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'Hitler' (book by Brendan Simms)

Hitler, 40

Rare Hitler pictures.

During this period, Hitler continued to elaborate and develop his strategic thinking. Throughout 1923, he lambasted international capitalism—Jewish and non-Jewish—as the source of Germany’s ills. Hitler provided a brief foreword to Gottfried Feder’s book on the subject describing it as a ‘catechism’ of National Socialism. The salience of anti-capitalism, fears of expropriation and exploitation and enslavement by foreign masters is very clear in the party’s ‘work of the committee for food security of the National Socialist movement’, which Hitler blessed in the summer of 1923. It defined the ‘internal enemy’ as ‘profiteering in the system of the national economy’, the ‘idea of class conflict’ and ‘immoral tendencies in government and law-making’. It lamented the crucifixion of the German middle class by the ‘massive fraud’ of ‘our money economy’, the general ‘spirit of speculation’ and the ‘terror of the capitalist idea’. The document made no direct mention of Bolshevism or the Soviet Union. It recommended—with Hitler’s approval—that the state protect the ‘basic assets of the nation’, namely ‘foodstuffs and manpower’ through ‘an anti-capitalist legislation in the fields of land and settlement, housing, but also in the first instance in the field of the supply of necessities’. This would require the ‘exclusion of foreign capital from German land and soil, businesses and cultural assets’.

Like the Ludendorff circle, Hitler was much less worried about the fate of German minorities and the peripheral lands of the Reich than about the fate of the core area, which he believed to be threatened with subjection and even extinction. Hitler was also beginning to look at long-term solutions to Germany’s predicament. He rejected the common notion of an ‘internal’ colonization of sparsely populated German lands in favour of territorial expansion. ‘The [re-]distribution of land alone,’ he warned in the spring of 1923, ‘cannot bring relief. The living conditions of a nation can at the end of the day only be improved through the political will to expand.’

The concept of Lebensraum is already clearly visible here, though the term itself was not used.

'Hitler' (book by Brendan Simms) Free speech / association

Hitler, 39

Hitler’s position at this time was complicated. He was still virtually unknown in most of Germany. The main Berlin newspapers ignored him and his party. They didn’t even report on the riotous Deutscher Tag at Coburg, whose resonance was confined to south Germany. Hitler had very few funders outside of Bavaria, with the notable exception of the Ruhr industrial baron Fritz Thyssen, who contributed substantially in the course of 1923. That said, within the non-particularist Bavarian right­ wing nationalist milieu, Hitler now enjoyed a commanding position. He was well known in Munich, which Thomas Mann described in a 1923 letter to the American journal The Dial as ‘the city of Hitler’. His speeches drew large and ecstatic crowds. Karl Alexander von Müller, who heard him speak for the first time at the Löwenbräukeller in late January 1923, describes the ‘burning core of hypnotic mass excitement’ created by the flags, the relentless marching music and the short warm-up speeches by lesser party figures before the man himself appeared amid a flurry of salutes. Hitler would then be interrupted at almost every sentence by tempestuous applause, before departing for his next engagement.

Over the next few months, the tempo of Nazi events and activities increased. There were in excess of 20,000 NSDAP members at the start of 1923, and that figure more than doubled over the next ten months to 55,000; the SA nearly quadrupled from around 1,000 men to almost 4,000 during the same period. Hitler himself was so prominent that the NSDAP was widely known as the ‘Hitler-Movement’, the term under which his activities were now recorded by the Bavarian police. He had become a cult figure. The Völkischer Beobachter became a daily paper in February 1923, giving preferential treatment to the printing of Hitler’s speeches. Two months later, it began marking the Führer’s birthday, an honour not accorded any other Nazi leader. He had long given up the humble role of drummer. Hitler spoke once again of the need for a dictator. The German people, he claimed, ‘are waiting today for the man who calls out to them: Germany, rise up [and] march’. There was no doubt from the context and rhetoric that he planned to play that role himself. His followers styled him not merely the leader of the national movement but Germany’s saviour and future leader. The Oberführer of the SA, Hermann Goring, acclaimed him at his birthday rally on 20 April 1923 as the ‘beloved Fuhrer of the German freedom movement’. Alfred Rosenberg described him simply as ‘Germany’s leader [Führer]’.

Conscious of his tenuous position within the Catholic Bavarian mainstream, Hitler continued to try to build bridges to the Church, or at least to its adherents. ‘We want,’ Hitler pledged, ‘to see a state based on true Christianity. To be a Christian does not mean a cowardly turning of the cheek, but to be a struggler for justice and a fighter against all forms of injustice.’ The NSDAP did succeed in making some inroads among Catholic students at the university and the peasantry and in winning over quite a few clerics, including for a while Cardinal Faulhaber, but for the most part Hitler made little headway.

There are two things we might comment on in this passage.

First, we are living in a world of soft totalitarianism. We can already imagine a National Socialist party in Europe today that could recruit thousands of members! That would not even be possible in the US, despite its hypocrisy in claiming that its amendments allow citizens both free speech and freedom of association (in reality, Uncle Sam allows neither, as we saw a few years ago in Charlottesville).

The other issue is this saying that true Christianity doesn’t turn the other cheek but fights injustice. While a hundred years ago it was possible to use this kind of rhetoric in the more conservative sectors of Bavarian society, today it is impossible. The mainstream Christian churches follow the zeitgeist of our century, without exception. I am not criticising Hitler’s use of this rhetoric. But under the circumstances, post-1945 National Socialism must reinvent itself.

'Hitler' (book by Brendan Simms)

Hitler, 38

Part Two


In 1923-7, Hitler grappled with the forces of disintegration in Germany. The most immediately threatening of these remained German particularism, which was largely indistinguishable in his mind from separatism. Hitler was also deeply exercised by the supposed racial fragmentation of the German people. This he attributed partly to deep political divisions, aggravated by foreign and Jewish support for parliamentarism, and partly to the historical legacy of confessional strife. Hitler attempted to head off these dangers through a putsch in Munich. In his subsequent speeches and writing, Hitler contrasted this miserable vista with the natural coherence of the Anglo-American world, which now dominated Germany more than ever, not just militarily, but economically and culturally as well. Last but not least, during his prison term at Landsberg and after his release, Hitler fought the threatened fragmentation of the NSDAP. It was only with difficulty that Hitler re­-established his authority over the ideological direction of the movement and the party apparatus, a process that was not yet complete by the late 1920s.

