Herbert Böhme

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This article is about the German poet and Nazi activist. For the German actor of the same name, see Herbert A.E. Böhme.

Herbert Böhme (17 October 1907; Frankfurt (Oder) – 23 October 1971; Lochham, Gräfelfing) was a German poet who wrote poems and battle hymns for the Nazi Party. After the Second World War he became involved with neo-fascism.

Nazi poetry[edit]

Böhme joined the Nazi Party on 1 May 1933 and the SA on 1 September 1933. In 1930 Böhme was included in the newly formed Junge Mannschaft, a group of semi-official Nazi Party poets that also included Heinrich Anacker, Gerhard Schumann and Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach.[1] On Adolf Hitler he wrote "you walk among the people as their saviour".[2] His most well-known work in Nazi Germany was Cantata for November 9, a eulogy to the Nazi 'martyrs' of the Feldherrnhalle which praised Hitler in Messianic terms.[3] Other poems including Wir hissen die Fahne and Langemarck also became Nazi standards.[4] Along with his contemporaries Böhme and his works are largely dismissed as propaganda with little real artistic merit.[5]

Post-war activism[edit]

After the war he became an associate of Gerhard Krüger, and along with him led a short-lived political party that was quickly absorbed by the Deutsche Reichspartei in 1949. The two would later move to the more extremist Socialist Reich Party.[6] Böhme was also close to Arthur Ehrhardt and in 1951 the pair established the pan-European nationalist journal Nation Europa, which was to become important to the neo-fascist network across Europe.[7] In 1965 Böhme joined the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).

Böhme established the Deutsches Kulturwerk Europäischen Geistes in 1950, an extreme right organisation that had the stated mission of promoting German culture. Thus group was active until 1996.[8] He also set up his own youth group, the Deutsches Kulturwerk Europäischen Geistes in 1952, an organisation that later merged with the extremist Wiking-Jugend.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ James MacPherson Ritchie, German Literature under National Socialism, Taylor & Francis, 1983, p. 88
  2. ^ Stephen A. McKnight, Glenn Hughes, Geoffrey L. Price, Politics, Order, and History: Essays on the Work of Eric Voegelin, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001, p. 101
  3. ^ Eric Michaud, Janet Lloyd, The Cult of Art in Nazi Germany, Stanford University Press, 2004, pp. 66-7
  4. ^ Karl-Heinz Schoeps, Literature and Film in the Third Reich, Camden House, 2004, pp. 171-2
  5. ^ Jethro Bithell, Modern German Literature, 1880-1950, Taylor & Francis, p. 426
  6. ^ Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, p. 215
  7. ^ Shofar FTP Archive File
  8. ^ Richard Stöss, Die extreme Rechte in der Bundesrepublik : Entwicklung – Ursachen – Gegenmassnahmen, Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen, 1989
  9. ^ Helmut Blazek, Männerbünde, Aufbau Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 204