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*A TIMES AND TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR* WHAT CAUSED THE FALL OF THE MOST PROGRESSIVE GOVERNMENT IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY EUROPE, AND THE RISE OF THE MOST TERRIFYING? In the 1930s, Germany was at a turning point, with many looking to the Nazi phenomenon as part of widespread resentment towards cosmopolitan liberal democracy and capitalism. This was a global situation that pushed Germany to embrace authoritarianism, nationalism and economic self-sufficiency, kick-starting a revolution founded on new media technologies, and the formidable political and self-promotional skills of its leader. Based on award-winning research and recently discovered archival material, The Death of Democracy is a panoramic new survey of one of the most important periods in modern history, and a book with a resounding message for the world today. 'Extremely fine... with careful prose and scholarship, he brings these events close to us.' Timothy Snyder, The New York Times 'Intelligent, well-informed... intriguing.' The Times 'With the injection of fresh contemporary voices, The Death of Democracy is also a thoughtful reflection of how our time more resembles the Thirties than the Noughties.' Daily Telegraph
`Brilliant. A timely reminder of the fragility of democracy and the dangers of extreme nationalism.' Nikolaus Wachsmann, author of KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps 'Intelligent, well-informed... intriguing.' The Times 'In this post-truth, alternative-facts American moment, The Death of Democracy is essential reading.' Kurt Andersen, author of Fantasyland `An outstanding accomplishment.' Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland A revelatory account of the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler, based on new and award-winning research, and recently discovered archival material. The Death of Democracy explores one of the great questions in all of human history: what caused the fall of one of the most progressive governments in twentieth-century Europe, and the rise of the most terrifying? Drawing on extraordinary individual stories to illustrate its broader arguments, this revelatory new account presents a panoramic portrait of Germany at a turning point, focusing on the global dimension of the Nazi phenomenon as part of a widespread reaction against a world order of triumphant, cosmopolitan liberal democracy and capitalism after the First World War. This was a world situation that pushed its opponents to embrace authoritarianism, nationalism and economic self-sufficiency, kick-starting a revolution reliant upon the innovative exploitation of new media technologies, and the formidable political and self-promotional skills of its leader. Based on award-winning research and recently discovered archival material, The Death of Democracy is an authoritative and panoramic new survey of one of the most pivotal periods in modern history, and a book with a clear and important message for the world today.
Benjamin Carter Hett rollt in diesem Buch einen der groten und ratselhaftesten Kriminalfalle des 20. Jahrhunderts neu auf: den Reichstagsbrand von 1933. Adolf Hitler war noch keine vier Wochen an der Macht, als am Abend des 27. Februar das Reichstagsgebude in Berlin in Flammen aufging. Kaum war das Feuer gelscht, erlie die Reichsregierung eine Notverordnung, die einen permanenten Ausnahmezustand schuf und die bis zum Ende des Nazi-Regimes die Grundlage zur Verfolgung politischer Gegner bleiben sollte. Somit markierte der Reichstagsbrand den eigentlichen Beginn des "e;Dritten Reiches"e;. Noch am Tatort wurde der mutmaliche Brandstifter verhaftet, der niederlndische Kommunist Marinus van der Lubbe. Die nationalsozialistische Regierung behauptete umgehend, der junge Mann gehre einer kommunistischen Verschwrung an. Doch handelte van der Lubbe wirklich auf eigene Faust, wie sich die meisten Historiker seit langem einig sind? Oder steckten die Nazis selbst hinter dem Anschlag, um ihn fr ihre Zwecke zu instrumentalisieren?Benjamin Carter Hetts Auswertung der Originalquellen wirft neues Licht auf diesen Fall und entlarvt nicht nur die Schwchen der Einzeltterthese, sondern auch, welche groe Deutungsmacht NS-Seilschaften in der Geschichtswissenschaft noch lange nach 1945 hatten.
In February 1933, Adolf Hitler had only a tenuous grasp on power. Chancellor of Germany for merely four weeks, he led a fragile coalition government. The Nazis had lost seats in the Reichstag in the recent election, and claimed only three of thirteen cabinet posts. Then on February 27th, arson sent the Reichstag, the home and symbol of German democracy, up in flames. Immediately blaming the Communists, Hitler's new government approved a decree that tore the heart out of the democratic constitution of the Weimar Republic and cancelled the rule of law. Five thousand people were immediately arrested. The Reichstag fire marked the true beginning of the Third Reich, which ruled for 12 more years. The controversy surrounding the fire's origins has endured for 80. In Burning the Reichstag, Benjamin Hett offers a gripping account of Hitler's rise to dictatorship-one that challenges orthodoxy and recovers the true significance of the part the fire played. At the scene the police arrested 23-year-old Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch Communist stonemason. Though he was initially dismissed abroad as a Nazi tool, post-war historians since the 1950s have largely judged him solely guilty-a lone arsonist exploited by Hitler. Hett's book reopens the case, providing vivid portraits of key figures, including Rudolf Diels, Hermann Goering, Joseph Goebbels, and the historian Fritz Tobias, whose account of the fire has, until now, been the standard. Making use of a number of new sources and archives, Hett sets the Reichstag fire in a wider context, revealing how and why it has remained one of the last mysteries of the Nazi period, and one of the most controversial and contested events in the 20th century. Burning the Reichstag will stand as the landmark work on this subject.
Crossing Hitler is a biography of the German trial lawyer Hans Litten (1903-1938), who dedicated his brief career to an uncompromising struggle against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and suffered accordingly in Hitler's concentration camps. Through the prism of this one remarkable advocate, the book explores the rise of the Nazis, the vibrant criminal courts of the Weimar Republic, and the terror of Nazi rule in Germany after 1933. During the trial of four Nazi paratroopers in 1931, Litten grilled Hitler in a merciless three-hour examination, forcing Hitler into multiple contradictions and evasions and finally reducing him to helpless and humiliating rage. Two years later Hitler was in power, and Litten was sent to the concentration camps of the Third Reich, where he worked on translations of medieval German poetry and operated as a one-man university. After five years of torture and hard labor, Litten gave up hope of survival, and took his own life 1938.
From Alexanderplatz, the bustling Berlin square ringed by bleak slums, to Moabit, site of the city's most feared prison, Death in the Tiergarten illuminates the culture of criminal justice in late imperial Germany. In vivid prose, Benjamin Hett examines daily movement through the Berlin criminal courts and the lawyers, judges, jurors, thieves, pimps, and murderers who inhabited this world. Drawing on previously untapped sources, including court records, pamphlet literature, and pulp novels, Hett examines how the law reflected the broader urban culture and politics of a rapidly changing city. In this book, German criminal law looks very different from conventional narratives of a rigid, static system with authoritarian continuities traceable from Bismarck to Hitler. From the murder trial of Anna and Hermann Heinze in 1891 to the surprising treatment of the notorious Captain of Koepenick in 1906, Hett illuminates a transformation in the criminal justice system that unleashed a culture war fought over issues of permissiveness versus discipline, the boundaries of public discussion of crime and sexuality, and the role of gender in the courts. Trained in both the law and history, Hett offers a uniquely valuable perspective on the dynamic intersections of law and society, and presents an impressive new view of early-twentieth-century German history.