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Edited by Neil Gregor

Publication Date - December 2000

ISBN: 9780192892812

480 pages


This unique collection brings together extracts from the most innovative and stimulating studies of Nazism, including many forgotten or ignored older works. Nazism looks afresh at the structure, style of rule, and consequences of National Socialism and explores how successive generations of commentators and historians have sought to explain and understand the origins, nature, impact, and legacy of this regime of unprecedented destructiveness. With introductions to each section, to the authors, and a general introduction to the text, Neil Gregor presents a comprehensive coverage of the history and politics of this dramatic political movement.


  • Covers the origins, nature, impact and legacy of the National Socialist regime
  • Comprehensive arrangement of recent studies and older historiography
  • Includes texts hitherto unavailable in English
  • Reconnects the history of the holocaust with the history of Germany in the '20's, 30's, 40's, and the history of the Third Reich generally
  • Topical subject: both widely studied and in the consciousness of the public

About the Author(s)

Gregor Neil is Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Southampton

Table of Contents

    General Introduction
    Contemporary Characterizations of National Socialism
    Germany's Revolution of Destruction, Hermann Rauschning
    National Socialism: A Menace, Ewald Von Kleist-Schmenzin
    German Address: A Call to Reason, Thomas Mann
    The Party, Theodor Heuss
    The Impossibility of Constructive Achievement, Fritz Gerlich
    The Third Reich is Here!, Ingbert Naab
    Hitler and Christianity, Alfons Wold
    The Psychology of Nazism, Erich Fromm
    Overcoming National Socialism, Carl Mierendorff
    Some Causes and Consequences of National Socialism, Karl Kautsky
    The Meaning of Fascism, Harald Laski
    On the German Situation, Ernst Toller
    The Emergence of National Socialism
    i. A Special Path?
    The German Empire 1871-1918, Hans-Ulrich Wehler
    The Causes of National Socialism, Jürgen Kocka
    What Produces Fascism: Pre-industrial Traditions or a Crisis of Capitalism?, Geoff Eley
    The Special Path of German History: Myth or Reality?, Dieter Groh
    ii. The National Socialist Movement
    The Social Motivation and Führer Bond in National Socialism, Martin Broszat
    The Nazi Party in Lower Saxony, Jeremy Noakes
    The NSDAP as Party and Movement, Albrecht Tyrell
    The Rise of German Fascism, Roger Griffin
    The NSDAP: A 'People's Protest Party', Jürgen Falter
    iii. The Failure of Weimar and the Crisis of 1933
    Stages of the Seizure of Power, Karl-Dietrich Bracher
    The National Socialist Seizure of Power and German Society, Hans Mommsen
    Why Did the Weimar Republic Collapse?, Richard Bessel
    The Crisis of Classical Modernity, Detlev Peukert
    30 January 1933, Ian Kershaw
    iv. National Socialism, Civil Society and the Seizure of Power 1929-1933
    The Nazi Seizure of Power, William Sheridan Allen
    The Growth of National Socialism in the Countryside, Zdenek Zofka
    Toward the Mass Party, Rudy Koshar
    The Abandoned Regulars' Table, Oded Heilbronner
    Protestant-Rural Milieu and National Socialism prior to 1933, Wolfram Pyta
    C. The National Socialist Regime
    i. The National Socialist Regime as Monolith: Theories of Totalitarianism
    The Novelty of Totalitarianism, Carlton J.H. Hayes
    Ideology and Terror, Hannah Arendt
    Totalitarianism as Concept and Reality, Karl-Dietrich Bracher
    ii. Marxist Theories of National Socialism
    The Nature of Hitler Fascism, Walter Ulbricht
    The Beginning of a New Stage of State Monopoly Development, E. Paterna et al.
    The Fascist State: The German Example, Ernst Gottschling
    iii. The Regime as Polycratic State
    a. Wartime Émigré Writers
    The Dual State, Ernst Fraenkel
    Behemoth, Franz Neumann
    b. The Regime and the Conservative Establishment
    The Primacy of Politics, Tim Mason
    The Nazi Empire 1938-1944, Peter Hayes
    The Civil Service in the Third Reich, Hans Mommsen
    State Formation and Political Representation in Nazi Germany, Jane Caplan
