22. Fascists




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European Civilization, 1648-1945 (HIST 202)

While Nazi Germany’s crimes were unprecedented, Adolf Hitler himself was in many respects a typical figure. An idle youth, of seemingly mediocre talents, his political career and passionate hatreds were formed by the experience of World War I. The rise of fascism in Germany, as elsewhere, must be understood in the context of a postwar climate of resentment and instability. Germany’s economic crisis, in particular, led the middle classes to support National Socialism well before any other group. This resentment would find a ready outlet in the form of increasingly persecuted minority populations, above all the Jews. In considering Nazism against the backdrop of a more general wave of extreme rightwing and fascist political sentiment, it is important to note that the policies of the Third Reich were not only known to but also endorsed by the majority of the German population.

00:00 – Chapter 1. The Life of Adolf Hitler
20:39 – Chapter 2. Support of the Nazi Party: Rightwing Revisionism After the First World War
33:15 – Chapter 3. Order, Terror and Atomization: Society in Nazi Germany
42:16 – Chapter 4. Faith unto Death: Nazis throughout and After the War

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

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