Advertisement

The Nazi Revolution

  • Jeremy Noakes
Part of the Themes in Focus book series (TIF)

Abstract

The question of Nazism and revolution has generated a large literature that has raised major issues about the nature of Nazism and its impact on German politics and society.1 However, in order to fit in with the comparative focus of this volume, this chapter will consider the Nazi revolution primarily in terms of the Nazi takeover or ‘seizure’ of power during the years 1933–34 with only a few final reflections on what one might call ‘the revolution in power’ which continued until 1945.

Keywords

German Nation Parliamentary Democracy Weimar Democracy German People Nazi Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    On the question of Nazism and social revolution, useful overviews are: T. Saunders, ‘Nazism and Social Revolution’ in G. Martel, Modern Germany Reconsidered 1870–1945 (London, 1992)Google Scholar
  2. I. Kershaw, ‘The Third Reich: “Social Reaction” or “Social Revolution”?’ in I. Kershaw, The Nazi Dictatorship, 3rd edn (London, 1993), pp. 131–49.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    On the question of the revolutionary nature of the Nazi ‘seizure of power’ see H. Möller, ‘Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung: Konterrevolution oder Revolution?’ in Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, XXXI (1983), pp. 25–51.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    For a very useful, though controversial, discussion of Hitler’s revolutionary self-image and aims see R. Zitelmann, Hitler. Selbstverständnis eines Revolutionärs, 2nd edn (Stuttgart, 1989).Google Scholar
  5. For a penetrating and judicious assessment of Hitler see I. Kershaw, Hitler 1889–1936. Hubris (London, 1998), especially pp. xix-xxx.Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    E. Jaeckel, Hitler, Sämtliche Aufzeichnungen 1905–1924 (Stuttgart, 1980), pp. 652, 670.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    A. Hitler, Mein Kampf (London, 1969), p. 485.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    M. Domarus, Hitler, Reden 1932 bis 1945 (Wiesbaden, 1973), p. 371.Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    See also E. Jaeckel, Hitler’s World View: a Blueprint for Power (Cambridge, Mass., 1981), which focuses in particular on the ideological background of Hitler’s foreign policy.Google Scholar
  10. E. Fröhlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels. Sämtliche Fragmente, Teil 1, Aufweichungen 1924–1941, vol. 3 (Munich, 1987) p. 55.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    On the ‘power vacuum’ and on the collapse of the Weimar Republic in general see the classic study by Karl Dietrich Bracher, Die Auflösung der Weimarer Republik. Eine Studie zum Problem des Machtverfalls in der Demokratie (Villingen, 1955).Google Scholar
  12. For more recent assessments see Hans Mommsen, Die verspielte Freiheit. Der Weg der Republik von Weimar in den Untergang 1918 bis 1933 (Frankfurt am Main, 1989), pp. 275ff;Google Scholar
  13. G. Schulz, Von Brüning zu Hitler. Der Wandel des politischen Systems in Deutschland 1930–1933 (Berlin, 1992);Google Scholar
  14. H. A. Turner, Hitler’s Thirty Days to Power January 1933 (London, 1996).Google Scholar
  15. For a useful brief introduction see E. Kolb, The Weimar Republic (London, 1988), pp. 96–126, 179–96.Google Scholar
  16. For a valuable discussion of recent research approaches to the collapse of the Weimar see I. Kershaw (ed.), Weimar: Why did German Democracy Fail? (London, 1990).Google Scholar
  17. 12.
