[D-G] Hitler's Body and the Body Politic

Richard Koenigsberg, Ph.D. libraryofsocialscience at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 1 03:54:51 PST 2005

"Hitler aspired to defeat death by embracing the idea of a body politic that
could live forever. Hitler was unable however to separate the imaginary body
from his real body. In spite of his struggle to create a perfectly healthy
nation, Hitler's death instinct continually returned in the form of his
belief that Germany was disintegrating." 

	-Richard Koenigsberg


I study ideology as if manifest content of a dream, seeking to comprehend
the ideology's latent content or unconscious meaning. I observe recurring
images and metaphors within ideological productions. Through systematic
analysis of these recurring images and metaphors, it is possible to reveal
the deep structure of an ideology.

Ideologies are social constructions. However, why do they exist? What is the
nature of the psychic work that they perform? I suggest that ideologies
constitute vehicles for working through deep-rooted psychological issues.
Hitler's ideology, for example, represented the medium through which Hitler
attempted to come to terms with the problem of death.

Hitler's project was to create a people so closely united-fused
together--that they could think, feel and act as a single organism. Such a
body politic would be indestructible, not only in the present but in the
future as well. Hitler and the Nazis devoted their lives toward creating an
organism that would be different from all other organisms. They aspired to
fashion a body (politic) that was so healthy and powerful that it would not
succumb to death.

The Jew in Hitler's ideology was a force working to destroy Germany.
National Socialism was the attempt to come to terms with this destructive
force. The "Final Solution"--concluding phase of Hitler's struggle against
death-represented a form of radical surgery whose purpose was to "remove"
Germany's death instinct, quash the process of disintegration.

  The complete paper by Richard A. Koenigsberg is available for the 
  first time as an on-line publication.

  To read HITLER'S BODY AND THE BODY POLITIC, please visit:



Hitler had projected the struggle of "life against death" into the political
arena and waged a furious battle to "maintain the body of the people."
Hitler aspired to defeat death by embracing the idea of a body politic that
could live forever. However, in spite of his efforts, Hitler could not rid
himself of "anxiety of being destroyed from within."

The "Jew" represented Hitler's experience and perception of his own death
instinct, recognition or realization that all bodies die. In spite of Hitler
struggle to deny death, he could not entirely repress the voice of truth.
Yet Hitler refused to heed this inner voice declaring that all bodies die.
Rather, Hitler became infuriated, enraged. To embrace the truth, Hitler
would have had to acknowledge that his Nazi project had been in vain; that
he had devoted his life to an illusion.

Therefore, in a climactic act of manic determination, Hitler initiated the
Final Solution, a struggle to destroy death-the Jew-once and for all. Hitler
insisted that Germany would not die, that the body politic could live on
forever. He redoubled his efforts, threw more wood into the flames. Genocide
represented Hitler's final attempt to solve the problem of death.

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