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Xii Part I NIETZSCHE ’S RELATIONS TO JEWS, JUDAISM AND JEWISH CULTURE 1 NIETZSCHE, ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE HOLOCAUST Steven E. Aschheim Each generation, I suggest, constructs its own, most appropriate Nietzsche – or Nietzsches. During the years of the Third Reich (and immediately after) Nietzsche appeared to be paradigmatically Nazi (while National Socialism seemed best understood as a kind of Nietzschean project). 1 Both National Socialists and their opponents tended to agree that Nietzsche was the movement’s most formative and influential thinker, visionary of a biologized Lebensphilosophie society, fuelled by regenerationist, post- democratic, post-Christian impulses in which the weak, decrepit and useless were to be legislated out of existence.

Xii Part I NIETZSCHE ’S RELATIONS TO JEWS, JUDAISM AND JEWISH CULTURE 1 NIETZSCHE, ANTI-SEMITISM AND THE HOLOCAUST Steven E. Aschheim Each generation, I suggest, constructs its own, most appropriate Nietzsche – or Nietzsches. During the years of the Third Reich (and immediately after) Nietzsche appeared to be paradigmatically Nazi (while National Socialism seemed best understood as a kind of Nietzschean project). 1 Both National Socialists and their opponents tended to agree that Nietzsche was the movement’s most formative and influential thinker, visionary of a biologized Lebensphilosophie society, fuelled by regenerationist, post- democratic, post-Christian impulses in which the weak, decrepit and useless were to be legislated out of existence.

See the whole chapter entitled “Resentments” in his stunning At the Mind’s Limits: Contemplations by a Survivor on Auschwitz and its Realities, tr. Sidney Rosenfeld and Stella P. Rosenfeld (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1980). The quote appears on p. 68. Amery, we should note, recast Nietzsche’s theory of ressentiment into a positive virtue for the maintenance of ethical consciousness over the “natural” processes of time and forgetfulness of crimes committed but not acknowledged. The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (London: Papermac, 1987), esp.

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