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Nazi Terror: The Gestapo, Jews, and Ordinary Germans

Johnson, Eric A.

102 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0465049060 / ISBN 13: 9780465049066
Published by Basic Books, 1999
Condition: As New Hardcover
From Northmont Books and Stamps (Farmington Hills., MI, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Nazi Terror: The Gestapo, Jews, and Ordinary...

Publisher: Basic Books

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Half-Leather

Book Condition:As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Bound in the publisher's original black boards with the spine stamped in silver.

Review:

Nazi Terror: The Gestapo, Jews and Ordinary Germans reconciles conflicting interpretations of the Nazi regime and its genocidal policies by focusing on how both party officials and average individuals created and maintained the totalitarianism that gripped German society from 1933 to the end of World War II. Eric A. Johnson argues that historians have understood the authoritarian nature of the National Socialist state in two ways. Scholarship in the 1970's and 1980's highlighted the average person's resistance to the terror fostered by panoptic and ruthless police agencies, while more current investigations show that the Gestapo and related organizations often had less power than was previously assumed. These studies stress the roles played by citizens in the execution of Nazi policies. The most notable example of this interpretation is Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's chilling Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust.

Johnson argues that ordinary Germans did not willfully intend to harm others, though their cowardice and apathy made the implementation of Nazi policies possible. Drawing from court records and Gestapo files from the area around Cologne, a region that had demonstrated only lukewarm support for the Nazis in elections, Johnson shows that Germans' participation in the Third Reich was not heavily driven by images of anti-Semitism but by a routine obedience to the state. In an era filled with disreputable Holocaust revisionism, Johnson lays to rest questions of accountability by showing who exactly is to blame. Detailed and compelling, Nazi Terror provides a stark, and at times moving, portrait of how individual people took part in the greatest moral quandary of the 20th century. --James Highfill

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