We Men Who Feel Most German: A Cultural Study of the Pan-German League, 1886-1914

TitleWe Men Who Feel Most German: A Cultural Study of the Pan-German League, 1886-1914
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1984
AuthorsChickering, Roger
Number of Pages365
PublisherAllen & Unwin

The Pan-German League was the most radical of all the patriotic societies in Imperial Germany, the most ferocious voice of German nationalism. Its program clearly anticipated that of the Nazis in calling for German expansion on the European continent and overseas, in branding Jews as members of an inferior yet dangerous race, and in advocating a German national community in which internal antagonisms of whatever character would dissolve. This study presents the first systematic analysis of the cultural sources of this organization's appeal and influence in Imperial Germany. It focuses on the symbolic dimensions of the Pan-German League's literature and activities in an attempt to explain the remarkable attraction of the League's aggressive ideology to certain select social groups. The study examines, in addition, the relationship between the League and other patriotic societies in Imperial Germany; and it analyzes the processes by which the organization succeeded, on the eve of the First World War, in mobilizing a broad 'national opposition' to the German government. The study draws on concepts from psychology and anthropology, and its documentary foundation includes archival material in both East and West Germany.

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