In reply to:
Hitler told Hermann Rauschning, the Nazi governor of Danzig: "The new man is living amongst us now! He is here! ... I will tell you a secret. I have seen the new man. He is intrepid and cruel. I was afraid of him."
It is a commonly held notion today that many within the National Socialist movement were interested in, and inspired by certain occult topics - up to the very top of the line of command. And even though Nietzsche probably would have despised Nazism as an intellect-destroying herd movement, it is doubtless that the concept of the Ubermensch (albeit a perverted version) provided some inspiration to the movement.
I think that it was in 1984 that Orwell said that the new man can smile while looking into the face of a machine gun.
I have before entertained the notion that all non-pure-survialist acts performed in life are a search for meaning. Wars are fought because of greed, because of power, and for the chance to matter. The top Nazis may have been total bullshitters. Who knows whether they were sincere in their belief in their foolish movement. If nothing else they were just a band of criminals holding the world at a ransom.
What is known, though, is that a lot of people did see them as very much sincere. The Hitler youth - children of the Lost Generation - with their well-manicured hair and blank stares certainly believed, in many cases.
The SS was the advanced guard. They were the greatest achievement of groupthink. Many of them would not think twice about dying for their cause. Many would happily step into the line of bullet fire - destroying the fear of personal death and becoming, for a while, a superman, inhuman.
In The Supermen, this sad group of young men is being compared to the gods of old who roamed the earth long ago. But what superman "would walk in file"? In this upsidedown ideology, the supermen are totally without a self.
The "Strange games they would play then," are the games of war. Men fight wars because they are afraid that their lives are without meaning. Therefore, they surrender their self in order to escape personal meaninglessness and embrace something "larger" than themselves.
"Where all were minds in uni-thought
Power weird by mystics taught
No pain, no joy, no power too great
Colossal strength to grasp a fate"
The "mystics" are the leaders of Nazi Germany. They show the budding "supermen" how to be supermen. This triumpth of the will is an intentional, or perhaps unintentional, destruction of humanity. To smile in the face of a machinegun, one must destroy his humanity. Soon, he can no longer experience "pain," or "joy." The only result of such desperation is destruction.
"Nightmare dreams no mortal mind could hold
A man would tear his brother's flesh, a chance to die
To turn to mold"
After going though this process, he must take life and he must will his own life to be taken.
"Far out in the red-sky
Far out from the sad eyes
Strange, mad celebration
So softly a supergod dies"
There was no honour and no superhuman status achieved by anyone. Only death, pointless, meaningless, death.
So I carried the boat of incense then at Clongowes. I am another now and yet the same.