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By Stefan Ihrig

Early in his profession, 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 fullyyt missed: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of sleek Turkey. Stefan Ihrig’s compelling presentation of this untold tale supplies to rewrite our figuring out of the roots of Nazi ideology and strategy.

Hitler was once deeply attracted to Turkish affairs after 1919. He not just favourite but additionally sought to mimic Atatürk’s radical building of a brand new kingdom from the ashes of defeat in global warfare I. Hitler and the Nazis watched heavily as Atatürk defied the Western powers to grab govt, they usually 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 battle, Atatürk was once his grasp, he and Mussolini his students.

This was once no fading fascination. because the Nazis struggled in the course of the Nineteen Twenties, Atatürk remained Hitler’s “star within the darkness,” his concept for remaking Germany alongside nationalist, secular, totalitarian, and ethnically particular strains. Nor did it break out Hitler’s realize how ruthlessly Turkish governments had handled Armenian and Greek minorities, whom influential Nazis at once in comparison with German Jews. the recent Turkey, or a minimum of these points of it that the Nazis selected to work out, grew to become a version for Hitler’s plans and goals within the years prime as much as the invasion of Poland.

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This is all the more remarkable given the small amount of space generally available for news, much less for foreign news—and given that reporting on Turkey was a rather difficult undertaking in the early Weimar Republic. The Treaty of Versailles did not allow Germany to have diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Empire, and in the immediate postwar period the German papers had no correspondents in Constantinople, many not even in the wider region. Most news about Turkey reached Germany via Entente news agencies and newspapers from Entente countries—a state of affairs the German papers complained about frequently.

Strange that these so often ridiculed and supposedly degenerate Turks can be an example and a lesson to certain other people of how one has to do it in order to protect national honor and völkisch existence against harm. 116 Here is another typical example from the Deutsche Tageszeitung from 1921: The Turks were the only nation that, despite all the weaknesses, despite decades of warfare, found the strength and the idealism not to bend unconditionally to the destructive will of the Entente, but who instead took up their weapons yet again.

Obviously developments in Turkey were regularly used to hold up a mirror to German politics vis-à-vis the Entente. Like the “ex oriente lux” article, other articles played with the reversal of roles. One article used the old phrase, inspired by Goethe’s Faust, “far in the backwoods of Turkey,” which originally emphasized the utter absence of German interest in the developments in the Ottoman Empire. 9. ” “Diable! ” Kladderadatsch 30 (1923) In this uncultured country, there still exists national spirit.

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