TD: volume 9, issue 2012, 2, page 257–277
Abstract / Full text
Es folgt die Zusammenfassung in englischer Sprache following the article short description
In the various stages of its development – from a small right-wing extremist movement, opposed to the democratic parliamentary system of the Weimar Republic, to the solely ruling party of the most gruesome dictatorships of the 19th century – national socialism always bore features of protest - or government populism. This is characterized by a massive personalisation and emotionalisation of politics, the use of bogeyman figures and enemy stereotypes in an extremely dichotomous and simplified world view, a vertical juxtaposition of “below” (the people) and “above” (the elites / the system), frequent calls upon the “Volk” with an aggressive and depreciating attitude towards political adversaries, promises of liberation and salvation by a charismatic leader are some of the most important populist features of the national socialist party, which can at least partly be attributed to its “völkisch” origins. In any understanding, some features of national socialism are distinctly not populist, e.g. the will to power, the claim of totalitarianism, the readiness for tactical compromise and the massive use of force and terror prevent an interpretation of national socialism as a populist phenomenon tout court.