Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany

Synopsis

Begins with a brief sketch of Hitler before turning to the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of the Third Reich. A conclusion gives an historiographical assessment of Hitlerian Germany and its place in the 20th century.

Excerpt

Over the years, books on Nazi Germany have continued to pour forth in a seemingly never-ending torrent. Part of the interest stems, no doubt, from the fascination with its demonic leader, Adolf Hitler. But part of its allure can also be attributed to the revolutionary if invidious nature of the Nazi regime itself. Hitler and his followers did not envisage a state in the normal twentieth-century sense of the term, but a radically different society based on race instead of class, a state, which in their view, was destined to spread across Europe and eventually encircle the globe. That the Nazis never attained their goal of an expanded, all-encompassing, racially homogeneous state does not mean that their vision changed during the Third Reich’s twelveyear existence. For racism was the one overarching, consistent theme in the otherwise chaotic society over which the National Socialists, or Nazis, held sway between 1933 and 1945. Though complex, it is a story well worth telling.

During the past half century, many excellent works have deepened our understanding of the Nazi regime. Since these books and articles have approached nazism from almost every conceivable angle, the problem of what to include (and exclude) is fraught with difficulties. Nevertheless, a synthesis is emerging among historians. This book will begin with a brief sketch of the Führer himself, his crucial role in shaping the Nazi movement and his rise to power at the end of the ill-fated Weimar Republic. What follows is a discussion of the Third Reich within its political, economic, social, and cultural contexts. This examination focuses on Germany’s domestic scene from 1933 to 1945. Though the Third Reich’s foreign affairs will be included in this discussion, its emphasis will not be on Nazi foreign and military policies, crucial though they were, except as they relate to domestic developments. It is obvious, however, that the policies the National Socialists pursued inside Germany took on foreign connotations during the last half of the regime, when most of Europe came under Nazi domination.

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