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The Occult History of the Third Reich (1992)

Video  -  Documentary | History  -  1 August 1992 (UK)
7.0
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Four volume documentary set ("Adolf Hitler", "The SS Blood and Soil", "The Enigma of the Swastika", and "Himmler The Mystic") containing mainly B&W as well as some color archival footage, ... See full summary »

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Four volume documentary set ("Adolf Hitler", "The SS Blood and Soil", "The Enigma of the Swastika", and "Himmler The Mystic") containing mainly B&W as well as some color archival footage, with narration explaining the influences of alternative belief systems (occult, paganism, mysticism, etc) on the Nazi ideology and Hitler's personal philosophy. Also documents the history and development of the ideas and symbols that would be used along with eugenicist racial politics to perpetrate the murder and oppression of millions during World War II. Written by kurgan-10

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1 August 1992 (UK)  »

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OK, but hardly solid history
22 April 2011 | by (Vancouver, BC) – See all my reviews

Most of the narrative to this is a simplification of Nicholas Goodricke-Clark's book "The Occult Roots of Nazism." That's probably why it isn't awful - Goodricke-Clark did a good job on fact-checking and avoided conspiracy theory to look at some of the more esoteric origins of National Socialist ideology. The first problem is that there isn't much visual evidence to support this – a documentary has little to do except show images from roughly the same era and allow implied connections with the narrative. But, the real problem here is that this documentary in general falls into the category of "Fascinating Fascism," to use Susan Sonntag's term. It is a parade of old propaganda images that attempts to justify its existence by drawing connections between Blavatsky and Crowley and the NSDAP that are tenuous at best. Concepts are undefined (what does it mean that "Rudolf Hess was a convinced mystic" by the time he met Adolf Hitler?). Influences are exaggerated (Goodricke-Clark discusses Guido von List's tiny religion, the film implies that millions of German soldiers in WWI believed it). There are few outright distortions, but this should be seen more as entertainment than as scholarship.


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