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The Paranoid ApocalypseA Hundred-Year Retrospective on The Protocols of the Elders of Zion$
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Richard Landes and Steven T. Katz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814748923

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814748923.001.0001

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The Turning Point

The Turning Point

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the Eschatological War between Aryans and Jews

(p.112) 9 The Turning Point
The Paranoid Apocalypse

David Redles

NYU Press

This chapter examines perhaps the most famous case of a “political” or “secular religion”—Nazism. The apocalyptic urgency and the absolute stakes of the Protocols appealed to precisely those Germans filled with passionate intensity who, embracing the text as “true,” unleashed the “blood-dimmed tide” upon the world in the following decades. Hitler looked deep into the Protocols and discovered himself—what he wanted and how to get it. His attitude toward the Protocols reveals not a shrewd politician manipulating the masses but a profoundly religious mind struggling with apocalyptic gnosis. In this way, an imaginary enemy, involved in an imaginary world conspiracy as revealed in the imaginary Protocols, led to a very real genocide.

Keywords:   Adolf Hitler, Nazism, political religion, imaginary world conspiracy, apocalyptic gnosis

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