BY DAVID WROE, BERLIN
January 20, 2010 From The Age.
FRIEDRICH Nietzsche was the victim of ''criminally scandalous'' manipulation by his anti-Semitic sister who condemned the German philosopher to being considered a forerunner to the Nazis, a new book claims. Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche, who became a prominent supporter of Adolf Hitler, systematically falsified her brother's works, according to Nietzsche-Lexikon. Christian Niemeyer, the publisher, said he wanted to clear the thinker's reputation. He said: ''Forster-Nietzsche did everything she could - such as telling stories about Nietzsche, writing false letters in the name of her brother, and so on - to make it seem that Nietzsche had been a right-wing thinker like herself. ''It was she who created the most destructive myth of all: Nietzsche as the godfather of fascism,'' he said. Mrs Forster-Nietzsche edited her brother's writings after his mental breakdown in 1889. She began to change passages to align his philosophy with her beliefs and those of her anti-Semitic husband. When she died in 1935, Hitler attended her funeral. While it had been known that his sister meddled with his work, the new encyclopedia, with entries from about 150 scholars, shows the scope of her forgeries for the first time. Of the 505 letters she published in 1909, just 60 were her brother's original versions and 32 were made up, Niemeyer claimed. She even cut out Nietzsche's maxim: ''Have nothing to do with a person who takes part in the dishonest race swindle.''