Hitler and the Forgotten Nazis: A History of Austrian National Socialism

Hitler and the Forgotten Nazis: A History of Austrian National Socialism

Hitler and the Forgotten Nazis: A History of Austrian National Socialism

Hitler and the Forgotten Nazis: A History of Austrian National Socialism

Synopsis

A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

Excerpt

The intense interest in Hitler that has been sweeping Europe and America the last few years appears to have no end. The popularity of the biographies by John Toland, uoachim Fest, Werner Maser, and Alan Bullock attest to the fascination which Adolf Hitler still has for the public more than thirty years after his death. With so many books and articles already written on the Nazi dictator the reader may ask how still another work about Hitler and National Socialism can be justified. The answer is that until now the Austrian manifestations of National Socialism have been neglected. This focus hardly needs explanation as it was in Germany, after all, where Hitler and his Nazi party first attained power in 1933.

Yet the exclusive attention devoted to German National Socialism has led to enormous historical omissions. It should never be forgotten that Hitler was Austrian, as were many other prominent Nazis, such as Adolf Eichmann, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, and Arthur Seyss-Inquart. In fact, National Socialism began, not in Germany, but in the Austrian Empire--long before the party, which Hitler joined in September 1919, was founded. Moreover, Austrian Nazis manned some of the most notorious concentration camps, one of which --Mauthausen--was in Austria itself. In fact, outrages committed against Austrian Jews by Austrian Nazis during and after 1938 were on the whole worse than those perpetrated by German Nazis against the Jews of Germany.

The Austrian Nazi movement is also interesting because it was filled with incredible contradictions. Many of its members were inspired by a very real, if in our view perverted, idealism whose ends they were willing to realize through violence. They loudly proclaimed their support of the Führerprinzip (leadership principle), but could never agree on which of their own leaders to follow. They proudly asserted their allegiance to one large German Volk, but jealously guarded the autonomy of the Austrian Nazi party and the Austrian . . .

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