Life and Death in the Third Reich

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-09-30
  • Publisher: Belknap Pr

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On January 30, 1933, hearing about the celebrations for Hitlerrs"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 Nazismrs"s ideological grip. Its basic appeal lay in the Volksgemeinschaft-a "peoplers"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 Germansrs" 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.

Table of Contents

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
Racial Grooming
Aryan Passports
Biology and the National Revolution
Seeing like an Aryan
The Camp
Unworthy Life
The Assault on German Jews
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
Intimate Knowledge
Train Station
Jewish Witnesses
German Witnesses
Perpetrators and Victims
Imagining the End of the War
Reading Catastrophe
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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