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Thread: Was Nietzsche German or Polish?

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    Was Nietzsche German or Polish?



    Friedrich Nietzsche claimed to be Polish on many occasions. He wrote for example:

    1) "Und hiermit berühre ich die Frage der Rasse. Ich bin ein polnischer Edelmann pur sang, dem auch nicht ein Tropfen schlechtes Blut beigemischt ist, am wenigsten deutsches. Denke ich daran, wie oft ich unterwegs als Pole angeredet werde und von Polen selbst, wie selten man mich für einen Deutschen nimmt, so könnte es scheinen, dass ich nur zu den angesprenkelten Deutschen gehörte."

    2) "Und doch waren meine Vorfahren polnische Edelleute: ich habe von daher viel Rassen-Instinkte im Leibe, wer weiss? Zuletzt gar noch das liberum veto."

    3) "Ich danke dem Himmel, daß ich in allen meinen Instinkten Pole und nichts andres bin."

    4) "Ich selbst bin immer noch Pole genug, um gegen Chopin den Rest der Musik hinzugeben."

    5) "Meine Vorfahren waren polnische Edelleute, noch die Mutter meines Großvaters war Polin."

    6) "Man hat mich gelehrt, die Herkunft meines Blutes und Namens auf polnische Edelleute zurückzuführen, welche Niëtzky hießen und etwa vor hundert Jahren ihre Heimat und ihren Adel aufgaben, unerträglichen religiösen Bedrückungen endlich weichend: es waren nämlich Protestanten."

    And some more citations here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedr..._and_ethnicity

    However, he is usually described as a German philosopher, for example in this video:


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    Nazi scholars claimed in the 1930s, that he was lying, and that his ancestors and surname were not Polish.

    However, I've discovered this interview with a Pole who might be his distant relative, his surname is Nitzke:

    https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80016077

    "(...)
    - Doctor Nitzke, where were you born, please?
    - The locality is Bralin, B-r-a-l-i-n, in Poland.
    - Which part of Poland is that?
    - That's Silesia.
    - And tell me what the date of your birth was, please?
    - The 21st of September 1905.
    - Can you tell me something about your family background, what your father did for a living or so?
    - My father was a businessman, he had a business [description of the business]
    - And was it a Polish family?
    - Yes, a Polish family, Polish family. Father was Polish, mother was Polish.
    - Is your surname Polish? Your surname, Nitzke?
    - Yes, it's Polish you know, but it is a little bit changed. It used to be quite different, it was changed under the Germans of course
    [...] eventually my name is like that, it used to be Nitzke since I was born.
    (...)
    - Do you have any memories of WW1?
    - Oh yes, of course.
    - What memories do you have?
    - I remember all the German troops going towards the Russian front, they were going through Bralin by train or even marching.
    (...)
    - Did your family suffer any privations?
    - No, no, we had one of these German commanding officers, a colonel, he was billeted in our house, so we were protected. I mean, from the point of view of the Germans at that time, there was no trouble at all, because we, in Silesia, we were German citizens.
    - What was the attitude of local Polish people in Silesia towards the war, when it comes to political issues?
    - Well, you know, there was nothing special at that time. Because it was just a world war. And because we lived in Germany, so to speak, in Silesia. So of course everybody agreed with that.
    - Did people feel loyal to the German Reich?
    - At that time yes, the beginning of the war.
    - Did it change?
    - Yes it changed later on, towards the end of the war, and immediately after the war. Then the Polish nationality and Polish nationalism, they started to rise. And then there was an uprising in Silesia, three times.
    - What did you see of that uprising?
    - Well I didn't see it, in our part, in my part of Silesia, near Bralin, there was nothing to be seen, because the uprising was in Upper Silesia, in that part. (...)"

    Another one, listed among Polish insurgents killed in Posener Aufstand (Polish uprising against German rule in Provinz Posen):

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped..._1920_roku.pdf

    https://depot.ceon.pl/bitstream/hand...pdf?sequence=1

    # 1259 - Nitsche Józef

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    BTW, Poles have never really claimed him as Polish, it was just his own claim.

    But it is interesting why did he deny being German and claimed Polish roots.

