Ideology of Death: Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany

Overview

Why the Holocaust happened in Germany is the subject of this stunning and disturbing exploration of the unique nature of German history and its culture of racism and anti-Semitism.

This stunning and disturbing narrative history explores the unique nature of German history. Rejecting the notion that the Holocaust was a product of Nazi fanaticism, Weiss shows instead how racist ideas ingrained in German culture led to the horror.

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1995 Hard cover NEW, Hardcover edition. ISBN 1566630886 New in new dust jacket. NEW, Hardcover edition. ISBN 1566630886 NEW, Hardcover edition. ISBN 1566630886 NEW, Hardcover ... edition. ISBN 1566630886 Read more Show Less

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Overview

Why the Holocaust happened in Germany is the subject of this stunning and disturbing exploration of the unique nature of German history and its culture of racism and anti-Semitism.

This stunning and disturbing narrative history explores the unique nature of German history. Rejecting the notion that the Holocaust was a product of Nazi fanaticism, Weiss shows instead how racist ideas ingrained in German culture led to the horror.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
How could one of the most "civilized" of Western nations kill millions of innocent people? Weiss (The Facist Tradition, 1967) rejects the claim of "No Hitler, no Holocaust." Instead, he argues that anti-Semitism was a strong trait in every class in Germany; the anti-Semitism of "tens of thousands" of upper-class Germans was not "all that different from that of the Nazis themselves." Weiss traces anti-Semitism in western Europe and shows why it was so strong in Germany. He demolishes the old argument that most Germans knew nothing about the mass murders and were shocked when they learned the truth. He suggests that if the masses truly did not know and were as horrified as they claimed, "an outburst of patriotic indignation and revulsion and unstoppable desire to punish the guilty would have been inevitable. The opposite occurred." Weiss's clear and lucid style makes his book an excellent choice for classes or discussion groups on the Holocaust. This book should be in all academic and public libraries with strong Holocaust collections.-Dennis L. Noble, Sequim, Wash.
Booknews
Weiss (history, Lehman College) explores the nature of the German experience and the history of antisemitism to show how racist ideas ingrained in German culture led to the Holocaust. He traces the evolution of Christian antisemitism among German Protestants and Austrian Catholics in Luther's Germany, the Napoleonic era, and the late 1800s, and its influence on the generation that brought Hitler to power, and explains the specific complicities of various German groups that voluntarily cooperated with the Nazis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Mary Carroll
The Holocaust happened in Germany, historian Weiss argues, because "the special nature of German and Austrian history" gave an utterly racist form of anti-Semitism "immense power." Weiss examines anti-Semitism's "Christian legacy" in Europe; the role of Martin Luther; the weakness of countervailing Enlightenment ideas in Germany and Austria-Hungary; and the central fact that, throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, "racism was increasingly used by upper-class reactionaries, middle-class nationalists, and lower-class populists as a weapon against the growing influence of democratic liberalism, economic modernization, and calls for social reform." Weiss reviews the rise of the Nazi movement and its fuhrer, Hitler's relationships with German elites, German (and Austrian) involvement with the death camps, and the postwar efforts of many German leaders (often with Allied support) to hide their prewar racial attitudes. An effective overview of an essential subject.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566630887
  • Publisher: Ivan R Dee
  • Publication date: 11/1/1995
  • Pages: 427
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Christian Legacy 3
2 Luther and the Reformation 20
3 The Enlightenment 36
4 The Liberation of the Jews in France 50
5 The Nationalist Reaction: Germany, 1815-1848 64
6 Anti-Semitism in the Bismarck Era 80
7 The Rise of Populist Anti-Semitism 97
8 Anti-Semitism Among the Elites, 1890-1914 112
9 Anti-Semitism, Academics, and Intellectuals, 1890-1914 128
10 Opposing Anti-Semitism 143
11 Catholic Anti-Semitism in the Austrian Empire 156
12 Racial Nationalism in Austria 173
13 Hitler in Austria 191
14 The Great War and Racism 206
15 The Seedbed: The Postwar Wave of Anti-Semitism 222
16 The Battle for Culture 239
17 Organizing the Nazis, 1924-1930 256
18 Anti-Semitism and the Nazi Vote 271
19 Hitler and the Elites 288
20 Hitler in Power 306
21 Toward a Racial Empire 317
22 The Ideology of Death 325
23 Complicities 342
24 Resistance, Public Opinion, Knowledge 362
25 Aftermath: Judgment and Innocence 380
Notes 399
Index 413
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