Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Thesis Director

Sace E. Elder

Thesis Committee Member

Edmund F. Wehrle

Thesis Committee Member

Newton Key

Abstract

This project uses Dr. Hermann Rauschning as a case study to analyze the transformation of the German intellectual right, stretching from his early career in the Weimar Era to the post-1945 era. Rather than offer a purely narrative biography, this study uses the figure of Rauschning to examine the fate of the German right from the Kaisserreich to the aftermath of World War II. Rauschning, born in 1887, was both a political and intellectual figure. However, these aspects of Hermann Rauschning are not necessarily separate. Although some historians see Hermann Rauschning as unique, I argue that he is in fact representative the German right in this period. Rauschning was influential as a political theorist who wrote on the conservative revolution and relationship between nihilism and the Third Reich. He was also as a politician who negotiated with the League of Nations, promoted the NSDAP within Danzig, and formulated a new usable conservatism in the post-war era. Rauschning's works on these connections for a time shaped the Conservative memory of the Third Reich. Like his contemporaries, such as writer Hans Zehrer, historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler, and sociologist Hans Freyer, Rauschning was both directly and indirectly involved in politics. This work seeks to link both the intellectual and the personal with the political and the public.

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