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Blood and Soil: Walther Darre and Hitler's Green Party Paperback – September 27, 1985

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Kensal Press (September 27, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946041334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946041336
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,659,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Anna Bramwell's Blood and Soil is a strange, rare little book.I might never have heard of it, had I not seen it cited in abibliography of a book on the S.S.
Richard Walther Darre (1895-1953) was Hitler's Agriculture Minister until 1941. He was also a major figure in the Nordic racialist movement, and was one of those people who was responsible for the "pagan" wing of the Nazi Party.
I got hold of this book expecting it to be just another book on the "evils" of the Nordic Renaissance. I was surprised, however, to read a book that shed light on the fact that the Nordic movement was far more complicated than the "blond hair-blue-eye-let's-breed-superpeople syndrome" so often found in the American press.
Ms. Bramwell writes about many figures in the movement, such as Paul Schultze-Naumberg a nd his wife, Hans F.K. Gunther, Bernhard Kummer, Johann van Leers and L.F. Clauss. I learned a lot about how the Nordic ideal was just that, an ideal, and that not all Nordics were supposed to be blond, for instance. Nordicism encompassed more than just a "racial" stereotype. It was a temperament, a way of life, a philosophy. It was a back-to nature movement, that stressed temperance and healthy living.
It is interesting that many of the Nordicists regarded the Nazis as "un-Nordic", i.e. loud, showy, aggressive, and a few even went so far as to suggest that the Nazis were "mediterranean", "middle-Eastern" or "oriental" in their outlook and actions.
In short, this book is valuable to me because it got me on a new path of reading, and I have come a long way since I first laid hands on this book back in 1992. There is an interesting bibliography at the end.
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Format: Paperback
One of the rare unbiased accounts of anything pertaining to National Socialism. The subject of this book, Walther Darre, was one of the most interesting and progressive people to come out of the Nazi Party. Promoting various "green" ideas and putting them into practice. Of course like many others in the Nazi Party he was stabbed in the back and screwed over by Hitler in the end.

Conservation of forests and nature, eating healthy, animal rights, organic farming, living away from society, not having an uptight attitude about sex, worshipping your own ancestral gods instead of the gods of semites, localized socialism and self sufficency, these were all common themes and practices in the early days and origins of the nazi party. Most of these things were not practiced or even thought about at that time in history until the Volkish movement in Germany popped up. The hippies and environmentalists picked up on a lot of these ideas, although 99% were totally clueless of their origins. Yet another interesting person and facet of National Socialist Germany that you won't hear about on the History Channel or in your sound bite level university history class that covers WW2.
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This is a well-researched book. I found it fascinating to read about the international and intellectual background of a man who should probably have remained an academic rather than a politician, though he seems also to have had a politician's instinct for creating a power base. (I do wish that she didn't have to translate the German "Bauer" as "peasant", which has quite the wrong connotation.) Where Bramwell sticks to facts, she is largely accurate, though it's a shame that she didn't attempt to make contact with any of Darre's family - there were plenty of people who knew him still living at the time she wrote. Her analysis of the Blut and Boden ideas I also found sound and informative (despite the fact that it appears she could only locate his major writings in French translation!). But her "angle" on the story, the attempt to equate Darre's philosophy to modern Green thinking, is something I frankly found a little laboured and irritating. It would also have been useful to have more information from the Nueremberg trials.
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By A Customer on September 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book reads too much like a history textbook for me. Too many dates, facts, and personage, and not enough development of what the man was actually trying to do. Too many trees and not enough forest. Still, as practically the only book that deals with this fascinating man, I'm very grateful to Professor Bramwell for the excellent research and objectivity she has brought to bear.
While it's certainly tricky business getting within a country mile of "rehabilitating" a Nazi, she puts a very human face on a very complex situation. The insanity of Nazi Germany is not moralized as much as it is displayed as an idealogical and political free-for-all where Darre finally was all but totally marginalized for his idealistic vision.
Again, I'm left wondering about Darre. Bramwell doesn't seem to be all that familiar with Green philosophy or environmental history, which cripples her presentation of what she asserts are the roots of modern Green politics. Obviously, Darre was Green, but why? How did his personal vision of a pastoral, de-urbanized Germany develop? Was he the idealogical posterboy of the Nazis? Or simply a political tool used and discarded? Would a victorious Third Reich have eventually gotten back to his Blut und Boden message? I believe monumental, centuries-in-the-making forces flashed momentarily to life under a swastika, but in such a twisted form that we'll forever be wondering how and why.
To me Nazism was just one possible mushroom popping up over a broad field of underground mycelia, and a very poisonous mushroom at that. This field is not gone, it's growing, and the mycelia will produce many more mushrooms, hopefully not as poisonous. Darre represented an outcropping that might have been, and probably will be again. Perhaps these issues need to be covered in another book.
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