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Artaman League

The Artaman League (German language: Artamanen-Gesellschaft) was a German agrarian and völkisch movement dedicated to a Blood and soil-inspired ruralism. Active during the inter-war period, the League became closely linked to, and eventually absorbed by, the Nazi Party.

Etymology

The term Artamanen had been coined before the First World War by Dr. Willibald Hentschel, a believer in racial purity who had founded his own group, the Mittgart Society, in 1906. The term was a compound noun of art and manen, Middle High German words meaning 'agriculture man' and indicating Hentschell's desire to see Germans retreat from the decadence of the city in order to return to an idyllic rural past.[1]

Origins

The Artaman League had its roots in the overall Lebensreform movement in late 19th-century and early 20th-century Germany. This movement encompassed hundreds of groups throughout Germany that were involved in various experiments tied to ecology, health, fitness, vegetarianism, and naturism (Nacktkultur). These groups held positions across the political spectrum. The far-right groups ultimately gained a following among the Nazi Party members and their supporters. Publications by right wing Lebensreformists, which sold in the tens of thousands, argued that their practices were "the means by which the German race would regenerate itself and ultimately prevail over its neighbours and the diabolical Jews who were intent on injecting putrefying agents into the nation's blood and soil".[2]

Development
Walther Darré speaking at a Reichsnährstand assembly under the slogan 'Blut und Boden' (blood and soil) in Goslar, 1937

The society itself was not formed until 1923, even though Willibald's ideas were somewhat older.[1] The Artamans were part of the German Youth Movement, representing its more right-wing back-to-the-land elements.[3] Under the leadership of Georg Kenstler they advocated blood and soil policies with a strong undercurrent of Anti-Slavism.[4] This völkisch movement believed that the decline of the Aryan race could only be halted by encouraging people to abandon city life in favour of settling in the rural areas in the east.[5] Whilst members wished to perform agricultural labour as an alternative to military service they also saw it as part of their duty to violently oppose Slavs and to drive them out of Germany.[6] The concepts were combined in the figure of the Wehrbauer, or soldier-peasant.[7] As such the League sent German youth to work on the land in Saxony and East Prussia in an attempt to prevent these areas being settled by Poles.[5] To this end 2000 settlers were sent to Saxony in 1924 to both work on farms and serve as an anti-Slav militia.[4] They also gave classes on importance of racial purity and the Nordic race, and the corrupting influence of city living and Jews.[8]

Like many similar right-wing youth movements in Germany the Artaman League lost impetus as the Nazi Party grew. By 1927, 80% of its membership had become Nazis.[9] As such the League had disappeared by the early 1930s with most of its membership having switched to the Nazis.[6]

Nazi links

As the situation deteriorated in the late 1920s, some of the Artamans were drawn deeper into politics, and engaged in a holy war against their enemies: liberals, democrats, Free-Masons and Jews.[10] Eventually many members of the Artaman League turned to National Socialism. Heinrich Himmler was an early member and held the position of Gauführer in Bavaria. Whilst a member of the League Himmler met Richard Walther Darré and the two struck up a close friendship, based largely on Darré's highly developed ideological notions of blood and soil to which Himmler was attracted.[4] The Artaman vision would continue to have a profound effect on Himmler who, throughout his time as Reichsführer-SS, retained his early dreams of a racially pure peasantry.[11] Himmler was also close to his fellow member Rudolf Höss and would later advance him in the Schutzstaffel due in part to their history in the Artaman League.[12] The small league was dismantled and incorporated into the Hitler Jugend in October 1934 as the Nazi youth movement gained strength.[10]

Legacy

The development of a number of environmentalist groups and projects in Germany with extreme right wing politics has recently gained media attention. Since the 1990s, far-right environmentalists have taken advantage of cheap farmland made available by the post-Cold War reunification of East and West Germany, establishing themselves in Mecklenburg, "in an effort to reinvigorate the traditions of the Artman League".[13] The state government of Rhineland-Palatinate has published a booklet titled Nature Conservation vs Rightwing Extremism in an effort to assist organic farmers who may encounter rightwing extremists. Gudrun Heinrich of the University of Rostock has published a study, Brown Ecologists, in reference to both the current movement and the Nazi Brownshirts. The politically extreme rightwing environmental magazine Umwelt und Aktiv (Environment and Active), is believed to receive support from Germany's far-right National Democratic party (NPD).[13] Der Spiegel has covered the "organic brown fellowship" ("Braune Bio-Kameradschaft"),[14] and Süddeutsche Zeitung has published an article on and the “infiltration [Unterwanderung] of organic farming by rightwing extremists,[15] noting the lineage to Nazi doctrines of Aryan supremacy and ecological harmony.

