Culture et Littérature
Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany - Special

In this special issue of BBC History Magazine, a range of expert historians provide fascinating insights into Germany’s Third Reich, exploring the dark history of Hitler’s regime and showing how the Nazi ideology permeated numerous aspects of daily life. Inside you will find: - A timeline of the Third Reich - Historical perspectives on Adolf Hitler - How Nazi beliefs took over German society - The camps and the Holocaust - Nazi propaganda triumphs - The Third Reich at war

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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dans ce numéro

1 min.

The Nazi era continues to cast the darkest of shadows across modern history. At the centre, of course, stands Adolf Hitler. From his ascent as a rabble-rousing agitator in backstreet bierkellers, to autocratic chancellor and finally megalomaniacal despot, what drove his seemingly unstoppable thirst for power? In this special edition, expert historians investigate not just the führer’s motivations and methods, but also his charisma and popularity. What led thousands to write him letters of devotion, to throng to catch a glimpse of him, and for some to even take part in Nazi breeding programmes to swell his ‘master race’? Why, even when the war was clearly lost, did many fight on in his name until the bitter end? We also explore life under Nazism, examining how many ordinary Germans – chastened by…

6 min.
the rise and fall of nazi germany

1920 1920 On 24 February, Adolf Hitler addresses an audience at Munich’s Hofbräuhaus at which he proclaims a manifesto – the 25-Point Programme – for the newly established National Socialist German Workers’ party (NSDAP). The ‘Nazi party’ is born. 1923 In November, Hitler takes advantage of the economic and political crisis in Germany and attempts to seize power in Munich. He and his followers are stopped by the guns of the Bavarian police at the Feldherrnhalle. Twenty people are killed, including four policemen. 1924 Convicted of treason following the Munich Putsch, Hitler is sentenced to five years detention in Landsberg Jail, where he serves just under nine months in comfortable conditions, before being released on licence. During his imprisonment, he writes the first volume of his autobiography-cum-manifesto, Mein Kampf. 1925 1929 The crash of the US Stock Exchange in…

5 min.
living under nazism

Life in the Third Reich provoked a broad range of emotions. Initially, to both early party members and recent converts, the Nazis offered excitement: parades, Hitler’s harangues and Goebbels’ propaganda. More moderate citizens were less sure about promises of national renewal, and just hoped to get on with their lives. But members of the political left and Jews lived in ever-increasing fear of violence and incarceration. The Nazi government claimed that it would solve the multiple crises that beset the German state after the First World War. The harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles and runaway inflation made it difficult for democracy to take root, in spite of the Weimar Republic’s progressive constitution and extensive welfare measures. When the Great Depression threw about one-third of German employees out of work,…

9 min.
holidays with hitler

If the name of the Nazi cruise liner Wilhelm Gustloff registers a flicker of recognition with readers, it will most probably be because of the grim circumstances of the vessel’s demise during the Second World War. Torpedoed by a Soviet submarine on 30 January 1945, the ship sank into the icy waters of the eastern Baltic within an hour. Of the estimated 10,000 German refugees and wounded crammed aboard, barely 1,200 would survive the night. It is in this guise then, as modern history’s deadliest maritime disaster, that the story of the Wilhelm Gustloff – if it is known at all – is remembered. Alongside a few history books, the drama of her sinking has spawned a film and a couple of German TV dramas. It also featured prominently in one of…

8 min.
the women who gave   birth for hitler

Shortly after the outbreak of war, young Hannelore Schottgen felt a flurry of excitement when she learned there was to be a special visitor to her school. A woman from the Woman’s Union was coming to talk to her class and it promised to be a welcome interlude from the day’s timetable. The only thing that puzzled Hannelore was the subject matter. The woman was coming to talk about Lebensborn, something she had never heard of before. Schottgen lived in Pforzheim, southern Germany – a provincial town whose inhabitants were conservative in outlook and rigid in their morals. The townspeople had turned out in force when Hitler visited in 1933 and young Hannelore, like so many of her friends, had been quick to join the Bund Deutscher Mädel (League of German…

10 min.
hitler’s people

One survey claims Hitler was so popular that intimidation and terror were rarely needed to enforce loyalty For a long time after the Second World War, historians thought of Nazi Germany as the ultimate police state – a political system in which terror and coercion were all-pervasive, freedom of action and expression had been completely suppressed, and the concentration camp, torture and death awaited anyone who failed to toe the line. They painted a dramatic picture of an entire population caught in a totalitarian net of surveillance and control that forced everyone to conform or face the consequences. Then in the late 1960s, as the concept of totalitarianism went out of fashion, and younger German historians began to see its application to the Third Reich as an easy excuse for their parents’…