Half of the studies deal with the history of the German National People's Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei, DNVP) and that of the Pan-German League
(Alldeutscher Verband, ADV); other essays focus on the German combat leagues, the Catholic right, Reich President von Hindenburg, jurist and political theorist Carl Schmitt, and the Protestant theologian Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, director of the Bethel Institutions.
Some chapter subjects considered include Hindenberg and the German Right, Count Kuno von Westarp, conservative anti-Semitism in the Weimar Republic, the Pan-German League
in Hamburg and the German Reich, and the German Combat Leagues.
The Pan-German League
and radical nationalist politics in interwar Germany, 1918-39.
To be sure, many of the leaders of these movements endorsed Weltpolitik and even the racist-nationalist views of the Pan-German League
. Nonetheless, it would be inaccurate to describe them as "reactionary" or "feudalizing." According to Treitel, for example, the occult movement embodied a specifically German form of "modernism." Such arguments build on Blackbourn and Eley's post-Sonderweg understanding of the Wilhelmine middle classes as modem, dynamic, and reformist in spirit (even if also potentially militarist, racist, and imperialist).
In the first part of his book, Evans discusses the ideology of German expansionism developed by groups like the Pan-German League
in the late nineteenth century, and the lacerating impact of World War I and the Versailles Treaty, and asks whether these ideas and events can be regarded as direct roots of Nazism.
Chapters 3, 4, and 5 explore how right-wing groups such as the Pan-German League
and the German Fatherland Party used anti-English hatred to challenge Bethmann Hollweg's war leadership.
The Pan-German League
, led by Heinrich ClaB, had its own expansionist doctrine.
On the other hand, according to Thomas, the rabidly imperialistic Pan-German League
Indeed the Pan-German League
called for a literal revival of the medieval Eastern Marches.
An emphasis on cultural factors helps elucidate the origins and programs of pre-1914 authoritarian nationalist organizations such as Action Francaise, the Italian Nationalist Association and the Pan-German League
. It may detract attention, however, from the equally powerful effect of economic and political forces.
Other right-wing organizations such as the DNVP and the Pan-German League
, however, criticized Stresemann's policies and even branded him a coward.
In addition, this Protestant narrative, according to Smith, was integral to subsequent nationalist initiatives sponsored by the state and by independent nationalist pressure groups such as the Protestant League, the Pan-German League
, the Imperial League against Social Democracy, the German Society for the Eastern Marches, and the Navy League.