Author: Peter Fritzsche
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Examines the rise of National Socialism in Germany
Author: Peter Fritzsche
Why did ordinary Germans vote for Hitler? In this dramatically plotted book, organized around crucial turning points in 1914, 1918, and 1933, Peter Fritzsche explains why the Nazis were so popular and what was behind the political choice made by the German people. Rejecting the view that Germans voted for the Nazis simply because they hated the Jews, or had been humiliated in World War I, or had been ruined by the Great Depression, Fritzsche makes the controversial argument that Nazism was part of a larger process of democratization and political invigoration that began with the outbreak of World War I. The twenty-year period beginning in 1914 was characterized by the steady advance of a broad populist revolution that was animated by war, drew strength from the Revolution of 1918, menaced the Weimar Republic, and finally culminated in the rise of the Nazis. Better than anyone else, the Nazis twisted together ideas from the political Left and Right, crossing nationalism with social reform, anti-Semitism with democracy, fear of the future with hope for a new beginning. This radical rebelliousness destroyed old authoritarian structures as much as it attacked liberal principles. The outcome of this dramatic social revolution was a surprisingly popular regime that drew on public support to realize its horrible racial goals. Within a generation, Germans had grown increasingly self-reliant and sovereign, while intensely nationalistic and chauvinistic. They had recast the nation, but put it on the road to war and genocide.
Author: Peter Fritzsche
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Fritzsche deciphers the puzzle of Nazism's ideological grip. Its basic appeal lay in the Volksgemeinschaft - a "people’s community" that appealed to Germans to be part of a great project to redress the wrongs of the Versailles treaty, make the country strong and vital, and rid the body politic of unhealthy elements. Diaries and letters reveal Germans' fears, desires, and reservations, while showing how Nazi concepts saturated everyday life.
The Politics of Amnesty and Integration
Author: Norbert Frei
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Of all the aspects of recovery in postwar Germany perhaps none was as critical or as complicated as the matter of dealing with Nazi criminals, and, more broadly, with the Nazi past. While on the international stage German officials spoke with contrition of their nation's burden of guilt, at home questions of responsibility and retribution were not so clear. In this masterful examination of Germany under Adenauer, Norbert Frei shows that, beginning in 1949, the West German government dramatically reversed the denazification policies of the immediate postwar period and initiated a new "Vergangenheitspolitik," or "policy for the past," which has had enormous consequences reaching into the present. Adenauer's Germany and the Nazi Past chronicles how amnesty laws for Nazi officials were passed unanimously and civil servants who had been dismissed in 1945 were reinstated liberally—and how a massive popular outcry led to the release of war criminals who had been condemned by the Allies. These measures and movements represented more than just the rehabilitation of particular individuals. Frei argues that the amnesty process delegitimized the previous political expurgation administered by the Allies and, on a deeper level, served to satisfy the collective psychic needs of a society longing for a clean break with the unparalleled political and moral catastrophe it had undergone in the 1940s. Thus the era of Adenauer devolved into a scandal-ridden period of reintegration at any cost. Frei's work brilliantly and chillingly explores how the collective will of the German people, expressed through mass allegiance to new consensus-oriented democratic parties, cast off responsibility for the horrors of the war and Holocaust, effectively silencing engagement with the enormities of the Nazi past.
Drugs in the Third Reich
Author: Norman Ohler
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
New York Times Bestseller “[A] fascinating, engrossing, often dark history of drug use in the Third Reich.” — Washington Post The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. Yet as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs: cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, which were consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to German soldiers. In fact, troops were encouraged, and in some cases ordered, to take rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to account for the breakneck invasion that sealed the fall of France in 1940, as well as other German military victories. Hitler himself became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—ultimately including Eukodal, a cousin of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. Thoroughly researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows. “Delightfully nuts.” — The New Yorker NORMAN OHLER is an award-winning German novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. He is the author of the novels Die Quotenmaschine (the world’s first hypertext novel), Mitte, and Stadt des Goldes (translated into English as Ponte City). He was cowriter of the script for Wim Wenders’s film Palermo Shooting. He lives in Berlin.
Author: Robert Smith Thompson
A comprehensive guide to the Third Reich, this book chronicles the events leading up to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party to the downfall of both.
