Third Reich  

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The Third Reich 'n Roll

This page Third Reich is part of the Nazism portal.  Illustration: Cover of the catalogue of the Nazi "Degenerate Art Exhibition" (1937). The exhibition was held to defame modern and Jewish artists. On the cover is Der Neue Mensch sculpture by Otto Freundlich.
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This page Third Reich is part of the Nazism portal.
Illustration: Cover of the catalogue of the Nazi "Degenerate Art Exhibition" (1937). The exhibition was held to defame modern and Jewish artists. On the cover is Der Neue Mensch sculpture by Otto Freundlich.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

One of the most popular names for "Nazi Germany" by the Nazis was the "Third Reich," a name adopted by the Nazis and first used in a 1923 novel by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, that counted the medieval Holy Roman Empire (962–1806) as the first and the German Empire (1871–1918) as the second. The Nazis ignored the previous Weimar Republic (1918–1933), which the Nazis denounced as a historical aberration, contemptuously referring to it as "the System".

Usage notes

Reich in German does not have all of the same connotations as empire does in English, notably it does not imply the existance of a monarchy.

Millennialism

The most controversial interpretation of the Three Ages philosophy and of millennialism in general is Adolf Hitler's "Third Reich" ("Drittes Reich"), which in his vision would last for a thousand years to come ("Tausendjähriges Reich"), but which ultimately only lasted for 12 years (1933–1945).

The phrase "Third Reich", which eventually became a catchphrase that survived the Nazi regime, was originally coined by the German thinker Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, who in 1923 published a book titled Das Dritte Reich. Looking back at German history, he distinguished two separate periods, and identified them with the ages of Joachim of Fiore:

After the interval of the Weimar Republic (1918–1933), during which constitutionalism, parliamentarism and even pacifism ruled, these were then to be followed by:

Although van den Bruck was unimpressed by Hitler when he met him in 1922 and did not join the Nazi Party, the phrase was nevertheless adopted by the Nazis to describe the totalitarian state they wanted to set up when they gained power, which they succeeded in doing in 1933. Later, however, the Nazi authorities banned the informal use of "Third Reich" throughout the German press in the summer of 1939, instructing it to use more official terms such as "German Reich", "Greater German Reich", and "National Socialist Germany" exclusively.

During the early part of the Third Reich many Germans also referred to Hitler as being the German Messiah, especially when he conducted the Nuremberg Rallies, which came to be held at a date somewhat before the Autumn Equinox in Nuremberg, Germany.

In a speech held on 27 November 1937, Hitler commented on his plans to have major parts of Berlin torn down and rebuilt:

[...] einem tausendjährigen Volk mit tausendjähriger geschichtlicher und kultureller Vergangenheit für die vor ihm liegende unabsehbare Zukunft eine ebenbürtige tausendjährige Stadt zu bauen [...].
[...] to build a millennial city adequate [in splendour] to a thousand year old people with a thousand year old historical and cultural past, for its never-ending [glorious] future [...]

After Adolf Hitler's unsuccessful attempt to implement a thousand-year-reign, the Vatican issued an official statement that millennial claims could not be safely taught and that the related scriptures in Revelation (also called the Apocalypse) should be understood spiritually. Catholic author Bernard LeFrois wrote:

Millenium: Since the Holy Office decreed (July 21, 1944) that it cannot safely be taught that Christ at His Second Coming will reign visibly with only some of His saints (risen from the dead) for a period of time before the final and universal judgment, a spiritual millennium is seen in Apoc. 20:4–6. St. John gives a spiritual recapitulation of the activity of Satan, and the spiritual reign of the saints with Christ in heaven and in His Church on earth.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Third Reich" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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