‘Rustkamer van de Germaanse geest’ - Duitse voorstellingen van IJsland tussen fin de siècle en Tweede Wereldoorlog | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 123, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


Since Herder, Germans have looked upon the cultural legacy of Iceland as part of their own Volksgeist, and thus as a key to finding clues about their own Germanic ancestry. This imagological paper focuses on the development of this idea in the discourse of Neo Romanticism and in Nazi Germany, and on the differences and similarities between these two. After the academic and philosophical roots of the National Socialist Iceland policy have been examined, the travel journals of SS members Paul Burkert and Otto Rahn are analyzed. From this can be concluded, that the National Socialist image of Iceland was not as monolithic and undisputed as one might expect from a totalitarian dictatorship. Discussions on Iceland were of a more moral nature, which sets them apart from the more pragmatic or political discourses in German Westforschung.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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