Hitler's Rise to Power and the Downfall of the Weimar Republic
Author: Benjamin Carter Hett
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
A riveting account of how the Nazi Party came to power and how the failures of the Weimar Republic and the shortsightedness of German politicians allowed it to happen. Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time. To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship. Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicians show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.
The Germans, 1933–45
Author: Milton Mayer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
“When this book was first published it received some attention from the critics but none at all from the public. Nazism was finished in the bunker in Berlin and its death warrant signed on the bench at Nuremberg.” That’s Milton Mayer, writing in a foreword to the 1966 edition of They Thought They Were Free. He’s right about the critics: the book was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1956. General readers may have been slower to take notice, but over time they did—what we’ve seen over decades is that any time people, across the political spectrum, start to feel that freedom is threatened, the book experiences a ripple of word-of-mouth interest. And that interest has never been more prominent or potent than what we’ve seen in the past year. They Thought They Were Free is an eloquent and provocative examination of the development of fascism in Germany. Mayer’s book is a study of ten Germans and their lives from 1933-45, based on interviews he conducted after the war when he lived in Germany. Mayer had a position as a research professor at the University of Frankfurt and lived in a nearby small Hessian town which he disguised with the name “Kronenberg.” “These ten men were not men of distinction,” Mayer noted, but they had been members of the Nazi Party; Mayer wanted to discover what had made them Nazis. His discussions with them of Nazism, the rise of the Reich, and mass complicity with evil became the backbone of this book, an indictment of the ordinary German that is all the more powerful for its refusal to let the rest of us pretend that our moment, our society, our country are fundamentally immune. A new foreword to this edition by eminent historian of the Reich Richard J. Evans puts the book in historical and contemporary context. We live in an age of fervid politics and hyperbolic rhetoric. They Thought They Were Free cuts through that, revealing instead the slow, quiet accretions of change, complicity, and abdication of moral authority that quietly mark the rise of evil.
Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany
Author: Robert Gellately
Publisher: OUP Oxford
The Nazis never won a majority in free elections, but soon after Hitler took power most people turned away from democracy and backed the Nazi regime. Hitler won growing support even as he established the secret police (Gestapo) and concentration camps. What has been in dispute for over fifty years is what the Germans knew about these camps, and in what ways were they involved in the persecution of 'race enemies', slave workers, and social outsiders. To answer these questions, and to explore the public sides of Nazi persecution, Robert Gellately has consulted an array of primary documents. He argues that the Nazis did not cloak their radical approaches to 'law and order' in utter secrecy, but played them up in the press and loudly proclaimed the superiority of their system over all others. They publicized their views by drawing on popular images, cherished German ideals, and long held phobias, and were able to win over converts to their cause. The author traces the story from 1933, and shows how war and especially the prospect of defeat radicalized Nazism. As the country spiralled toward defeat, Germans for the most part held on stubbornly. For anyone who contemplated surrender or resistance, terror became the order of the day.
Jewish Life in Nazi Germany
Author: Marion A. Kaplan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Between Dignity and Despair draws on the extraordinary memoirs, diaries, interviews, and letters of Jewish women and men to give us the first intimate portrait of Jewish life in Nazi Germany. Kaplan tells the story of Jews in Germany not from the hindsight of the Holocaust, nor by focusing on the persecutors, but from the bewildered and ambiguous perspective of Jews trying to navigate their daily lives in a world that was becoming more and more insane. Answering the charge that Jews should have left earlier, Kaplan shows that far from seeming inevitable, the Holocaust was impossible to foresee precisely because Nazi repression occurred in irregular and unpredictable steps until the massive violence of Novemer 1938. Then the flow of emigration turned into a torrent, only to be stopped by the war. By that time Jews had been evicted from their homes, robbed of their possessions and their livelihoods, shunned by their former friends, persecuted by their neighbors, and driven into forced labor. For those trapped in Germany, mere survival became a nightmare of increasingly desperate options. Many took their own lives to retain at least some dignity in death; others went underground and endured the fears of nightly bombings and the even greater terror of being discovered by the Nazis. Most were murdered. All were pressed to the limit of human endurance and human loneliness. Focusing on the fate of families and particularly women's experience, Between Dignity and Despair takes us into the neighborhoods, into the kitchens, shops, and schools, to give us the shape and texture, the very feel of what it was like to be a Jew in Nazi Germany.