Friedrich Nietzsche Videos

Final years

Nietzsche’s final years were spent in the Weimar home under the care of his sister Elizabeth (watch a 1-minute BBC clip here).

Der Antichrist (book) Friedrich Nietzsche


against the Cross, 20

Nietzsche’s guesthouse in Via Carlo Alberto, Turin.

In the first entry of this series, I said that the article by Robert Sheaffer that I first read in 1993 had motivated me to reopen the Nietzsche case, insofar as I consider it central to the point of view of The West’s Darkest Hour. And as I said at the end of the previous entry, once one discovers the primary cause of Aryan decline, everyone else seems idiotic to us, just as the boy who saw the naked king found the adults around him incredibly idiotic.

Becoming like the child of the story represents a huge problem for the adult visionary. ‘Running towards the sun’—Nietzsche’s poetic words to describe himself—in search of ultimate truth results in the visionary being charred, moth-like, as he approaches the primary source of light. No one has described Nietzsche’s dazzling charring better than Stefan Zweig, excerpts from whose book The Struggle with the Daimon I posted more than a decade ago, here.

While I was harsh on Nietzsche in criticising what I call in my autobiography ‘idiotic defence mechanisms’, albeit in his case referring to the eternal return of the identical, I am happy to point out that with The Antichrist this mechanism disappears. Nietzsche himself, in a letter to Franz Overbeck, had acknowledged in April 1884 that his Zarathustra was an ‘anteroom’ and that he was going to spend the next years of his life on ‘the development of my philosophy’.

In The Antichrist, both Zarathustra and the eternal return disappear. Zarathustra would only reappear in his poem Dionysian Dithyrambs, but it is very significant that by this time in December 1888, Nietzsche had already lost his self, and the very title of the first poem of that collection of nine poems to Dionysus is entitled ‘Only Mad! Only Poet!’

That the cause of Nietzsche’s madness was unknown to the doctors who treated him is clear from a letter to Peter Gast of 29 September 1904 written by Otto Binswanger, the director of the Psychiatric Clinic in Jena, where Nietzsche was interned for some months: ‘No one will be able to write an exact medical history of Friedrich Nietzsche’, Binswanger asserted, ‘since the beginnings of the illness have not been fully established’.

Why, then, the mania of the last decades to see the aetiology of Nietzsche’s disorder as a somatic disease? Tip: it is part of Big Pharma’s propaganda to sell us their damned drugs from the 1950s onwards. And the same can be said of those who have written about Vincent van Gogh, who would also be temporarily committed to a psychiatric ward. A better approach to the tragedy of both simultaneous cases can be found in the last words of the third volume of Curt Paul Janz’s extensive biographical study of Nietzsche:

The indulgent veil of mental derangement meant that he no longer had to be aware of it. It gave him something else: the tremendum of the genius chord. Without this ending, the fascination that his entire philosophy exerts on the history of philosophy, which places him close to the heroic-tragic end of Socrates—that Socrates whose rival (at least as much) he wanted to be—would certainly be lacking. But, in Nietzsche, it is not only about the end. His whole existence was a martyrdom. And this opens up for him the connection… with a great community. It means the way from the loneliness so badly endured to belonging to the community of the martyrs of the spirit that is far greater than one is usually willing to admit.

This last sentence has been with me for a long time since a Spanish girlfriend gave me Janz’s book as a present in March 1992, when I was living in Barcelona.

Already in January 1889, Nietzsche sent his incredible missives to several characters, including Franz Overbeck. When Overbeck arrived at the Via Carlo Alberto guesthouse in Turin on 8 January 1889 to rescue his friend, he found him completely mad and ‘surrounded by papers’. After returning Nietzsche to his native Germany, Overbeck took the papers back to Basel and among them, he found the manuscript of The Antichrist, carefully wrapped in a folio. By saving this book, Overbeck saved the key to Nietzsche’s thought. Overbeck wrote to Peter Gast, asking him which works Nietzsche had left unfinished; Gast wrote back and, by return of post, Overbeck replied as follows in February 1889:

Of the Transvaluation of All Values, in particular, there is only the first book, also wrapped in a white folio, with the title:

The Antichrist
Transvaluation of All Values

The second line is crossed out and replaced by the words ‘Curse on Christianity’.

Five weeks later, after reading the work, Overbeck sent Gast another letter, in which he says: ‘In particular, Nietzsche’s conception of Christianity seems to me to be too political, so to speak’. Overbeck wrote that line in criticism, but that is exactly what, 130 years later, David Skrbina would conclude in The Jesus Hoax: that Christianity was originally a political manoeuvre of the Jews against Rome!

It is clear from the correspondence between Overbeck, the first reader of The Antichrist and Gast that, as Nietzsche neared his end, his ideas about his work changed completely. The Transvaluation of All Values had been intended as a four-volume work, of which The Antichrist would have been the first. But Nietzsche himself wrote to George Brandes at the beginning of December 1888: ‘In three weeks I shall give orders for the printing of The Antichrist: Transvaluation of All Values’. In other words, once he had finished The Antichrist Nietzsche decided to burn the midnight oil, and what had been the first part of the work was transformed in its entirety.

A month after his letter to the Jew Brandes, Nietzsche had already carbonised himself internally, writing letters such as ‘to shoot the German emperor and all anti-Semites’. Andrés Sánchez Pascual says that despite the psychotic breakdown, ‘at that moment Nietzsche makes a totally lucid and consistent decision: he crossed out the subtitle “Transvaluation of all values” and under it, he writes the following: “Curse on Christianity”.’

Alas, because Nietzsche lost his mind he didn’t send the manuscript to his publisher, as planned. When, not long afterwards, the manuscript of The Antichrist fell into Elisabeth’s hands, she mutilated not only the subtitle but the climax of the book—the final page—when she published it in 1895! Had her brother not become disturbed, the original version that Overbeck found ready for the press would have been published as early as 1889, after Twilight of the Idols. It was not until Elisabeth died well into the 20th century that all the manuscripts of the Nietzsche Archive were made freely available to researchers.

In 1961, seventy-three years after the work was written, Erich Podach published a landmark book on Nietzschean editions. He showed that The Antichrist had undergone mutilations in addition to those already known, and made known for the first time the ‘Law against Christianity’.

By 1964, what appears to be the definitive edition of Nietzsche’s entire works was underway. Directed by the Italians Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, it was published simultaneously in German, Italian and French. The following decade I was to benefit from the Spanish translation of The Antichrist as Nietzsche had left the manuscript carefully wrapped in a white folio, translated by Andrés Sánchez Pascual.

