Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination


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6.34 X 9.77 X 1.02 inches | 1.39 pounds

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About the Author

Stefan Ihrig is Professor of History at the University of Haifa.


This is a most important and refreshingly original book about a hitherto unknown yet pivotal influence on Adolf Hitler and other National Socialists. Its eye-opening conclusions will change how we think about German and European history as well as the Holocaust.--Thomas Weber, University of Aberdeen
From the Armenian massacres to the Turkish War of Independence and the rise of Kemal Atatürk, Turkish events attracted deep interest in Germany. As Ihrig shows, politically active Germans of the Weimar Republic, especially on the far right, saw in Turkey a model for successful revisionism, authoritarian rule, secular modernization, and the political utility of genocide. This brilliant and original study sheds new light on the rise of Nazism and the prehistory of Nazi racial policy.--Christopher Clark, University of Cambridge
A thorough and inspired account of how the formation of modern Turkey influenced Hitler and other Nazi ideologists by providing a model of armed resistance to the Versailles Treaty, as well as an imagined example of muscular nationalism for a new century.--Steve Coll "New York Review of Books" (4/2/2015 12:00:00 AM)
For decades, historians have seen Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 as emulating Mussolini's 1922 March on Rome. Not so, says Stefan Ihrig in Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination. Hitler also had Turkey in mind... Atatürk's subordination of Islam to the state anticipated Hitler's strategy toward Christianity... Impeccably researched and clearly written...Ihrig's book will transform our understanding of the Nazi policies.--Dominic Green "Wall Street Journal" (1/16/2015 12:00:00 AM)
Middle Eastern heads of state have not tended to create exemplary leadership templates that aspirant rulers elsewhere have sought to emulate. But there is one notable exception: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination, Stefan Ihrig argues that the man who created modern Turkey inspired the tyrant who sought to make Germany the hub of a new National Socialist Europe: Adolf Hitler. His argument, based on extensive study of German print media in the 1920s and 30s, is compelling... Ihrig has unearthed an important subject within Second World War scholarship that, strangely, has remained overlooked for many decades.--Gerald Butt "Times Literary Supplement" (3/4/2015 12:00:00 AM)
Fascinating... This is a gap-filling book that'll be of deep interest to students of both World War II and National Socialism.--Steve Donoghue "Open Letters Monthly" (12/1/2014 12:00:00 AM)
Stefan Ihrig's brilliant new book Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination demonstrates convincingly that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's conquest of Turkey was the most important model for the Nazis' remaking of Germany, far more so than Mussolini's 1922 March on Rome, which is usually cited as Hitler's main inspiration.--David Mikics "The Tablet" (11/24/2014 12:00:00 AM)
Ataturk in the Nazi Imagination by Stefan Ihrig...make[s] fascinating reading and highlight[s] the variety of ways in which the German state sought to subvert the Muslim soldiers' professional loyalty to the Allied armies in the two wars... [Ihrig] must be lauded for [his] painstaking research in producing [this] highly readable [volume] that include[s] relevant photographs as well.--Muhammad Ali Siddiqi "Dawn" (4/3/2016 12:00:00 AM)
It is Stefan Ihrig's contention, in his fascinating Atatürk and the Nazi Imagination, that it was Atatürk who in many ways molded and inspired the Nazi enterprise.--Mitchell Abidor "Jewish Currents" (3/7/2015 12:00:00 AM)
[An] insightful, instructive work, a genuinely original contribution to Nazi historiography... Makes us ponder, among so much else, the contribution that Ataturk's capture and all-encompassing control of his nation and its people made to [Lenin's, Stalin's, Hitler's, and Mussolini's] evil works.--Martin Rubin "Washington Times" (12/30/2014 12:00:00 AM)
Stefan Ihrig has written a valuable and important book. He has shed light on an overlooked, remarkable, and significant aspect of National Socialism: namely, the prominent role played by Turkey and Kemal Atatürk in the Nazi imagination. This is a notable accomplishment.--Thomas A. Kohut "Weekly Standard" (6/22/2015 12:00:00 AM)
In this richly documented and exhaustively researched study, Stefan Ihrig investigates the Nazi movement's obsessive interest in modern Turkey and its leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Focusing on the image of Atatürk as a national savior and state-builder, Ihrig examines how fascinated the extreme Right and radical nationalists in Germany were with Atatürk's Ankara government and its achievements in the interwar era. The resulting analysis carries some surprising findings for specialists of both German and Turkish history. Ihrig demonstrates that the Turkish nationalist movement, its leader, and his policies were much more influential for the Nazi worldview in the 1920s than many other potential examples, including Mussolini's Italy...Those who look for European right-wing echoes of single-party-era Turkey's policies will benefit from Ihrig's most seminal finding, that in the development of the Nazi movement's ideas, Atatürk's Turkey acted as a role model...Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination is a bold and pathbreaking book. It draws attention to a largely overlooked connection between Nazi Germany and Kemalist Turkey, and contributes to the scholarship on the cross-fertilization of authoritarian nationalist ideas in the post-World War I years...Ihrig's book is an insightful and highly original work. In the future, it will be difficult to discuss the transnational undercurrents of the radical Right in interwar Europe or German-Turkish relations under the Nazis without taking into consideration Ihrig's arguments.--Emre Sencer "H-Net Reviews" (6/1/2017 12:00:00 AM)