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Stefan Ihrig

Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination

Belknap Press/Harvard University Press

November 2014


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



“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





For reviews and press reactions click here



more reviews in academic publications:


V. Cheterian in Nationalities Papers 2 (2015), 363-365

K. Kreiser on H-Soz-Kult (14 July 2015)

F.R. Nicosia in International Journal of Middle East Studies 3 (2015), 618-620

D. Georgakas in Journal of Modern Hellenism 31 (2015), 176-181

E. Kaynar in International Journal of Turkish Studies 21 (2015)

P. Kránitz in Világtörténet 4 (2015)

V. Ter-Matevosyan in International Journal of Armenian Genocide Studies 2 (2015), 87-92

H. Marutyan in Journal of Armenian Studies 2 (2015), 241-251

M.L. Anderson in Central European History 1 (2016), 138-139

S. Bowman in AHIF Policy Journal 1 (2016)

M.D. Baer in American Historical Review 1 (2016), 326-327

A.M. Dubnov in Journal of Levantine Studies 1 (2016)

R. Knocke in Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 2 (2016), 311

A. Toumarkine in Francia-Recensio 3 (2016)

A. Constatin in Holocaust – Studii şi cercetări 1 (2016), 315-318

E.-J. Zürcher in Holocaust and Genocide Studies 2 (2016), 560-563

E. Sencer on H-German, June 2017



and as part of larger review articles:


M. Lee, "Nazis in the Middle East: Assessing Links Between Nazism and Islam,"

Contemporary European History (published online, September 2016)


N. Riecken, "National Socialism, Islam, and the Middle East: Questioning Intellectual Continuities, Conceptual Stakes, and Methodology," German Historical Institute London Bulletin 2 (November 2016), 63-76


N.J.W. Goda, "Nazi Germany and the Arab/Muslim World: Recent Historical Directions," European History Quarterly 1 (2017), 99–106





For reviews and press reactions click here



For a lecture on the book by the author click here

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A Turkish translation with the title "Naziler ve Atatürk" was published by Alfa

(1st edition: September 2015, 2nd edition: October 2015)










buy it here on idefix (TR)



A Greek translation was published in April 2016 by Papadopoulos 










buy it here on







the book's webpage at Harvard University Press

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