: Institutions presents institutions and the different ideologies that determined and/or influenced their actions.
The third volume: History of ideas is dedicated to the history, content and practical implementation of the major structural concepts that together unified National Socialist ideology and allowed it to become so pervasive throughout society.
The fourth volume: Terms, Research and Perspectives contains questions of principle and research, as well as smaller thematic areas that are not covered by volumes 1-3
The contributions to any topic or category (for example "The NSDAP and its divisions" or "The trade associations", etc.) are each historically contextualised in an introduction. Their authors, leaders in their respective fields, provide an overview of the past and current state of research in addition to a definitive account of each topic. Each contributor is asked to discuss their allotted topic, whether it be a person, an object, an institution or an idea, and to situate their account in relation to the larger framework of Nazi ideology. Thus, authors of biographical entries will be asked to focus less on minute biographical details and more on the extent to which that person engaged with and interpreted Nazi ideology, as well as if and to what extent their actions were informed by it.
If you are interested in participating we ask that submissions/proposals follow the procedures as outlined on our project website www.ns-ideologies.org/editorial-procedure
Please submit to: ideology.conference [at] hhu.de
Please find on www.ns-ideologies.org further information about the project, Pilot Group, Area Editors, Advisory Council and more.
History and Documentation is a non-profit-organisation based in Germany and Ireland. Its objectives are the organisation of international scholarly conferences, editing and publishing “Ideologies in National Socialism” and other scholarly books and editions.
Please visit our website www.hi-do.org.History and Documentation e.V.Theklastr. 20D-12205 BerlinGermany