The Social History of the Third Reich, 1933-1945 by Pierre Aycoberry

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A balanced, thorough study of Germany during the Nazi years, by the celebrated author of The Nazi Question. Questions posed by Nazi Germany continue to haunt us today. Attempts to explain the behavior of ordinary Germans during those fateful years have failed to rise above the level of polemic, Daniel Goldhagen's controversial Hitler's Willing Executioners being a prime example. Now, Pierre Ayoberry, author of the highly praised The Nazi Question, combines an extraordinary mastery of German history with original research to give us a uniquely balanced account of all aspects of German life under Hitler. Ayoberry uncovers the struggles of individuals and social and professional groups who stood up to the pressure of the Nazi Party, often paying a high price, and the attempts of others--mainly upper and middle class professionals--to salvage or improve their positions by casting their lot with the Fhrer. He also shows the devastation wrought on the once-vibrant German labor movement, leaving workers to choose between hopeless defiance or complicity and nationalism. In this complex answer to the easy judgments passed by many, Pierre Ayoberry paints a rich portrait of a society at once victim and accomplice to one of the greatest crimes of all time.

About Pierre Aycoberry

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Aycoberry is emeritus professor of contemporary history at the University of Human Sciences in Strasbourg.
Published November 1, 1999 by New Press. 380 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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The historian wishing to write a social history of German society during the Nazi era is confronted with a dilemma: Is it possible to arrive at some conclusion regarding the extent of opposition or collusion of the people in a totalitarian society?

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