    See H. Mommsen, ‘Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung und die deutsche Gesellschaft’ in W. Michalka (ed.), Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung (Paderborn, 1984), p. 42.Google Scholar
  18. 13.
    On this see R. Bessel, Germany after the First World War (Oxford, 1993), pp. 254ff.Google Scholar
  19. 14.
    On this point see in particular L. E. Jones, ‘“The Dying Middle”: Weimar Germany and the Fragmentation of Bourgeois Politics’, Central European History, XII (1979), pp. 143–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. L. E. Jones, German Liberalism and the Dissolution of the Weimar Party System 1918–1933 (Chapel Hill, 1988).Google Scholar
  21. E. Fröhlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, Sämtliche Fragmente. Teil 1 Aufzeichnungen 1924–1941, vol. 2 (Munich, 1987), p. 397.Google Scholar
  22. On the Nazi takeover of power see above all the classic study by K. D. Bracher, W. Sauer and G. Schulz, Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung. Studien zur Errichtung des totalitären Herrschaftssystems in Deutschland 1933/34 (Cologne, 1960).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. See also M. Broszat et al. (eds), Deutschlands Weg in die Diktatur (Berlin, 1983);Google Scholar
  24. V. Rittberger (ed.), 1933. Wie die Republik der Diktatur erlag (Stuttgart, 1983);Google Scholar
  25. P. Stachura (ed.), The Nazi Machtergreifung (London, 1984);Google Scholar
  26. M. Broszat, Hitler and the Collapse of Weimar Germany (London, 1987).Google Scholar
  27. 17.
    On this see M. Broszat, ‘Soziale Motivation und Führer-Bindung des Nationalsozialismus’, Vierteljahrsshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 18, 197 (1970), pp. 392–409Google Scholar
  28. P. Fritzsche, Germans into Nazis (Cambridge, Mass., 1998).Google Scholar
  29. 18.
    On German youth in this period see the brief but penetrating comments in D. J. K. Peukert, The Weimar Republic (London, 1991), pp. 86ff.Google Scholar
  30. On university students and Nazism see M. H. Kater, Studentenschaft und Rechtsradikalismus in Deutschland 1918–1933 (Hamburg, 1975);Google Scholar
  31. M. S. Steinberg, Sabers and Brown Shirts. The German Students’ Path to National Socialism 1918–1935 (Chicago, 1977);Google Scholar
  32. K. H. Jarausch, Deutsche Studenten 1800–1970 (Frankfurt am Main, 1984);Google Scholar
  33. G. J. Giles, Students and National Socialism in Germany (Princeton, 1985);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. M. Grüttner, Studenten im Dritten Reich (Paderborn, 1995).Google Scholar
  35. 19.
    On the ‘spirit of 1914’ see K. Schwabe, Wissenschaft und Kriegsmoral. Die deutschen Hochschullehrer und die politischen Grundfragen des Ersten Weltkrieges (Göttingen, 1969), pp. 21–45;Google Scholar
  36. W. J. Mommsen, ‘Der Geist von 1914: Das Programm eines politischen Sonderwegs der Deutschen’ in Idem, Der autoritäre Nationalstaat. Verfassung, Gesellschaft und Kultur im deutschen Kaiserreich (Frankfurt am Main, 1990), pp. 407–21.Google Scholar
  37. 20.
    See T. W. Mason, Sozialpolitik im Dritten Reich. Arbeiterklasse und Volksgemeinschaft (Cologne, 1977), p. 26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 21.
    See T. Mann, Tagebücher 1933–1934 (Frankfurt am Main, 1977), pp. 22, 43.Google Scholar
  39. 22.
    See J. Noakes and G. Pridham (eds), Nazism 1919–1945, vol. 1, The Rise to Power 1919–1934 (Exeter, 1983), pp. 131–4.Google Scholar
  40. 24.
    See R. P. Ericsen, Theologians under Hitler (New Haven, 1985), p. 87.Google Scholar
  41. 26.
    above all W. Freitag, ‘Nationale Mythen und kirchliches Heil: Der “Tag von Potsdam”’, Westfälische Forschungen, 41 (1991), pp. 380–430.Google Scholar
  42. 30.
