Conservatism in Germany encompasses a large number of strains of the past three hundred years.
While many of the conservative theorists are labelled "political romantics" (most notably by Carl Schmitt, himself conservative), at least four strains can be distinguished before 1945:
Also included are the anti-Enlightenment romanticism of Friedrich Nietzsche, the conservative realpolitik and statecraft of Otto von Bismarck and the anti-republican monarchism of the DNVP during the Weimar Republic.
During the period of Nazi rule, conservatism was outlawed, as the "national revolution" of the national socialists had priority and the racist and social changes in German society were not allowed to be stopped by the conservative forces of "reaction" (Reaktion, see Horst-Wessel-Lied), like for instance the democratic Zentrum and the Prussian monarchists. Notable conservatives were - after a period of pacification in the Nazi Reich - involved in the German Resistance, most notably in the 20 July plot.
In modern Germany, the post-World War II Christian Democratic conservatism claims to represent all forms of Conservatism, while there remain some marginal parties on the right of the Christian Democratic Union (dubbed National Conservatists to distinguish them from the far-right-parties), e.g. Die Republikaner. There also exist marginal movements to restore the German Monarchy, most notably Tradition und Leben. A notable modern conservative theorist is Arnold Gehlen.
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