Brownshirt Princess: A Study of the 'Nazi Conscience' - cover image


Lionel Gossman

Published On





  • English

Print Length

217 pages (xiii + 204)


Paperback156 x 12 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.46" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 14 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.56" x 9.21")


Paperback685g (24.16oz)
Hardback1064g (37.53oz)



OCLC Number





  • HBJD
  • BG


  • HIS014000
  • BIO000000


  • DD256.5


  • Nazism
  • National Socialism
  • German history
  • German literature
  • European history
  • World War II
  • Second World War
  • poetry
Thoth logoPowered by Thoth.

Brownshirt Princess

A Study of the 'Nazi Conscience'

  • Lionel Gossman (author)
Princess Marie Adelheid of Lippe-Biesterfeld was a rebellious young writer who became a fervent Nazi. Heinrich Vogeler was a well-regarded artist who was to join the German Communist Party. Ludwig Roselius was a successful businessman who had made a fortune from his invention of decaffeinated coffee. What was it about the revolutionary climate following World War I that induced three such different personalities to collaborate in the production of a slim volume of poetry—entitled Gott in Mir—about the indwelling of the divine within the human? Gossman's study situates the poem in the ideological context that made the collaboration possible: pantheism, Darwinism, disillusionment with traditional liberal values, theosophy and völkisch religions, and Lebensreform. The study outlines the subsequent life of the Princess who, until her death in 1993, continued to support and celebrate the ideals and heroes of National Socialism. Brownshirt Princess provides deep insight into the sources and character of the "Nazi Conscience", and is invaluable reading for anybody interested in understanding German society during the inter-war and Nazi periods. The University Committee on Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Princeton University, has generously contributed towards the publication of this volume.


Brownshirt Princess is "an informed and highly readable depiction of a cultural landscape in which contrasting political and artistic currents often converged... this study is in many respects original and inspiring."

Daria Santini

"Brownshirt Princess: A Study of the ‘‘Nazi Conscience’' by Lionel Gossman". MLR (0026-7937), vol. 106, no. 1, 2011. doi:10.5699/modelangrevi.106.1.0295

Full Review

Additional Resources

[document]Scan of the original Gott in Mir(From Firestone Library, Princeton University.)
[document, 1.61 MB]Identifying with God and the Cosmos

Image Portfolio 2. A selection of works by artists of the period 1880-1933 - paintings, drawings, book illustrations - expressing a religiosity similar to that of Gott in Mir.


The Title

(pp. 15–41)
  • Lionel Gossman

The Epigraph and the Envoy

(pp. 43–46)
  • Lionel Gossman

The Poem

(pp. 47–55)
  • Lionel Gossman

Appendix to Part I: Yhe Volkisch Rejection of Christianity

(pp. 57–61)
  • Lionel Gossman

Marie Adelheid, Prinzessin Reuss-zur Lippe: Society, Ideology, and Politics

(pp. 65–88)
  • Lionel Gossman

Nordische Frau und Nordischer Glaube

(pp. 89–93)
  • Lionel Gossman

Die Overbroocks

(pp. 95–106)
  • Lionel Gossman

After 1945: Unrepentant Neo-Nazi

(pp. 107–126)
  • Lionel Gossman

Concluding Reflections

(pp. 127–130)
  • Lionel Gossman

Introduction: An Unusual Book and a Strange Collaboration

(pp. 1–12)
  • Lionel Gossman


Lionel Gossman

M. Taylor Pyne Professor of Romance Languages (Emeritus) at Princeton University