The Hitler Salute by Tilman Allert
On the Meaning of a Gesture

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Synopsis

A strikingly original investigation of the origins and dissemination of the world's most infamous greeting
 
Sometimes the smallest detail reveals the most about a culture. In Heil Hitler: The History of a Gesture, sociologist Tilman Allert uses the Nazi transformation of the most mundane human interaction--the greeting--to show how National Socialism brought about the submission and conformity of a whole society.
Made compulsory in 1933, the Hitler salute developed into a daily reflex in a matter of mere months, and quickly became the norm in schools, at work, among friends, and even at home. Adults denounced neighbors who refused to raise their arms, and children were given tiny Hitler dolls with movable right arms so they could practice the pernicious salute. The constantly reiterated declaration of loyalty at once controlled public transactions and fractured personal relationships. And always, the greeting sacralized Hitler, investing him and his regime with a divine aura.
The first examination of a phenomenon whose significance has long been underestimated, Heil Hitler offers new insight into how the Third Reich's rituals of consent paved the way for the wholesale erosion of social morality.
 

About Tilman Allert

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Tilman Allert is a professor of sociology and social psychology at the University of Frankfurt. This is the first of his books to appear in English.
 
Published March 31, 2009 by Metropolitan Books. 128 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Hitler Salute

Kirkus Reviews

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A brief but revealing semiotics of the swastika set.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Hitler Salute: On the Mea...

Publishers Weekly

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In this brief, insightful book, German sociologist Allert writes penetratingly about the gesture familiar around the world.

Feb 11 2008 | Read Full Review of The Hitler Salute: On the Mea...

Bookmarks Magazine

In Heil Hitler: The History of a Gesture, sociologist Tilman Allert uses the Nazi transformation of the most mundane human interaction--the greeting--to show how National Socialism brought about the submission and conformity of a whole society.
Made compulsory in 1933, the Hi...

Jun 17 2008 | Read Full Review of The Hitler Salute: On the Mea...

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