Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany

TitleSocial Outsiders in Nazi Germany
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsGellately, Robert, and Nathan Stoltzfus
Number of Pages332
PublisherPrinceton University Press
CityPrinceton, NJ

When Hitler assumed power in 1933, he and other Nazis had firm ideas on what they called a racially pure "community of the people." They quickly took steps against those whom they wanted to isolate, deport, or destroy. In these essays, leading scholars offer rich histories of the people branded as "social outsiders" in Nazi Germany: Communists, Jews, "Gypsies," foreign workers, prostitutes, criminals, homosexuals, and the homeless, unemployed, disabled and chronically ill. Although many works have concentrated exclusively on the relationship between Jews and the Third Reich, this collection also includes often-overlooked victims of Nazism while reintegrating the Holocaust into its wider social context. The first essay explores the political strategies used by the Third Reich to gain support for its ideologies and programs, the second provides an overview of the history of social outsiders in Germany since the sixcteenth century and each following essay concentrates on one group of outsiders. Together the contributions debate the motivations behind the purges. The collection overall offers a nuanced portrayal of German citizens, showing that many supported the Third Reich while some tried to resist, and that the war radicalized social thinking on nearly everyone's part. [Publisher]

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