By Joseph W. Bendersky
This balanced background bargains a concise, readable advent to Nazi Germany. Combining compelling narrative storytelling with research, Joseph W. Bendersky deals an authoritative survey of the main political, financial, and social elements that powered the increase and fall of the 3rd Reich. Now in its fourth version, the publication contains major examine of contemporary years, research of the politics of reminiscence, postwar German controversies approximately international struggle II and the Nazi period, and extra on non-Jewish sufferers. Delving into the complexity of social lifestyles in the Nazi country, it additionally reemphasizes the the most important position performed through racial ideology in opting for the regulations and practices of the 3rd Reich. Bendersky paints a desirable photo of ways ordinary voters negotiated their method via either the threatening energy at the back of yes Nazi rules and the powerful enticements to acquiesce or collaborate. His vintage remedy offers a useful evaluation of a topic that keeps its ancient value and modern significance.
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Extra resources for A concise history of Nazi Germany
The Führer was accountable only to himself and bore sole responsibility for his actions. All political authority emanated from him, descending through the various levels of the hierarchy to the people. According to the Führerprinzip, each member of the hierarchy owed absolute obedience to those above and exercised authority over those below. Thus, the Nazi organization resembled the command structure of military institutions. The strongest proponent of the Führerprinzip was Hitler himself. Mein Kampf was permeated with statements espousing the importance of individual personalities as the source of all cultural creativity and political greatness.
At the first successful mass meeting, held at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich on February 24, 1920, the spotlight was on Hitler rather than on Drexler or Harrer. Hitler himself had the honor of introducing the new party program and proclaiming a change in the party’s name. Henceforth, the DAP was to be known as the National Socialist German Workers’ party (NSDAP), from which the term Nazi was derived. Hitler used his position as propaganda director to manipulate the flow of information within the party and to the public so as to promote himself and his ideas while undermining his opponents in the party.
Thereafter, race, not culture, was the decisive factor. A major proponent of this völkisch racism was Julius Langbehn, a popular writer who shared many of Lagarde’s utopian dreams about a rejuvenation of the lost German Gemeinschaft. Langbehn was fanatical in his beliefs that Jews were a separate and dangerous race and that the Jewish question could never be solved by assimilation, because this would lead to the bastardization of the German Volk. Völkisch theorists, in general, no longer spoke only of the cultural and environmental factors that produced a certain Volk; the new emphasis was on Blut und Boden (blood and soil).