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By Stefan Ihrig

Early in his occupation, Adolf Hitler took notion from Benito Mussolini, his senior colleague in fascism—this truth is celebrated. yet an both vital function version for Hitler and the Nazis has been nearly totally ignored: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of glossy Turkey. Stefan Ihrig’s compelling presentation of this untold tale supplies to rewrite our knowing of the roots of Nazi ideology and strategy.

Hitler used to be deeply attracted to Turkish affairs after 1919. He not just famous but in addition sought to mimic Atatürk’s radical development of a brand new country from the ashes of defeat in international battle I. Hitler and the Nazis watched heavily as Atatürk defied the Western powers to grab executive, and so they modeled the Munich Putsch to a wide measure on Atatürk’s uprising in Ankara. Hitler later remarked that during the political aftermath of the nice conflict, Atatürk was once his grasp, he and Mussolini his students.

This was once no fading fascination. because the Nazis struggled during the Nineteen Twenties, Atatürk remained Hitler’s “star within the darkness,” his concept for remaking Germany alongside nationalist, secular, totalitarian, and ethnically specific traces. Nor did it break out Hitler’s observe how ruthlessly Turkish governments had handled Armenian and Greek minorities, whom influential Nazis at once in comparison with German Jews. the recent Turkey, or no less than these facets of it that the Nazis selected to determine, turned a version for Hitler’s plans and goals within the years best as much as the invasion of Poland.

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Additional info for Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination

Sample text

Items on Turkey usually preceded or followed articles that dealt with German topics that the editors 26 Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination and authors perceived as comparable (extradition of war criminals, occupation of the Ruhr, the Rhineland crises, Silesia, and so forth). Vocabulary and concepts commonly used to discuss German issues— “stab in the back,” “peace dictate,” “rape,” and so on—were also employed in items on Turkey. Words and concepts were also transferred from the Turkish to the German context.

38 Not only were the papers in general proTurkish, but they also tried to make all things Ottoman and Turkish appear as close and familiar as possible. One means of doing so was to avoid all Orientalist language. Instead they used vocabulary and imagery similar to that normally used to describe Central European and German history, society, and politics—vocabulary that emphasized similarity over distance and strangeness. They used “Kaiser” (emperor) and “kaiserlich” (imperial) for the sultan, “Kaiserstadt” for Constantinople, and the “Turkish church” for Islam, for instance.

Take, for example, the Kreuzzeitung: Not only did the paper frequently reprint reports from the Turkish army without comment, as if they just had to be true, but conversely it phrased Greek reports in mostly doubtful indirect speech, often labeling them as being probably exaggerated. Negative reports originating from the Greek army headquarters on Greek defeats and retreats, however, were almost never doubted. 60 Entertainment: The Anti-Entente Playground, Turkey “Anti-imperialism” was another important theme in the early reporting on Turkey and was in line with the developing interpretation of the Kemalist-Bolshevik alliance.

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