Ideologies in National Socialism

International Conference, July 16-17, 2020, Düsseldorf. Deadline: March 1st, 2020

History and Documentation in co-operation with the Department of Historical Studies (Prof. Dr. Christoph Nonn) and the Department of the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine (Prof. Dr. Heiner Fangerau).

To be held at Manor House Schloss Mickeln, the guesthouse of Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf

English language historiographical study of the Third Reich and National Socialism has concentrated overwhelmingly on the political, economic, and military aspects of this enormously rich topic. Yet, comparatively little scholarly attention has been given to the ideological aspects of National Socialism which maintained a belief-structure underpinning the thoughts and actions of all major and minor players on the stage in Hitler’s Germany.

We see ideology not as opposed to ratio, but rather a precondition guiding considered rational thought. We here intend the term ‘Ideology’ to refer to a systematically interconnected structure of ideas that has specific political, social and epistemic relevance and implementation and which effectively constitutes both the practical and theoretical denkwelt which determines or overwhelmingly influences both the general cognitive and psychological orientation of individuals and groups within society and of the society in which those groups exist. Ideology is, in this sense, the cognitive substrate of cognitive values which underlies both the individual and group-level crystallization and expression of all normative, political, juridical and cultural opinion that are given expression at the level of the state and people interacting with the state (like scientists). Ideology, is, in other words, the optic through which individuals, groups and the political state see the world and endow it with experiential meaning and relevance.

The series of conferences which will be convened are predicated upon the conviction that if we fail to understand the ideological worldview which sustained National Socialism we will never adequately come to hermeneutic grips with the relationship between ideological belief and the perpetration of extreme and seemingly inhuman atrocities such as those which occurred during this period.

We believe the time is ripe for such a series of international scholarly conferences on this important yet complex historical topic which will provide the ideal forum for the very best scholarship, as well as preparing the ground for future paths of research and collaboration. The conferences will cover all aspects of National Socialist ideology embracing the complete spectrum of social activity: from the military to the family household, from linguistics to biology, covering physics, ecology, racial science, religion and theology, myth and pagan history, symbolism, language, law, and all aspects of general and elite culture.

Conference lectures (as well as additional articles by international scholars) will be published together in an international scholarly resource entitled “Ideologies in National Socialism”. This will consist of four volumes:

I. People II. Institutions III. History of Ideas IV. Keywords and Encyclopaedia.

The Conferences will form the basis for Volumes I.-III. Each Conference will have one major focus and two or three additional areas.

2020 Conference
NS-Ideology in Medicine and the Life Sciences (major focus 2020)
Language of violence – language of euphemisms
NS-Ideology in economy, business, and legislation
NS-Ideology in ministries

2021 Conference
Sciences and Humanities
Armed Forces – Germany and the “Achse”
Regime’s leaders and celebrities

2022 Conference
NS-Ideology and Volk – Ideengeschichte of Antisemitism, Ostforschung, Westforschung, Volkstumsforschung (in Germany, South Tirol, Slovenia, etc., Völkische Ideology, etc.)
Ideology of Organisations 1933-1945 (SS, SA, NSKK, Reichskulturkammer, Freundeskreis Reichsführer-SS, Ahnenerbe, Reichsverband der Automobilindustrie, Reichsärztekammer, etc.)

We invite scholars and dedicated researchers in any and all aspects of the Nazi ‘denkwelt’ to join us in this exciting conference.

History and Documentation is an independent network of scholars, based in UK, Ireland, Germany and USA. The administrative office of the non-profit-organisation is based in Berlin. The objectives are organisation of international scholary conferences, editing and publishing the compendium “Ideologies in National Socialism” and other scholary books and editions.

Please visit for additional Information

History and Documentation
c/o Geschichte und Zukunft e.V.
Theklastr. 20
D-12205 Berlin

Further Information (PDF)