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Forgotten Fatherland: The True Story of Nietzsche's Sister and Her Lost Aryan Colony Kindle Edition

26 customer reviews

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


“A fascinating, provocative, and highly eccentric volume that is part biography, part travelogue, part detective story.”
New York Times
“Witty, intelligent, and told with rollicking, trenchant style.”
Boston Globe
“A hoot of a book.”
Washington Post Book World
“A black-comic stylist who never misses an opportunity for a malicious aside.”
“A sparkling idea, and its realization...yields vivid travel writing and information of a ghostly but fascinating sort.”
The New Yorker
“Absorbing and highly readable....Since the collapse of Easy Germany in 1989, the Nietzsche papers have become more accessible. Mr. Macintyre has made excellent use of them in reconstructing the story of this formidable woman.”
New York Times Book Review

“Enjoyable and informative.”
New York Review of Books
“Macintyre's journey and his descriptions of what he found make compelling reading. But more fascinating still is the story Macintyre interweaves with his discovery of Nueva Germania, that of Elisabeth's own life, and her deliberate distortions of her brother's philosophy to make it accord with her own.”
The Sunday Times [UK]
“In 1886, Bernard Forster and Elisabeth Nietzsche arrived in Paraguay with a boatload of German peasants...The venture failed, but what became of the colony? Ben Macintyre set off to find out.”
The Sunday Telegraph [London]
“Engaging and entertaining...Forgotten Fatherland weaves together a number of curious and disparate strands, and makes new use of the Nietzsche archive in Weimar.”<...

About the Author

BEN MACINTYRE is a writer-at-large for The Times of London and the bestselling author of A Spy Among Friends, Double Cross, Operation Mincemeat, Agent Zigzag, The Napoleon of Crime, and Forgotten Fatherland, among other books. Macintyre has also written and presented BBC documentaries of the wartime espionage trilogy.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7504 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (April 5, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 5, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4WKQ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,750 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

BEN MACINTYRE is writer-at-large and associate editor of the Times of London. He is the author of Agent Zigzag, The Man Who Would Be King, The Englishman's Daughter, The Napoleon of Crime, and Forgotten Fatherland. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist Kate Muir, and their three children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By John D. Cofield TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is one of Ben Macintyre's earlier books, but thankfully its been re-released. Forgotten Fatherland is primarily the story of Elizabeth Nietzsche, sister of the philosopher, a smug, selfrighteous bigot of a woman whose hatefulness was only surpassed by her overall ignorance. Its to Macintyre's credit that he can write about this woman, her equally nasty husband, and her lamentable associates humorously.

The book tells the story of Elizabeth Nietzsche's determination to create a New Germany in the wilds of Paraguay. She and her husband, both of whom claimed to be her brother's greatest acolytes even though they understood almost nothing of what he wrote, wanted to create an Aryan paradise, free of Jews and other subhumans, where German culture centering around Nietzschean thought would flourish forever. In the 1880s they tricked some German peasants to move to Paraguay, where they found only swamps, snakes, insects, and disease. After the death of her appalling husband Elizabeth abandoned the colony and returned to Germany, where she eventually became a sort of Nazi priestess helping Hitler and his cohorts, who understood Nietzscheism no better than she did, co-opt it as part of the general philosophy of the Third Reich.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on April 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
In this book by Ben MacIntyre we learn about Nuevo Germania, a colony founded in Paraguay in 1886 by Friedrich Nietzsche's sister and her fanatic husband. Paraguay at that time was still recovering from the devastating War of the Triple Alliance which saw Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina fighting the small country to the brink of extinction. One of many groups lured to the now-underpopulated republic Elisabeth Nietszche's followers hoped to establish an Aryan colony in the jungle based on popular race theories of the late 19th Century. Needless to say this experiment, based on faulty pseudo-science, ultimately failed. MacIntyre's journey through a wilderness rarely visited by outsiders is entertaining in itself and his writing style keeps the reader engaged throughout the narrative. Well-illustrated with photos.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr.M.Lawicki on October 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In retrospect, the title of this book is somewhat misleading. I was really expecting 'Forgotten Fatherland' to chronicle some recent discovery of a Hitler-inspired city deep in the jungles of modern-day Paraguay populated with Germans who believe the Second World War is still being fought . Instead, this book is essentially a modern-day travelogue describing its authors journey into the wilds of Paraguay searching for remnants and descendants of a documented German colonial experiment from the late 19th century. As it turns out, the colony (Nueva Germaina) still exists in the 21st century but not in the form you might think and I will leave it at that.. Nearly 135 years ago, a pioneering venture of German colonists was led into the wilds of Paraguay by an ultra-nationalist and virulent antisemite named Bernhard Forster. He was accompanied by his scheming and opportunistic wife, Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche(sister of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The Forsters were moderately affluent Germans with appropriate connections in German high society
that helped fund their venture. A healthy portion of this book relates to the life of Elisabeth Forste-Nietzsche before, during, and after her time in Paraguay and this is a very interesting tale in and of itself. In the late nineteenth century, Germany went through alternating periods of depression and prosperity; depressions blamed unfairly on the Jewish people and their perceived hegemony over financial systems, and prosperity solely attributed to German fortitude, hard work, and ingenuity. Economic depression hit Germany particularly hard in the 1870s and 1880s, and it is not difficult to imagine why many afflicted Germans might have seized what appeared to be a golden opportunity to emigrate with the Forsters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carrie on November 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book a lot more than many other reviewers. I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing about Nietzsche or Paraguay, so in that regard, it is an excellent introduction to these two seemingly unrelated topics. I don't really like philosophy as a subject matter, and some of the other reviews had me a little nervous that the book would get bogged down in Nietzsche's philosophy. I did not find this to be the case. There was a general overview of his philosophy, and then the author quotes him periodically to refute some of Elisabeth Nietzsche's claims about what her late brother believed. I didn't find Nietzsche especially likeable, but he somehow emerged as the most sympathetic character in the book because his sister, brother-in-law, and (later) Nazi followers were so detestable. Most of the background information provided about Nietzsche relates to his life, relationships, and illness. I did not find that his philosophy was over-analyzed in the book.

The author has a very dry sense of humor, which I happen to love, but which I will grant is not for everyone. He traveled to Paraguay to find the remnants of Elisabeth Nietzsche's lost Aryan colony, and his travels do take up a good portion of the book. I found this part of the book to be interesting, both because the author's descriptions of the hazards of his travels were funny, and because I found it interesting to read about the people who descended from the anti-Semitic, German peasants who founded the colony in the first place.

I am giving this book four stars because, while the history of Paraguay was somewhat relevant and interesting (because I had no prior knowledge of the country), it did go on just a little bit too long and did not always add to the overall story.

Still, I think the book is worth reading for anyone with an interest in Nietzsche's life and the story of how his sister hijacked his works to both profit financially and support the Nazi regime.
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