Chapter

The Body Politic

Geoffrey Campbell Cocks

in The State of Health

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695676
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738616 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695676.003.0003
The Body Politic

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Adolf Hitler was traumatized by Germany's defeat in 1918. But his reaction was rooted in a psychopathology in turn grounded in modern male anxieties about self, body, and identity. Hitler and his many followers blamed their discontents on traditionally vilified Jews. ‘The Jew’ also embodied deep ‘masculine’ rejection of early dependence on the mother, the challenge of adult women to a ‘hypermasculine’ and patriarchal German society, and the war's destruction of illusions of masculine control and power. The medical discourse and policy of the Third Reich mobilized aspects of modern society to pursue anxious aims of racial health, racial conquest, and racial extermination.

Keywords: Hitler; First World War; body; disease; anti-Semitism; racism; misogyny; Third Reich; medical discourse and policy; ‘Nazi modern’

Chapter.  14571 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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