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Inside Nazi Germany: Conformity, Opposition, and Racism in Everyday Life

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In this remarkable social history of the Third Reich, Detlev J. K. Peukert surveys how ordinary citizens evaded or accepted Nazi policies of repression, terrorism, and racism. Peukert discusses not only the popular consensus that supported Nazism but also the opposition of the German middle class, working class, and youth. “A highly original and informative synthesis of the In this remarkable social history of the Third Reich, Detlev J. K. Peukert surveys how ordinary citizens evaded or accepted Nazi policies of repression, terrorism, and racism. Peukert discusses not only the popular consensus that supported Nazism but also the opposition of the German middle class, working class, and youth. “A highly original and informative synthesis of the most exciting new scholarship on Nazi Germany. It gives an intimate insight into people’s beliefs, aspirations, and fears, and it forces us to reassess how Hitler and Auschwitz were possible.”—Mary Nolan, New York Times Book Review “An indispensable text for understanding the social history of Nazi rule.”—Rudy Koshar, American Historical Review “To the historical reconsideration of National Socialism, Mr. Peukert’s book makes a signal contribution by demonstrating the way in which a movement that came to power loudly proclaiming its intention to restore old ways and traditions advanced the cause of modernity almost against its will.”—Gordon A. Craig, New York Review of Books “Everyone interested in the social history of the Third Reich should read Peukert’s book.”—Choice


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In this remarkable social history of the Third Reich, Detlev J. K. Peukert surveys how ordinary citizens evaded or accepted Nazi policies of repression, terrorism, and racism. Peukert discusses not only the popular consensus that supported Nazism but also the opposition of the German middle class, working class, and youth. “A highly original and informative synthesis of the In this remarkable social history of the Third Reich, Detlev J. K. Peukert surveys how ordinary citizens evaded or accepted Nazi policies of repression, terrorism, and racism. Peukert discusses not only the popular consensus that supported Nazism but also the opposition of the German middle class, working class, and youth. “A highly original and informative synthesis of the most exciting new scholarship on Nazi Germany. It gives an intimate insight into people’s beliefs, aspirations, and fears, and it forces us to reassess how Hitler and Auschwitz were possible.”—Mary Nolan, New York Times Book Review “An indispensable text for understanding the social history of Nazi rule.”—Rudy Koshar, American Historical Review “To the historical reconsideration of National Socialism, Mr. Peukert’s book makes a signal contribution by demonstrating the way in which a movement that came to power loudly proclaiming its intention to restore old ways and traditions advanced the cause of modernity almost against its will.”—Gordon A. Craig, New York Review of Books “Everyone interested in the social history of the Third Reich should read Peukert’s book.”—Choice

30 review for Inside Nazi Germany: Conformity, Opposition, and Racism in Everyday Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    A very dry read, for the most part. For me, its value lay in underscoring the incredible difficulty for ordinary Germans of living in a totalitarian state where terror is used to keep the populace in line. In such a society, acting morally becomes highly stressful. The normal routines of civil society are removed or banned by the state, and civil society becomes atomized. Social bonds are loosened. The tendency is to become apathetic. Peukert was one of the first historians to look at the Third A very dry read, for the most part. For me, its value lay in underscoring the incredible difficulty for ordinary Germans of living in a totalitarian state where terror is used to keep the populace in line. In such a society, acting morally becomes highly stressful. The normal routines of civil society are removed or banned by the state, and civil society becomes atomized. Social bonds are loosened. The tendency is to become apathetic. Peukert was one of the first historians to look at the Third Reich in terms of Alltagsgeschichte, or the history of everyday life.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alistair Watson

    This is a phenomenal and immensely important account of the complexity of everyday life in Nazi Germany. It lays bear the many dilemmas, constraints, and controls which dominated the lives of Germans in the 1930s and early 1940s. These are illustrated with a large number of extremely revealing primary sources.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    Really good. Peukert focuses on the atomization of society within Nazi Germany, and how consent and coercion functioned under Nazi rule. He touches on workers' organized resistance in the early years of the regime and also calls attention to subtler forms of resisitance. A strength of this book is Peukert's analysis of how fascist rule altered the distinction between political acts and everyday behavior. He is particularly good when he discusses "deviant" leisure activities and the resilience of Really good. Peukert focuses on the atomization of society within Nazi Germany, and how consent and coercion functioned under Nazi rule. He touches on workers' organized resistance in the early years of the regime and also calls attention to subtler forms of resisitance. A strength of this book is Peukert's analysis of how fascist rule altered the distinction between political acts and everyday behavior. He is particularly good when he discusses "deviant" leisure activities and the resilience of working-class culture in the face of fascist repression. Peukert also devotes considerable space to discussing active and passive collaboration with the Nazi regime. However, this is not a good introductory book; it's extremely dense and flies from subject to subject. I'd suggest reading it in tandem with a broader overview of Nazi Germany.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Russ

    a bit hard work due to it being a densely written account aimed mainly at serious scholars of the subject, nevertheless it is a rewarding read when you get into it. It is an analysis mainly of those resident in Nazi Germany in the 1930s & 40s who in some degree or other were opposed to the regime in charge & how that opposition was expressed. In many cases this was sublimated by the subject removing themselves as much as possible from the world outside, but in some cases it came out in acts of r a bit hard work due to it being a densely written account aimed mainly at serious scholars of the subject, nevertheless it is a rewarding read when you get into it. It is an analysis mainly of those resident in Nazi Germany in the 1930s & 40s who in some degree or other were opposed to the regime in charge & how that opposition was expressed. In many cases this was sublimated by the subject removing themselves as much as possible from the world outside, but in some cases it came out in acts of rebellion or outright resistance. Particularly interesting is the piece of the anti regime youth movements, such as the Edelweiss Pirates whose activities on many levels mirrored those of the "feral youths" of today.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Allison Bretall

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  9. 5 out of 5

    Al

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jaya

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christine Hulse

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Dorosh

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sean MacKenzie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee Colwell

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paige

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Olson

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  21. 4 out of 5

    Danilo

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris Butterworth

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  24. 4 out of 5

    Paul Fox

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jody

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mike Frizzell

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  30. 5 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

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