By contrast, "[N]ationalism and imperialism, Pan-Germanism and the idea of `living space', `redemptive' anti-Semitism and racism, eugenics and extermination of the `lower races', hatred of the left and charismatic dictatorship are tendencies that had appeared, in more or less developed forms, from the end of the nineteenth century on. Nazism did not create them, it simply radicalized them.
If Nazism achieved a fusion of three different struggles - a colonial assault on the Slavic world, a political struggle against communism and the Soviet Union, and a racial fight against the Jews - into a unique war of conquest and extermination, this means that its model could not be Bolshevism. It would be more relevant and coherent to find its `model' in the colonial wars of the nineteenth century, which were actually conceived by the European imperialist powers as the appropriation of `living space', a colossal plundering of the conquered territories, a process of enslavement of the indigenous peoples and, according to a Social Darwinist model, the destruction of `inferior races'.
Such colonial wars have often taken the form of extermination campaigns by European armies that were convinced they were carrying out a `civilizing mission'. In a completely different historical context, they were inspired by the same fanaticism and crusading spirit that characterized the Nazi war against the USSR. `Exterminate all the brutes!': this slogan, evoked by Joseph Conrad in Heart of Darkness, was applied by Europeans in Africa in the second half of the nineteenth century before being adopted by the Nazis in Poland, Ukraine and Russia during the Second World War.
In contradiction to his own thesis, Nolte himself recalls this essential aspect of the German war, emphasizing Hitler's aim of transforming the Slavic world into a kind of `German India'. He quotes Reich Commissar Erich Koch, who claimed to be carrying out a colonial war in Ukraine, `as among niggers'. During the first period of the war on the Eastern front in 1941-42, Hitler's `table talks' with Martin Bormann were riddled with references to Eastern Europe's future, as an empire for the Germans comparable with what Asia, Africa and the Far West had been for the British, French and US.
The historical laboratory for Nazi crimes was not Bolshevik Russia but the colonial past of Western civilization, in the classical era of industrial capitalism, imperialist colonialism and political liberalism. Formulating it in Nolte's own words, we could appropriately describe this historical background as the `causal nexus' and the `logical and factual precedent' for Nazi violence. But it is not at all surprising that the new anti-communist paradigm completely ignores this historical genealogy.
The New Anti-Communism: Rereading the Twentieth Century