A military, social, and political history of the Third Reich argues that Nazism was not the inevitable next step for Germany, but rather that certain factors enabled Hitler to seize power and cause the annihilation of European Jews.
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Klaus Fischer is a cultural historian of Modern Europe with expertise in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Born in Germany in 1942, he arrived in the United States in 1959 as a 17-year-old emigrant. He attended Arizona State University and then the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received his PhD in 1972. He is the author of Nazi Germany: A New History and The History of an Obsession: German Judeophobia and the Holocaust.From Publishers Weekly:
Rejecting traditional explanations that Hitler received most of his support from the lower middle class, Fischer draws on electoral studies to show that a broad segment of Germans voted for Hitler, with the highest levels of support coming from the upper and upper middle classes. An indispensable, compellingly readable political, military and social history of the Third Reich, this major synthesis argues that Nazism was not the inevitable culmination of German history. Fischer identifies various factors that allowed a "clever sociopath" to seize power, forge a totalitarian regime and kill millions by state mandate: widespread, virulent anti-Semitism, an all-embracing racial ideology made academically respectable; belligerent nationalism; economic collapse following WWI; and a strong tradition of institutionalized authoritarianism in family, school and everyday life. He paints a chilling picture of Nazi society?educational indoctrination, the family as incubator, the regime's war on religion, book-burning and state-regulated culture. His analysis leaves no doubt that Hitler himself was the guiding force in the annihilation of Europe's Jews from the time he gained power in 1933. Fischer is the author of History and Prophecy: Oswald Spengler and "The Decline of the West." Photos.
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