The Third Reich, a regime which instigated the most destructive war in modern history, still evokes fascination and horror today. Yet how were the lives of ordinary German people of the 1930s and 1940s affected by the politics of Hitler and his folllowers? Looking beyond the catalogue of events, this book reveals that daily life involved a complex mixture of bribery and terror, of fear and concessions, of barbarism and appeals to conventional moral values, employed to maintain a grip upon society. The essays presented here by eight leading historians shed fresh light on familiar topics, the role of political violence in Nazi seizure of power, the German view of Hitler himself, and also focus upon less well-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.
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.
1. Introduction ; 2. Political Violence and the Nazi Seizure of Power ; 3. Village Life in Nazi Germany ; 4. Youth in the Third Reich ; 5. Hitler and the Germans ; 6. The Nazi State Reconsidered ; 7. Nazi policy against the Jews ; 8. Social Outcasts in the Third Reich ; 9. Good Times, Bad Times: Memories of the Third Reich