Life in the Third Reich

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Richard Bessel
Oxford University Press, 1985 - History - 124 pages
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Even today, the Third Reich--the regime that instigated the most destructive war in modern history--evokes powerful images of fascination and horror. Yet how were the lives of the ordinary German people of the 1930s and '40s affected by the politics of Hitler and his followers? Looking beyond the catalog of events, this intriguing book reveals that daily German life involved a complex mixture of bribery and terror; of fear and concessions; of barbarism and appeals to conventional moral values employed by the Nazis to maintain their grip on society. Eight leading historians present essays that shed fresh light on topics as familiar as the role of political violence in Nazi seizure of power and the German view of Hitler himself. It also focuses on lesser-known aspects of life in the Third Reich, such as village life, the treatment of "social outcasts," and the Germans' own retrospective view of this period of their history.

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About the author (1985)


Richard Bessel is Professor of Twentieth Century History at the University of York. He works on the social and political history of modern Germany, the aftermath of the two world wars and the history of policing. He is co-editor of German History and is a member of the editorial board of History Today. His recent publications include Patterns of Provocations: Police and Public Disorder, and 'Mobilizing German Society for War', in R. Chickering and S. Foerster (eds) Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization in the Western Front, 1914-1918.

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