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9780192865076

Before the Holocaust Antisemitic Violence and the Reaction of German Elites and Institutions during the Nazi Takeover

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780192865076

  • ISBN10:

    0192865072

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2022-10-30
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

As the Nazis staged their takeover in 1933, instances of antisemitic violence began to soar.

While previous historical research assumed that this violence happened much later, Hermann Beck counteracts this, drawing on sources from twenty German archives, and focussing on this early violence, and on the reaction of German institutions and the elites who led them.

Before the Holocaust examines the antisemitic violence experienced in this period - from boycotts, violent attacks, robbery, extortion, abductions, and humiliating 'pillory marches', to grievous bodily harm and murder - which has hitherto not been adequately recognized. Beck then analyses the reactions of those institutions that still had the capacity to protest against Nazi attacks and legislative measures - the Protestant Church, the Catholic Church, the bureaucracies, and Hitler's conservative coalition partner, the DNVP - and the mindset of the elites who led them, to determine their various responses to flagrant antisemitic abuses. Individual protests against violent attacks, the April boycott, and Nazi legislative measures were already hazardous in March and April 1933, but established institutions in the German State and society were still able to voice their concerns and raise objections. By doing so, they might have stopped or at least postponed a radicalization that eventually led to the pogrom of 1938 (Kristallnacht) and the Holocaust.

Author Biography


Hermann Beck, Professor of History, University of Miami

Hermann Beck is Professor of History at the University of Miami. He received his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles after studying Germanistik and ancient and modern history at German universities (Mannheim, Freiburg, and Berlin), the London School of Economics, and the Sorbonne. He
has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow at the Berliner Historische Kommission, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. In addition to his book publications, he has published more than twenty articles in edited collections and in American, British, and German journals,
including the Historische Zeitschrift and the Journal of Modern History.

Table of Contents


Preface
Introduction: The Search for Archival Evidence
Part I: Violence against Foreign Jews
1. Violence against 'Ostjuden' in the Winter and Spring of 1933
2. 'Ostjuden' as Predetermined Targets - a History of Marginalization
3. Attacks against American and West European Jews, among Others
Part II: Violence against German Jews
4. Violent Attacks
5. Pillory Marches and the Perfidy Decree
6. Murder
7. Boycott
8. Legal and Economic Discrimination
Part III: Reactions to Anti-Semitic Violence
9. The Protestant Church and the 'Jewish Question'
10. Protestant Church Leaders and the 'Jewish Question'
11. The Protestant Church between Action and Silence
12. The Reaction of the Catholic Church
13. Reactions of the German Bureaucracy
14. The Reaction of Hitler's Conservative Coalition Partner
Epilogue: How could it happen?

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