Royals and the Reich: The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany

Royals and the Reich: The Princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany

by Jonathan Petropoulos
     
 

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Princes Philipp and Christoph von Hessen-Kassel, great-grandsons of Queen Victoria of England, had been humiliated by defeat in World War I and, like much of the German aristocracy, feared the social unrest wrought by the ineffectual Weimar Republic. Jonathan Petropoulos shows how the princes, lured by prominent positions in the Nazi regime and highly susceptible to

Overview

Princes Philipp and Christoph von Hessen-Kassel, great-grandsons of Queen Victoria of England, had been humiliated by defeat in World War I and, like much of the German aristocracy, feared the social unrest wrought by the ineffectual Weimar Republic. Jonathan Petropoulos shows how the princes, lured by prominent positions in the Nazi regime and highly susceptible to nationalist appeals, became enthusiastic supporters of Hitler. Prince Philipp, son-in-law to the King of Italy, became the highest-ranking prince in the Nazi state and developed a close personal relationship with Hitler and Hermann G?ering. Prince Christoph was a prominent SS officer and head of the most important intelligence agency in the Third Reich. In return, the princes made the Nazis socially acceptable to wealthy, high-society patrons. Prince Philipp even introduced G?ering to Mussolini at a critical stage in the Nazi Party's development and later served as a liaison between Hitler and the Italian dictator. Permitted access to Hessen family private papers and the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle, Petropoulos follows the story of the House of Hesse through to its tragic denouement--the princes' betrayal and persecution by an increasingly paranoid Hitler and prosecution and denazification by the Allies.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The development and denouement of Third Reich German culture continues to be a vital area of interest for historians and history readers alike. In a huge literature, some books stand out as particularly intriguing, and this is one of them. Petropoulos (European history, Claremont McKenna Coll.; The Faustian Bargain: The Art World in Nazi Germany) examines the German aristocracy and its relations with Nazi Germany. Focusing on the princely Von Hessen family, he unpacks what he describes as "myths and taboos" surrounding aristocratic involvement in the Nazi regime. In the Von Hessen family, active support of the regime and participation in its bureaucracy and programs culminated in a falling out with Hitler that led to imprisonment of princely family leaders in German concentration camps and, in the postwar period, to trials and further imprisonment. Petropoulos has accessed an impressive archive of documents and interviewed key figures to create a thoughtful, readable, and balanced assessment of why and how aristocratic Germans became involved with the Nazi regime and of the impact that era had on today's German aristocracy. For all academic libraries and for public libraries with interested readers.-Barbara Walden, Univ. of Wisconsin Lib., Madison Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Now, thanks to Jonathan Petropoulos's thoroughly researched study, we possess new and important knowledge about the complex and tension-filled relationship between the German higher nobility and National Socialism.... An exemplary analysis."—Journal of Modern History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199796076
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
08/12/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
883,151
File size:
7 MB

Meet the Author

Jonathan Petropoulos is the John V. Croul Professor of European History at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of The Faustian Bargain (OUP), which was named one of the 25 Books to Remember in 2000 by the New York Public Library. He was a Research Director on the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets and has served as an expert witness in cases involving Holocaust victims assets. He lives in Claremont, California.

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