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Fascism and Communism (European Horizons;Ernst Nolte Is a Non-Judeocompliant Scholar, But is NOT Trying to Lessen the Crimes of Nazism

jan peczkis|Sunday, January 15, 2017

By way of introduction, German historian Ernst Nolte has gotten a lot of flak, from the Judeocentric academics, for pointing out that Nazism had been a competitive imitation of Soviet Communism. They do not like it when the genocides of non-Jews are featured, especially in juxtaposition with the Shoah, because this threatens the supremacy of the Holocaust over the genocides of all other peoples.

In addition to this, leftists do not like Communism juxtaposed with Nazism, because they almost always try to soften the crimes of Communism. Ernst Nolte will have none of that.


The reader is immediately treated to the mystification of the Holocaust. In the Preface, Tzvetan Todorov states that both Francois Furet and Ernst Nolte attribute “exceptional status to the destruction of the Jews under the Third Reich.” (p. x). Torodov repeats all the standard Holocaustspeak about the uniqueness and “irrationality” of the Holocaust (as if the genocides of non-Jews were all completely rational), and tries to downplay the significance of the Soviet camps. [For corrective, please see the first comment under this review.]

Francois Furet asserts that the Nazis did not need the high number of Jews, in Russian Bolshevism, in order to develop an intense hatred of Jews. (p. 21). How does he presume to know this?

Otherwise, Francois Furet acknowledges that Mussolini borrowed from Lenin in order to fight Communism. Both Mussolini and Lenin came from ultra-revolutionary socialism. Furet then falls back on the perceived danger that such thinking serves as at least a partial exoneration of Nazism. (p. 2). However, Furet also makes this thoughtful comment, “The fascist movement fed on anticommunism, the communist movement on antifascism. But both shared a hatred for the bourgeoisie world, which allowed them to unite.” (p. 19).


Ernst Nolte categorically rejects the bogus accusation that his position is an attempt to lessen the gravity of the Nazi crimes. He writes, (quote) But the “rational core” of Nazi anti-Judaism consists in the factual reality of the large role played by a certain number of personalities of Jewish origin at the center of the Communist and socialist movements, evidently because of universalist and Messianic traditions proper to historical Judaism. “Rational core” does not necessarily mean “legitimate core”: “rational” means something that can be apprehended in an intelligible manner or that can be represented in an immanent manner…Nazism was certainly not just a reaction against Bolshevism, but an excessive one, and as a general rule, excess is what justified at the outset leads to the unjustifiable. (unquote). (pp. 28-29).


The issues raised in this book have broader significance:

In a letter written in 1996, Nolte warned that, (quote) Already in Germany there has been a public demand for the application of the penal code concerning nationalist incitement on the part of scholars who attribute to Stalin a significant part of the responsibility for the war and who speak of a “preventative war” rather than of “the German aggression against the Soviet Union.” It won’t be long before historians who attribute an essential role to communism in the appearance of fascism have to defend themselves before a tribunal, which could also involve the historians who “trivialize” Nazism by establishing a parallel between it and communism. (unquote). (pp. 56-57).
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