    Edit:

    Apparently there is an article about it:

    https://culture.pl/en/article/was-nietzsche-polish

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    if you look at the names of his other relatives like his mothers family or his grand mother on his fathers side they do not sound very polish. krause, oehle.
    didn't know nietzsche was into race but it makes sense looking at his übermensch theory. seems like this was ssomething many people were thinking about back then. tesla had these tendencies too.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Polish ? Not very common in Germany

    Screenshot_20180612-195222.jpg

    Utilizzando Tapatalk

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Nietzsche was against nationalism and aspired to be a "Good European".

    https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/europe-a-ni...n-perspective/

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyDonkey View Post
    Nietzsche was against nationalism and aspired to be a "Good European".

    https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/europe-a-ni...n-perspective/

    Yup, no evidence to suggest he was Polish. But mad? Plenty.

    Amazing figure, up there with Beethoven to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    Yup, no evidence to suggest he was Polish.
    Perhaps he was a Lusatian Sorb or a German of Slavic descent.

    They even created "The Association of Germans of Slavic Origin":


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    Interestingly one of my "4th Cousin - Remote Cousin" FTDNA matches has a surname Nietschke.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Niecki - is polish
    Nietzsch/Nycz - is german.

    His polishness depends on what his origin were or/and what the original form was.
    He claimed to be a Niecki, then he would be a true Pole.
    His version of the name is very rare and lived almost exclusively in polabian Serbia,
    similarly as other verions of this name, so it is possible, that is derived also from a slavic root.

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    He was a German, but he was crazy, and one day decided he didn’t want to be!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ToBeOrNotToBe View Post
    He was a German, but he was crazy
    Do you have his GEDmatch kit number to prove it?

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    He really disliked Germany in his later years, so these quotes should probably be read with that in mind. That said his surname looks like some kind of Slavicized version of Nicholas. Whether that can be taken as evidence for his Slavic origin is another question however. My mother's family came from a Prussian immigrant who settled in Western Germany hundreds of years ago, the etymology being 100% Slavic. I doubt that tells us much about his ethnicity as such.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    BTW, Poles have never really claimed him as Polish, it was just his own claim.

    But it is interesting why did he deny being German and claimed Polish roots.

    Edit:

    Apparently there is an article about it:

    https://culture.pl/en/article/was-nietzsche-polish
    From the above article:

    Moreover, Nietzsche was a strict anti-militarist and despised the German monarchy’s imperialistic ambitions, and was greatly disgusted by the anti-Semitism growing rapidly in his homeland. His claiming to be Polish was just another way of putting a thick boundary between him and a nation he didn’t want to have anything in common with, just like openly declaring his love for France (Germany’s greatest enemy at that time), Switzerland, and Italy.
    Better to come from Polish nobility than German Junkers, although he likely knew perfectly well that he was from neither. He also claimed to be a Hyperborean:

    Let us look each other in the face. We are Hyperboreans — we know well enough how remote our place is. “Neither by land nor by water will you find the road to the Hyperboreans”: even Pindar, in his day, knew that much about us. Beyond the North, beyond the ice, beyond deathour life, our happiness.
    https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/n/nie.../chapter1.html

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    Nietzsche on the Germans (from "Ecce Homo"):

    "It is even part of my ambition to be considered as the despiser of the German par excellence. I expressed my suspicions of the German character even at the age of twenty-six (see Untimely Meditations, third essay) - to my mind the Germans are impossible. When I try to think of the kind of man who is opposed to me in all my instincts the picture that springs to mind is always that of a German."

    And:

    "The Germans have not the faintest idea of how vulgar they are - but this in itself is the height of vulgarity - they are not even ashamed of being mere Germans. They will have their say in everything, they regard themselves as fit to decide on all questions; I even fear that they have decided about me. My whole life is essentially a proof of this remark. In vain have I looked among them for a sign of tact and delicacy towards myself. Among Jews I did indeed find it but not among Germans."

    He disliked Germans because he considered them a nation of conformists, unlike non-conformist Poles.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    I have always known that. I am not a fan of Nietzsche. He had some good ideas, but in real life he failed. I like people who inspire me by action.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Nietzsche on the Germans (from "Ecce Homo"):

    "It is even part of my ambition to be considered as the despiser of the German par excellence. I expressed my suspicions of the German character even at the age of twenty-six (see Untimely Meditations, third essay) - to my mind the Germans are impossible. When I try to think of the kind of man who is opposed to me in all my instincts the picture that springs to mind is always that of a German."

    And:

    "The Germans have not the faintest idea of how vulgar they are - but this in itself is the height of vulgarity - they are not even ashamed of being mere Germans. They will have their say in everything, they regard themselves as fit to decide on all questions; I even fear that they have decided about me. My whole life is essentially a proof of this remark. In vain have I looked among them for a sign of tact and delicacy towards myself. Among Jews I did indeed find it but not among Germans."

