Talk:Völkisch movement

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I'm under the impression that the terms folk and volk, and the terms folkish and volkish are used interchangeably. Gringo300 10:02, 10 November 2005 (UTC) in Folkswagon. Indeed, it simply depends on the language that's being employed. --19:25, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

the völkisch movement shouldnt be included in the nazism series, its just not fair to make that asosiation 17:11, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

No Nazism template[edit]

Tagging the article with {{Nazism}} is improper as the article covers a wider context than just the ideology that was (mis)used by the Nazis. -- Matthead discuß!     O       00:20, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

i personally disagree with the above statement and think the article should remain tagged with Nazism. the Nazi's misused and bastardized a multitude of symbols and philosophies. one cannot separate Nazisms relationship with the volkisch movement just as you cannot separate Nazisms relationship to the swastika. neither in their traditional meaning condone or imply fascist beliefs but unfortunately have been manipulated to do so which should not be ignored.

Re-adding the Nazism tag would imply a special relationship in this direction, and not in others. One could also justify adding an Anarchism tag on the grounds of the Ascona connection (for which I'll be adding further details and some references), as well as the current of völkisch anarchism and the anarchist side of neo-völkisch movements. Experience of "template wars" on other articles suggests to me that if a tag reflects a controversial association, or if there are rival interpretations, it would be wiser to preserve a neutral point of view and simply do without. Gnostrat (talk) 03:36, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Germanenorden and the völkisch left wing[edit]

I see no reason for a disproportionate part of the article to focus down on the Teutonic/Germanic Order (Germanenorden). Germanic mysticism was a much broader movement and this particular organisation was a small part of it which merits no more than a passing mention. The block of GO material here nicely plugs a gap in Germanic mysticism and I intend to move it there, to be replaced in this article with a summary of the Germanic mystical movement more generally.

There is also rather too much focus on the Nazi connection at the expense of 'left-wing' völkisch thinkers like Gustav Landauer and indeed the ultimate founder of the movement, Johann Gottfried von Herder. Not to mention all the neo-pagan stuff that went on with the Social Democrats! Only I don't feel qualified to write it yet, but I might well have a go sometime if nobody else takes it on. Gnostrat 03:18, 7 June 2007 (UTC)


The introduction emphasizes on populism, romanticism, folklore and being organic, and completely leaves out the nationalist and racist aspect, which is emphasized on de and nl, which seem to have evolved independently of each other. I suspect this might be a misinterpretation of the translaction of "Volk" as "people", with "people" having distinct meanings in English:

  • a social class (populism)
  • an ethnic group (nationalism/racism)

A point against a "populist" interpretation is that populism claims to be egalitarian, while the völkisch guys were openly monarchist, i.e. anti-egalitarian. Unfortunately I don't have sources at hand. --dealerofsalvation 07:06, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes. And even more unfortunate, the above User has tagged the article as not coinciding with his point-of-view. Now, could we get someone to translate the German Wikipedia article Völkische_Bewegung and incorporate it into the article, as a start at improving the neutrality and balance, which appear not to satisfy several editors here, most notably User:Gnostrat , who seems intent on deleting sections rather than adding balancing material. --Wetman 07:22, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure who it is you mean by "the above user". Whatever, the German article gives a big bunch of literature, but no ref tags, so I doubt translating the whole article would really help. And as I don't seem to have the time to translate the complete article at de, I'll just give a literal translation of the introductory sentence:
The völkisch movement was a loose conglomerate of German-national and racist clubs, parties, publishers etc, who, starting with the last quarter of the 19th century, gained influence among the political and cultural debates in the German Reich and in Austria-Hungary.
I can add an entry on völkisch at Meyers Taschenlexikon (1992), an encyclopedia:
Seit dem letzten Drittel des 19. Jh. insbes. als Eindeutschung für "national" verwendet, diente der Begriff speziell zur Kennzeichnung eines ethnisch exklusiven, meist antisemit. Nationalismus.
Starting with the last third of the 19th century, having been used particularly as germanification for "national", the term served particularly to denote an ethnically exclusive, mostly anti-Semitic, nationalism.
I don't know if this counts as a reference here. So the word völkisch seems to be a produce of the German linguistic purism (de:Deutscher Sprachpurismus) that the völkisch movement itself incorporated, and thus they couldn't use the word "national" for their self-definition, as it was a word of obvious latin origin. Still I'm not certain if national is an appropriate translation for völkisch, e.g. if "National Observer" gives the same impact and connotations as Völkischer Beobachter. --dealerofsalvation 20:24, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, let's get a few things straight here. I am not attempting to "censor" this Germanenorden material. I moved it for good reasons a few months back, and it is now to be found in the Ariosophy article, where some of the blatant inaccuracies have been pruned away.

What you have restored is in the wrong place, as it interrupts the natural flow from the first to the second paragraph. Part of it violates WP:NPOV, because even if you think it is "pathological nationalism in an extreme form", you cannot simply slip that in as if it were objective description.

