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Sökandet efter Elisabeth Nietzsche (1992)

av Ben Macintyre

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
241788,294 (3.43)15
In 1886 Elisabeth Nietzsche, sister of the famous philosopher, and friend of Richard Wagner, traveled with her husband, Bernhard Forster, and a select group of blond-haired, blue-eyed Germans to the remote Paraguayan wilderness to found an Aryan colony she called Nueva Germania. In Forgotten Fatherland Ben Macintyre tracks down the descendants of this early racial experiment, still living in Nueva Germania and breeding among themselves. Many have maintained the language. Customs, and ideals that first brought their ancestors over from Europe more than one hundred years ago. But Elisabeth Nietzsche's story does not end in Paraguay. A supremely dominating woman, she returned to Europe to take control of both her brother and his work until his death, and beyond. It was she who largely wrote Nietzsche's posthumous "masterwork," The Will to Power; invested Nietzsche with her own proto-Nazi views; and invented and organized the semi-mythical. Cult of his philosophy, projecting it into the new order emerging in war-torn Europe. Admirer of Mussolini, mentor to Hitler, she died just before the outbreak of the Second World War and was given a full Nazi funeral, attended by a tearful Fuhrer. Forgotten Fatherland re-creates the bizarre history and atmosphere of Nueva Germania, and contains startling revelations about the last days of Josef Mengele. A remarkable work of investigative journalism, shot through with. Waughian wit, Forgotten Fatherland will necessitate major reevaluations of the life and posthumous reputation of one of the most influential thinkers of the nineteenth century, and provides an illuminating portrait of a woman whose influence on the history of the twentieth century can only now be fully understood.… (mer)
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I remember reading this years ago, and I was reminded of it again after reading Fordlandia, which I reviewed here as well. This book does two things. It gives you a biography of Elisabeth Nietzsche, sister of the philosopher. Two, it gives you the story of the Aryan community her husband and her established in the middle of the Paraguayan jungle. The author went there to find the few remaining descendants of that community. I remember liking the book, and this was probably one of my first reading forays into that subgenre of books some people call micro-histories. This is one book I would recommend if you like the lesser known parts of history. ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
Travel writing is one of my favorite genres. It brings you to people and places you are unlikely ever to encounter, especially if done through the lens of time. For the first fifty or so pages of Ben Macintyre's Forgotten Fatherland: The Search for Elisabeth Nietzsche, an intriguing journey into the hinterlands of Paraguay to a lost German colony seems to be where the book is taking us. Then . . . things completely fall apart. It becomes part history, then mostly biography, then a lot of allusion to Nazi Germany, and finally back to travel writing for the last sixteen pages. Meanwhile, the writer is busy applying barstool psychoanalysis to people he has never met and whose only contact with them is through letters and published books. In between playing Freud, Macintyre engages in a tidal wave of virtue signalling until his condemnations and historical judgments descend into hyperbole and hysteria.

This book lacks a central thesis. Why did an editor ever allow it to be published? The separate themes of travel writing, history, and biography simply don't mesh, here. And the writer does himself little favor in constantly tossing in quotes from Nietzsche, as if that replaces his shallow, superficial reading of the philosopher. Much of the history seems as if it is the work of a first year graduate student who doesn't quite know what to do with his material.

Macintyre should have stuck with travel writing. There were possibilities had he done so. That is revealed in the last chapter. Plenty of intriguing stories exist of the then (1991) modern day descendants of the original German colonists--or so it seems. The author was just too lazy to follow them up. Why did he bother to go to Paraguay in the first place, if this puny result is all he has to show for it? ( )
  PaulCornelius | Apr 12, 2020 |
"Nueva Germania"
By sally tarbox on 15 August 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
An interesting and informative work, following Elisabeth, the self-aggrandizing younger sister of the philosopher.
As a young wife, she was an enthusiastic supporter of her anti-semitic husband, Bernhard Forster, in his scheme to found an Aryan colony in the wilds of Paraguay. Encouraging her countrymen to follow her with some highly inaccurate propaganda, Elisabeth reveled in her position as 'queen' of the little fiefdom, as it struggled to survive the inhospitable conditions...

Meanwhile in Germany, her brother was becoming insane - Elisabeth returned and took control of him and his work. Creating a volume of his collected works, 'The Will to Power', she boldly infused his words with her own extremist beliefs, destroying documents which refuted such a stance, sueing those who stated a different 'reality' and imbuing the philosopher with a lasting bad reputation, when in fact he was opposed to many of these attitudes. Hanging on the coat-tails of her celebrity sibling, Elisabeth gained herself income and celebrity. By insinuating herself with Hitler and Mussolini (and trumpeting how Friedrich would have backed them), she was finally given a state funeral and eulogized by the Nazis.

