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In 1886 Elisabeth Nietzsche, Friedrich's bigoted, imperious sister, founded a 'racially pure' colony in Paraguay together with a band of blond-haired fellow Germans. Over a century later, Ben Macintyre sought out the survivors of Nueva Germania to discover the remains of this bizarre colony. Forgotten Fatherland vividly recounts his arduous adventure locating the survivors, while also tracing the colorful history of Elisabeth's return to Europe, where she inspired the mythical cult of her brother's philosophy and later became a mentor to Hitler. Brilliantly researched and mordantly funny, this is an illuminating portrait of a forgotten people and of a woman whose deep influence on the twentieth century can only now be fully understood.
In 1886 Elisabeth Nietzsche, the bigoted, imperious sister of the famous philosopher, founded a ``racially pure'' colony in Paraguay together with her husband, anti-Semitic agitator Bernhard Forster, and a band of fair-skinned fellow Germans. In 1991 Macintyre, once a foreign-affairs reporter for Britain's Sunday Correspondent , tracked down the survivors of Nueva Germania, as the colony was called; he found a strange, tight-lipped people, still interbreeding to the point of genetic deterioration. Digging into recently opened German archives, he tells how Elisabeth, who returned to Germany in 1893, grafted her anti-Semitic, nationalist ideas onto her brother Friedrich's philosophy, building a mythic cult around him. Elisabeth later became a mentor to Hitler; her stately funeral in 1935 was attended by a tearful Fuhrer. Laced with mordant irony, Macintyre's brilliant piece of investigative journalism adds weight to the view, shared by many scholars, that the Nazis' use of Nietzsche's ideas to justify their evil deeds and doctrines was a perversion of his thought. Photos.