Furthermore, the order is wrongly described as a splinter-group from the Germanische Glaubensgemeinschaft (which is a neo-pagan organisation, not a masonic one, and is not even correctly translated). Goodrick-Clarke's authoritative Occult Roots of Nazism makes no connection whatever with the latter. The Germanenorden was set up as an inner circle of lodges within the Reichshammerbund and is therefore not a splinter-group from the GGG.

While I haven't been able to determine the correctness or otherwise of all the remaining details, that has nothing to do with why I removed it for the second time. It seems to have escaped your attention that there is already a short summary on the Germanenorden and similar groups further down in this article, with a link to the fuller and rather more accurate treatment of this group in Ariosophy. For a tiny organisation that was fissiparous and moribund for most of its history, it doesn't warrant the disproportionate emphasis of a whole paragraph here, even if it were 100% accurate, which is far from being the case.

I am all for adding balancing material, but this article already has a proportionate emphasis on the Nazi connection and the racism angle. Re-adding a whole pointless paragraph which needlessly duplicates material in another article in the interest of inflating a barely significant grouplet into something that pretends to epitomise a very diverse movement, only serves to unbalance this article further and misrepresent its subject. As a reasonably "informed and responsible editor" I therefore took the necessary step to help restore balance, which is one of the reasons why I originally moved (not deleted or "censored") it in the first place.

The article adequately addresses the ambiguity of the term Volk, and the complaint about too much weight being put on the 'folksy' aspects will not bear examination. Even now, as I observed in a previous post, there is nothing much in the article about the left wing of the movement (it wasn't all "monarchist"), other than some general and, I would suspect, simplistic remarks about how the left took Volk to mean something proletarian. If there is a problem with neutrality and balance in this article, it lies there. With regard to its origins in the writings of Herder, the völkisch idea is wholeheartedly non-racist, and people like Landauer and Mühsam (the leading German anarchists of their time) represented a continuing current of völkisch anti-racism. It's understandable if the German page focuses on the racist version — a culture of guilt towards Romanticism seems to be one of Hitler's legacies — but these other aspects need to be looked at too. Gnostrat 07:13, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Personally I consider it offensive to claim that an ethnic definition of "Folk" equals Nationalism and/or Racism. The notion of a "Folk" based on common ancestry and culture is not in it self a racist view (far from it actually) and neither is it necessarily Nationalism (though it can be if one defines Nationalism very wide (e.g. as something else than just National Extremism)). That said it shouldn't be left out that the idea of "Folk" have been used to justify attacks on other ethnic groups, particularly jews (in Europe, that is). Dealerofsalvation clearly has a skewed (or at best: a limited) understanding of "Folk". Dylansmrjones (talk) 07:21, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

The Völkische Block[edit]

The Völkische Block and the Völkisch-Sozialer Block: these extreme right-wing political organizations are not mentioned in the article so far.JBarreto (talk) 19:03, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I found another one (or is it the same?): Völkisch-Sozialer Bund. JBarreto (talk) 12:28, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


Völkisch has only partly to do with neopaganism as there have also been and still are christian völkisch movements. Völkisch is a nationalist concept on a harsh racist and antisemitic/antislavic basis. That's the core meaning of the term. -- de:benutzer:hagenk

The term is untranslateable but it combines the idea of nationalism with the idea of folklore and culture. I agree that there is völkisch Christianity too. There is also völkisch anti-racism. Johann Gottfried von Herder, who might be called the father of the concept, defined a Volk more by language and culture than by race, and he didn't consider any Volk superior to any other. This was still at the core of Gustav Landauer's thinking in the early 20th century. A pity none of this stuff is in the article yet, but I'll get round to it. Anyway, I can see no justification for defining the movement on a "harsh racist and antisemitic/antislavic basis". These things can be present as well, but they don't have to be. If you dig out Eugene Lunn's Prophet of Community, about Landauer's völkisch anarchism, you may see what I am getting at here. Landauer was Jewish, by the way. Gnostrat (talk) 13:44, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
This might all be true and well and it should go in the history section of the article, however it does not represent the modern meaning of the term. "Völkisch" is used for example to distinguish between the civil national concepts of say France and the ethnical völkisch german national concept. It is used like that in sociological, political science and historical discourses. -- de:benutzer:hagenk —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
It's certainly an ethnic as distinct from a civil concept, but an ethnos is a people defined by common language, cultural traditions and myths of origin. Race could be seen as an ingredient, but not the only (or the most important) one. And because it's a matter of an organic heritage (Herder) rather than a voluntarily-chosen political contract (Rousseau), a Volk could in theory even dispense with the need for statehood to confer upon it recognition and legitimacy (which possibly couldn't be said for France). Today, the German Volk is far more extensive than the German state and spreads over Austria, Luxembourg, Alsace, German Switzerland, and the borderlands of Poland and Belgium. That's some indication of where the difference lies. It doesn't mean that völkisch sentiments have to be embodied either in a particular religious form or in harsh racism (and taking state-nationalism out of the picture removes most of the mechanisms for imposing inhumanity). Gnostrat (talk) 14:20, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I assume theat the antismeitic aspect meant as well a antijudaistic, anti old testimony asppect. For the later "Deutsch Christen" a völkisch christendom meant to do away with the jewish content. BTW Volk doesnt include Switzerland, Kulturnation did. The concepts are quite different compared to nation states as GB or F--Polentario (talk) 14:53, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
The idea of disconnecting Christianity from Judaism (or from both Judaism and the Old Testament) was widespread in Christian völkisch circles. This brought them close in spirit to völkisch neopaganism, which sometimes simply rejected Christianity as an offshoot of Judaism, but sometimes was more inclined to postulate an original unity between paganism and Christianity by denying that the latter grew out of Judaism in the first place. This is an issue of theology and Religiongeschichte (and a perfectly arguable position in academic circles, even today) and we probably do have to differentiate it from anti-semitism, which is primarily a prejudice about racial origins, not beliefs. Interesting point about Switzerland, but I think I'm right in thinking that Austrian-Germans used to identify as part of the German Volk (at a time before they were part of the German state) so I'm wondering why it's different with Swiss-Germans? Gnostrat (talk) 23:02, 5 April 2008 (UTC)


