On January 30, 1933, hearing about the celebrations for Hitler's assumption of power, Erich Ebermayer remarked bitterly in his diary, 'We are the losers, definitely the losers'. Learning of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, which made Jews non-citizens, he raged, 'hate is sown a million-fold'. Yet in March 1938, he wept for joy at the Anschluss with Austria: 'Not to want it just because it has been achieved by Hitler would be folly'. In a masterful work, Peter Fritzsche deciphers the puzzle of Nazism's ideological grip. Its basic appeal lay in the Volksgemeinschaft - a 'people's community' that appealed to Germans to be part of a great project to redress the wrongs of the Versailles treaty, make the country strong and vital, and rid the body politic of unhealthy elements. The goal was to create a new national and racial self-consciousness among Germans. For Germany to live, others - especially Jews - had to die. Diaries and letters reveal Germans' fears, desires, and reservations, while showing how Nazi concepts saturated everyday life.
Fritzsche examines the efforts of Germans to adjust to new racial identities, to believe in the necessity of war, to accept the dynamic of unconditional destruction - in short, to become Nazis. Powerful and provocative, "Life and Death in the Third Reich" is a chilling portrait of how ideology takes hold.
Peter Fritzsche is Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign..
* Preface * Introduction *1. Reviving the Nation *"Heil Hitler!" * How Far Did Germans Support the Nazis? *Volksgemeinschaft, or the People's Community * Consuming the Nation *Unter Uns, or Nazism's Audiovisual Space *2. Racial Grooming * Aryan Passports * Biology and the National Revolution * Seeing like an Aryan * The Camp * Unworthy Life * The Assault on German Jews *3. Empire of Destruction * Writing Letters * The Imperial Project * The Expansion of the German Empire * Final Solutions to the "Jewish Problem" * The Deportation of German Jews * The Holocaust *4. Intimate Knowledge * Train Station * Jewish Witnesses * German Witnesses * Perpetrators and Victims * Imagining the End of the War * Reading Catastrophe * Notes * Index
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- ID: 9780674034655
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