Sánchez Pascual tells us that this work ‘is the most coherent conclusion, the necessary conclusion, of his entire mental path. If Nietzsche’s thought does not lead to The Antichrist, it leads nowhere’. And he adds that to remain in his previous texts and ‘not to advance to The Antichrist is, quite simply, not to dare to look Nietzsche in the eye’.

Friedrich Nietzsche Vincent van Gogh


against the Cross, 18

Nietzsche had very little time left with a lucid mind, something he was well aware of, as we saw from Paul Deussen’s testimony about his visit to Sils-Maria. Therefore, working frantically in Turin in 1888, Nietzsche left no less than six works ready for printing: The Case of Wagner, Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, Ecce homo, Dithyrambs to Dionysus and Nietzsche contra Wagner! The frenzy of his writing, which as I said reminds me of Van Gogh’s frenzy those very same months under the splendid sun of Arles—which brought out the colours like few other places in the French countryside!—brings to mind Stefan Zweig’s metaphor: the daimon wanted to get out of those bodies using maximum artistic works before they were both burnt by their inner fires (one committed suicide, the other ended up mad).

When the frenzy of writing about everything he had in mind began, Nietzsche was forty-three years old, and in his letters, he admits that his new invective against Wagner was only ‘a distraction’, and that the main work was The Will to Power. But before his magnum opus, now that the muse was visiting him every day without mercy or respite, he wanted to publish a ‘compendium’ of his philosophy: so he rips up the material accumulated for his projected capital work, tears out pages here and there, and shortly sends the compendium to the publisher.

It is essential to know the letters Nietzsche wrote at that time to find out exactly what was going on in his frenetic mind. On 12 September 1888, he told Peter Gast about the compendium: ‘The writing can serve as a kind of initiation, as an appetizer for my Transvaluation of Values’. By this time Nietzsche had already changed the title of his main work, The Will to Power, to Transvaluation of Values. To George Brandes, his discoverer in Copenhagen, he wrote the next day; and to Deussen, the day after that:

Dear friend…

There is already in the hands of my publisher another manuscript, containing a very rigorous and subtle expression of all my philosophical heterodoxy—hidden under much grace and malignity. It is called: A Psychologist’s Idleness. —Ultimately, these two writings [i.e., The Case of Wagner and A Psychologist’s Idleness] are but mere recreations amid an inordinately grave and decisive task, which, if understood, will split the history of mankind into two halves. The meaning of it is stated in five words: Transvaluation of all values.

Around this time he also writes to his old and very understanding friend, the theologian Overbeck:

Dear friend…

To my surprise, the first book of The Transvaluation of All Values is now ready, in its final form, up to the middle. Its energy and transparency are such that perhaps no philosopher has ever achieved them before. It seems to me as if I had suddenly learned to write.

As far as the content or the passion of the problem is concerned, this work splits the millennia—the first book is called, let it be clear between us, The Antichrist, and I would swear that all that has hitherto been thought and said to criticise Christianity is futile childishness in comparison with it. —Such an enterprise makes necessary, even from a hygienic point of view, deep pauses and distractions. One of them will reach you in about ten days: it is called The Case of Wagner: A Musician’s Problem. It’s an all-out declaration of war…

Also, a second manuscript, completely ready for printing, is already in the hands of Mr G.G. Naumann. However, we shall wait a little longer. It is entitled A Psychologist’s Idleness and is very dear to me because it expresses my essential philosophical heterodoxy in a very brief (perhaps also witty) way. Otherwise, it is very ‘tempting’: I say my ‘finesses’ about countless thinkers and artists of today.

Next post I will give some amusing examples of the latter.

Peter Gast’s letter to Nietzsche contained a sentence that led to the title being changed from A Psychologist’s Idleness to Twilight of the Idols. Gast wrote: ‘Ah, I beg you if it is unlawful for an unfit man to beg: a more brilliant, more splendid title!’ Nietzsche replied on 27 September:

Dear friend…

As far as the title was concerned, my own reservations had anticipated your very human objection: I finally found in the words of the prologue the formula which will perhaps also satisfy the need felt by you.

What you write about ‘heavy artillery’ I simply have to accept, being as I am about to finish the first book of the Transvaluation. It really ends with horrible detonations: I don’t think that in all literature you will find anything parallel to this first book as far as orchestral sonority (including cannon fire) is concerned. —The new title (which brings with it very minor modifications in three or four passages) will be:

Twilight of the Idols
How to Philosophise with the Hammer

Proofreading was completed at the beginning of November, and on the 25th of the same month, Nietzsche received the first copies of the work. It would be the last of his writings to reach his hands while he was still lucid (Twilight of the Idols would go on sale at the beginning of the following year).

Friedrich Nietzsche


against the Cross, 17

Nietzsche was already forty years old when, in May 1885, his sister Elisabeth (pictured above) married Dr Ludwig Bernhard Förster, a man wise on the Jewish problem. The newlyweds moved to Paraguay to found a Jew-free New Germania. The quixotic enterprise would obviously fail because the only way to achieve such an ideal would have been to conquer the country militarily.

Nietzsche, for his part, finding himself isolated (‘in my most dreadful times of loneliness’) and without social recognition, began to use his soliloquies, missives and philosophy to boost his self-esteem and increasingly overvalue himself: dangerous medicine, for it can lead to a delirium of grandeur. An unpublished draft for a four-part work, which was to be called Noon and Eternity, and which opens with a great hubbub of heralds’ trumpets, announces: ‘The Earth now appears as a marble workshop: a ruling race of indispensable violence is needed’.

In May 1886, when Nietzsche was living in Nice, he published Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. But the futurist philosopher had, as he put it, a ‘dog’s life’ and never understood the rustic, though healthy, flourishing anti-Semitism of the time; or why his sister had become involved with Dr Förster.

After his dreadful experience with Lou, Nietzsche didn’t dare to make any further advances towards women. Nevertheless, he composed music for a poem by Lou, which was later adapted for choir and orchestra by Peter Gast, and then recorded and published. Nietzsche always hoped that his friend Gustav Krug would perform this work in Cologne.

In Monte Carlo, Nietzsche heard the overture to Parsifal for the first time and was rapt. To Gast, he wrote in January 1887: ‘Has Wagner ever composed anything better?’ The following month Nietzsche read, for the first time, Dostoevsky and in July he published On the Genealogy of Morals, written in Sils-Maria, where he makes mention of a term that would become famous in the next century, ‘the blond beast’.

