Nazism: what it is, why we fight it, and how
Yonatan Zunger

Excellently written. I think the other thing that might be said is that Nazism, at least in it’s original form, was very rooted in traditionalism. Both Germanic superstition and “family values” were of utmost importance to the Party, and these ideals helped them sway a lot of moderates. The idea of good clean living, happy marriages, lots of children, and a sense of purpose, convinced many young men and women who might have otherwise felt out of place. Of course it was ultimately unsustainable, and as accounts of Nazi activity, especially on the Eastern front, prove, there was nothing wholesome about the urges these good German kids had. Ultimately a lot of them ended up carrying out gruesome murders, egged on by their new friends. The devastating destruction of German research on gender and sexuality under the Nazi regime, as well as the persecution of the LGBT community, also stemmed from their idea of what a good society looked like.

Despite the lessons of the past, that cultish idea of doing things “right” and “returning to your roots” is still highly attractive for a lot of people. It gives them a sense of purpose. For young men, it promised an attractive (white) bride who wouldn’t leave, a fulfilling job, and all the perks of being a patriarch in charge. For young women, it offered security, and often power without the need for accountability. It was a way to be a part of something greater without actually doing anything challenging or doing against the grain. While it’s important to not call names, it’s also important to remember your history when people talk about “God, family, and [insert country here]”, the rebellion of being a crafty mom at home with four kids, or the sacrifices of the American military. It’s not for nothing that these themes of wholesomeness show up in Nazi (and interestingly, a lot of USSR) propaganda as well.

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