ABSTRACT: Four years after the publication of Conjuring Hitler, I take stock of the current state of a special propagandistic practice. This is the ritual surrounding the Anglo-American mythography on the birth, rise, and crushing of Nazism. I do so by settling scores with a series of anonymous referee reports. My employer at the time, the University of Washington, procured and leveraged these reports. After financing the research that went into making Conjuring Hitler, it used them in order to conduct a mock-inquisition against the book and myself.
This the university did in an effort to discredit both, and thereby atone, as it were, for having indirectly, and unforgivably, facilitated the production of material “unattuned to the times.” I explain how the book came into being, how the post-9/11 swerve colored its narrative mood. And how the “times” changed dramatically in those early days of the launch of the War on Terror (2003). The rebuttal of the vulgar and dishonest, yet typically orthodox slander contained in those cowardly reports affords me an opportunity. And that is to reassess the deeper structures of the propagandistic game conducted in academia. Which is such a crucial routine within the manufacture of consent in highly militarized regimes. This open rebuttal allows me, moreover, to broach several other “subfields” of Nazi studies, such as the Holocaust.
In conclusion, I show, again, how little desire there is, within the System, to resist the law of violence. Violence, i.e., in all of its forms (including, and especially, mendacity). The militant myth of the rise and fall of Nazism knowingly perpetuates, in fact, a culture of hatred and hostility. And falsehood. I show how little desire there is, therefore, to ascertain the truth, and, in light of it, to contemplate what ought to be done, said, and professed in order to foster peace among men (34 pp).
In Wer Hitler mächtige machte (Basel: Perseus, November 2009)
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