When confronted with the contents of this book we see that, although Nietzsche had lost all his social faculties, he had reached the peak of his intellectual maturity: for the first time in Christendom someone had detected how the Judaic infection had corrupted our souls through the magic of the New Testament! The book is divided into three parts. The first part is a treatise on the psychology of Christianity: a movement that rebelled against the dominance of the aristocratic values of the Greco-Roman world (see the quotations from On the Genealogy of Morals on pages 116-118 of The Fair Race).

A digression is in order here. One of the older commenters on this site never understood why I reject the US as a project of nationhood. I reject it precisely because that country was founded from this inversion of aristocratic values, something that is noticeable even from the time of the American Revolutionary War of Independence, led by Washington (one hundred years before the publication of On the Genealogy of Morals, the Constitution of the US was signed in 1787 in Philadelphia).

In his 1887 book Nietzsche realised that the motive of the early Judeo-Christians was the thirst for revenge of the priestly people par excellence: the Jews. I would add that it shouldn’t surprise us that creating a new nation by the founding cucks, who never rejected the Bible, will end up in New Zion (consider how now the government wants to use the law to equate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism!). This inversion, Nietzsche tells us, calls evil what was once good, and today’s neo-Christianity (‘liberalism’) is heir to this inversion of the values. Everything inspired by the Bible is not a religion of love, Nietzsche discovered: it is a religion of the deepest hatred of what is good and noble.

No wonder that a powerful nation under the sky of this inversion ended up not only assassinating the Third Reich, but defaming it after its death and, with it, condemning the Aryan race to eventual extinction. I write these paragraphs shortly after Putin and the Russians celebrated, in grand style, Stalin’s victory over Hitler; and on this day they launched a major military assault against enemy forces in Ukraine. This is what prompted my digression. Had it not been for Christian and neo-Christian Anglo-Americans, this May we might be celebrating the defeat of Stalin by the Nazis in a transvalued world: something that the American racial right is still unable to see. But let us return to our German philosopher.

In the autumn of 1887 Nietzsche’s old friend Paul Deussen decided to visit him at Sils-Maria with his wife. His report is worth reading because it paints a very good picture of the hermit:

With a beating heart I rushed to meet my friend and, deeply moved, embraced him after fourteen years of separation. But what changes had taken place in him during that time! The proud attitude, the elastic step, and the flowing words of another time were no longer there. He seemed to be slurring and leaning a little to one side: quite often his speech became clumsy and clipped. Perhaps he wasn’t having a good day either.

‘Dear friend,’ he said gloomily, as he pointed to some passing clouds, ‘to be able to concentrate my thoughts I must have a blue sky above me’. Then he took us to his favourite places. I especially remember a grassy spot, situated next to a chasm, above a mountain stream that roared past in the depths. ‘Here,’ he said, ‘is where I like to lie and where I have my best thoughts’…

The next morning he took me to his dwelling, or as he put it, to his cave…

We left in the afternoon, and Nietzsche accompanied us to the next village, an hour down the valley. Here he spoke once more of the gloomy omens which, alas, were so soon to be fulfilled. When we parted he had tears in his eyes, which I had never noticed in him before. I would never see him again in his right mind.

On the day spring broke out in 1888, Nietzsche asked Gast where he should now go, always in search of the ideal sky: ‘Zurich? Never! The Italian lakes—suffocating, depressing! Switzerland? Still too wintry, cloudy, misty’. In his reply, Gast, his best correspondent who didn’t like to leave Venice, recommended Turin as an intermediate station.

At the beginning of April 1888, Nietzsche left for Turin. This was the year when Van Gogh, who used to paint with as much frenzy as Nietzsche would write that year, would paint his most famous self-portrait and Vase with Fourteen Sunflowers.

Nietzsche felt very much at home in the Italian city—he didn’t even seem much affected by the clouds. Not long afterwards a Danish newspaper reached him with the wonderful news that a professor, Georg Brandes, had started a series of lectures on his books.

Autobiography Friedrich Nietzsche Poetry


against the Cross, 16

Can a book like Thus Spake Zarathustra, which I have heard of being recommended to high school kids to read, be a good book for our sacred words? I would say that if the System recommends it, it cannot be a good book, even though it sometimes says things so beautiful and profound that it is possible to quote it tersely.

In general, I don’t like Zarathustra for the same reason that I don’t like Mein Kampf: it cannot be read with the intensity of a novel that itches you to know the ending. For a book to be truly a work of art it is vital not only for its content to be germane but how it has been put together. While the content of the three volumes of The Gulag Archipelago is important, very few will read the trilogy because it is boring. It needed an editor to condense it into one, with Solzhenitsyn’s approval (as happened in real life), to make it both vital and aesthetic. Only then could I read it as if it was a highly entertaining novel! But it is still worth saying something about the book that would make Nietzsche famous.

This soul in sorrow was pregnant with ideas, pregnant with the sun (his Zarathustra begins with a hymn to the sun) and he gave birth to what he himself called ‘my son Zarathustra’. The eruption of feelings that motivated him to write, at the time of Richard Wagner’s death (Nietzsche sent a letter of condolence to Cosima), must be understood as the resolution of an intellectual crisis.

I never tire of repeating that his father and both his grandfathers were Lutherans; that his paternal grandfather was a Superintendent, the equivalent of a bishop, and that as a child Nietzsche was intensely pious. As he grew up, the hermit of Sils-Maria burst out of this iron pietism: a supernova-like explosion of feelings repressed during his upbringing, releasing the vital energy once locked up.

His translator, Hollingdale, makes a sharp observation about Nietzsche’s previous books. From the one he wrote on Schopenhauer onwards, they all led him to scepticism, not unlike the nihilism in vogue in the 19th century. This is one of the problems that contemporary racialists have detected: the loss of Christian faith doesn’t translate into, say, a scientific vision like those texts of Charles Darwin where he said that blacks, now considered an obsolete race of Homo sapiens, were to be exterminated. Instead, apostasy leads either to atheistic hyper-Christianity—the opposite of Darwin: negrolatry!—or to the nihilistic liberalism we complain so much about in the West’s darkest hour. In Nietzsche’s spiritual odyssey all his books, Hollingdale said, from the second of his Untimely Meditations to The Gay Science, he reached the end of the road: not axiological hyper-Christianity but nihilism. If Nietzsche had stayed there, let’s say as the typical 19th-century freethinker who so angered Wagner, he wouldn’t have gone down in the history of the great philosophers.

