REPUBLIC TO REICH: The Making of the Nazi Revolution by Hajo -- Ed. Holborn

REPUBLIC TO REICH: The Making of the Nazi Revolution

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ten representative samples of contemporary German scholarship on the origins and inner workings of the Nazi revolution produced under the auspices of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich and edited, just prior to his death, by Professor Holborn, the elder statesman of postwar German historians. The essays in this collection confirm the lack of any special, indigenous slant in West German historiography on the Nazi period; moreover, they extend and amplify the work of such Anglo-American scholars as Bullock, Mosse, and A. J. P. Taylor, and remain remarkably free of the bathos of national guilt most recently tapped in German academic circles by the work of Fritz Fischer. Theodor Eschenburg, a Weimar relic, leads off with a retrospective on the Weimar Coalition, providing assessments of the chief actors including Hindenburg, Bruning, Groener, Schleicher and Stresemann (whom he knew personally and who, he still feels, might but for his untimely death have checked the centrifugal tendencies of the centrist parties and shored up their will to resist the Nazi menace). Hans Mommsen sifts through the debris of the Reichstag fire and proves that it was a fortuitous event which concurrently suited the Nazi condottieri electoral purposes and fed their genuine fears of imminent communist uprising, laying to rest the ""political myth"" that the Nazis set it themselves. Hans Buchheim argues for the autonomy of the SS as a superior power beyond party and state control after the 1934 bloodbath which liquidated Roehm and the SA. A brilliant glimpse of the personal feudal realms of top Nazi leaders in the last stages of the Reich is provided by Gunter Moltmann who traces their convoluted internecine rivalries for Hitler's favor. In sum, all the essays are scholarly footnotes to the vast corpus on National Socialism, correcting, amending and modifying rather than innovating.

Pub Date: May 29th, 1972
Publisher: Pantheon