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This title in other editions

The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture

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The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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. 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.

In The Hitler Salute, sociologist Tilman Allert uses the Nazi transformation of one of the most mundane human interactions--the greeting--to show how National Socialism brought about the submission and conformity of a whole society.

Made compulsory in Germany 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 Hitler Salute is the first examination of a phenomenon whose significance has long been underestimated. Allert offers new insight into how the Third Reich's rituals of consent paved the way for the wholesale erosion of social morality.

Allert's The Hitler Salute, a joyously sharp account of a massively evil slice of human history, doesn't treat the Nazis' obligatory two-word, one-arm greeting as a product of evil, but as its enabler. He argues, movingly, that the salute wounded Germans' sociability, connectedness, and personal sovereignty, warping the holy human order.--The New York Observer

Fans of Stanley Kubrick's movie Dr. Strangelove will remember vividly the deranged Nazi scientist, played by Peter Sellers, struggling in vain to restrain his right arm at moments of excitement, as it involuntarily shoots upward in the Hitler salute. As the arm straightens out and reaches an angle of 45 degrees, it reminds us in a single image not just that some military scientists in postwar America had started their careers in Nazi Germany, but also that giving the Hitler salute had become second nature to the people who supported Hitler and his regime. That gesture is the topic of The Hitler Salute, by the German sociologist Tilman Allert, expertly translated into thoroughly readable English by Jefferson Chase. Mr. Allert reminds us that rendering the gesture--accompanied by the words 'Heil Hitler ' and, if you were a storm trooper wearing a serviceable pair of jackboots, a sharp clicking together of the heels--quickly became compulsory under the Nazis. By the summer of 1933, the Nazis' first year in power, all civil servants were required to use it in person, when encountering each other, or on paper, where the words 'Heil Hitler ' replaced the conventional 'sincerely' and similar signing-off formulae . . . Mr. Allert brings out these multiple meanings of the Hitler salute with a good deal of persuasiveness . . . A] fascinating little book.--Richard J. Evans, The New York Sun

It's hard not to wonder whether anyone back in the mid-1980s--when Don DeLillo was busy crafting White Noise's Jack Gladney, the wily chairman of Hitler studies at the College-on-the-Hill--could have anticipated that an entire book on the subject of the Hitler salute would someday be published. The Hitler Salute is, thankfully, not another sprawling biography, not another testimonial by fuhrer's secretary or mistress, and not yet another attempt to put the man with the little mustache on the couch and offer up evidence of his latent bestiality or latent humanity. Allert's book is instead a sober examination limited to one of the most basic--if also most frequently parodied--forms of communication during the Third Reich, the so-called Hitlergru, or Hitler salute . . . Allert has chosen, with illuminating result, to zero in on a single gesture . . . Allert, who teaches sociology and social psychology at the University of Frankfurt, takes great pains to demonstrate the impact the Hitler salute had on the German people. He draws on an unusually rich base of material, from novels, newspapers, and diaries to children's illustrations (a rewriting of Sleeping Beauty with the prince raising his right arm) and documentary photographs (a face-off between Hitler and Mussolini revealing the subtle distinctions between the saluto romano and its German counterpart) . . . This little book, with its analytic punch and range of fresh insights, offers a novel contribution to what frequently appears to be an old, tired--and, alas, tiresome--discussion of the Third Reich. Allert's overall approach has the merits of a far-reaching academic investigations packed into a relatively concise, elegant essay that, luckily, owes nothing to Jack Gladney.-

Review:

"In this brief, insightful book, German sociologist Allert writes penetratingly about the gesture familiar around the world. Working like a preservationist on a minute canvas, he shows readers the cascade of meanings that rush through everyday greetings in general. But Allert's keen eye is trained on Germany, and he provides a wonderful depiction of regional, class and gender-specific greetings, from the kissed hand to the low, scraping bow. All of these were supplanted by the Hitler salute. Hitler was the suprahuman being in whom Germans invested their hopes, which they reaffirmed every time they raised their arms and shouted the Fhrer's name. As the salute penetrated every sphere of social life, it made Nazism omnipresent and Germans a unified community. It also affirmed authority for the ruler as well as over the ruled. Allert draws fruitfully on memoirs and letters. Readers encounter Germans who joyfully raised their arms to the Fhrer and also those who went to any length to avoid the gesture and sometimes paid dearly for their opposition to the Nazis. Allert's book shows how much can be gained from a close study of the daily rituals we barely think about yet are packed with meaning." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Sometimes the smallest detail reveals the most about a culture. In The Hitler Salute, sociologist Tilman Allert uses the Nazi transformation of a simple human interaction--the greeting--to show how a shared gesture can usher in the conformity of an entire society. Made compulsory in 1933, the Hitler slaute developed into a daily reflex in a matter of months, and 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 salute. And, of course, each use the greeting invested Hitler and his regime with a divine aura.

The first examination of a phenomenon whose significance has long been underestimated, The Hitler Salute offers new insight into how the Third Reich's rituals of consent paved the way for the wholesale erosion of social morality.

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 the Author

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.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805081787
Subtitle:
On the Meaning of a Gesture
Author:
Allert, Tilman
Translator:
Chase, Jefferson
Publisher:
Metropolitan Books
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
Europe - Germany
Subject:
Political Ideologies - Fascism & Totalitarianism
Subject:
POL042030
Subject:
History
Subject:
Salutations
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Germany
Subject:
Germany History 1933-1945.
Subject:
Salutations -- Germany.
Subject:
Political Ideologies/Fascism
Subject:
Totalitarianism
Subject:
Body Language & Nonverbal Communication
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080401
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
approx. 15 bandw photos and diagrams thr
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
8.3 x 5.51 x 0.345 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Nazi Germany
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 128 pages Metropolitan Books - English 9780805081787 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this brief, insightful book, German sociologist Allert writes penetratingly about the gesture familiar around the world. Working like a preservationist on a minute canvas, he shows readers the cascade of meanings that rush through everyday greetings in general. But Allert's keen eye is trained on Germany, and he provides a wonderful depiction of regional, class and gender-specific greetings, from the kissed hand to the low, scraping bow. All of these were supplanted by the Hitler salute. Hitler was the suprahuman being in whom Germans invested their hopes, which they reaffirmed every time they raised their arms and shouted the Fhrer's name. As the salute penetrated every sphere of social life, it made Nazism omnipresent and Germans a unified community. It also affirmed authority for the ruler as well as over the ruled. Allert draws fruitfully on memoirs and letters. Readers encounter Germans who joyfully raised their arms to the Fhrer and also those who went to any length to avoid the gesture and sometimes paid dearly for their opposition to the Nazis. Allert's book shows how much can be gained from a close study of the daily rituals we barely think about yet are packed with meaning." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,

Sometimes the smallest detail reveals the most about a culture. In The Hitler Salute, sociologist Tilman Allert uses the Nazi transformation of a simple human interaction--the greeting--to show how a shared gesture can usher in the conformity of an entire society. Made compulsory in 1933, the Hitler slaute developed into a daily reflex in a matter of months, and 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 salute. And, of course, each use the greeting invested Hitler and his regime with a divine aura.

The first examination of a phenomenon whose significance has long been underestimated, The Hitler Salute offers new insight into how the Third Reich's rituals of consent paved the way for the wholesale erosion of social morality.

"Synopsis" by ,
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.

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