Germans into Jews turns to an often overlooked and misunderstood period of German and Jewish history—the years between the world wars. It has been assumed that the Jewish community in Germany was in decline during the Weimar Republic. But, Sharon Gillerman demonstrates that Weimar Jews sought to rejuvenate and reconfigure their community as a means both of strengthening the German nation and of creating a more expansive and autonomous Jewish entity within the German state. These ambitious projects to increase fertility, expand welfare, and strengthen the family transcended the ideological and religious divisions that have traditionally characterized Jewish communal life. Integrating Jewish history, German history, gender history, and social history, this book highlights the experimental and contingent nature of efforts by Weimar Jews to reassert a new Jewish particularism while simultaneously reinforcing their commitment to Germanness.
Lisa Pine assembles an impressive array of influential scholars in Life and Times in Nazi Germany to explore the variety and complexity of life in Germany under Hitler's totalitarian regime. The book is a thematic collection of essays that examine the extent to which social and cultural life in Germany was permeated by Nazi aims and ambitions. Each essay deals with a different theme of daily German life in the Nazi era, with topics including food, fashion, health, sport, art, tourism and religion all covered in chapters based on original and expert scholarship. Life and Times in Nazi Germany, which also includes 24 images and helpful end-of-chapter select bibliographies, provides a new lens through which to observe life in Nazi Germany – one that highlights the everyday experience of Germans under Hitler's rule. It illuminates aspects of life under Nazi control that are less well-known and examines the contradictions and paradoxes that characterised daily life in Nazi Germany in order to enhance and sophisticate our understanding of this period in the nation's history. This is a crucial volume for all students of Nazi Germany and the history of Germany in the 20th century.
The author identifies the "ethnic fundamentalism" that infused Nazism, revealing the "conscience" and civic morality that founded the core of Nazi ideology, using a wide variety of sources to flesh out this controversial take on the Nazis. (History)
Over the course of the 20th century, Germans from virtually all walks of life were touched by two problems: forging a sense of national community and coming to terms with widespread suffering. Arguably, no country in the modern Western world has been so closely associated with both inflicting and overcoming catastrophic misery in the name of national belonging. Within this context, the concept and ideal of "sacrifice" have played a pivotal role in recent German political culture. As the seven studies in this volume show, once the value of heroic national sacrifice was invoked during World War I to mobilize German soldiers and civilians, it proved to be a remarkably effective way to respond to a wide variety of social dislocations. How did the ideals of sacrifice play a role in constructing German nationalism? How did the Nazis use this idea to justify mass killing? What consequences did this have for postwar Germany? This volume opens up discussions about the history of 20th-century German political life.
This balanced history offers a concise, readable introduction to Nazi Germany. Combining compelling narrative storytelling with analysis, Joseph Bendersky presents an authoritative survey of the major political, economic, and social factors that powered the rise and fall of the Third Reich. His classic treatment provides an invaluable overview of a subject that retains its historical significance and contemporary importance.
On June 22, 1941, Hitler began what would be the most important campaign of the European theater. The war against the Soviet Union would leave tens of millions of Soviet citizens dead and large parts of the country in ruins. This title provides a concise history of the Germans' opening campaign of conquest and genocide in 1941.
Derek Hastings here illuminates an important and largely overlooked aspect of early Nazi history, going back to the years after World War I--when National Socialism first emerged--to reveal its close early ties with Catholicism. Although an antagonistic relationship between the Catholic Church and Hitler's regime developed later during the Third Reich, the early Nazi movement was born in Munich, a city whose population was overwhelmingly Catholic. Focusing on Munich and the surrounding area, Hastings shows how Catholics played a central and hitherto overlooked role in the Nazi movement before the 1923 Beerhall Putsch. He examines the activism of individual Catholic writers, university students, and priests and the striking Catholic-oriented appeals and imagery formulated by the movement. He then discusses why the Nazis embarked on a different path following the party's reconstitution in early 1925, ultimately taking on an increasingly anti-Catholic and anti-Christian identity.
Germany today has one of the lowest incarceration rates in the industrialized world, and social welfare principles play an essential role at all levels of the German criminal justice system. Warren Rosenblum examines the roots of this social approach to criminal policy in the reform movements of the Wilhelmine and Weimar periods, when reformers strove to replace state institutions of control and incarceration with private institutions of protective supervision. Reformers believed that private charities and volunteers could diagnose and treat social pathologies in a way that coercive state institutions could not. The expansion of welfare for criminals set the stage for a more economical system of punishment, Rosenblum argues, but it also opened the door to new, more expansive controls over individuals marked as "asocial." With the reformers' success, the issue of who had power over welfare became increasingly controversial and dangerous. Other historians have suggested that the triumph of eugenics in the 1890s was predicated upon the abandonment of liberal and Christian assumptions about human malleability. Rosenblum demonstrates, however, that the turn to "criminal biology" was not a reaction against social reform, but rather an effort to rescue its legitimacy.