I can’t help but be amused when I read about Nazi philosophies and find the same values in fashion during America’s back-to-the-land movement of the sixties and seventies. If it were only a couple of similarities, I wouldn’t think much of it but there were more than one. What are they? Well… during the Nazi period, it was frowned on for women to smoke. Hitler didn’t smoke, nor did he drink and it was forbidden to do it around him. Living naturally was imperative to deep-thinking followers of Nazism, as were wholesome foods, like whole grains. And it was frowned on for women to wear make-up. The Nazis even passed laws to protect endangered species.
I’m very familiar with America’s back-to-the-land movement. I lived it. Still do. People like me, we swim in the river, try to eat only whole grains, don’t smoke, don’t wear a lot of make-up… you get the picture. I find it interesting that during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, a German back-to-the-land movement was intertwined with the fascist movement of the Third Reich. But what was happening in Germany was a desire to return to (and or protect) the traditional Germanic way of life. What was different about the American back-to-the-land movement was its emphasis on loving others and embracing other cultures. Suellen Ocean is the author of the novel Chimney Fire. Available here:
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