Visions of Community in Nazi Germany: Social Engineering and Private Lives

Hardcover | June 8, 2014

EditorMartina Steber, Bernhard Gotto

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When the Nazis seized power in Germany in 1933 they promised to create a new, harmonious society under the leadership of the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler. The concept of Volksgemeinschaft - "the people's community" - enshrined the Nazis' vision of "society"; a society based on racist,social-Darwinist, anti-democratic, and nationalist thought. The regime used Volksgemeinschaft to define who belonged to the National Socialist "community" and who did not. Being accorded the status of belonging granted citizenship rights, access to the benefits of the welfare state, andopportunities for advancement, while these who were denied the privilege of belonging lost their right to live. They were shamed, excluded, imprisoned, murdered. Volksgemeinschaft was the Nazis' project of social engineering, realized by state action, by administrative procedure, by party practice, by propaganda, and by individual initiative. Everyone deemed worthy of belonging was called to participate in its realization. Indeed, this collective notion wasdirected at the individual, and unleashed an enormous dynamism, which gave social change a particular direction. The Volksgemeinschaft concept was not strictly defined, which meant that it was rather marked by a plurality of meaning and emphasis which resulted in a range of readings in the ThirdReich, drawing in people from many social and political backgrounds.Visions of Community in Nazi Germany scrutinizes Volksgemeinschaft as the Nazis' central vision of community. The contributors engage with individual appropriations, examine projects of social engineering, analyze the social dynamism unleashed, and show how deeply private lives were affected by thismurderous vision of society.

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When the Nazis seized power in Germany in 1933 they promised to create a new, harmonious society under the leadership of the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler. The concept of Volksgemeinschaft - "the people's community" - enshrined the Nazis' vision of "society"; a society based on racist,social-Darwinist, anti-democratic, and nationalist thought. ...

Martina Steber is research fellow at the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte Munchen-Berlin, where she is completing her habilitation on political languages of Conservatism in Britain and West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2012/13 she was based at the Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich, and the Historisches Kolleg. From 2007 to 2012 sh...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:June 8, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199689598

ISBN - 13:9780199689590

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Table of Contents

PrefaceGlossary1. Martina Steber and Bernhard Gotto: Volksgemeinschaft: Writing the Social History of the Nazi RegimePart I: Volksgemeinschaft: Controversies2. Ian Kershaw: Volksgemeinschaft: Potential and Limitations of the Concept3. Michael Wildt: Volksgemeinschaft: A Modern Perspective on National Socialist Society4. Ulrich Herbert: Echoes of the VolksgemeinschaftPart II: A New Frame of Reference: Ideology, Administrative Practices, and Social Control5. Lutz Raphael: Pluralities of National Socialist Ideology: New Perspectives on the Production and Diffusion of National Socialist Weltanschauung6. Armin Nolzen: The NSDAP's Operational Codes after 19337. Thomas Schaarschmidt: Mobilizing German Society for War: The National Socialist Gaue8. Jane Caplan: Registering the Volksgemeinschaft: Civil Status in Nazi Germany 1933-99. Gerhard Wolf: Exporting Volksgemeinschaft: The Deutsche Volksliste in Annexed Upper SilesiaPart III: The Individual and the Regime: The Promises of Volksgemeinschaft10. Andreas Wirsching: Volksgemeinschaft and the Illusion of 'Normality' from the 1920s to the 1940s11. Birthe Kundrus: Greasing the Palm of the Volksgemeinschaft? Consumption under National Socialism12. Nicole Kramer: Volksgenossinnen on the German Home Front: An Insight into Nazi Wartime Society13. Frank Bajohr: 'Community of Action' and Diversity of Attitudes: Reflections on Mechanisms of Social Integration in National Socialist Germany, 1933-4514. Rudiger Hachtmann: Social Spaces of the Nazi Volksgemeinschaft in the Making: Functional Elites and Club NetworkingPart IV: Volksgemeinschaft: A Rationale for Violence15. Christopher R. Browning: The Holocaust: Basis and Objective of the Volksgemeinschaft?16. Sven Keller: Volksgemeinschaft and Violence: Some Reflections on Interdependencies17. Detlef Schmiechen-Ackermann: Social Control and the Making of the VolksgemeinschaftPart V: The Limits of Volksgemeinschaft Policies18. Johannes Hurter: The Military Elite and Volksgemeinschaft19. Willi Oberkrome: National Socialist Blueprints for Rural Communities and their Resonance in Agrarian Society20. Richard Bessel: The End of the VolksgemeinschaftBibliography