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Conclusion: Occultism and Nazism in Historical Perspective

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Chapter Summary

Since the defeat of Nazism in 1945, questions about its ongoing repercussions have troubled observers hoping to learn from the fatal mistakes of the last century. Because the horrors inflicted by Nazi and Fascist forces seem so overwhelmingly obvious in retrospect, it can be difficult to recall that many people greeted the rise of Nazism as the dawning of a new and better world. How did high ideals lead to disaster? What do holistic education, natural lifestyles, and alternative spirituality have to do with a regime that murdered millions? Sorting out the convoluted historical details becomes unsettling when the certainties of posterity collide with the perplexities of the past. The consoling thought of fascism and occultism as eruptions of irrationality depends on a simplified view of a complex history; it forgets that "the myths which fell victim to the Enlightenment were themselves its products".

Keywords: holistic education; natural lifestyles; Nazism; occultism; spirituality



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