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The Nazi capture of power

Bessel, R.J. (2004) The Nazi capture of power. Journal of Contemporary History, 39 (2). pp. 169-88. ISSN 0022-0094

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The capture of power by Hitler and the nazi movement in 1933 was one of the great turning-points in modern history. Yet its significance is usually seen to rest less upon what occurred in 1933 than upon what happened later. This article is an attempt to integrate the history of the nazi capture of power into what followed from it by examining four themes: war, racism, violence and order. Each of these themes was central to what happened in 1933. The first world war cast a long shadow over the politics of Weimar Germany, and this helped to create a climate conducive to nazism; racism inspired nazi activists and acceptance of racist assumptions was generally widespread; violence, both in word and deed, characterized nazi politics and helped the nazis to consolidate power rapidly in 1933; and a (misplaced) desire for order drove many Germans — among both the èlites and voters — into the arms of the nazis. Thus these broad themes, which frame the history of the Third Reich generally, also frame the history of the nazi capture of power.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2009 11:15
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2009 11:15
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022009404042127
Status: Published
Publisher: Sage Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/0022009404042127
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6579

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