A Godfather Too:
Nazism as a Nietzschean “Experiment”
Kurt Rudolf Fischer
It is important to keep in mind that the “real Nietzsche” was not the historically effective Nietzsche.* My interest turns to the Nietzsche we knew before Giorgio Colli and Mazzimo Montinari prepared their critical edition.1 The historically effective texts allowed Nazi as well as antiNazi readings from a Nazi standpoint as well as from an anti-Nazi standpoint! Thus from two opposite ideological points of view two opposite results were possible, and indeed existed.
In approached the problem of Nietzsche's relation to fascism, I find it necessary first to raise the question of the meaning of “fascism.” There have been at least two uses of this expression: a narrower use that refers especially, and sometimes exclusively, to the movement, party, and worldview initiated by Benito Mussolini. Mussolini indeed referred explicitly to Nietzsche in a well-known speech of May 21, 1934. And there is a second use of the expression, which points to a wider meaning—mainly employed by the Left—which not only includes but especially refers to the Hitler movement. I am familiar with this use of the expression since my adolescence in Austria and Czechoslovakia. At that time, among others, the Austrian Christlich Soziale Partei (and later the Vaterländische Front) as well as many radical Right movements were considered to be fascist in this wider sense of the term.2
It may be of interest to remark on the similarities and differences of the two main fascist movements, the German and the Italian.3 The dif-