Living with Hitler: Liberal Democrats in the Third Reich

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Overview

This book addresses key questions about liberal democrats and their activities in Germany from 1933 to the end of the Nazi regime. While it is commonly assumed that liberals fled their homeland at the first sign of jackboots, in reality most stayed. Some even thrived under Hitler, personally as well as professionally. Historian Eric Kurlander examines the motivations, hopes, and fears of liberal democrats—Germans who best exemplified the middle-class progressivism of the Weimar Republic—to discover why so few resisted and so many embraced elements of the Third Reich.

German liberalism was not only the opponent and victim of National Socialism, Kurlander suggests, but in some ways its ideological and sociological antecedent. That liberalism could be both has crucial implications for understanding the genesis of authoritarian regimes everywhere. Indeed, Weimar democrats’ prolonged reluctance to oppose the regime demonstrates how easily a liberal democracy may gradually succumb to fascism.

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Editorial Reviews

The Journal of European History

"Written in an eminently readable and inviting style...this book is filled with interesting observations and original insights."--Jonathan Sperber, The Journal of European History

— Jonathan Sperber

The Journal of Central European History

"Written in an eminently readable and inviting style. . . . This book is filled with interesting observations and original insights. . . . Certainly filling a gap in the existing scholarship, with its comprehensive portrayal of liberal democrats in the Third Reich."—Jonathan Sperber, The Journal of Central European History

— Jonathan Sperber

The Journal of Central European History - Jonathan Sperber

"Written in an eminently readable and inviting style. . . . This book is filled with interesting observations and original insights. . . . Certainly filling a gap in the existing scholarship, with its comprehensive portrayal of liberal democrats in the Third Reich."—Jonathan Sperber, The Journal of Central European History
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300116663
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 8/11/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Kurlander is associate professor of history at Stetson University. He lives in Deland, Florida.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction 1

Ch. 1 "A Gift to Germany's Future?" The Liberal Resistance to Hitler 11

Ch. 2 "Writing between the Lines": The Struggle for Liberal Ideals in Cultural and Intellectual Life 47

Ch. 3 "The Woman" in the Third Reich: Gertrud Baumer, Social Policy, and the Liberal Women's Movement 81

Ch. 4 Hitler's War? Liberal Nationalism and Nazi Foreign Policy 114

Ch. 5 "Neither Jews nor Anti-Semites": The Liberal Answer to Hitler's "Jewish Question" 152

Conclusion 194

Notes 204

Bibliography 255

Index 284

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