NAZISM AND THE THIRD REICH by Henry A. -- Ed. Turner


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Many of these reprinted essays on the Nazi movement suffer from preoccupation with minutiae; this derails the stated purpose of the book which is to trace the broad scope of policy. Horst Gries, a German professor of history, details the organizational ramifications of the Nazis' intervention into the agrarian movement, emphasizing the ""successful themes of. . . anti-Semitism, the fight against Liberalism, and fear of Bolshevism"" -- but the Nazis' exploitation of bread-and-butter issues, the fact that they spearheaded the foreclosure revolt, and echoed demands for low interest rates and import quotas are left unmentioned in a pyramid of details better suited for footnotes. At the other extreme are lapses into speculation: Robert Koehl contends that ""the Nazi empire approximated feudal monarchy""; and Eberhard Jackel analyzes Hitler's foreign policy in terms of the Fuehrer's ""art of reading"" a paragraph here and there until ""a discernible mosaic slowly took place."" Both the quest for particularized proofs and the flights of fancy miss the essences of Nazism. One exception is an essay by T. W. Mason, an Oxford professor, who comes close to specifying the economic substratum which conditioned Nazi policies. The crucial question of big business support for the Nazis is, however, cavalierly dismissed by Turner as a canard of ""pro-Moscow Marxists"" lacking authentication; Turner might have studied not only the text of Nazi-capitalist agreements but the subsequent abolition of unions, rearmament, austerity policies, etc. Holborn's Republic to Reich (p. 371) is a generally superior collection of essays.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1972
Publisher: Quadrangle