But he didn’t stay there. The pietistic armour that had imprisoned his spirit in a torment like that of the iron maiden had to fly into a thousand pieces. And this intellectual crisis gave birth to the religious figure of Zarathustra: a process begun in August 1881 when Nietzsche was assailed by the thought of the eternal return. It was then that he began to devise his philosophy of Amor fati without realising that, rather than in an iron maiden, he was locked in a sort of Russian doll. He blew up the first iron shell, yes: but he didn’t realise that it, in turn, was wrapped in another shell, insofar as Amor fati was but the post-theistic phase of ‘Thy will be done’, i.e. the phase without a personal god. In other words, with what Nietzsche calls in Zarathustra his ‘abysmal thinking’ we see that he was still a victim of the ogre of the pietistic superego.

To his astonishment, after having deluded himself that he would go to Bayreuth to ingratiate himself with all his old friends (remember the letter to his sister: ‘I no longer want to be alone and wish to learn to be a man again’), with Lou’s refusal he suddenly found himself on square one: alone. It is not surprising that Zarathustra begins with a hermit who wants to return to his village only to be mocked by the people, and has to return to his cave. The worst thing is that Nietzsche was to stay that way, alone, from the end of 1882 to the beginning of 1883.

In January of the latter year came the furious eruption: something which in my soliloquies I call the vindication of Id. Nietzsche underwent an inner transformation similar to those who suffer from colour blindness and are given special glasses so that they can see colours for the first time in their lives: they burst into tears. The tremendous eruption of feelings, thanks to which he was able to write the first part of Zarathustra, feelings so suppressed not only in Schulpforta but in the dense intergenerational atmosphere of clerics, would continue, later on, with the second and third parts: the latter even in a state of greater euphoria—the culmination of the book!—written in January 1884. The overman, the death of God, the will to power, Amor fati, the eternal return, the great noon: these were the intense colours that Nietzsche could at last see, so vivid that he couldn’t interrupt the weeping (by way of anticlimax, he would write the fourth part of Zarathustra at the end of 1884).

But the unconscious eruption of the central ideas of the Zarathustra had already been coming, as Hollingdale detectively surmised, from the earliest years of his life, albeit distorted and unrecognisably. Can you see, as I said to Thankmar this morning, why I try to protect myself from religious aggression (even horribler than Nietzsche’s Lutheran home) in a healthy way, instead of wayward defence mechanisms?

One of the reasons I generally dislike the book is that it suffers from the poets’ secrets that require the most erudite exegesis to unravel. For example, Werner Ross claims that the passage in Zarathustra that begins with ‘I saw his woman’ and then speaks of a ‘doll up lie’ and that ‘every time a saint and a goose mate’, when checked against Nietzsche’s letters he deduces that Elisabeth was the goose and Lou the doll up lie! And the same can be said of an important figure in Zarathustra: Ariadne. It is only thanks, years later, to the letters of madness that we discover that Ariadne was none other than Cosima Wagner! Why not state things clearly from the beginning, with the real names, as I do in my autobiography, instead of such esoteric circumlocutions that only the author understands?

In Thus Spake Zarathustra we see that Nietzsche’s alter ego didn’t offer his philosophy indiscriminately. First, he spoke to all the people gathered in the marketplace. But the death of God—the central theme of the first part—and the will to power are ideas that Zarathustra announces only to his disciples. And of the eternal return Zarathustra speaks exclusively to himself. Similarly, some chapters are narrative, others have a doctrinal character, and others of a lyrical nature represent the pinnacle of the work: oratory turned into music (a dozen years earlier Baudelaire had already created a new genre: poetic prose). Although in the second part of the book the central theme is the will to power, the final chapter of that part already brings to the fore, in a sinister manner, the revelation of the eternal return.

When studying the Zarathustra the reader must always bear in mind that the book is intended to be a shadow of the Lutheran translation of the Bible, known to Nietzsche in detail from the early years of his life, including Luther’s syntactical construction.

Zarathustra speaks again and again of the tablets of the law to be broken—Nietzsche even asked his publisher to put a black bar on each page to represent his new tablets of the law! The mixture of the biographical account of Zarathustra with doctrinal sentences was copied by Nietzsche from the Christian gospels, and it is not surprising that he wanted to elevate his Zarathustra to the status of holy scripture. In my humble opinion, writing a parable of his spiritual odyssey rather than a vindictive autobiography, with all the repudiation of the family that in the next century I would begin to write, was a preamble to the breakdown that had already been foreshadowed. In fact, this whole period from August 1881 to December 1888 may be regarded as the genesis of the wayward defence mechanism which, in January 1889, would burn out the mind of the alienated philosopher.

Moreover, the light we occasionally see in Zarathustra is not a light of dawn. It is a mere lightning light at midnight. It illuminates everything but only for a fraction of a second. Then the thickest darkness returns. But I would like to mention a snapshot of what the lightning illuminated.

After Kalki, the surviving Aryan will realise that the immeasurable universe wasn’t designed to visit it as the mad earthling of the 20th and 21st century fantasised, but to know himself to the extent of knowing the universe and the Gods. In the trillions of galaxies each intelligent species stays at home, on its own planet, given the impossibility of crossing those billions of light-years of distance with manned devices—a pointless enterprise because the men we would leave behind would remain forever inaccessible. These are the words I like best from Zarathustra: I love those who do not first seek behind the stars for a reason to go under and be a sacrifice, but who sacrifice themselves for the earth, that the earth may some day become the overman’s.

Hitler also said that over-humanity could only be achieved by the Aryan on Earth…

In the 1880s only Peter Gast, the enemy of the Church, became a kneeling apostle, and about Zarathustra he wrote to his mentor something the latter loved: ‘Of this book one must wish to spread it like the Bible’. Gast was unaware that this was impossible insofar as Nietzsche’s was an artificial religion; a true religion, as Savitri Devi tells us, comes into being only when it arises spontaneously from the collective unconscious (like National Socialism).

Nietzsche’s Zarathustrian defence mechanism was very similar to my own. When in the 1980s, a century after Nietzsche’s mental agony, I tried to exorcise my parental introjects I fell into the greatest hells because I didn’t yet realise—as Nietzsche’s Amor fati—that the mechanism I elaborated was also a kind of neo-theology inspired by New Testament stories. I have spoken at length about this in the last chapter of my Hojas Susurrantes and need not summarise it here.