    Administration versus Human Leadership, Dieter Rebentisch and Karl Teppe
    The Army and the Third Reich, Klaus-Jürgen Müller
    The Gleichschaltung of the Armed Forces, Wilhelm Deist
    The Wehrmacht in the National Socialist State, Manfred Messerschmidt
    Justice in the Third Reich, Lothar Gruchmann
    Jews on Trial, Ralph Angermund
    c. Charismatic Authority and the Erosion of Rational-Bureaucratic Government
    Feudal Aspects of National Socialism, Robert Koehl
    The Hitler State, Martin Broszat
    Party and State in the Third Reich, Peter Diehl-Thiele
    Cumulative Radicalization and Self- Destruction of the Nazi Regime, Hans Mommsen
    National Socialist Polycracy, Peter Hüttenberger
    Intention and Explanation, Tim Mason
    The State in National Socialist Germany, Michael Geyer
    Working Towards the Führer, Ian Kershaw
    D. The 'Seductive Surface' of National Socialism
    Inventory of Revolutionary Appearance, Ernst Bloch
    Magic and Manipulation, Klaus Vondung
    The Aesthetics of Production in the Third Reich, Anson G. Rabinbach
    Split Consciousness, Jans-Dietrich Schäefer
    The 'Seductive Surface' of the Third Reich, Peter Reichel
    The Honour of Labour: Industrial Workers and the Power of Symbols under National Socialism, Alf Lüedtke
    The Matrix of Totalitarian Imagery: Public Space, the National Socialist Year and the Generational Cycle, Jost Dülffer
    E. National Socialism and the German Society
    i. Resistenz?
    Resistenz and Resistance, Martin Broszat
    The Social Bases of Resistenz and Resistance, Klaus Tenfelde
    Resistance without the People?, Ian Kershaw
    Resistenz or Loyal Reluctance?, Klaus- Michael Mallmann and Gerhard Paul
    ii. Participation
    The Gestapo and Social Cooperation: The Example of Political Denunciation, Robert Gellately
    Mothers in the Fatherland, Claudia Koonz
    Racial Hygiene and Professional Leadership, Paul Weindling
    The Problem of Motivation Reconsidered, Michael H. Kater
    Death and Deliverance, Michael Burleigh
    Reflections on a Massacre, Christopher Browning
    The Missing Years: German Workers, German Soldiers, Omer Bartov
    The Conditions for Genocide, Michael Zimmermann
    F. The Impact of National Socialism
    The Third Reich and Society, David Schoenbaum
    National Socialist Germany and the Social Revolution, Ralph Dahrendorf
    Brown Revolution?, Detlev Peukert
    National Socialism and Modernization, Jens Alber
    Persecution and Coordination, Detlev Peukert
    The Concentration Camps as Part of the National Socialist System of Domination, Falk Pingel
    Racial Policy and Women's Policy, Gisela Bock
    The Persecution of Homosexuals in Nazi German, Hans-Georg Stüemke
    Between Resistance and Martyrdom, Detlev Garbe
    Hitler's Foreign Workers, Ulrich Herbert
    Soviet Prisoners of War--Mass Deportation--Forced Workers, Christian Streit
    Killing Operations,, Leni Yahil
    Children, Raul Hilberg
    The Number of Victims, Franciszek Piper
    Operation Reinhard,, Yitzhak Arad
    Poland, Frank Golczewski
    The Persecution of Sinti and Roma, Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann
    G. The Legacy of National Socialism
    i. Confronting the Past
    On the Engagement with National Socialist Violent Crimes in the Federal Republic of Germany, Peter Steinbach
    Post-war Society and National Socialism: Memory, Amnesia, Defensiveness, Wolfgang Benz
    The Politics of the Past, Norbert Frei
    ii. Denazification and War Crimes Trial
    The Fellow-Travellers' Factory, Lutz Niethammer
    Denazification, Clemens Vollnhals
    In the Name of the German People, Hermann Langbein
    National Socialist Extermination Camps as Reflected in German Trials, Adalbert Rückerl
    iii. Bitburg, Historicization and the Historikerstreit
    Bitburg History, Charles S. Maier
    Bitburg as Symbol, Raul Hilberg
    Nazism, Politics, and the Image of the Past, Geoff Eley
    The Historikerstreit in Context,, Peter Baldwin
    IV. Holocaust memory in the 1990s
    Germany: The Ambiguity of Memory,, James E. Young
    Jews and Russians in the Memory of the Germans, Lutz Neithammer
    A War against Memory?, Isabel Wollaston
    Further Reading