References
  1. Peter Padfield, Himmler: Reichs Führer-SS, Cassell & Co, 2001, p. 37
  2. Gordon, Mel (2006). Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin. Feral House. pp. 138–9. ISBN 1-932595-11-2.
  3. Heinz Höhne, The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS, Penguin Books, 2000, pp. 46-47
  4. Höhne, The Order of the Death's Head, p. 47
  5. Anthony Read, The Devil's Disciples, Pimlico, 2004, p. 159
  6. Louis Leo Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, Wordsworth, 1998, p. 12
  7. Heather Pringle, The Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust, p39 ISBN 0-7868-6886-4
  8. Heather Pringle, The Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust, p39-40 ISBN 0-7868-6886-4
  9. Heather Pringle, The Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust, p40 ISBN 0-7868-6886-4
  10. LePage, Jean-Denis, The Hitler Youth, 1922-45: An Illustrated History (London: MacFarland, 2009), p. 17
  11. Höhne, The Order of the Death's Head, p. 48
  12. Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich in Power, Penguin Books, 2006, p. 84
  13. Connolly, Kate (28 April 2012). "German far-right extremists tap into green movement for support". The Guardian. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  14. Pfaffinger, Von Christian (April 3, 2012). "Braune Bio-Kameradschaft". Der Spiegel. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  15. Thiele, Von Christian & Marlene Weiss (April 13, 2012). "Unterwanderung des Biolandbaus durch Rechtsextreme: Idylle in Grün-Braun". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
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Artaman League

topic

The Artaman League ( German language : Artamanen-Gesellschaft ) was a German agrarian and völkisch movement dedicated to a Blood and soil -inspired ruralism. Active during the inter-war period, the League became closely linked to, and eventually absorbed by, the Nazi Party . Etymology The term Artamanen had been coined before the First World War by Dr. Willibald Hentschel , a believer in racial purity who had founded his own group, the Mittgart Society, in 1906. The term was a compound noun of art and manen, Middle High German words meaning 'agriculture man' and indicating Hentschell's desire to see Germans retreat from the decadence of the city in order to return to an idyllic rural past. Origins The Artaman League had its roots in the overall Lebensreform movement in late 19th-century and early 20th-century Germany. This movement encompassed hundreds of groups throughout Germany that were involved in various experiments tied to ecology, health, fitness, vegetarianism , and naturism (Nacktkultur). These grou



Lebensreform

topic

Lebensreform ("life reform") was a social movement in late 19th-century and early 20th-century Germany and Switzerland that propagated a back-to-nature lifestyle, emphasizing among others health food / raw food / organic food , nudism , sexual liberation , alternative medicine , and religious reform and at the same time abstention from alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and vaccines. Important Lebensreform proponents were Sebastian Kneipp , Louis Kuhne , Rudolf Steiner , Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach , Fidus (Hugo Höppener), Gustav Gräser , and Adolf Just . Some practitioners of Lebensreform such as Bill Pester , Benedict Lust , and Arnold Ehret emigrated to California in the late 19th (Lust) or first half of the 20th century and directly influenced the later hippie movement. One group, called the "Nature Boys", settled in the California desert. Eden Ahbez , a member of this group, wrote a hit song called Nature Boy (recorded in 1947 by Nat King Cole ), popularizing the homegrown back-to-nature movement to mainstream Ameri



Wolfram Sievers

topic

Wolfram Sievers (10 July 1905 – 2 June 1948) was Reichsgeschäftsführer, or managing director, of the Ahnenerbe from 1935 to 1945. Early life Sievers was born in 1905 in Hildesheim in the Province of Hanover (now in Lower Saxony ), the son of a Protestant church musician. It is reported that he was musically gifted, that he played the harpsichord, organ, and piano, and loved German baroque music . He was expelled from school for being active in the Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund and went on to study history, philosophy, and religious studies at Stuttgart's Technical University while working as a salesman. A member of the Bündische Jugend , he became active in the Artamanen-Gesellschaft (" Artaman League "), a nationalist back-to-the-land movement . Ahnenerbe Sievers joined the NSDAP in 1929. In 1933 he headed the Externsteine-Stiftung ("Externsteine Foundation"), which had been founded by Heinrich Himmler to study the Externsteine in the Teutoburger Wald . In 1935, having joined the SS that year, Sieve



Willibald Hentschel

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Willibald Hentschel (born 7 November 1858 in Łódź - died 2 February 1947 in Berg, Upper Bavaria ) was a German agrarian and volkisch writer and political activist. He sought to renew the Aryan race through a variety of schemes, including selective breeding and polygamy , all within a firmly rural setting. Early political activity A student of biology at the University of Jena , Henstchel studied for his doctorate under celebrated Darwinist Ernst Haeckel . He used his knowledge to patent an indigo dye from which he earned a fortune that enabled him to concentrate his efforts on political ventures. Amongst his earliest activities was his place on the board of directors of the German Social Party , an anti-Semitic group led by Max Liebermann von Sonnenberg in the 1890s. His 1901 book Varuna, in which he explored the supposed origins of the Aryan race, helped to make him a popular figure on the far right . In this book he argued that history was driven by the process of racial purification and the energy and



