Effects of German Romanticism on National Socialist Education Policies: “Steely Romanticism”
- Murad Karasoy
National socialist education policies put into practice between 1933–1945 in Germany, has been under the influence of romanticism, which is one of the important currents in the history of German thought that began in the middle of the 19th century. Such “being under the influence” does not refer to a passive situation, but it rather means intentional “exposure” by Nazi ideologues. The meeting of Romanticism with National Socialism led to the most dramatic scenes of the history. Educational institutions, where the victims of war were trained, bipartitely fulfilled the task assigned to them regarding to ideological instrumentalism: to destroy and to be destroyed. Putting an end to both their lives own and the lives of others due to this romantic exposure, primary, secondary and higher education students have been the objects of the great catastrophe in the first half of the twentieth century. It will be possible to see the effects of German romanticism, through getting to the bottom of the intellectual foundations of the period’s tragic actions, such as burning books, redesigning the curriculum on the line of National Socialism, and preventing the dissemination of dissenting opinions by monopolizing the press.
This historical research, which is conducted by examining sources like Arendt (1973), Fest (1973), Giles (1985), Bartoletti (2005), Herf (1998), Heidegger (2002), Hitler (1938), Huch (2005), Hühnerfeld (1961), Schirach (1967), Pöggeler (2002), Thomese (1923), Zimmerman (1990) aims to reveal in a scientific way that it is necessary to be careful against the extreme romantic elements in the practices of education.
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