    He disliked Germans because he considered them a nation of conformists, unlike non-conformist Poles.

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    I don't know what good ideas Nietzsche may have had, but after listening to about an hour's worth of narration from one of his books, I knew that reading one of his books would be a colossal waste of time. The bit I heard was something about slave versus master morality. The argument was ridiculous. His logic was flawed. It seemed to me he was narcissistic, and he projected his beliefs and attitudes on everyone else. His focus appeared to be cramming everyone into his nasty, little boxes, not on objectively observing people's behavior and drawing substantive conclusions. For anyone who has read any of his tomes, what good ideas has he offered?

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by elghund View Post
    I don't know what good ideas Nietzsche may have had, but after listening to about an hour's worth of narration from one of his books, I knew that reading one of his books would be a colossal waste of time. The bit I heard was something about slave versus master morality. The argument was ridiculous. His logic was flawed. It seemed to me he was narcissistic, and he projected his beliefs and attitudes on everyone else. His focus appeared to be cramming everyone into his nasty, little boxes, not on objectively observing people's behavior and drawing substantive conclusions. For anyone who has read any of his tomes, what good ideas has he offered?
    NONE, imo.

    It's all completely despicable, in addition, imo, to being completely wrong.

    Why anyone would want to claim him is beyond me.


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    The difference between "Bastard" and between "a mixed race person" is, that "bastard" usually inclines only to one side of her/his heritage. The result is, that the "bastards" do create strong nationalist movements, only to show, that they are better daughters/sons of their ONLY NATION, as genetically proven people of that nation are. We can experience this a very typical nature of bastards on both sides f.e. German/Polish or Ukrainian/Russian cultural borders. On the contrary, "mixed race person" is the USA. And here in the heart of Europe we have had nationalists: Slavs and Panslavs, Germans and Pan-germans, UEBERMENSCH and UNTERMENSCH :) creating pain to normal people for centuries... Too proud nation is a problematic nation. Too proud groups within Nation, do create only problems to its own nation (see Prussian Militarism). The result? Expelled millions of people from their homeland.

    To the topic: I consider Nietzsche as sole German. I do not care what he said or how he felt himself. He is a part of German culture and philosophical world, living in German environment. Several decades ago, I read a book in Schwabach letters "Also Sprach Sarathustra", the book from my Grandfathers library. My grandfather said (in German) to me: "I do not consider this philosopher and his ideas as a good one for your reading time".

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    I cannot answer this to be honest. I have always been against whatever it is he taught. But I would like to hear from fans of his. Nice to see that people with higher education level don't fall for him as so many seem to.

    Quote Originally Posted by elghund View Post
    I don't know what good ideas Nietzsche may have had, but after listening to about an hour's worth of narration from one of his books, I knew that reading one of his books would be a colossal waste of time. The bit I heard was something about slave versus master morality. The argument was ridiculous. His logic was flawed. It seemed to me he was narcissistic, and he projected his beliefs and attitudes on everyone else. His focus appeared to be cramming everyone into his nasty, little boxes, not on objectively observing people's behavior and drawing substantive conclusions. For anyone who has read any of his tomes, what good ideas has he offered?

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    He disliked Germans because he considered them a nation of conformists, unlike non-conformist Poles.
    And this is one of main reasons why half of the Germans live
    today abroad, for example in such coutries like Poland and US.
    It could be also a reason of the lack of Nobility there, because
    whole kighnthood was runnung in all directions from that boyrish
    oportunistic-conformistic deadly stabile lifeless mentality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post

    He disliked Germans because he considered them a nation of conformists, unlike non-conformist Poles.

    Must be why Poles are 90% Catholic and nationalistic while Germans are more atheist and religiously variable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voight View Post
    Must be why Poles are 90% Catholic and nationalistic while Germans are more atheist and religiously variable.
    The Catholic Germans are just Austrians in disguise, though.

    Nationalism is rather seen as non-mainstream / non-conformistic in today's world.

    Also Poles only elected a nationalistic government in 2015, before that we had centrist and leftist (in the early 2000s and late 1990s) governments.

    Anyway please look at Communist times, East Germany vs. Poland - which was more conformistic to Communist rules?

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    According to all the Alabanians on this site he's an Albanian :).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsnake49 View Post
    According to all the Alabanians on this site he's an Albanian :).

    You must be t-rolling. I have never heard any Albanian claim something so asinine as Nietzche being Albanian.

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