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Fritzsche convincingly explains the rise of the Nazis as the success of populist nationalism—'the culmination of a process of popular mobilization going back to 1914 and beyond'...This is a fascinating issue—what consciousness of being 'German' was and how it was shaped. A well-crafted, well-informed, well-written and convincing account. It should be accessible to its intended audience of general public and university students.
— Richard Bessel
Peter Fritzsche, in his Germans into Nazis, makes a...crucial point about public opinion in the 1930s and 1940s. He recalls—and this is something that foreigners living in Germany have always understood more readily than academics—that the popular appeal of Hitler's movement lay much more in the hope and optimism it generated than in its various invitations to hate and to fear.
— Neal Ascherson
Historians examining nations over periods of time have somehow to find a balance between what is inherent in a people and what is not, in order to attempt explanations of national attitudes and conduct. This balance is not often found in the study of Germany during the fateful pre-Hitler period. The question is clear enough: Why did a civilized Central European power suddenly and swiftly descend into moral depths?...[A unified explanation] is unlikely to be found. But Peter Fritzsche has come up with new light on an old question. Instead of starting from 1918, he goes further back, and...looks at Germany as a nation undergoing redefinition, an animal changing out of all recognition...Fritzsche writes attractive, polished prose, and non-specialists should have no trouble in following his line of thought.
— Ralph Amelan
The question still haunts: Why did Germans embrace Hitler? Dr. Fritzsche rejects the standard view that Germany welcomed Nazism because of the harsh strictures of the Treaty of Versailles, the economics hardships of the Depression or a long-standing hatred of Jews, and argues instead that Hitler's 'program' articulated the aims and desires of the lower and middle classes. Perhaps the most unsettling view in this thoughtful book is that the German people saw Hitler and his plan as embodying their hopes for their future. And what would that triumph have produced?
— Lee Milazzo
Peter Fritzsche's Germans into Nazis is an interpretive study of the rise of Nazism which uses the key events of four crisis periods—August 1914, November 1918, January 1933 and May 1933—to explain the success of the Nazis in their drive to gain and solidify their power by winning over the German people...This book is gracefully written, provides provocative challenges for more extensive reinterpretations, and is worthy reading for all students of Nazi Germany.
— Paul Bookbinder
Drawing on a wealth of documentation, including newspaper reports, historical analyses and studies of everyday life, Fritsche gives a fascinating look at the rise of Nazism, the dynamics of populism and the power of ideology.
— Victoria Barnett