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Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination

Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 2014

 

Honorable Mention, 2013 Fraenkel Prize, Wiener Library for the Study of Holocaust and Genocide

 

reviews in The Daily Beast, Times Literary Supplement, Wall Street Journal, New York Review of Books, Los Angeles Review of Books,Yeni Şafak, Sabah, Hürriyet Daily News, Le Monde Diplomatique, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Athens Review of Books, Dawn, and many more               

Greek translation

Papadopoulos, 2016

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Turkish translation

Alfa, 2015 (3rd ed. 2023)

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Arabic translation

Naqesh/Shiler (Syria), 2022

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Kurdî (Kurmanji) translation

Naqesh/Shiler (Syria), 2022

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“A thorough and inspired account of how the formation of modern Turkey influenced Hitler and other Nazi ideologists by providing a model of armed resistance to the Versailles Treaty, as well as an imagined example of muscular nationalism for a new century.”

Steve Coll, The New York Review of Books

 

“Middle Eastern heads of state have not tended to create exemplary leadership templates that aspirant rulers elsewhere have sought to emulate. But there is one notable exception: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination, Stefan Ihrig argues that the man who created modern Turkey inspired the tyrant who sought to make Germany the hub of a new National Socialist Europe: Adolf Hitler. His argument, based on extensive study of German print media in the 1920s and 30s, is compelling… Ihrig has unearthed an important subject within Second World War scholarship that, strangely, has remained overlooked for many decades.”

Gerald Butt, The Times Literary Supplement

 

“For decades, historians have seen Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch of 1923 as emulating Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome. Not so, says Stefan Ihrig in Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination. Hitler also had Turkey in mind… Atatürk’s subordination of Islam to the state anticipated Hitler’s strategy toward Christianity… Impeccably researched and clearly written,…Ihrig’s book will transform our understanding of the Nazi policies.”

Dominic Green, The Wall Street Journal

 

“Fascinating… This is a gap-filling book that’ll be of deep interest to students of both World War II and National Socialism.”

Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

 

"[It] is a surprise as well as a real pleasure to come across this insightful, instructive work, a genuinely original contribution to Nazi historiography."

Martin Rubin, The Washington Times

 

"It isn’t easy to find much original to say about Nazi Germany, but this new title on the Nazis’ view of Turkey and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk has recently caused quite a stir... Providing both a new perspective on Nazi Germany and shining fresh light on the early Turkish Republic, overall the book is a fascinating read."

William Armstrong, Hürriyet Daily News

 

"Stefan Ihrig’s brilliant new book Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination demonstrates convincingly that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s conquest of Turkey was the most important model for the Nazis’ remaking of Germany, far more so than Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome, which is usually cited as Hitler’s main inspiration."

David Mikics, Tablet 

 

"Ihrig’s book provides enough of a new angle on the Nazis to do the seemingly impossible these days—break through the abundance of books on the topic. It is full of fascinating issues..."

William O'Connor, The Daily Beast

 

"Son dönemde Türkiye hakkında Batı'da yayımlanan en ilginç kitap..."

Can Bahadır Yüce, Zaman

 

“From the Armenian massacres to the Turkish War of Independence and the rise of Kemal Atatürk, Turkish events attracted deep interest in Germany. As Ihrig shows, politically active Germans of the Weimar Republic, especially on the far right, saw in Turkey a model for successful revisionism, authoritarian rule, secular modernization and the political utility of genocide. This brilliant and original study sheds new light on the rise of Nazism and the pre-history of Nazi racial policy.”

Christopher Clark, University of Cambridge

 

“This is a most important and refreshingly original book about a hitherto unknown yet pivotal influence on Adolf Hitler and other National Socialists. Its eye-opening conclusions will change how we think about German and European history as well as the Holocaust.”

Thomas Weber, University of Aberdeen

reviews (selection)

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The Daily Beast

November 24, 2014

"Ihrig’s book provides enough of a new angle on the Nazis to do the seemingly impossible these days—break through the abundance of books on the topic. It is full of fascinating issues..."

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New York Review of Books

April 2, 2015

"Politically, Atatürk’s success offered a model of how to overcome the humiliation and prostration imposed on World War I’s losers at Versailles. Atatürk not only seized power through bold action in the name of the Turkish nation, he also forced European capitals to renegotiate the terms of the treaty they had imposed. This example, at least as much as Benito Mussolini’s March on Rome in late 1922, inspired Hitler’s failed Munich putsch of 1923. Afterward..."

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Los Angeles Review of Books

November 15, 2015

"In its analysis of this fascinating relationship with a subject and its representation by fascists, Ihrig’s book moves away from historiography and gathers a Sartrean, phenomenological perspective: it turns into an excavation process..."

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Times Literary Supplement

March 6, 2015

"For German nationalists, Ihrig writes, the alliance with the Ottomans and the First World War defeat 'ended in a disaster of truly biblical proportions'. So the miraculous turnaround engineered by Atatürk, in the eyes of a desperate and desolate Germany, was 'a nationalist dream come true'."

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Tablet

November 24, 2014

"Stefan Ihrig’s brilliant new book Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination demonstrates convincingly that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s conquest of Turkey was the most important model for the Nazis’ remaking of Germany, far more so than Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome, which is usually cited as Hitler’s main inspiration..."

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Dawn (Pakistan)

April 3, 2016

"...explains in detail why Ataturk fascinated German diplomats, politicians, academicians and journalists and how Mustafa Kemal’s repudiation of the Treaty of Severs and defiance of the Entente powers fired German imagination..."

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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

November 23, 2015

"Der türkische Befreiungskampf diente den nationalistischen Parteien in Deutschland – und hier insbesondere der noch winzigen Nazipartei in ihrer Gründungsphase – als Leitbild. Voller Sehnsucht blickten sie zum Bosporus, wo einst der kranke Mann der europäischen Politik gelegen hatte und nun mit Mustafa Kemal Atatürk ein starker Mann die Politik bestimmte. Man wünschte sich auch für Berlin 'deutsche Mustafas,' keine 'Erfüllungspolitiker'..."

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Hürriyet Daily News

December 18, 2014

"Some pro-government voices have been getting very excited about Ihrig’s book, saying it proves the fascist tendencies in elements of the Turkish Republic's founding ideology. That may not be entirely wrong, but it misses the point: The book is fundamentally about German perception, not Turkish reality. Ihrig repeatedly emphasizes that the Nazi vision of Atatürk and Kemalist Turkey was highly selective and unresponsive to actual developments in the country, with the Nazis simply accentuating whatever they wanted to see..."

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