Society and Culture in Nazi Germany
Author: Lisa Pine
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Lisa Pine's Hitler's 'National Community' explores German culture and society during the Nazi era and analyses how this impacted upon the Germany that followed this fateful regime. Drawing on a range of significant scholarly works on the subject, Pine informs us as to the major historiographical debates surrounding the subject whilst establishing her own original, interpretative arc. The book is divided into four parts. The first section explores the attempts of the Nazi regime to create a Volksgemeinschaft ('national community'). The second part examines men, women, the family, the churches and religion. The third section analyses the fate of those groups that were excluded from the Volksgemeinschaft. The final section of the book considers the impact of the Nazi government upon German culture, in particular focusing on the radio and press, cinema and theatre, art and architecture, music and literature. This new edition includes historiographical updates throughout, an additional chapter on the early Nazi movement and brand new primary source excerpt boxes and illustrations. There is also expanded material on key topics like resistance, women and family, men and masculinity and religion. A crucial text for all students of Nazi Germany, this book provides a sophisticated window into the social and cultural aspects of life under Hitler's rule.
Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
Author: Christopher R. Browning
Christopher R. Browning’s shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews—now with a new afterword and additional photographs. Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as round-ups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever. While this book discusses a specific Reserve Unit during WWII, the general argument Browning makes is that most people succumb to the pressures of a group setting and commit actions they would never do of their own volition. Ordinary Men is a powerful, chilling, and important work with themes and arguments that continue to resonate today. “A remarkable—and singularly chilling—glimpse of human behavior...This meticulously researched book...represents a major contribution to the literature of the Holocaust."—Newsweek
German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
Author: Wendy Lower
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“Compelling . . . Lower brings to the forefront an unexplored aspect of the Holocaust.” —Washington Post In a surprising account that powerfully revises history, Wendy Lower uncovers the role of German women on the Nazi eastern front—not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival research and fieldwork, presents startling evidence that these women were more than “desk murderers” or comforters of murderous German men: they went on “shopping sprees” and romantic outings to the Jewish ghettos; they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also shooting Jews. And Lower uncovers the stories of SS wives with children of their own whose brutality is as chilling as any in history. Hitler’s Furies challenges our deepest beliefs: women can be as brutal as men, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years. “Disquieting . . . Earlier books about the Holocaust have offered up poster girls of brutality and atrocity . . . [Lower’s] insight is to track more mundane lives, and to argue for a vastly wider complicity.” —New York Times “An unsettling but significant contribution to our understanding of how nationalism, and specifically conceptions of loyalty, are normalized, reinforced, and regulated.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
I. G. Farben in the Nazi Era
Author: Peter Hayes
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book examines IG Farben Chemicals and the power of big business in the Third Reich economy.
The Diary of Friedrich Kellner - A German against the Third Reich
Author: Friedrich Kellner
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This is a truly unique account of Nazi Germany at war and of one man's struggle against totalitarianism. A mid-level official in a provincial town, Friedrich Kellner kept a secret diary from 1939 to 1945, risking his life to record Germany's path to dictatorship and genocide and to protest his countrymen's complicity in the regime's brutalities. Just one month into the war he is aware that Jews are marked for extermination and later records how soldiers on leave spoke openly about the mass murder of Jews and the murder of POWs; he also documents the Gestapo's merciless rule at home from euthanasia campaigns against the handicapped and mentally ill to the execution of anyone found listening to foreign broadcasts. This essential testimony of everyday life under the Third Reich is accompanied by a foreword by Alan Steinweis and the remarkable story of how the diary was brought to light by Robert Scott Kellner, Friedrich's grandson.
