Nazi Germany quotations: Nazi ideology

This collection of Nazi Germany quotations has been selected and compiled by Alpha History authors. It contains quotes from Nazi leaders, contemporaries or historians who specialise in the history of Nazi Germany. If you would like to suggest a quote for inclusion here, please contact Alpha History.

“I joined the party because I was a revolutionary, not because of any ideological nonsense.”
Hermann Goering, NSDAP leader

“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”
Adolf Hitler

“In many ways, Nazism was antithetical to what the great mass of Germans said they admired – and certainly to what they paid homage. It was noisy, undisciplined, vainglorious; its leader was a half-educated posturing foreigner. For a decade the National Socialists were regarded as hoodlums, as part of the breakdown of what had been, if anything, an excessively ordered society before.”
Eugene Davidson, historian

“The repeated claim before the ‘seizure of power’ – that the NSDAP, as a national social-revolutionary movement, and not simply another political party… would create new bonds of unity through its elimination and transcending of the party system, was highly attractive and conveyed much of Nazism’s dynamic appeal.”
Ian Kershaw, historian

“Before total war, Nazism was a pot-pourri. Racialism… and nationalism… jostled shoulders with the socialistic revolutionary conservatism of many members of the Mittelstand (middle class). Romantic ideas came from right-wing youth groups. Hitler could utter the gospel of anti-capitalism to workers and the gospel of profits to businessmen. [It was] a rag-bag of inconsistent and incoherent ideas.”
Walter A. P. Phillips, historian

“Many of the ‘ideas’ enthusiastically propagated and ruthlessly put into practice by the Nazis predate Hitler’s ‘seizure of power’ and even the founding of the NSDAP … The view of Nazism as an aberration, a society inexplicably gone mad, or taken over by a ‘criminal clique’ against its will, has not been corroborated by the historical evidence.”
David F. Crew, historian

“A ‘Hitler myth’ was cultivated which built on people’s desire for strong leadership, and presented Hitler as an almost God-like figure. Hitler’s image was laboured over in a manner not dissimilar to that of pop stars today. What he wore, what he said, what postures he adopted during speeches were all worked out carefully… Many people began to separate Hitler from the Nazi Party, enabling Hitler’s popularity to remain high whilst the popularity of the Nazi Party fell.”
Alison Kitson, historian

“For their concept of the heroic leader, the Nazis turned once again to volkisch thought and the notion of Fuhrerprinzip, of a mystical figure embodying and guiding the nation’s destiny… The roots and antecedents of such a concept are more complex and derive from many sources: the messianic principle of Christianity, the kings of the Middle Ages, the Nietzschean ‘superman’ of volkisch mythology.”
David Welch, historian

“If the day should ever come when we [the Nazis] must go, if someday we are compelled to leave the scene of history, we will slam the door so hard that the universe will shake and mankind will stand back in stupefaction.”
Joseph Goebbels