The historian, politician, and publicist Martin Spahn (1875–1945) belonged to a circle of German right-wing Catholics who quit the Center Party after the
First World War and turned toward either the German National People’s Party (DNVP) or various extraparliamentary nationalist organizations. Right-wing Catholics considered the
»new nationalism« to be Catholicism’s natural ally, whereas they actively opposed liberalism and democracy. The »national idea« and the relationship of German Catholics to the nation run
like threads throughout Spahn’s entire political career. Already concerned to rescue Catholics from their »ghetto situation« and interate them fully into the nation at the time of the
Wilhelmine Empire, Spahn dedicated himself after the World War to the goal of prying Catholics away from the Center Party and winning them for the construction of a powerful Third Reich. Spahn’s
efforts to connect Catholicism and the »new nationalism,« intellectually as well as in an organizational sense, in order to form the foundation of a future Christian German state, constitute the
focal point of this study.