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Germans and Their Modern History

By (author) Fritz Ernst
Translated by C.M. Prugh
Genres: History
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Columbia University Press, New York, United States
Published: 31st Jul 1966
Dimensions: w 140mm h 220mm
ISBN-10: 0231028091
ISBN-13: 9780231028097
Barcode No: 9780231028097

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Kirkus US
This is a collection of lectures delivered by Dr. Ernst in 1961 with the express purpose of imparting to German youth an explanation of German history from 1911 to 1961 as it was experienced by the author, a professor of history at Heidelberg University. The author himself was never a Nazi; he neither condemns nor justifies altogether the events and actions of Germans and their leadership during this period. He tries rather to answer crucial questions such as: How did World War I affect Germany and the Germans? Why did the Weimar Republic fail? What were the origins of National Socialism? Where does the guilt for the extermination of the Jews lie? What is the future of the Federal Republic of Germany? He follows the successive changes of German society since World War I in the face of politically propagated aims which clung to old myths of nationalism or ideals of liberal democracy or constitutional monarchy, and sees the drift into Hitlerism as partly explained by the attraction of something new and different that National Socialism promised on the otherwise bleak and aimless horizons of the Weimar Republic. The impotence of the Germans to recoil from Nazism and its misdeeds is seen as the result of the complete breakdown of the normal channels of communications and expression of public opinion once the dictatorship was established. The post World War II denazification programs have often failed to take into account these underlying factors. The lectures, bulwarked by explanatory notes and historical fill-ins, presume a substantial knowledge of facts and a serious interest on the part of the reader. (Kirkus Reviews)