Ideology of Death: Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany

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I.R. Dee, 1997 - History - 427 pages
Despite all the thousands of studies of the Holocaust and the rise of Nazi Germany, we still have no satisfactory explanation of why this tragedy occurred in one of the most "civilized" of Western nations. John Weiss's Ideology of Death is the first book to explore the unique nature of German history, showing how it rejected the liberal ideals of the Enlightenment, and to trace the culture of racism and anti-Semitism among powerful elites and ordinary Germans over a long period of German history. In a stunningly lucid narrative, Weiss describes exactly how and why Christian anti-Semitism, in its unique form among German Protestants and Austrian Catholics, reinforced modern secular racism to create an explosive mix. Using the latest research, he details how the Nazis, building on traditional German anti-Semitism, were able to adjust it so as to appeal to a wide variety of social groups-crucial to their electoral success. And he explains the specific complicities of various German groups and institutions in the Holocaust, and why they voluntarily cooperated with the Nazis. In its clarity and compelling argument, Ideology of Death is certain to be one of the most important books for many years to come on the reasons behind the Holocaust.

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IDEOLOGY OF DEATH: Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany

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Why did the most savagely anti-Semitic regime in history gain power in Germany rather than, say, France (scene of the Dreyfus affair) or Russia (with its widespread pogroms)? Weiss (History/Lehman ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

John Weiss's Ideology of Death: Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany was lauded for its balanced interpretation. Mr. Weiss is professor of history at Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and has also written The Fascist Tradition and Conservatism in Europe.

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