A German Reckons with History and Home
Author: Nora Krug
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Comics & Graphic Novels
A revelatory, visually stunning graphic memoir by award-winning artist Nora Krug, telling the story of her attempt to confront the hidden truths of her family’s wartime past in Nazi Germany and to comprehend the forces that have shaped her life, her generation, and history. Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a long shadow throughout her childhood and youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. For Nora, the simple fact of her German citizenship bound her to the Holocaust and its unspeakable atrocities and left her without a sense of cultural belonging. Yet Nora knew little about her own family’s involvement in the war: though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it. In her late thirties, after twelve years in the US, Krug realizes that living abroad has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare to as a child and young adult. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier in Italy. Her extraordinary quest, spanning continents and generations, pieces together her family’s troubling story and reflects on what it means to be a German of her generation. Belonging wrestles with the idea of Heimat, the German word for the place that first forms us, where the sensibilities and identity of one generation pass on to the next. In this highly inventive visual memoir—equal parts graphic novel, family scrapbook, and investigative narrative—Nora Krug draws on letters, archival material, flea market finds, and photographs to attempt to understand what it means to belong to one’s country and one’s family. A wholly original record of a German woman’s struggle with the weight of catastrophic history, Belonging is also a reflection on the responsibility that we all have as inheritors of our countries’ pasts.
The Rise of Fascism Seen Through the Eyes of Everyday People
Author: Julia Boyd
Synopsis coming soon.......
How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men
Author: Eric Lichtblau
A Newsweek Best Book of the Year: “Captivating . . . rooted in first-rate research” (The New York Times Book Review). In this New York Times bestseller, once-secret government records and interviews tell the full story of the thousands of Nazis—from concentration camp guards to high-level officers in the Third Reich—who came to the United States after World War II and quietly settled into new lives. Many gained entry on their own as self-styled war “refugees.” But some had help from the US government. The CIA, the FBI, and the military all put Hitler’s minions to work as spies, intelligence assets, and leading scientists and engineers, whitewashing their histories. Only years after their arrival did private sleuths and government prosecutors begin trying to identify the hidden Nazis. Now, relying on a trove of newly disclosed documents and scores of interviews, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau reveals this little-known and “disturbing” chapter of postwar history (Salon).
One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany
Author: Steven Pressman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Based on the acclaimed HBO documentary, the astonishing true story of how one American couple transported fifty Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Austria to America in 1939—the single largest group of unaccompanied refugee children allowed into the United States—for readers of In the Garden of Beasts and A Train in Winter. In early 1939, America's rigid immigration laws made it virtually impossible for European Jews to seek safe haven in the United States. As deep-seated anti-Semitism and isolationism gripped much of the country, neither President Roosevelt nor Congress rallied to their aid. Yet one brave Jewish couple from Philadelphia refused to silently stand by. Risking their own safety, Gilbert Kraus, a successful lawyer, and his stylish wife, Eleanor, traveled to Nazi-controlled Vienna and Berlin to save fifty Jewish children. Steven Pressman brought the Kraus's rescue mission to life in his acclaimed HBO documentary, 50 Children. In this book, he expands upon the story related in the hour-long film, offering additional historical detail and context to offer a rich, full portrait of this ordinary couple and their extraordinary actions. Drawing from Eleanor Kraus's unpublished memoir, rare historical documents, and interviews with more than a dozen of the surviving children, and illustrated with period photographs, archival materials, and memorabilia, 50 Children is a remarkable tale of personal courage and triumphant heroism that offers a fresh, unique insight into a critical period of history.
Homosexuality and Community in the Early Nazi Movement
Author: Andrew Wackerfuss
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Category: Social Science
Based on extensive archival work, Stormtrooper Families combines stormtrooper personnel records, Nazi Party autobiographies, published and unpublished memoirs, personal letters, court records, and police-surveillance records to paint a picture of the stormtrooper movement as an organic product of its local community, its web of interpersonal relationships, and its intensely emotional internal struggles. Extensive analysis of Nazi-era media across the political spectrum shows how the public debate over homosexuality proved just as important to political outcomes as did the actual presence of homosexuals in fascist and antifascist politics. As children in the late-imperial period, the stormtroopers witnessed the first German debates over homosexuality and political life. As young adults, they verbally and physically battled over these definitions, bringing conflicts over homosexuality and masculinity into the center of Weimar Germany’s most important political debates. Stormtrooper Families chronicles the stormtroopers’ personal, political, and sexual struggles to explain not only how individual gay men existed within the Nazi movement but also how the public meaning of homosexuality affected fascist and antifascist politics—a public controversy still alive today.