Der Mythus des Zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
'Der Mythus des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts' - (The Myth of the Twentieth Century) is a book by Alfred Rosenberg, one of the principal ideologues of the Nazi party and editor of the Nazi paper 'Völkischer Beobachter'.
It was the most influential Nazi text after Hitler's 'Mein Kampf'.

Alfred Rosenberg

Rosenberg believed that God created humankind as separate, differentiated races in a cascading hierarchy of nobility of virtue, not as separative individuals or as entities with "blank slate" natures.
Rosenberg harshly rejected the idea of a "globular" mankind of homogeneity of nature as counter-factual, and asserted each biological race possesses a discrete, unique soul, claiming the Caucasoid Aryan race, with Germanic Nordics supposedly composing its vanguard elite, as qualitatively superior, in a vaguely "ontological" way, in comparison to all other ethnic and racial groupings: the Germanic Nordic Aryan as Platonic ideal of humankind.
Rosenberg was inspired, on the "esoteric" plane, by the anti-Judaistic formulations of ancient Gnostic dualism, especially the aggressive anti-Judaic thrust of the Marcionite and Manichaean creeds, in medieval times resurgent in the metaphysical, cosmological schemata of Gnosticism the radical dualism of the Gnostic philosophy portraying the Jewish deity as a malignant, delusive, enslaving, materialistic, lesser deity purely emblematic of the fallen condition and evil, inferior to the absolute aseity of the hyper-cosmic, hyperuranion good God of Gnostic belief.
On the more "historic" plane, Rosenberg's racial philosophy attempted to synthesize the cultural and racist of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Richard Wagner's Grail romanticism, inspired by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, the anti-modernist, "revolutionary-conservative" ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche, and also by Haeckelian mystical vitalism and Nordicism and Aryanism.
He believed that God created man as separate races, not as individuals or mankind as a whole, and that all races have their own soul, although the Aryan race was superior to the others.
'Der Mythus'  was conceived as a sequel to Chamberlain's 'The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century'.
Rosenberg's racial interpretation of history concentrates on the negative influence of the Jewish race in contrast to the Aryan race.
He equates the latter with the Nordic peoples of northern Europe.
According to Rosenberg, modern culture has been corrupted by Semitic influences which have produced degenerate modern art, along with moral and social degeneration.
In contrast, Aryan culture is defined by innate moral sensibility and an energetic will to power. Rosenberg believed that the higher races must rule over the lower and not interbreed with them, because cross-breeding destroys the divine combination of physical heredity and spirit.
He uses an organic metaphor of the race and the State and argues that the Aryans must purify the race soul by eliminating non-Aryan elements in much the same ruthless and uncompromising way in which a surgeon would cut a cancer from a diseased body.
In Rosenberg's view of world history, migrating Aryans founded various ancient civilizations which later declined and fell due to inter-marriage with lesser races.
This included the Indo-Aryan civilization, ancient Persia, Greece, and Rome.
He saw the ancient Germanic invasions of the Roman empire as "saving" its civilization, which had been corrupted both by race mixing and by "Judaized-cosmopolitan" Christianity. Furthermore, he noted that the persecutions of Protestants in France and other areas represented the wiping out of the last remnants of the Aryan element in those areas, a process completed by the French revolution.
In contemporary Europe, he saw the northern areas that embraced Protestantism as closest to the Aryan racial and spiritual ideal.
The "Mythus" is very anti-Catholic, seeing the Church's cosmopolitanism and "Judaized" version of Christianity as one of the factors in Germany's spiritual bondage.
Rosenberg mentions the anti-Judaic teachings of the heresies Marcionism and "Aryo-Persian" 
Another myth, to which he gave "allegorical" credence, was the idea of Atlantis, which he felt might preserve a memory of an ancient Aryan homeland:
And so today the long derived hypothesis becomes a probability, namely that from a northern centre of creation which, without postulating an actual submerged Atlantic continent, we may call Atlantis, swarms of warriors once fanned out in obedience to the ever renewed and incarnate Nordic longing for distance to conquer and space to shape.
This account of world history is used to support his dualistic model of human experience, as are ideas co-opted from Nietzsche and Social Darwinist writers of the era.