When Nietzsche was buried, his friends surrounded his grave and recited some of Zarathustra’s poems.

Friedrich Nietzsche Philosophy Theology


against the Cross, 15

Of French origin, although German was the family language, Lou Salomé’s Huguenot ancestors arrived in St Petersburg in 1810. Her father Gustav Salomé had a successful military career and was appointed inspector of the army by Tsar Alexander II. He later married Louise Wilm, of Danish descent, nineteen years younger. The marriage produced six children: after five boys, a cute girl who was named after her mother.

Louise (later called Lou) grew up in a male environment, just the opposite of Nietzsche, who grew up in a female environment after his father’s untimely death. Lou’s birth coincided with the day of the abolition of slavery in Russia. As liberalism—what we call neo-Christianity—claims more and more equality, the abolition of slavery was the antecedent of equal rights for women: an ideal that appeared early in Lou’s life. Thus, contrary to the rules of her time, the teenager refused to receive religious confirmation.

At the age of eighteen, Lou began her studies under the guidance of Pastor Hendrick Gillot, who had her study the philosophers. Thin, blonde, flirtatious and with deep blue eyes, Gillot soon fell in love with her, ready to leave his family to marry the precocious brat, but Lou rejected him outright and realised that she had to go abroad. Her mother decided to accompany her.

The first destination was Zurich, where Gottfried Kinkel, an apostle of women’s rights at universities, was teaching (the University of Zurich was the only university at the time that accepted women). Falling ill with a lung condition, Lou travelled to warmer climes in search of therapy, and with her mother came to Rome. Kinkel had recommended that they meet Malwilda von Meysenburg (Nietzsche’s very close friend), at whose house literary gatherings were held. In February 1882 Malwilda received the young Russian woman, who dressed sternly and never wore feminine ornaments. Paul Rée met her there and soon fell in love with her, but it occurred to both Rée and Malwilda to introduce Lou to Nietzsche.

He was then on one of his eternal healing journeys, always in search of a clear, cloudless sky, and had been to Messina. It is curious to note that when Nietzsche received Rée’s invitation, he replied with humour that indicated that he had overcome the depression that had led him to believe he would die at his father’s age: ‘I shall soon launch myself on the assault on her. —I need it in consideration of what I want to do for the next ten years’. He who yesterday was a candidate for death is now thinking of the great life!

When Nietzsche arrived in Rome he inquired where he could find Rée, and was told that he was visiting the Vatican. He went there to find him, who was with Lou, and asked them: ‘From which stars have we fallen to meet each other here?’ The retired professor was sixteen years older than Lou, who, at twenty-one, would soon captivate him with her feminine charms.

The ‘Trinity’, as the freethinkers Nietzsche, Rée and Lou called their alliance, had a problem: both father and son fell in love with the holy spirit, which would eventually arouse great jealousy on Nietzsche’s part, as they both made marriage proposals.

For Lou’s self-esteem—Rée bombarded her with letters—, it was in her interest to continue collecting men whose proposals she had rejected since her experience with her mentor Gillot. Thus, the following weeks and months passed with great sorrow for the lovers, who had never before faced such a woman. Nietzsche in particular, now almost in his forties, had fallen in love like an adolescent, so much so that he was now willing to go to Bayreuth if Lou would accompany him, and precisely at the premiere of Parsifal, even if it was a Christian play! Nietzsche would have given anything to travel with Lou to the premiere, and he wrote to his sister notifying her that he had regained his health, adding: ‘I no longer want to be alone and wish to learn to be a man again’. Elisabeth would meet Lou in Jena.

It is unnecessary to go into the details, but in discussing some of Nietzsche’s indecorous proposals, Elisabeth and Lou became deadly enemies—enemies, as only women can be to each other. Suffice it to say that the whole pathetic episode of Rée and Nietzsche’s falling in love, which separated the two friends, shows that this pair had no experience whatsoever with women, let alone liberated women. The philosopher who would preach that when a man goes out with a woman he should never forget the whip allowed himself to be photographed, literally, with a woman holding a whip behind him! Even in his amorous letters, the typical mistake of the inexperienced bachelor in his dealings with women is evident. Instead of being masculine, Nietzsche behaved like a supplicant bridegroom in search of the bride’s ‘yes’:

My dear Lou!

Sorry about yesterday!
A violent attack of my stupid headaches—today they have passed.
And today I see some things with new eyes.
At noon I’ll accompany Dornburg, but before that, we still have to talk for half an hour… yes?

It didn’t occur to the poorly pensioned man, clumsy and almost blind when he walked, that these weren’t ways of winning her over, least of all a woman of steel like Lou, brought up among Aryan men with connections in the army.

When Nietzsche would later become disappointed with Lou, he would write things like ‘frightfully repressed sensuality / delayed motherhood—due to sexual atrophy and delay’. Of course, at Schulpforta the children were never taught that male sexuality is literally a thousand per cent more intense than female sexuality, and perhaps Nietzsche believed that Lou’s sexuality wouldn’t be much different from his! Interestingly, in that list of Lou’s faults that Nietzsche noted, we read that one of them was that she was not ‘docile’.

Nietzsche had in mind not a new philosophical system but rather a new religion. And as a new religion that despised the weak and ennobled the strong, what he now needed was a new metaphysics and disciples, and in his fantasies he had designated Lou and Rée as the first. It didn’t occur to him that he was forcing things, that they both had their own goals in life. For example, the way he wanted to overcome the competition was incredibly clumsy. In Lebensrückblick (Life Review), Lou informs us that nothing had damaged her image of Nietzsche more than his attempts to demean Rée, and although the word wasn’t yet used, she blames him for lack of empathy: not realising that such a crude tactic was immediately detected as such.

Lou didn’t need Nietzsche. Nietzsche, the eternal bachelor whom Wagner had psychoanalysed well—to appease Eros the professor badly needed to get married!—did need Lou. Or rather, he didn’t need this liberated woman but one of the many ‘docile’ old-fashioned educated little women who at that time it wasn’t so difficult to ask for their hands. But the way Nietzsche wanted to pull her into his gravitational field was simply to imagine her as an apostle for his budding religion. In a letter to Overbeck, Nietzsche confessed: ‘At the moment—I don’t yet have a single disciple’. And in a missive to Malwilda, he clarifies: ‘By “disciple” I would understand a person who would swear an oath of unconditional fidelity to me—and for that, he would have to undergo a long period of trial and overcome difficult undertakings’.

