German History, 1933-45: An Assessment by German Historians

German History, 1933-45: An Assessment by German Historians

German History, 1933-45: An Assessment by German Historians

German History, 1933-45: An Assessment by German Historians

Excerpt

Few countries have had their recent history more thoroughly analysed by foreign historians than has Germany, while assessments by German historians, particularly in an English translation, are comparatively rare.

Yet the questions to which one seeks an answer by German historians are many. How could a nation, stumbling out of the defeat of the First World War, put itself, with every appearance of willingness, into the hands of a Dictator prepared to subject Europe to a new war? How did Hitler win the hearts or votes of forty out of forty-five million Germans in the plebiscite of November 12th 1933? How could the barriers go down before him: the Centre, the Social-Democrats, the Communists, the trade unions -- all those elements which one would have expected to offer effective resistance to Nazism?

The answers to these questions, and the many others which follow from them, are intrinsic to a History which begins with the confusions and divisions at the close of the Weimar Republic and ends with the abyss of 1945.

The broad facts of the period are known. What the reader will find new here (apart from a compact and comprehensive summary) is a careful and intimate appraisal of the psychology of the period.

He is taken, for a start, to the spirit of escapism in Germany . . .

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