Killing Without Remorse. Ernst Jünger’s In Stahlgewittern and War Legitimation

Download PDF

Discussing the role of war and what in Marxist theory is called false consciousness, this article strives to create a better understanding of how the individual in war can be led to kill without remorse, even though the human empathic faculty should prevent this. By delving deeper into the history of the war novel in the interwar period, this article highlights the main theories of war legitimation, whilst showing that In Stahlgewittern, Ernst Jünger’s controversial account of First World War, does not fit into any of these theories. Based on a comparison of In Stahlgewittern with Der Friede, another of Jünger’s texts, and the historical use of the storm-motif in literature, it is concluded that Ernst Jünger tries to legitimate his deeds by putting them in a theological-apocalyptic framework.


Jünger, In Stahlgewittern, Marxism, war, false consciousness, storm


Full text (pdf)

Leave a Reply