My cultural point is that their art and philosophy--which was sometimes beyond great--also contributed to conditions that made Naziism more likely. Converting the individual greatness of romantics into a national-collectivist German gestalt. That was the pre WW-2 zeitgeist....
Sure they were bad in Germany. They were bad in a lot of places. And bad conditions make political revolution and extremism more likely, whether that's fascism, communism, anarchism, what have you. But only in Germany was it Naziism. And Naziism was orders of magnitude different that Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese fascism.
Put differently, the Italians faced similar conditions and experienced some success with Mussolini. But it didn't take murdering all the jews or trying to take over the world. The Italian culture lacks the anguish and aspirations for greatness as comprised the German zeitgeist. Plus, the Italians had better food and I am guessing better sex.
I know that racism isn't uniquely German. That's part of my point as to why Naziism needed Germany. It isn't that Germans were necessarily more racist than other Europeans, it is that the cultural conditions in Germany (which are not inherently racist, but are uniquely unbound) enabled racism to become part of a mass movement that resulted in extraordinary discrimination, state-sanctioned terrorism, and ultimately the systematic killing of millions -- and not even to preserve power (which is why Stalin was fond of killing lots of people).Per wrote: ↑Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:57 pmAnd I don't think that racism was a unique German trait.
Look at what the Belgians did in Congo, the Turks did to the Armenians and Kurds or the British in eg India or Australia.
Or what the French did in Algeria and Vietnam.Nationalism and racism were commonplace in the 19th and early 20th century.
Heck, when Norwegian gypsies were released from the concentration camps in Germany/Poland at the end of WW2, Norway refused to let them return home...
So the Norwegians didn't let the gypsies return....They also didn't try to kill them all. Racism may be born of one sentiment, but not all racist acts are equivalent.
And I want to be clear -- I am not saying that German culture necessarily leads to Naziism. I am saying that Naziism in German culture has a far greater chance of taking off than in other cultures that place a greater value on reason and moderation.