To what extent did Nietzsche’s ideas influence Nazi ideas of leadership?

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For numerous decades, there has been the wide belief that Nietzsche had immense influence on Nazism and was identified as one of the philosophical founders of fascism. Historical evidence has suggested that Hitler paid great respect to Nietzsche’s work and often visited the Nietzsche archive in Weimar set up by his sister, Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche. As stated in the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer, who believes in the link between Nietzsche and Nazi ideology, ‘[Hitler] publicized his veneration for the philosopher by posing for photographs of himself staring in rapture at the bust of the great man.’ Elisabeth was even given a grand state funeral when she passed away in 1935, which attended by Hitler and high-ranking Nazi officials. Moreover, the fact that many Nazi ideas find similar expressions in Nietzsche’s philosophy leads us into the conclusion of Nietzsche influencing the Nazi Weltanschauung. However, there have been increasing opinions on how Nietzsche’s philosophy was abused and twisted by either his sister or the Nazi officials themselves, which leads onto the debate whether Nazi ideas are affected Nietzsche’s original views or the perverted ones. In order to understand more and discuss further, it is necessary to define the Nazi ideas of leadership first. There can be two interpretations: personal leadership, referring to Hitler’s dictatorship and racial leadership, echoing the Nazi idea that Aryan was the superior race and thus should be the race ruling the world. To some extent, it can be agreed that the ideas of Nietzsche did influence Nazi ideas of leadership. It is evident in the similarity between the most famous idea of Nietzsche, übermensch and Hitler’s image as the strong leader overcoming the harsh circumstances around him. As an idea central to the book Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra), übermensch (overman

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