The Fourth Reich (German: Viertes Reich) is a theoretical future German empire, following the First Reich (the Holy Roman Empire, 962–1806), the Second Reich (Imperial Germany, 1871–1918) and the Third Reich (Nazi Germany, 1933–1945).
The term has been used in a variety of different ways. Some neo-Nazis have used it to describe their envisioned revival of Nazi Germany, while conspiracy theorists have used it to refer to what they perceive as a covert continuation of Nazi ideals. It has also been used by critics who believe that Germany exercises a dominant role in the European Union.
In terms of neo-Nazism, the Fourth Reich is envisioned as featuring Aryan supremacy, anti-Semitism, Lebensraum, aggressive militarism and totalitarianism. Upon the establishment of the Fourth Reich, German neo-Nazis propose that Germany should acquire nuclear weapons and use the threat of their use to re-expand to Germany's former boundaries as of 1937.
So obvious were the parallels between Nazi and Communist propaganda and jargon in Klemperer's book LTI (short for lingua tertii imperii, "the language of the Third Reich"), Klemperer had great difficulty with the publication of this essay. He started secretly collecting examples of "LQI", the lingua quartii imperii ("language of the Fourth Reich"), and his diaries record, with mounting cynicism, the cult of the personality that surrounded Stalin and the East German "Staliniculus", Walter Ulbricht.
German influence in the European Union
During the ongoing Eurozone Crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was accused of having pushed for Germany to have a greater say in the domestic governance of the Eurozone's then-18 members, as part of a deal which saw Germany provide a significant part of the Euro Bailout program. Among other measures meant to reduce the likelihood of another Euro Crisis, she called for real European power over countries’ budgets. In Poland, former Polish Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński suggested in a book that "Germany wants to annex part of Poland".
Right wing British journalist Simon Heffer wrote in 2011: "Where Hitler failed by military means to conquer Europe, modern Germans are succeeding through trade and financial discipline. Welcome to the Fourth Reich". The comments came at a time of intense eurosceptecism in Britain.
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- Schmidt, Michael The New Reich—Violent Extremism in Germany and Beyond, 1993.
- Johnson, Daniel (28 September 2003). Martin Chalmers, ed. "A new life and a new tyranny - Daniel Johnson reviews The Lesser Evil: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1945-59". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
- Spiegel Online: "Polish Opposition Leader: Kaczynski Warns of Germany's 'Imperial' Ambitions", 5 October 2011
- Heffer, Simon (17 August 2011). "Rise of the Fourth Reich, how Germany is using the financial crisis to conquer Europe". Daily Mail. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Infield, Glenn. Secrets of the SS (Stein and Day, New York, 1981) ISBN 0-8128-2790-2
- Schultz, Sigrid. Germany Will Try It Again (Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1944)
- Tetens, T.H. The New Germany and the Old Nazis (Random House, New York, 1961) LCN 61-7240
- Wechsberg, Joseph. The Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Memoirs (Mc Graw Hill, New York, 1967) LCN 67-13204
- Marrs, Jim (2008). The Rise of the Fourth Reich. New York: William Morrow. ISBN 9780061245589.