Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination (Hardback)
  • Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination (Hardback)
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Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination (Hardback)

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£35.95
Hardback 320 Pages
Published: 20/11/2014
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Early in his career, Adolf Hitler took inspiration from Benito Mussolini, his senior colleague in fascism—this fact is widely known. But an equally important role model for Hitler and the Nazis has been almost entirely neglected: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey. Stefan Ihrig’s compelling presentation of this untold story promises to rewrite our understanding of the roots of Nazi ideology and strategy.

Hitler was deeply interested in Turkish affairs after 1919. He not only admired but also sought to imitate Atatürk’s radical construction of a new nation from the ashes of defeat in World War I. Hitler and the Nazis watched closely as Atatürk defied the Western powers to seize government, and they modeled the Munich Putsch to a large degree on Atatürk’s rebellion in Ankara. Hitler later remarked that in the political aftermath of the Great War, Atatürk was his master, he and Mussolini his students.

This was no fading fascination. As the Nazis struggled through the 1920s, Atatürk remained Hitler’s “star in the darkness,” his inspiration for remaking Germany along nationalist, secular, totalitarian, and ethnically exclusive lines. Nor did it escape Hitler’s notice how ruthlessly Turkish governments had dealt with Armenian and Greek minorities, whom influential Nazis directly compared with German Jews. The New Turkey, or at least those aspects of it that the Nazis chose to see, became a model for Hitler’s plans and dreams in the years leading up to the invasion of Poland.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674368378
Number of pages: 320
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A thorough and inspired account of how the formation of modern Turkey influenced Hitler and other Nazi ideologists by providing a model of armed resistance to the Versailles Treaty, as well as an imagined example of muscular nationalism for a new century. - Steve Coll, New York Review of Books

For decades, historians have seen Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 as emulating Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome. Not so, says Stefan Ihrig in Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination. Hitler also had Turkey in mind… Atatürk’s subordination of Islam to the state anticipated Hitler’s strategy toward Christianity… Impeccably researched and clearly written…Ihrig’s book will transform our understanding of the Nazi policies. - Dominic Green, Wall Street Journal

Middle Eastern heads of state have not tended to create exemplary leadership templates that aspirant rulers elsewhere have sought to emulate. But there is one notable exception: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination, Stefan Ihrig argues that the man who created modern Turkey inspired the tyrant who sought to make Germany the hub of a new National Socialist Europe: Adolf Hitler. His argument, based on extensive study of German print media in the 1920s and 30s, is compelling… Ihrig has unearthed an important subject within Second World War scholarship that, strangely, has remained overlooked for many decades. - Gerald Butt, Times Literary Supplement

Fascinating… This is a gap-filling book that’ll be of deep interest to students of both World War II and National Socialism. - Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

Stefan Ihrig’s brilliant new book Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination demonstrates convincingly that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s conquest of Turkey was the most important model for the Nazis’ remaking of Germany, far more so than Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome, which is usually cited as Hitler’s main inspiration. - David Mikics, The Tablet

Ataturk in the Nazi Imagination by Stefan Ihrig…make[s] fascinating reading and highlight[s] the variety of ways in which the German state sought to subvert the Muslim soldiers’ professional loyalty to the Allied armies in the two wars… [Ihrig] must be lauded for [his] painstaking research in producing [this] highly readable [volume] that include[s] relevant photographs as well. - Muhammad Ali Siddiqi, Dawn

It is Stefan Ihrig’s contention, in his fascinating Atatürk and the Nazi Imagination, that it was Atatürk who in many ways molded and inspired the Nazi enterprise. - Mitchell Abidor, Jewish Currents

[An] insightful, instructive work, a genuinely original contribution to Nazi historiography… Makes us ponder, among so much else, the contribution that Ataturk’s capture and all-encompassing control of his nation and its people made to [Lenin’s, Stalin’s, Hitler’s, and Mussolini’s] evil works. - Martin Rubin, Washington Times

Stefan Ihrig has written a valuable and important book. He has shed light on an overlooked, remarkable, and significant aspect of National Socialism: namely, the prominent role played by Turkey and Kemal Atatürk in the Nazi imagination. This is a notable accomplishment. - Thomas A. Kohut, Weekly Standard

From the Armenian massacres to the Turkish War of Independence and the rise of Kemal Atatürk, Turkish events attracted deep interest in Germany. As Ihrig shows, politically active Germans of the Weimar Republic, especially on the far right, saw in Turkey a model for successful revisionism, authoritarian rule, secular modernization, and the political utility of genocide. This brilliant and original study sheds new light on the rise of Nazism and the prehistory of Nazi racial policy. - Christopher Clark, University of Cambridge

This is a most important and refreshingly original book about a hitherto unknown yet pivotal influence on Adolf Hitler and other National Socialists. Its eye-opening conclusions will change how we think about German and European history as well as the Holocaust. - Thomas Weber, University of Aberdeen

In this richly documented and exhaustively researched study, Stefan Ihrig investigates the Nazi movement’s obsessive interest in modern Turkey and its leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Focusing on the image of Atatürk as a national savior and state-builder, Ihrig examines how fascinated the extreme Right and radical nationalists in Germany were with Atatürk’s Ankara government and its achievements in the interwar era. The resulting analysis carries some surprising findings for specialists of both German and Turkish history. Ihrig demonstrates that the Turkish nationalist movement, its leader, and his policies were much more influential for the Nazi worldview in the 1920s than many other potential examples, including Mussolini’s Italy…Those who look for European right-wing echoes of single-party-era Turkey’s policies will benefit from Ihrig’s most seminal finding, that in the development of the Nazi movement’s ideas, Atatürk’s Turkey acted as a role model…Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination is a bold and pathbreaking book. It draws attention to a largely overlooked connection between Nazi Germany and Kemalist Turkey, and contributes to the scholarship on the cross-fertilization of authoritarian nationalist ideas in the post-World War I years…Ihrig’s book is an insightful and highly original work. In the future, it will be difficult to discuss the transnational undercurrents of the radical Right in interwar Europe or German-Turkish relations under the Nazis without taking into consideration Ihrig’s arguments. - Emre Sencer, H-Net Reviews

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