Strength Through Joy: Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich

Strength Through Joy: Consumerism and Mass Tourism in the Third Reich

by Shelley Baranowski
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521833523

ISBN-13: 9780521833523

Pub. Date: 05/28/2014

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Based on extensive archival research, this is the first major book on the Nazi leisure and tourism agency, Strength through Joy (KdF). The Third Reich aimed to unify Germans in preparation for war and the acquisition of "living space." Yet it was also sensitive to German consumers, whose wish for higher living standards threatened national cohesion and rearmament. The…  See more details below

Overview

Based on extensive archival research, this is the first major book on the Nazi leisure and tourism agency, Strength through Joy (KdF). The Third Reich aimed to unify Germans in preparation for war and the acquisition of "living space." Yet it was also sensitive to German consumers, whose wish for higher living standards threatened national cohesion and rearmament. The leisure organization Strength through Joy became the Nazi regime's most determined attempt to ease the tension between collective goals and individual desires, as well as between "guns and butter." Its factory beautification, organized sports, cultural events, and mass tourism sought to raise the status of workers and integrate them in the nation, while keeping its costs low so that its clientele could afford its programs without wage increases that compromised rearmament. Nevertheless, if KdF did attract workers, it also drew the middle classes, which sought adventure, personal comfort, and pleasure - especially through its tourism. Although the motivations of Strength through Joy's constituencies often diverged from the Nazi ideal of a united, politicized "racial community," kdF's accommodation to consumer expectations made it the regime's most popular institution. KdF mitigated present sacrifices while presenting visions of a prosperous future once "living space" was acquired. As a privilege extended to racially acceptable Germans, it segregated the Nazi regime's victims from the German "racial community" (Volksgemeinschaft).

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521833523
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
05/28/2014
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.91(d)

Table of Contents

1Nazism, popular aspirations, and mass consumption on the road to power11
2"A Volk strong in nerve" : strength through joy's place in the Third Reich40
3The beauty of labor : "plant community" and coercion75
4Mass tourism, the cohesive nation, and visions of empire118
5Racial community and individual desires : tourism, the standard of living, and popular consent162
6Memories of the past and promises for the future : strength through joy in wartime199
Epilogue : the end of "German" consumption : consumerism and tourism in the postwar Germanys231

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