Wehrbauer

topic

Wehrbauer ( German pronunciation: , soldier peasant) was a concept used by the Schutzstaffel (SS) of the Nazi Party to refer to soldiers designated as settlers for the lands conquered during the German invasions of the Soviet Union and Poland . Ideology The concept predated the Nazis, with the Artaman League sending urban children to the countryside not only for the experience, but as a core of Wehrbauern. The Nazi goal of colonizing the conquered East in accordance with Hitler 's Lebensraum ideology was to be achieved through these soldier peasants, who were planned to act both as colonists and also as soldiers defending the new German colonies from the surrounding Slavic population in the cases of insurgency . They would be charged with not extending civilization but preventing it arising outside their settlements; any civilization, being non-German, would challenge Germany. A historical comparison was drawn to the Ordensburgen of the medieval German military orders, which were established to fortify terri



Richard Walther Darré

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Richard Walther Darré (born Ricardo Walther Oscar Darré ; 14 July 1895 – 5 September 1953), was one of the leading Nazi " blood and soil " (German: Blut und Boden) ideologists and served as Reich Minister of Food and Agriculture from 1933 to 1942. He was a high-ranking functionary in the SS and the seventh most senior commander in the organisation. Early life Darré was born in Belgrano , a Buenos Aires neighbourhood, in Argentina to Richard Oscar Darré, a German with Huguenot ancestry, (born 10 March 1854, Berlin ; died 20 February 1929, Wiesbaden ) and the half- Swedish /half-German Emilia Berta Eleonore, née Lagergren (born 23 July 1872, Buenos Aires ; died 20 July 1936, Bad Pyrmont ). His father moved to Argentina in 1888 as a partner of the German international import/export wholesaler Engelbert Hardt & Co. Although his parents' marriage was not a happy one (Richard Walther remembered his father as a hard drinker and a womanizer ), they lived prosperously, and educated their children privately un



Rudolf Höss

topic

Rudolf Höss (also Höß , Hoeß or Hoess ; 25 November 1901 – 16 April 1947) was a Nazi German SS - Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) and the longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II. He tested and carried into effect various methods to accelerate Hitler's plan to systematically exterminate the Jewish population of Nazi-occupied Europe , known as the Final Solution . On the initiative of one of his subordinates, SS- Hauptsturmführer (captain) Karl Fritzsch , Höss introduced pesticide Zyklon B containing hydrogen cyanide to the killing process, thereby allowing SS soldiers at Auschwitz to murder 2,000 people every hour. He created the largest installation for the continuous annihilation of human beings ever known. Höss joined the Nazi Party in 1922 and the SS in 1934. From 4 May 1940 to November 1943, and again from 8 May 1944 to 18 January 1945, he was in charge of Auschwitz where more than a million people were killed before the defeat of Germany. He was hanged in



Blood and Soil

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Logo of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture , and of the Blood and Soil ideology Blood and soil ( German : Blut und Boden ) is a slogan expressing the nineteenth-century German idealization of a racially defined national body ("blood") united with a settlement area ("soil"). By it, rural and farm life forms are not only idealized as a counterweight to urban ones, but are also combined with racist and anti-Semitic ideas of a sedentary Germanic-Nordic peasantry as opposed to (specifically Jewish ) nomadism . The contemporary German concept Lebensraum , the belief that the German people needed to reclaim historically German areas of Eastern Europe into which they could expand, is tied to it. "Blood and soil" was a key slogan of Nazi ideology. The nationalist ideology of Artamanen and the writings of Walther Darré guided Nazi agricultural policies which were later adopted by Adolf Hitler , Heinrich Himmler and Baldur von Schirach . Rise The German expression was coined in the late 19th century, in tracts espousi



Lebensraum

topic

The German concept of Lebensraum ( German pronunciation: , English: "living space") refers to policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s. First popularized around 1901, Lebensraum became a geopolitical goal of Imperial Germany in World War I (1914–1918) originally, as the core element of the Septemberprogramm of territorial expansion. The most extreme form of this ideology was supported by the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and Nazi Germany until the end of World War II . Following Adolf Hitler's rise to power , Lebensraum became an ideological principle of Nazism , and provided justification for the German territorial expansion into East-Central Europe. The Nazi Generalplan Ost policy (the Master Plan for the East) was based on its tenets. It stipulated that most of the indigenous populations of Eastern Europe would have to be removed permanently (either through mass deportation to Siberia , death, or enslavement) including Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, and o



Heinrich Himmler

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Heinrich Luitpold Himmler ( German: ; 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (Protection Squadron; SS), and a leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) of Germany . Nazi leader Adolf Hitler briefly appointed him a military commander and later Commander of the Replacement (Home) Army and General Plenipotentiary for the administration of the entire Third Reich (Generalbevollmächtigter für die Verwaltung). Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and one of the people most directly responsible for the Holocaust . As a member of a reserve battalion during World War I, Himmler did not see active service. He studied agronomy in college, and joined the Nazi Party in 1923 and the SS in 1925. In 1929, he was appointed Reichsführer-SS by Hitler. Over the next 16 years, he developed the SS from a mere 290-man battalion into a million-strong paramilitary group, and, following Hitler's orders, set up and controlled the Nazi concentration camps . He was known to have good organis





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