Backing Hitler

Backing Hitler : Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany

3.76 (164 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Nazis never won a majority in free elections, but soon after Hitler took power most people turned away from democracy and backed the Nazi regime. Hitler won growing support even as he established the secret police (Gestapo) and concentration camps. What has been in dispute for over fifty years is what the Germans knew about these camps, and in what ways were they involved in the persecution of 'race enemies', slave workers, and social outsiders. To answer these questions, and to explore the public sides of Nazi persecution, Robert Gellately has consulted an array of primary documents. He argues that the Nazis did not cloak their radical approaches to 'law and order' in utter secrecy, but played them up in the press and loudly proclaimed the superiority of their system over all others. They publicized their views by drawing on popular images, cherished German ideals, and long held phobias, and were able to win over converts to their cause. The author traces the story from 1933, and shows how war and especially the prospect of defeat radicalized Nazism. As the country spiralled toward defeat, Germans for the most part held on stubbornly.
For anyone who contemplated surrender or resistance, terror became the order of the day.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 138 x 210 x 26mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 24pp halftone plates
  • 0192802917
  • 9780192802910
  • 331,486

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. Turning away from Weimar ; 2. Police Justice ; 3. Concentration Camps and Media Reports ; 4. Shadows of War ; 5. Social Outsiders ; 6. Injustice and the Jews ; 7. Special 'Justice' for Foreign Workers ; 8. Enemies in the Ranks ; 9. Concentration Camps in Public Spaces ; 10. Dictatorship and People at the End of the Third Reich ; Conclusion
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Review quote

Backing Hitler is based on the first systematic analysis by a historian of surviving German newspaper and magazine archives since 1933, the year Hitler became chancellor. * John Ezard, The Guardian * original and outstanding, genuinely important. * Michael Burdesh * Just how much the ordinary German knew about the apparatus of terror and discrimination in the Hitler years is the subject of Robert Gellately's fascinating and disturbing account of the bonds that drew regime and people together after 1933. * Richard Overy, The Sunday Telegraph * powerful and challenging book * Richard Overy, The Sunday Telegraph * Review from previous edition In 1933 Germans ... hankered for a return to traditional values of order, family, discipline, work. Noone could forsee how such ordinary aspirations would eventuate in that most extreme act, genocide. But this is one lesson the Nazis teach us and, thanks to Robert Gellately's fine book, it is available for all to learn. * David Cesarani, The Independent * This book will not be the last word on the subject but it will encourage the debate and increase our desire to understand fully the horrible things that happened to and in a civilised nation. * Contempoary Review, Vol.278, No.1625, June 2001 *
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About Robert Gellately

Robert Gellately is Professor in Holocaust History at Clark University, Massacuhsetts, USA.
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Rating details

164 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 20% (33)
4 46% (75)
3 26% (43)
2 7% (11)
1 1% (2)
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