We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Life in the Third Reich

Richard Bessel

Publication Date - December 2001

ISBN: 9780192802101

280 pages
5-1/4 x 7-3/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $21.95

A fascinating look at life under the Third Reich


Even today, the Third Reich--the regime that instigated the most destructive war in modern history--evokes powerful images of fascination and horror. Yet how were the lives of the ordinary German people of the 1930s and '40s affected by the politics of Hitler and his followers? Looking beyond the catalog of events, this intriguing book reveals that daily German life involved a complex mixture of bribery and terror; of fear and concessions; of barbarism and appeals to conventional moral values employed by the Nazis to maintain their grip on society. Eight leading historians present essays that shed fresh light on topics as familiar as the role of political violence in Nazi seizure of power and the German view of Hitler himself. It also focuses on lesser-known aspects of life in the Third Reich, such as village life, the treatment of "social outcasts," and the Germans' own retrospective view of this period of their history.


  • Huge general interest in Nazism, and particularly on its influence on ordinary people
  • Authors come from various backgrounds and approach their subjects in various ways, providing a rounded and unbiased picture of life in the Third Reich
  • Gives insights into new research in modern Germany
  • Articles bring new perspectives on some of the most challenging problems which confront the historian of the modern world

About the Author(s)

Richard Bessel is Professor of Twentieth Century History at the University of York. He works on the social and political history of modern Germany, the aftermath of the two world wars and the history of policing. He is co-editor of German History and is a member of the editorial board of History Today. His recent publications include Patterns of Provocations: Police and Public Disorder, and 'Mobilizing German Society for War', in R. Chickering and S. Foerster (eds) Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization in the Western Front, 1914-1918.


Review from previous edition: "A useful, concise bibliography completes the picture; altogether a most welcome addition to the ever-increasing pile of books on this topic and likely to prove more attractive to our pupils than many of them."--Teaching History Review

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction, Richard Bessel
    2. Political Violence and the Nazi Seizure of Power, Richard Bessel
    3. Village Life in Nazi Germany, Gerhard Wilke
    4. Youth in the Third Reich, Detlev Peukert
    5. Hitler and the Germans, Ian Kershaw
    6. The Nazi State Reconsidered, Michael Geyer
    7. Nazi policy against the Jews, William Carr
    8. Social Outcasts in the Third Reich, Jeremy Noakes
    9. Good Times, Bad Times: Memories of the Third Reich, Ulrich Herbert