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A Companion to Nazi Germany

Shelley Baranowski (Editor), Armin Nolzen (Editor), Claus-Christian W. Szejnmann (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-93688-7 June 2018 Wiley-Blackwell 680 Pages


A Deep Exploration of the Rise, Reign, and Legacy of the Third Reich 

For its brief existence, National Socialist Germany was one of the most destructive regimes in the history of humankind. Since that time, scholarly debate about its causes has volleyed continuously between the effects of political and military decisions, pathological development, or modernity gone awry. Was terror the defining force of rule, or was popular consent critical to sustaining the movement? Were the German people sympathetic to Nazi ideology, or were they radicalized by social manipulation and powerful propaganda? Was the “Final Solution” the motivation for the Third Reich’s rise to power, or simply the outcome?

A Companion to Nazi Germany addresses these crucial questions with historical insight from the Nazi Party’s emergence in the 1920s through its postwar repercussions. From the theory and context that gave rise to the movement, through its structural, cultural, economic, and social impacts, to the era’s lasting legacy, this book offers an in-depth examination of modern history’s most infamous reign.

  • Assesses the historiography of Nazism and the prehistory of the regime
  • Provides deep insight into labor, education, research, and home life amidst the Third Reich’s ideological imperatives
  • Describes how the Third Reich affected business, the economy, and the culture, including sports, entertainment, and religion
  • Delves into the social militarization in the lead-up to war, and examines the social and historical complexities that allowed genocide to take place
  • Shows how modern-day Germany confronts and deals with its recent history

Today’s political climate highlights the critical need to understand how radical nationalist movements gain an audience, then followers, then power. While historical analogy can be a faulty basis for analyzing current events, there is no doubt that examining the parallels can lead to some important questions about the present. Exploring key motivations, environments, and cause and effect, this book provides essential perspective as radical nationalist movements have once again reemerged in many parts of the world. 

Notes on Contributors ix

Introduction 1
Shelley Baranowski, Armin Nolzen, and Claus‐Christian W. Szejnmann

Part I Theories, Background, and Contexts 15

1 How Do We Explain the Rise of Nazism? Theory and Historiography 17
Geoff Eley

2 Organic Modernity: National Socialism as Alternative Modernism 33
Konrad H. Jarausch

3 The First World War and National Socialism 47
Benjamin Ziemann

4 The Collapse of the Weimar Parliamentary System 63
Shelley Baranowski

5 National Socialist Ideology 77
Claus‐Christian W. Szejnmann

Part II Structures of Nazi Rule 95

6 The NSDAP After 1933: Members, Positions, Technologies, Interactions 97
Armin Nolzen

7 Work(ers) Under the Swastika 115
Jens‐Uwe Guettel

8 Resistance 129
Detlef Schmiechen‐Ackermann

9 Centre and Periphery 147
Thomas Schaarschmidt

10 Information Policies and Linguistic Violence 163
Thomas Pegelow Kaplan

11 Education, Schooling, and Camps 181
Kiran Klaus Patel

12 Research and Scholarship 199
Michael Gruttner

13 Nazi Morality 215
Thomas Kuhne

14 The German Home Front Under the Bombs 231
Richard Overy

15 Total Defeat: War, Society, and Violence in the Last Year of National Socialism 247
Sven Keller

Part III Economy and Culture 263

16 The Nazi Economy 265
Stephen G. Gross

17 National Socialism and German Business 281
Kim Christian Priemel

18 Individual Consumers and Consumption in Nazi Germany 299
Pamela E. Swett

19 Gender 315
Elizabeth Harvey

20 Religion 333
Manfred Gailus

21 Family and Private Life 351
Lisa Pine

22 Sports 367
Frank Becker

23 Cinema, Art, and Music 385
Daniel Muhlenfeld

24 Emotions and National Socialism 399
Alexandra Przyrembel

25 Environment 413
Charles E. Closmann

Part IV Race, Imperialism, and Genocide 429

26 Terror 431
Dieter Pohl

27 Flight and Exile 449
Deborah Dwork

28 Germany and the Outside World 465
Lars Ludicke

29 Social Militarization and Preparation for War, 1933–1939 483
Jorg Echternkamp

30 Race 499
Isabel Heinemann

31 Unfree and Forced Labour 517
Marc Buggeln

32 ‘Ethnic Germans’ 533
Alexa Stiller

33 Ghettos 551
Andrea Low

34 Holocaust Studies: The Spatial Turn 565
Wendy Lower

Part V Legacies of Nazism 581

35 Memories of Nazi Germany in the Federal Republic of Germany 583
Aleida Assmann

36 Remembering National Socialism in the German Democratic Republic 599
David Clarke

37 Presenting and Teaching the Past 615
Karl Heinrich Pohl and Astrid Schwabe

Index 631

“Overall this is a rich and stimulating essay companion, well worth dipping into as an introduction to state-of-the-art scholarship, and with a remarkable amount to offer for university teachers and students taking modules on this period.”
Reviewer: Matthew Stibbe, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
European History Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 1