Cover of presentation edition

The book had sold more than one million copies by 1944.


Rosenberg was born in 1893 in Reval (today's Tallinn, in Estonia, then part of the Russian Empire) to a family of Baltic Germans: his father, Waldemar Wilhelm Rosenberg, was a wealthy merchant from Latvia, his mother, Elfriede, from Estonia.
The young Rosenberg studied architecture at the Riga Polytechnical Institute and engineering at Moscow Highest Technical School completing his Ph.D. studies in 1917.
While in Riga, he was a member of the Baltic German student fraternity "Rubonia".

Max Scheubner-Richter
During the Russian Revolution of 1917 Rosenberg supported the counter-revolutionaries; following their failure he emigrated to Germany in 1918 along with Max Scheubner-Richter* (see left) who served as something of a mentor to Rosenberg and to his ideology.
He arrived in Munich and contributed to Dietrich Eckart's publication, the Völkischer Beobachter.
Houston Stewart Chamberlain'
By this time, he believed deeply in the superiority of the Aryan race - influenced by Houston Stewart Chamberlain's (see right) book The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century - one of the key proto-Nazi books of racial theory - and an anti-bolshevik.
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012

Rosenberg became one of the earliest members of the German Workers Party (later the National Socialist German Workers Party - NSDAP) (see left), joining in January 1919; Adolf Hitler did not join until October 1919.
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
Rosenberg had also been a member of the Thule Society (see left below), with Eckart (see right).
After the Völkischer Beobachter became the official organ of the NSDAP (December, 1920), Rosenberg became its editor in 1923.
Rosenberg was a leading member of Aufbau Vereinigung, (Reconstruction Organisation), a conspiratorial organisation of White Russian émigrés which had a critical influence on early Nazi policy.
Dietrich Eckart'
In 1923, after the failed Beer Hall Putsch (see right), Hitler—who had been imprisoned for treason—appointed Rosenberg as a leader of the Nazi movement, a position he held until Hitler's release.

In 1929 Rosenberg founded the 'Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur' (KfdK) - (Militant League for German Culture).
He later formed the "Institute for the Study of the Jewish Question", dedicated to identifying and attacking Jewish influence in German culture and to recording the history of Judaism from an antisemitic perspective.

He became a Reichstag (see left) Deputy in 1930 and published his book on racial theory 'Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts - (The Myth of the Twentieth Century' - see below for full English translation) which deals with key issues in the national socialist ideology.
Rosenberg intended his book as a sequel to Houston Stewart Chamberlain's 'Die Grundlagen des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts' (see right).

Rosenberg's attitude towards Soviet Bolshevism obviously had some influence on Hitler.
He convinced Hitler of the Communist threat and of the supposed fragility of the Soviet political structure.
"Jewish-Bolshevism" was accepted as a target for the NSDAP during the early 1920s.
Rosenberg was named leader of the Nazi Party's foreign political office in 1933.
His visit to Britain in that year was intended to reassure the British that the Nazis would not be a threat, and to encourage links between the new regime and the British Empire.
In January 1934 Hitler granted Rosenberg responsibility for the spiritual and philosophical education of the Party and all related organizations.
As the Nazi Party's chief racial theorist, Rosenberg was in charge of building a human racial ladder that related to Hitler's policies.

Grundlagen des
Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts
Rosenberg built on the works of Arthur de Gobineau (see right) and Houston Stewart Chamberlain (see left) as well as the policies of Hitler.
He considered blacks and Jews to be at the very bottom of the ladder, while at the very top stood the white or "Aryan" race.
Rosenberg promoted the Nordic theory which considered Germans to be the "master race", superior to all others, including other Aryans.
Rosenberg reshaped Nazi racial policy throughout the years, but it always consisted of Aryan supremacy, extreme German nationalism.
Rosenberg's attitude towards the Slavs depended on the particular nation involved.
He despised Czechs and Poles, and wrote "no considerations can be taken for Poles, Czechs etc., who are as impotent as they are valueless and overbearing.
As a result of the ideology of "Drang nach Osten" Rosenberg believed his mission to be conquest and colonization of Slavic east.
In 'Der Mythus', Rosenberg describes Slavs, in particular Poles, as racial "subhumans".

Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Arthur de Gobineau
Regarding Ukrainians he was in favour of creating a buffer state to ease pressure on German eastern frontier, while agreeing with the notion that Russia should be exploited for the benefit of Germany.
Rosenberg argued for a new "religion of the blood," based on the supposed innate promptings of the Nordic soul to defend its noble character against racial and cultural degeneration.
He rejected Christianity for its universality, for original sin, at least for Germans whom he declared on one occasion were born noble.
In 1940 Rosenberg was made head of the Hohe Schule (literally "high school", but in Germanic languages refers to a college), the Centre of National Socialist Ideological and Educational Research.
Following the invasion of the USSR, Rosenberg was appointed head of the Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete - (Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories).
Rosenberg had presented Hitler with his plan for the organization of the conquered Eastern territories, suggesting the establishment of new administrative districts, to replace the previously Soviet-controlled territories with new Reichskommissariats. These would be:
Ostland (Baltic countries and Belarus),
Ukraine (Ukraine and nearest territories),
Kaukasus (Caucasus area),
Moskau (Moscow metropolitan area and the rest of nearest Russian European areas)
Such suggestions were intended to encourage certain non-Russian nationalism and to promote German interests for the benefit of future Aryan generations, in accord with geopolitical "Lebensraum im Osten" plans.
They would provide a buffer against Soviet expansion in preparation for the total eradication of Communism and Bolshevism by decisive pre-emptive military action.

In February 1942 Rosenberg issued an Agrarian Law, annulling all Soviet legislation on farming, restoring family farms for those willing to collaborate with the occupiers.
Another of Rosenberg's initiatives was the "Free Caucasus" campaign which attracted various nationalities into the so-called Ostlegionen (Eastern Legion) (see left).
Rosenberg was married twice.
He married his first wife, Hilda Leesmann, an ethnic Estonian, in 1915; after eight years of marriage, they divorced in 1923.
He married his second wife, Hedwig Kramer, in 1925; the marriage lasted until his death in 1945.
He and Kramer had two children; a son, who died in infancy, and a daughter, Irene; who was born in 1930.

'Der Mythus des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts' 

Ludwig Maximilian Erwin von Scheubner-Richter or Max Scheubner-Richter, born Ludwig Maximilian Erwin Richter (9 January 1884 – 9 November 1923) was an early member of the NSDAP.
It was Scheubner-Richter along with Alfred Rosenberg who devised the plan to drive the German government to revolution through the Beer Hall Putsch.
Scheubner-Richter was a Baltic German born in Riga, Livonia and lived a large part of his life in Imperial Russia. During the Russian Revolution of 1905 he belonged to one of the private armies set up to fight against the revolutionaries.
He married the daughter of a manufacturer whose factory he had guarded.
The 'Scheubner' in his surname was prefixed to his own from his wife's family name: an old German form of having one's lineage ennobled.
During the First World War, he served in Ottoman Turkey as the German vice consul of Erzerum.  Scheubner-Richter moved to Germany from Russia along with Alfred Rosenberg in 1918.
He was the leader of the Aufbau Vereinigung, a conspiratorial organisation, composed of White Russian émigrés and Völkisch minded German National Socialists.
At the end of September 1923, Scheubner-Richter provided Hitler with a lengthy plan for revolution.
During the Beer Hall Putsch, walking arm-in-arm with Hitler, he was shot and died instantly as Hitler and others marched toward armed guards on 9 November 1923.
He had brought Hitler down and dislocated Hitler's shoulder when he fell.
Of all the early party members who died in the Putsch, Adolf Hitler had claimed Scheubner-Richter to be the only "irreplaceable loss".
The first part of Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" is dedicated to Scheubner-Richter and the other fifteen men who died in the Putsch.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
The myth of blood is not just one mythology among others, not just one religion among the many old religions.
Its content is the mysterious backdrop of the myth itself.
From its structure, all myths came.
It is not another mythology, but it is the myth itself, even as it is life contemplated with veneration.
The development of its occult reality is the axle of our time.
This development took place in Germany with the rise National Socialism, which incorporated everything that is great and that belongs to us in the past, everything that has contemporary power, and everything expectant in the future. 

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