The most sophisticated readers of Nietzsche’s work are unaware of his biography! It is very clear, from his own words, that he wanted to form a new cult. From this point of view the two scholarly, heavy treatises that Heidegger wrote about his favourite philosopher which begin with the lapidary sentence ‘Nietzsche, the name of the thinker attests to the content of his thought’ are rubbish! In the hundreds of pages that follow, Nietzsche the man is altogether missing, only his philosophical ‘insights’ are present!

Let’s not forget that Heidegger acknowledged to have read Luther. Much of the mission of the priest of holy words is to shake off the metaphysical cobwebs of the neo-theologians and to philosophise from the real world: the real biography of an Aryan man, the protection of his race and the analysis of his enemies.

It is more than significant that, before his death, the neo-theologian Heidegger claimed that philosophy had come to an end and that now ‘Only a God can save us’. He also claimed that for only a few months he had believed in National Socialism, and that during his ten months as rector of the University of Freiburg he refused NS orders to put up an anti-Jewry poster; to remove works by Jewish authors from the library, and to allow the burning of books at the university. But on one thing I agree with Heidegger: academic philosophy (i.e., neo-theology) is dead. The religion of sacred words must emerge, stripped now from all Christian vestiges, and not in the form of ontologies written in corrupted German.

Nietzsche wanted to create a religion very different from ours (the 14 and 4 words). In her Friedrich Nietzsche in seinen Werken, published when the philosopher was already mad, Lou would reveal juicy anecdotes that open a window into his mind. In their conversations, Nietzsche revealed to Lou that he wanted to spend a decade of his life studying the natural sciences in order to obtain a scientific basis for his theory of the eternal return! Lou adds: ‘Only after whole years of absolute silence did he intend… to appear among men as the master of the eternal return’. The following passage is key to understanding how Nietzsche wanted to drag Lou toward the dark side of the force so to speak, as if this woman was to become a sort of Sith apprentice in the wake of the philosopher’s terrible revelation:

Then he rose to take his leave, and as we stood on the threshold his features suddenly transformed. With a fixed expression on his face, casting fearful glances around him, as if a terrible danger threatened us should any curious person eavesdrop on his words, muffling the sound of his voice with a hand to his mouth, he announced to me in a whisper the ‘secret’ that Zarathustra had whispered into the ear of Life, to which Life would have replied: ‘Do you know, Zarathustra? No one knows’. There was something extravagant—indeed, sinister—in the way Nietzsche communicated to me ‘the eternal return of the identical’, and the incredible transcendence of this idea.

In Freemasonry, they speak of ‘The Great Secret’ that only the highest initiates can have access to. What Lou says was the great secret of the religion that Nietzsche now wanted to inaugurate.

That the pensioned philologist wanted to make a new religion out of such an idea is noticeable in that he even wanted to erase the fact that this idea was traceable to his readings of Heraclitus. Instead, he wanted us to believe that Zarathustra arrived at the great secret by himself. The critic of mysticism had himself fallen into the initiatory practices of the ancient Greeks. Recall that for the Pythagoreans some mathematical findings were to be hidden from the people. Only the initiated were qualified for this knowledge, such as the existence of the dodecahedron.

But Heraclitus was not Zarathustra. Nietzsche put something of his own into this doctrine since he didn’t want it to be merely an updating of the old one.

It is not the professional philosophers, like Heidegger et al, who get to the heart of the matter but the biographers, and sometimes the translators. If any scholars had to delve into the marrow of Nietzsche’s thought, it was his translators into English and Spanish: Reginald John Hollingdale (1930-2001) and Andrés Sánchez Pascual (1936-). It was precisely because of Sánchez Pascual’s translations that I began to read Nietzsche in 1976 when I was seventeen years old; translations accompanied by countless erudite footnotes, without which it would have been impossible for me to understand the obscure passages of Nietzsche’s legacy.

Hollingdale for his part made me see that Nietzsche had mixed what he had read in Schulpforta about Heraclitus with the ruthless Lutheran pietism with which he had been brought up—programmed, rather—: a mixture of Christian beatitudes with the terror of eternal damnation.

Let us remember what we have called on this site parental introjects, and that Nietzsche came from a family of theologians in both his father’s and his mother’s line. From his childhood, he had been imprinted with the idea of infinite individual responsibility in every personal affair, which would result in either reward or punishment. From this Nietzsche derived, according to R.J. Hollingdale, the idea of his new metaphysics. The question ‘Is this how you would do it an infinite number of times?’ or the imperative ‘Let us live in such a way that we wish to live again and live like this eternally!’ surpass even the categorical imperative of the other German philosopher whose Id had also been shattered by the bogeyman of the pietistic superego: Kant.

On the eternal return of the identical Nietzsche said that ‘a doctrine of this kind is to be taught as a new religion’, Zarathustra’s gospel. But even though it was a post-theistic religion, it was still in some ways the old one. This reminds me of what someone who was in Freemasonry once told me: that to enter that cult, the candidate was required to believe in the immortality of the human soul. In other words, it doesn’t matter that 19th-century Freemasons were rabid anti-clericals: they were still slaves to parental introjects (unlike Nietzsche, they even asked the novice to believe in the existence of God).

Hollingdale hit the nail. In his introduction to his translation of the Zarathustra, he interprets Nietzsche’s Amor fati as the Lutheran acceptance of life’s events as divinely willed, and the implication is that to hate our fate is blasphemous. For if in Lutheran pietism the events of life are divinely willed, it is impiety to wish that things should have turned out differently than they did.

Thus, the Nietzschean doctrine of eternal return was strongly influenced by Christian concepts of eternal life. Same song, different tune. When Hollingdale published a biography of Nietzsche, professor Marvin Rintala responded in The Review of Politics in January 1969 with a review saying that Hollingdale had failed to understand the essence of Pietist Lutheranism: ‘The great petition of the Lord’s Prayer is for Pietists “Thy will be done”.’ In his introduction to Penguin Books’ Thus spoke Zarathustra released after the biography of Nietzsche he had published, Hollingdale was honest enough to concede that he stood corrected, and writes: ‘This is much in line with the Christian origin of the conception of Zarathustra that I ought to have guessed even if I did not know it’.

