HITLER'S BODY AND THE BODY POLITIC I study ideology as if manifest content of a dream, seeking to comprehend the ideology's latent content or unconscious meaning. I observe recurring images and metaphors within ideological productions. Through systematic analysis of these recurring images and metaphors, it is possible to reveal the deep structure of an ideology. Ideologies are social constructions. However, why do they exist? What is the nature of the psychic work that they perform? I suggest that ideologies constitute vehicles for working through deep-rooted psychological issues. Hitler's ideology, for example, represented the medium through which Hitler attempted to come to terms with the problem of death.
Hitler's project was to create a people so closely united-fused together -- that they could think, feel and act as a single organism. Such a body politic would be indestructible, not only in the present but in the future as well. Hitler and the Nazis devoted their lives toward creating an organism that would be different from all other organisms. They aspired to fashion a body (politic) that was so healthy and powerful that it would not succumb to death. The Jew in Hitler's ideology was a force working to destroy Germany. National Socialism was the attempt to come to terms with this destructive force.
The 'Final Solution' -- concluding phase of Hitler's struggle against death-represented a form of radical surgery whose purpose was to 'remove " Germany's death instinct, quash the process of disintegration. The complete paper by Richard A. Konigsberg is available for the first time as an on-line publication. To read HITLER'S BODY AND THE BODY POLITIC, please visit: web pubs. htm Hitler had projected the struggle of 'life against death' into the political arena and waged a furious battle to 'maintain the body of the people.' Hitler aspired to defeat death by embracing the idea of a body politic that could live forever. However, in spite of his efforts, Hitler could not rid himself of 'anxiety of being destroyed from within.' The 'Jew' represented Hitler's experience and perception of his own death instinct, recognition or realization that all bodies die.
In spite of Hitler struggle to deny death, he could not entirely repress the voice of truth. Yet Hitler refused to heed this inner voice declaring that all bodies die. Rather, Hitler became infuriated, enraged. To embrace the truth, Hitler would have had to acknowledge that his Nazi project had been in vain; tha the had devoted his life to an illusion. Therefore, in a climactic act of manic determination, Hitler initiated the Final Solution, a struggle to destroy death-the Jew-once and for all. Hitler insisted that Germany would not die, that the body politic could live on forever.
He redoubled his efforts, threw more wood into the flames. Genocide represented Hitler's final attempt to solve the problem of death.