Publication details [#9667]

Schäfer, Daniel. 2005. Heil bei Hitler: Geschichte und Mißbrauch einer medizinischen Metapher. 17 pp. URL
Publication type
Article in journal
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Hitlers’ concept of the term “Heil” (well-being etc.) embraced beside political and (pseudo-)religious, also medical connotations. In this respect it is deeply rooted in the European tradition that goes back until to the Greek-Roman Antiquity. The analysis of medical-biological metaphors in “Mein Kampf” illuminates their focus: a exogenous pathology of the people’s body caused by poison and infection. Beyond its metaphorism this explicative model stresses exclusively the collective character of disease and appeals to political and personal consequences relative to the preservation of health and the prevention of disease. The often violent realization of these demands after the accession to power of the Nazis illustrates impressively the primacy of Hitler’s perception of “Heil” in his personal way of acting.