Nazifying the Classics? Humanistic Education in Hitler's Germany

Presented at the WiP Research Seminar, Department of Classics, University of Durham, 30 January 2019.

Focusing upon a specific corpus of articles published in Die Alten Sprachen, the Classics teachers’ periodical produced by the National Socialist Teachers’ League (the Nationalsozialistischer Lehrerbund or NSLB), this talk examined some of the ways in which the Classics became politicized for propagandistic purposes under the Nazi regime. Whether seeking to portray ancient Sparta as a prototype of the Nazi “racial state”, identifying Socrates as an ancient representative of the Jewish intelligentsia, or treating the Roman Empire as a model for Hitler’s own imperial project, Classics teachers in the Third Reich sought to present the ancient past as an explicit “paradigm and warning” for the National Socialist present.

An article based on this talk has been published in in Brill’s Companion to the Classics, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, ed. Helen Roche, Kyriakos Demetriou, Leiden (Brill 2018), pp. 283-63.