THE MYTH OF THE MASTER RACE: Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi Ideology by Robert Cecil

THE MYTH OF THE MASTER RACE: Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi Ideology

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Despite the author's brave attempt at elucidation, the ideological exertions of Alfred Rosenberg, the chief theoretician of the Nazis, remain a confused jumble of Social Darwinism, Meister Eckhart, Schopenhauer, and the obfuscations of 19th century racialists pursuing the destiny of Aryan man through the Nordic mists. Cecil, who hedges between biography tout court and a more ambitious plunge into the Nazi Weltanschuung, follows the intellectual peregrinations of Rosenberg from the early days in Bavaria to the Nuremberg tribunal in what proves ultimately to be a vain search for coherence and thus one more affirmation of the nihilistic core of Nazi philosophy. Personally Rosenberg emerges as a drab, timorous, frustrated individual hesitantly defending his bailiwick as Commissioner of Indoctrination from the encroachments of Goebbels, Ley, Himmler and other rivals for the role of Grand Minister of Nazi Occultism. Cecil notes his ""cani ne devotion"" to Hitler who respected but disliked him and his waning influence after the Nazi seizure of power. Of some interest to specialists will be Cecil's examination of Rosenberg's anti-Christian tenets; less notorious than his anti-Semitism, Rosenberg's antipathy to Christianity was an integral element of his Mythus and one which remained controversial within the party pantheon. A psychological study of Rosenberg might have yielded more than this labyrinthian excursion into doctrine; unfortunately Cecil does not venture beneath the opaque formulations to the roots of that ""psychic isolation"" which made Rosenberg something of a loner among Hitler's predatory sycophants.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Dodd, Mead