Ok, "Völkisch" is untranslateable, but what would be the nearest translation: nationalist, populist or something else? JBarreto (talk) 12:40, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Heh. I'm blowed if I know. That's why I don't translate it. In English it's a common enough practice to substitute "racial-national" or "racial-nationalist" but that can't be accurate, for all the reasons I've stated. Others just leave it as "folkish". I would say "ethnic" or "ethnical" if that word were not so commonly misapplied to minority groups specifically. Its German advocates have also given it a certain mystical tinge and I don't quite know what would convey that in English. I hope my comments in the previous section help a little, and I do take on board some contributors' point that "populist" might not fit the case either, although I think they have left-populism in mind and these types of movements are not easily classified as left or right. We'll all have to do some thinking on this. Gnostrat (talk) 14:56, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Don't translate it, however explain the special ethnical and ancestry focused connotation Volk carries. In historical discourses völkisch specifically implies that, however the broader meaning of völkisch can vary and imply several other things, depending on who used it at what time and in which context. -- de:benutzer:Hagenk (talk) 18:50, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

It uses an different meaning of Volk already compared to people and combines it as well with aspects of folk lore. Quite difficult to translate. --Polentario (talk) 14:52, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Sure, I agree. It's not something that you can easily put into a single word. But, although the history of its usage and nuances could do with some expansion in the main text, I think the present lead section does a fair job of summarising it, and it's got the combination of meanings more or less right. Gnostrat (talk) 23:02, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Some definition[edit]

I'm returning Lutzhöft's book to the library today, since a lot more things on WP are more urgent than expanding the Nordic race article. But Lutzhöft also has a definition of völkisch, and it seems we need one here:

"Sie (the Nordic movement) war ein Bestandteil der wohl größten Gruppe innerhalb der konservativen Revolution nach 1918, der "Völkischen Bewegung". Freilich, sind die Begriffe "konservativrevolutionär" und "faschistisch" schon schillernd, so ist es der Begriff "völkisch" erst recht. Wir möchten ihn hier enger fassen, als dies gewöhnlich geschieht. Wir umschreiben mit dem Namen "völkisch nur solche nur solche Gruppen, für die der Menschen wesentlich durch das Blut vorgeformt ist." (Der Nordiche Gedanke in Deutschland 1920-1940, p.19)

I will see how I can get this into the article. Zara1709 (talk) 06:03, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Meaning of statement[edit]

What does this sentence mean: "In a narrow definition it can be used to designate only groups that consider human beings essentially preformed by blood." What does preformed by blood mean? Is there a way to write that sentence more clearly? (talk) 06:06, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

iridescent term ?[edit]

This is metaphor I guess for 'many colours' , meaning I guess 'many interpretations' here ? Wouldn't it be better in plain English ? What does the original Author mean here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:32, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Some suppressed text[edit]

The following observation no longer appear in the current version:

  • Indeed the leftist political press popularized folk-culture, such as folk music, black-letter calligraphy, runes, and medieval myths and legends, much in the same way that the American left popularized folk-singing, ballads, and organic farming in the 1960s. Notice of such a mainstream parallel should be available in the form of a published quotation, no?--Wetman (talk) 21:17, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Influnence on Joseph Goebbles -- reliable sources[edit]

I have read things that indicate that the Nazis put such huge amounts of efforts in building outdoor amphtheatres, etc., early in their leadership of the government was due to the huge influence of this movement on Goebbles and other senior Nazis; these things were deemphasized later on as not being seen of huge importance to Hitler. This would belong in the article if good sourcing can be linked. (talk) 21:40, 24 September 2011 (UTC)