The Fourth Reich (German: Viertes Reich) is a theoretical future German empire that is the successor to Nazi Germany (1933–1945). The term Third Reich, originally coined by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck as the title of his 1923 book Das Dritte Reich, was used by the Nazis for propaganda purposes to legitimize their regime as a successor state to the retroactively-renamed First Reich (the Holy Roman Empire, 962–1806) and the Second Reich (Imperial Germany, 1871–1918). The terms First Reich and Second Reich were never used by historians.
The term "Fourth Reich" has been used in a variety of different ways. Some neo-Nazis have used it to describe their envisioned revival of Nazi Germany, while others have used the term derogatorily, such as conspiracy theorists who have used it to refer to what they perceive as a covert continuation of Nazi ideals, and by critics who point out Germany exercises a dominant role in the European Union.
In terms of neo-Nazism, the Fourth Reich is envisioned as featuring Aryan supremacy, anti-Semitism, Lebensraum, aggressive militarism and totalitarianism. Upon the establishment of the Fourth Reich, German neo-Nazis propose that Germany should acquire nuclear weapons and use the threat of their use to re-expand to Germany's former boundaries as of 1914.
Based on pamphlets published by David Myatt in the early 1990s, many neo-Nazis came to believe that the rise of the Fourth Reich in Germany would pave the way for the establishment of the Western Imperium, a pan-Aryan world empire encompassing all land populated by predominantly European-descended peoples (i.e., Europe, Russia, Anglo-America, Australia, South America's Southern Cone, New Zealand, South Africa).
So obvious were the parallels between Nazi and Communist propaganda and jargon in Klemperer's book LTI (short for lingua tertii imperii, "the language of the Third Reich"), Klemperer had great difficulty with the publication of this essay. He started secretly collecting examples of "LQI", the lingua quartii imperii ("language of the Fourth Reich"), and his diaries record, with mounting cynicism, the cult of personality that surrounded Stalin and the East German "Staliniculus", Walter Ulbricht.
German influence in the European Union
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During the ongoing Eurozone Crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was accused of having pushed for Germany to have a greater say in the domestic governance of the Eurozone's then-18 members, as part of a deal which saw Germany provide a significant part of the Euro Bailout program. Among other measures meant to reduce the likelihood of another Euro crisis, she called for real European power over countries’ budgets. In Poland, former Polish Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński suggested in a book that "Germany wants to annex part of Poland".
British conservative and eurosceptic journalist Simon Heffer wrote in the Daily Mail in 2011: "Where Hitler failed by military means to conquer Europe, modern Germans are succeeding through trade and financial discipline. Welcome to the Fourth Reich". In 2014, Nigel Farage, the former leader of the most popular eurosceptic party in the UK (UKIP) said he opposed "naked militarism" as the political bloc's flag was "goose-stepped around the yard" to mark the start of a new parliamentary session.
George Soros' comments that the result of the Eurozone crisis would be "a Eurozone dominated by Germany" and "a German empire with the periphery as the hinterland" received mocking by comedian Greg Davies on the British satirical show Have I Got News For You, with Davies making Nazi analogies.
- Schmidt, Michael The New Reich—Violent Extremism in Germany and Beyond, 1993.
- These writings of Myatt included the 14 pamphlets in his Thormynd Press National-Socialist Series, most of which were republished by Liberty Bell Publications (Reedy, Virginia) in the 1990s, and essays such as Towards Destiny: Creating a New National-Socialist Reich [archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20040712101315/http://www.geocities.com/myattns/newreich.html] and a constitution for the 'fourth Reich' [archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20041208070520/http://www.geocities.com/myattns/cons_reich.html]
- Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and The Politics of Identity New York: 2002--N.Y. University Press, See Chapters 4 and 11 for extensive information about the proposed "Western Imperium"
- Johnson, Daniel (28 September 2003). Martin Chalmers, ed. "A new life and a new tyranny - Daniel Johnson reviews The Lesser Evil: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1945-59". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- Spiegel Online: "Polish Opposition Leader: Kaczynski Warns of Germany's 'Imperial' Ambitions", 5 October 2011
- Heffer, Simon (17 August 2011). "Rise of the Fourth Reich, how Germany is using the financial crisis to conquer Europe". Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Bennett, Asa (2 July 2014). "Nigel Farage Rails At EU 'Naked Militarism' In Spectacular Euro Parliament Rant". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
- Giovanni Moro (28 February 2013). The Single Currency and European Citizenship: Unveiling the Other Side of The Coin. A&C Black. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-62356-095-9.
- Have I Got News For You, Season 43 Episode 9.
- Infield, Glenn. Secrets of the SS (Stein and Day, New York, 1981) ISBN 0-8128-2790-2
- Schultz, Sigrid. Germany Will Try It Again (Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1944)
- Tetens, T.H. The New Germany and the Old Nazis (Random House, New York, 1961) LCN 61-7240
- Wechsberg, Joseph. The Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Memoirs (Mc Graw Hill, New York, 1967) LCN 67-13204
- Marrs, Jim (2008). The Rise of the Fourth Reich. New York: William Morrow. ISBN 9780061245589.