Like the Freemasons, and despite the anti-clericalism that Nietzsche shared with them, none of them was free of the malware that our parents installed in our souls. With his Zarathustra, Nietzsche himself thus became a neo-theologian, and the same could be said of the much more recent New Age, and even of secular neo-Christianities as I have so often exposed on this site. There is always a neo-theological tail that drags even the most radical racialist into the abyss, as Balrog’s whip of fire dragged Gandalf into the bowels of the earth. Our mission is to cleanse these last vestiges of Christian programming, however recondite they may be hidden in the Aryan collective unconscious: something that can be done by fulfilling the commandment of the Delphic oracle, to know thyself (which is why I have written introspective autobiography).

But let us return to our biographee. By post, Nietzsche received a refusal from Lou, who went alone to Bayreuth where she had a great time and would even meet the great Wagner himself. (These were times when Nietzsche, for his part, was to receive the printing proofs of The Gay Science.) Never was he so close to despair and suicide as in the winter that followed his farewell to Lou. Eventually, this smart woman would write the novel Im Kampf um Gott (The Struggle for God). The central character is the son of a parish priest who falls in love with a girl…

‘Poor Nietzsche’—Wagner’s expression—didn’t impregnate Lou. But nine months after his amorous disaster, and in the greatest intoxication of Dionysian inspiration he ever suffered, he gave birth to his most beloved son, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Like Dante who never savagely possessed the body of his Beatrice he coveted so much—which is what he really needed instead of terrorising the Aryan man with hellish nonsense—, Nietzsche thus transformed his tragicomic private life into the high flights of lyricism, pushing the expressive power of the German language to its limits like no other poet.

Friedrich Nietzsche Stefan Zweig


against the Cross, 14

Heinrich Köselitz (‘Peter Gast’)

While it is true that Nietzsche was unable to detect the Jewish subversion that many in the 19th century could already detect, he was able to see, like no other, the subversion that had come from Judaism through Christianity. As Stefan Zweig wrote in the most lyrical essay ever written on the plummeting of the anguished eagle:

Nietzsche came to see that the malevolent thing was Christianity with its belief in a life beyond the tomb; that this was the principle which cast a shadow upon the modern world. ‘Evil-smelling Judaism, a compost of rabbinism and superstition’, had ruined and supressed the sensuality and merriment of the world. For fifty generations it had served to dope and demoralise mankind, to paralyse all that had previously constituted the vital force of the universe. But now (and suddenly he sees the mission of his life) a crusade against the Cross must begin to reconquer the holy places of man’s realm and existence upon this earth.

By embarking on a crusade, Nietzsche underwent the most radical change of his life from 1880 onwards. The previous year he had turned thirty-five, and he had always had the superstition that he would go into a mental tailspin just as his father had gone at the age of thirty-six.

Nietzsche was a little-known author: a marginal figure considered talented, but too eccentric for German speakers. But he discovered that it was precisely in the most painful periods of his existence that his philosophical productivity increased: what we now call a psychological defence mechanism. By way of super-compensation for what was happening to him, he began to believe that he needed to leave for posterity an epoch-making legacy now that the Judeo-Christian god was dead.

These were the times when Cosima had decided that Nietzsche had committed a sin against the Holy Ghost, i.e. that he couldn’t be forgiven, and when Peter Gast wrote from Venice that he had to guide his friend Nietzsche through the streets like a blind man. Headaches continued to ravage him. Nietzsche himself wrote: ‘On five occasions I pleaded, as a doctor, for death’.

He sought refuge in the high mountains. He had to search long and hard before he found a suitable place: Sils im Engadin/Segl, also known as Sils-Maria, in the Swiss canton of Graubünden: whose name will henceforth be inseparably linked to his own because of the time he spent there, despite the terrible fatigue that such a journey entailed for a half-blind. At 1,830 metres above sea level, Sils-Maria was sometimes snowy and cold even in the middle of summer, and Nietzsche had to endure something that he found fatal: many storms. It is curious that he later he researched in Genoa where there might be an ideal place without clouds and storms—Nietzsche couldn’t bear an eternally cloudy sky—and even entertained the idea of moving to Oaxaca in Mexico for its clear, cloudless skies and the sun he longed for.

To his only apostle at this point, Peter Gast, Nietzsche wrote: ‘There is nothing that can make up for the loss, in recent years, of Wagner’s sympathy for me. How often I dream of him, and always in our comforting meetings!’ He had been abandoned by all his friends, who could no longer tolerate the freedom of his thought, the new viewpoint of the eagle who looked down on Europe from on high. Only the faithful Peter Gast was left to him.

As I have said, Nietzsche was a man against his time: a fact he could never digest and he spewed it out in his somatic attacks. That was why, like a wayward defence mechanism, with open arms he accepted the pain and sang his hymn of saying ‘yes’ to life. If he discovered that his illness served as a sting to his philosophising and that it was thanks to it that he left Basel, then the disease with its birth pains freed him so that his Zarathustra could be born. ‘Only pain gives knowledge’, he intones in poetic prose. ‘Only pain liberates the spirit, only pain forces us to descend into the depths of our being’.

A martyr by contraries, he was not put to the torture because of a faith which had already become established in his mind. No, it was out of torment, it was when he was upon the rack, that he formulated his creed… Thus he ran over and over again to the fiery whirlwind of pain and submits to the torments so as to recapture ‘the enchanting sensation of good health’.

No sooner had he grasped the meaning of his illness and enjoyed the voluptuous delight of health than he wished to transform it into an apostolate… He desired further and more agonizing martyrdom… and in the excess of his enthusiasm… he goes out raising that flag without realising that it is the one that, at the same time, draws the bow that is going to shoot him the deadly arrow.

But the philosophy of Amor fati was deceptive magic for an eagle that sees everything! I have already said so on this site when trying to communicate with a racialist whom I treated one week in London (a young man who had previously been committed to a mental institution and is now serving a prison sentence).

If we look at Nietzsche’s life not as today’s bio-reductionists want to see it, but as the all-too-human human he was, we will see that with the fall that really happened to him—though not in his 36th year but in his 44th—we come upon a fact. With madness his ills disappeared, so I deduce that they were psychosomatic. Nietzsche himself had used, in speaking of himself, the metaphor of a machine that was about to explode: something that undoubtedly referred to his future insanity.

Werner Ross tells us in his biography: ‘Insanity, therefore, is no longer an organic disease’. It was something almost premeditated in pursuit of a posthumous resurrection I would dare to add, so that the man against his time would miraculously become, after the psychotic outbreak, a man of his time.