“One overarching principle, purity, formed a core Klannish yearning. 69 The desire for purity involved not only a longing for innocence but also a fear of pollution. It functioned through a set of oppositions that brooked no nuances or qualifications: anything less than purity was pollution; anything less than godliness was ungodliness. This all-or-nothing form of thought intensified passions. The desire for purity was so emotional, even visceral, that it cries out for a psychoanalytic interpretation; but to the historian the fear seems less elemental than contingent, produced by an ocean of flamboyant, even garish rhetoric.”
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