Meanwhile the author travels to Paraguay, to see how the colony has fared into the 20th century...

I learned a lot, very interesting. ( )
1 rösta starbox | Aug 15, 2017 |
In the late 1880s, Elisabeth Nietzsche, sister of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, together with her husband, Dr Bernhard Forster, sailed to Paraguay to set up New Germany, a colony for the pure Aryan race. The land they traveled to was ill-suited for the immigrants and the colony did not thrive. Some years after, Elisabeth returns to Germany.

While Friedrich Nietzsche abhorred anti-Semitism, Elisabeth embraced it, but following her brother's death, she promoted him through segments of his writings and established the Nietzsche Archives. Distorting his philosophy to suit her Anti-Semitic beliefs, she joins the Nazi party and eventually became adviser to Hitler.

McIntyre weaves humor into his adventurous travels to South America. His interviews with survivors of the colony in Nueva Germania and his research on Elisabeth make for exceptionally interesting reading. ( )
  cameling | Jul 5, 2014 |
I liked this book a lot more than many other reviewers on Amazon. I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing about Nietzsche or Paraguay, so in that regard, it is an excellent introduction to these two seemingly unrelated topics. I don't really like philosophy as a subject matter, and some of the other reviews had me a little nervous that the book would get bogged down in Nietzsche's philosophy. I did not find this to be the case. There was a general overview of his philosophy, and then the author quotes him periodically to refute some of Elisabeth Nietzsche's claims about what her late brother believed. I didn't find Nietzsche especially likeable, but he somehow emerged as the most sympathetic character in the book because his sister, brother-in-law, and (later) Nazi followers were so detestable. Most of the background information provided about Nietzsche relates to his life, relationships, and illness. I did not find that his philosophy was over-analyzed in the book.

The author has a very dry sense of humor, which I happen to love, but which I will grant is not for everyone. He traveled to Paraguay to find the remnants of Elisabeth Nietzsche's lost Aryan colony, and his travels do take up a good portion of the book. I found this part of the book to be interesting, both because the author's descriptions of the hazards of his travels were funny, and because I found it interesting to read about the people who descended from the anti-Semitic, German peasants who founded the colony in the first place.

I am giving this book four stars because, while the history of Paraguay was somewhat relevant and interesting (because I had no prior knowledge of the country), it did go on just a little bit too long and did not always add to the overall story.

Still, I think the book is worth reading for anyone with an interest in Nietzsche's life and the story of how his sister hijacked his works to both profit financially and support the Nazi regime. ( )
1 rösta slug9000 | Nov 20, 2013 |
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I know my fate. One day there will be associated with my name the recollection of something frightful, of a crisis like no other before on earth, of the profoundest collision of conscience, of a decision evoked against everything that until then had been believed in, demanded, sanctified. I am not a man. I am dynamite. -- FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, Ecce Homo, 'Why I am Destiny'
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Late in the afternoon the little Montevideo steamer docked at the decrepit quay below the Plaza de Palma, and fourteen families of sweating, travel-weary German immigrants climbed unsteadily down the gangplank into Paraguay.
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In 1886 Elisabeth Nietzsche, sister of the famous philosopher, and friend of Richard Wagner, traveled with her husband, Bernhard Forster, and a select group of blond-haired, blue-eyed Germans to the remote Paraguayan wilderness to found an Aryan colony she called Nueva Germania. In Forgotten Fatherland Ben Macintyre tracks down the descendants of this early racial experiment, still living in Nueva Germania and breeding among themselves. Many have maintained the language. Customs, and ideals that first brought their ancestors over from Europe more than one hundred years ago. But Elisabeth Nietzsche's story does not end in Paraguay. A supremely dominating woman, she returned to Europe to take control of both her brother and his work until his death, and beyond. It was she who largely wrote Nietzsche's posthumous "masterwork," The Will to Power; invested Nietzsche with her own proto-Nazi views; and invented and organized the semi-mythical. Cult of his philosophy, projecting it into the new order emerging in war-torn Europe. Admirer of Mussolini, mentor to Hitler, she died just before the outbreak of the Second World War and was given a full Nazi funeral, attended by a tearful Fuhrer. Forgotten Fatherland re-creates the bizarre history and atmosphere of Nueva Germania, and contains startling revelations about the last days of Josef Mengele. A remarkable work of investigative journalism, shot through with. Waughian wit, Forgotten Fatherland will necessitate major reevaluations of the life and posthumous reputation of one of the most influential thinkers of the nineteenth century, and provides an illuminating portrait of a woman whose influence on the history of the twentieth century can only now be fully understood.

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