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Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europeby Mark Mazower
Synopses & Reviews
Drawing on an unprecedented variety of sources, Mark Mazower reveals how the Nazis designed, maintained, and ultimately lost their European empire and offers a chilling vision of the world Hitler would have made had he won the war.
Germanyas forces achieved, in just a few years, the astounding domination of a landmass and population larger than that of the United States. Control of this vast territory was meant to provide the basis for Germanyas rise to unquestioned world power. Eastern Europe was to be the Reichas Wild West, transformed by massacre and colonial settlement. Western Europe was to provide the economic resources that would knit an authoritarian and racially cleansed continent together. But the brutality and short-sightedness of Nazi politics lost what German arms had won and brought their equally rapid downfall.
Time and again, the speed of the Germansa victories caught them unprepared for the economic or psychological intricacies of running such a far-flung dominion. Politically impoverished, they had no idea how to rule the millions of people they suddenly controlled, except by bludgeon.
Mazower forces us to set aside the timeworn notion that the Nazisa worldview was their own invention. Their desire for land and their racist attitudes toward Slavs and other nationalities emerged from ideas that had driven their Prussian forebears into Poland and beyond. They also drew inspiration on imperial expansion from the Americans and especially the British, whose empire they idolized. Their signal innovation was to exploit Europeas peoples and resources much as the British or French had done in India and Africa. Crushed and disheartened, many of the peoples theyconquered collaborated with them to a degree that we have largely forgotten. Ultimately, the Third Reich would be beaten as much by its own hand as by the enemy.
Throughout this book are fascinating, chilling glimpses of the world that might have been. Russians, Poles, and other ethnic groups would have been slaughtered or enslaved. Germans would have been settled upon now empty lands as far east as the Black Seaathe new aGreater Germany.a Europeas treasuries would have been sacked, its great cities impoverished and recast as dormitories for forced laborers when they were not deliberately demolished. As dire as all this sounds, it was merely the planned extension of what actually happened in Europe under Nazi rule as recounted in this authoritative, absorbing book.
In Nazi Germany, they were called the Schutzstaffeln. The world would know them as the dreaded SS—the most loyal and ruthless enforcers of the Third Reich.
It began as a small squad of political thugs. Yet by the end of 1935, the SS had taken control of all police and internal security duties in Germany—ranging from local village gendarmes” all the way up to the secret political police and the Gestapo. Eventually, its ranks would grow to rival even Germanys regular armed forces, the Wehrmacht.
Going beyond the myths and characterizations, Army of Evil reveals the reality of the SS as a cadre of unwavering political fanatics and power-seeking opportunists who slavishly followed an ideology that disdained traditional morality—an ideology that they were prepared to implement to the utmost murderous extreme, which ultimately resulted in the Holocaust.
This is a definitive historical narrative of the birth, legacy, and demise of one of the most feared political and military organizations ever known—and of those twisted, cruel men who were responsible for one of the most appalling crimes against humanity in history.
INCLUDES RARE PHOTOGRAPHS
Draw ing on an unprecedented range and variety of original research, Hitler?s Empire sheds new light on how the Nazis designed, maintained, and lost their European dominion?and offers a chilling vision of what the world would have become had they won the war. Mark Mazower forces us to set aside timeworn opinions of the Third Reich, and instead shows how the party drew inspiration for its imperial expansion from America and Great Britain. Yet the Nazis? lack of political sophistication left them unequal to the task of ruling what their armies had conquered, despite a shocking level of cooperation from the overwhelmed countries. A work as authoritative as it is unique, Hitler?s Empire is a surprising?and controversial? new appraisal of the Third Reich?s rise and ultimate fall.
About the Author
" Compelling . . . Mazower offers incisive details and insights that make Hitler's Empire a fascinating read."
-The Washington Post
"Drawing on an enormous amount of research, yet always writing clearly and well, Mr. Mazower takes the reader on a guided tour through every corner of the Nazis' domains."
-The New York Sun
Table of Contents
Hitler's Empire List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Preface: The View from Varzin
Part 1: For Greater Germany
1. Germans and Slavs: 1848-1918
2. Versailles to Vienna
3. Expansion and Escalation: 1938-40
4. The Partition of Poland
5. Summer 1940
6. War of Annihilation: Into the Soviet Union
7. Make This Land German for Me Again!
8. Organizing Disorder: 1941-2
Part 2: The New Order
9. Making Occupation Pay
11. Ersatz Diplomacy
12. The Final Solution: the Jewish Question
14. Eastern Helpers
16. Hitler Kaputt!
Part 3: Perspectives
17. We Europeans
18. The New Order in World History
What Our Readers Are Saying
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History and Social Science » Europe » Germany » Nazi Germany