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

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Overview

The giant Nazi leisure and tourism agency, Strength through Joy (KdF)'s low cost cultural events, factory beautification programs, organized sports, and, especially, mass tourism mitigated the tension between the Nazi regime's investment in rearmament and German consumers' desire for a higher standard of living. Shelley Baranowski reveals how Strength through Joy de-emphasized the sacrifices of the present while its programs presented visions of a prosperous future--that would materialize as soon as "living space" was acquired. As an agency open to racially acceptable Germans only, it segregated the regime's victims from the Nazi "racial community."
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"All in all, this is a very useful book, particularly for those who seek an introductory overview. It convincingly extends the subject well beyond its classic boundaries by opening up new perspectives on the relation between consumption and National Socialism." American Historical Review

"Anyone interested in the history of Nazi Germany, in mass-market tourism, and in an account of a twentieth-century attempt to create a balance between work and life should read Baranowski's thorough and provocative study." Business History Review, Hans-Liudger Dienel, Berlin University of Technology

"Shelly Baranowski provides us with a clear and careful assessment of the impact of Fordism on the changing patterns of German consumption." Journal of Modern History Christopher Kopper, Universitat Bielefeld

"Overall, this is a book that historians will welcome as the first major, scholarly assessment of KDF, from a seasoned scholar who crafts her discussion from fresh perspectives currently engaging the profession."
Geoffrey J. Giles, University of Florida, German Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521833523
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2014
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Shelley Baranowski is Professor of History at the University of Akron. Her previous books include The Confessing Church: Conservative Elites and the Nazi State (1986) and The Sanctity of Rural Life: Nobility, Protestantism and Nazism in Weimar Prussia (1995). She has also co-edited Being Elsewhere: Tourism, Consumer Culture and Identity in Modern Europe and North America (2001), with Ellen Furlough.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Nazism, popular aspirations, and mass consumption on the road to power; 2. 'A volk strong in nerve': Strength through Joy's place in the Third Reich; 3. The beauty of labor: 'plant community' and coercion; 4. Mass tourism, the cohesive nation, and visions of empire; 5. Racial community and individual desires: tourism, the standard of living, and popular consent; 6. Memories of the past and promises for the future: Strength through Joy in wartime; 7. Epilogue: the end of 'German' consumption.
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