Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany

Complicity in the Holocaust: Churches and Universities in Nazi Germany

by Robert P. Ericksen
     
 

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In one of the darker aspects of Nazi Germany, churches and universities – generally respected institutions – grew to accept and support Nazi ideology. Robert P. Ericksen explains how an advanced, highly-educated, Christian nation could commit the crimes of the Holocaust. This book describes how Germany's intellectual and spiritual leaders enthusiastically…  See more details below

Overview

In one of the darker aspects of Nazi Germany, churches and universities – generally respected institutions – grew to accept and support Nazi ideology. Robert P. Ericksen explains how an advanced, highly-educated, Christian nation could commit the crimes of the Holocaust. This book describes how Germany's intellectual and spiritual leaders enthusiastically partnered with Hitler's regime, thus becoming active participants in the persecution of Jews, and ultimately, in the Holocaust. Ericksen also examines Germany's deeply flawed yet successful postwar policy of denazification in these institutions. Complicity in the Holocaust argues that enthusiasm for Hitler within churches and universities effectively gave Germans permission to participate in the Nazi regime.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Based on decades of his own research and complete mastery of both German- and English-language scholarship in the field, Robert Ericksen demonstrates convincingly how a critical mass of churchmen and academics in Germany enthusiastically embraced the Nazi regime and provided the rationalizations and adjustment of moral norms that permitted ordinary Germans to accept and even implement the regime’s brutal and murderous policies."
Christopher R. Browning, Frank Porter Graham Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"Robert P. Ericksen has given us a masterful comparative study of the churches and the universities in Nazi Germany. Two institutions entrusted to foster the collective conscience and intellect of the German people are revealed to have compromised their integrity by collaborating in the Holocaust, despite the fact that Jews had been crucial in creating Christianity (Jesus and Paul) and enhancing German academic scholarship."
Susannah Heschel, author of The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (2008)

"Robert P. Erickson's reputation as an important authority on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust is based not only on his careful and original scholarship, but also on his insistence on moral clarity. He does not shirk from assigning individual and collective responsibility for the crimes of Nazism. This book makes compelling reading, and will most certainly stimulate debate among its many readers."
Alan E. Steinweis, University of Vermont

"This book deserves to be celebrated for its moral courage, lucid prose and splendid craftsmanship - in spite of its complex and emotive content, it reads with beguiling simplicity."
Times Higher Education

"Highly recommended."
Choice

"… a thoroughly successful summary …"
Dirk Schuster, Arbeitstitel

"Ericksen's book is helpful because it begins the story of complicity not in 1933, with the rise of Adolf Hitler to the chancellorship, but instead in 1923, with the decade-long religious and ideological tumultuousness that marked the Weimar Republic."
Charles Gallagher, German Studies Review

"… a compelling piece of scholarship that is eminently readable, frequently thought-provoking, and deeply insightful."
Derek Hastings, The Catholic Historical Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107015913
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
02/29/2012
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Robert P. Ericksen is Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies and Professor of History at Pacific Lutheran University. Ericksen is also a Fellow of the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation. He is on the editorial boards of the journals Kirchliche Zeitgeschicte (Contemporary Church History) and Association of Contemporary Church Historians. Ericksen is the author of Theologians under Hitler: Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus and Emanuel Hirsch (1985) and co-editor of Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust (1999).

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