    On May Day in Gelsenkirchen see H-J. Priamus and S. Goch, Macht der Propaganda oder Propaganda der Macht? Inszenierung nationalsozialistischer Politik im ‘Dritten Reich’ am Beispiel der Stadt Gelsenkirchen (Essen, 1992), pp. 68–9.Google Scholar
  43. 32.
    See E. Heuel, Der umworbene Stand. Die ideologische Integration der Arbeiter im Nationalsozialismus 1933–1935 (Frankfurt am Main, 1989), pp. 42–187Google Scholar
  44. A. Lüdtke, ‘Wo blieb die “rote Glut”? Arbeitererfahrungen und deutscher Faschismus’, in A. Lüdtke (ed.), ‘Alltagsgeschichte’. Zur Rekonstruktion historischer Erfahrungen und Lebensweisen (Frankfurt, 1989), pp. 230ff.Google Scholar
  45. 33.
    On the SA see P. Merkl, The Making of a Stormtrooper (Princeton, 1980);Google Scholar
  46. C. Fischer, Stormtroopers. A Social, Economic and Ideological Analysis 1929–35 (London, 1983);Google Scholar
  47. R. Bessel, Political Violence and the Rise of Nazism: the Storm Troopers in Eastern Germany 1925–1934 (New Haven, 1984);Google Scholar
  48. M. Jamin, Zwischen den Klassen. Zur Sozialstruktur der SA-Führerschaft (Wuppertal, 1984).Google Scholar
  49. 34.
    On clashes between Communists and Nazis see E. Rosenhaft, Beating the Fascists? (Cambridge, 1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 35.
    On the SS agenda see the first part of B. Wegner, Hitler’s Political Soldiers: the Waffen SS 1933–1945 (London, 1990).Google Scholar
  51. 36.
    See C. Graf, Politische Polizei zwischen Demokratie und Diktatur (Berlin, 1983).Google Scholar
  52. For the following see Bracher et al., Die Nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung, pp. 136ff and numerous local studies such as W. S. Allen, The Nazi Seizure of Power. The Experience of a Single German Town 1922–1945 (London, 1989).Google Scholar
  53. For a discussion of the Nazi seizure of power at local level see J. Noakes, ‘Nationalsozialismus in der Provinz. Kleine und mittlere Städte im Dritten Reich’, in H. Möller et al., Nationalsozialismus in der Region. Beiträge zur regionalen und lokalen Forschung und zum internationalen Vergleich (Munich, 1996), pp. 238–45.Google Scholar
  54. 40.
    See M. Broszat, E. Fröhlich and F. Wiesemann, Bayern in der NS-Zeit. Soziale Lage und politisches Verhalten der Bevölkerung (Munich, 1977), pp. 56–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 42.
    For the following see M. Broszat, ‘The Concentration Camps 1933–1945’, in H. Krausnick and M. Broszat, Anatomy of the SS State (London, 1968), pp. 146ff.Google Scholar
  56. 45.
    For a comparison of Hitler’s and Röhm’s notions of revolution see H. Mau, ‘Die “Zweite Revolution” — Der 30 Juni 1934’, Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, I (1953), pp. 121ff.Google Scholar
  57. 50.
    See D. Schoenbaum, Hitler’s Social Revolution. Class and Status in Nazi Germany 1933–1939 (London, 1966).Google Scholar
  58. 51.
    A good introduction is M. Burleigh and W. Wippermann, The Racial State: Germany 1933–1945 (London, 1991).Google Scholar
  59. 53.
    See in particular the work of D. Peukert, for example ‘The Genesis of the “Final Solution” from the Spirit of Science’, in D. Crew (ed.), Nazism and German Society 1933–1945 (London, 1994), pp. 274–99Google Scholar
  60. of G. Aly, for example, G. Aly and S. Heim, Vordenker der Vernichtung (Hamburg, 1991).Google Scholar
  61. 54.
    For a discussion of this aspect of the Nazi Revolution see J. Noakes, ‘Nazism and Revolution’, in N. O’Sullivan (ed.), Revolutionary Theory and Political Reality (London, 1983), pp. 93ff.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jeremy Noakes 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy Noakes

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations