The Nazi Conscience

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November 2005



Challenging the conventional assumptions about Hitler, Koonz locates the source of his charisma not in his summons to hate, but in his appeal to the collective virtue of his people, the "Volk." 62 halftones.


Prologue 1. An Ethnic Conscience 2. The Politics of Virtue 3. Allies in the Academy 4. The Conquest of Political Culture 5. Ethnic Revival and Racist Anxiety 6. The Swastika in the Heart of the Youth 7. Law and the Racial Order 8. The Quest for a Respectable Racism 9. Racial Warriors 10. Racial War at Home Abbreviations Notes Acknowledgments Illustration Credits Index


Claudia Koonz is Professor of History at Duke University.


Hitler, Koonz says, understood the German people's need for a sense of coherence in the wake of what many saw as the degeneracy of the Weimar Republic--and 'he promised to rescue old-fashioned values of honor and dignity' by offering a secular faith to replace lost religious certainties. Koonz explores the promotion of these beliefs in German culture and law, and how they led to the catastrophe of the Holocaust, adding much to our understanding of how a civilized society could reach such infamous levels of violence. Publishers Weekly Claudia Koonz...explains in her insightful new book how Germans, who were among Europe's least anti-Semitic people, came to support a leadership that sought to annihilate European Jewry...The readiness of many Germans to acquiesce evolved as a consequence of their internalization of the knowledge that was disseminated apparently by legitimate institutions of the state. As Koonz notes, the indoctrination was successful because there was little reason to question the facts conveyed by experts, documentary films, educational materials, and popular science. The German public was reeducated to support the elimination of Jews, Gypsies, the chronically ill, and other categories of the 'unfit'--all as a moral good, consistent with the dictates of conscience. Koonz's prodigious work is a major contribution to our understanding of the social and ideological history of the Third Reich. -- Jack Fischel Weekly Standard 20040112 Koonz does not deny the existence of extremist and violent anti-Semites in the Nazi leadership. But her stress on the moderate way their ultimately genocidal plans were presented as necessary cruelties adds an important dimension in our understanding of the Nazi regime and its crime. -- Antony Polonsky Boston Globe 20031221 Trudl Junge, former personal secretary to Adolf Hitler, once noted that the Fuhrer's success came with his ability to manipulate other people's conscience. On a vast scale, the German people no longer knew right from wrong. Koonz presents a compelling argument to suggest that Junge was in some degree right. The Germans did not surrender their conscience but submitted to its transformation away from conventional Western notions of right and wrong to a radical, racial nationalism that established criteria for assessing moral actions and outcomes. -- J. Kleiman Choice 20040601 Koonz displays the gradual transformation of the traditional idea of conscience into something that was utterly shaped by the subordination of one's own self to that of the Volk. -- Aharon ben Anshel Jewish Press 20040326 [Koonz] documents in exemplary fashion what the historical actors actually thought, felt, advocated, planned, and organized before they acted...impressively researched, lucidly organized, disturbing, yet eminently readable. -- Michael Meyer American Historical Review 20070401
EAN: 9780674018426
ISBN: 0674018427
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: November 2005
Seitenanzahl: 362 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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