Hitler's first hundred days When Germans embraced the Third Reich

Peter Fritzsche, 1959-

Book - 2020

"Over just a few months in spring 1933, Germany transformed from a deeply divided republic into a one-party Nazi dictatorship. In Hitler's First Hundred Days, award-winning historian Peter Fritzsche offers a probing new account of the dramatic and pivotal period when Germans became Nazis and the Third Reich began. Amid the ravages of economic depression, Germans in the early 1930s were pulled to political extremes both left and right. But after Adolf Hitler's appointment as chance...llor in January, the Nazis moved with brutality and audaciousness to swiftly create a new political order. Fritzsche closely examines the events of these days--the elections and mass arrests, the gunfire and bonfires, the patriotic rallies and anti-Jewish boycotts--to understand both the terrifying power that the National Socialists exerted over ordinary Germans, and the powerful appeal of the new era they promised. Going down streets, up stairwells, and into German homes, rifling through newspapers,letters, and diaries, listening to the sounds of the radio and to song and slogan, Fritzsche unfolds the moments when suddenly dissenting voices went silent and almost everyone seemed to be a Nazi. It was a time characterized by both coercion and consent--but ultimately, a majority of Germans preferred the Nazi future to the Weimar past. Remarkably rich and illuminating, Hitler's First Hundred Days is the chilling story of the beginning of the end, when one hundred days seemed to inaugurate a new thousand-year Reich"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Basic Books 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
v, 421 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781541697430
154169743X
Main Author
Peter Fritzsche, 1959- (author)
Review by Choice Reviews

Fritzsche (Univ. of Illinois) has written an important history of how Germany came to support Hitler after the Nazis "seized power" in 1933. Focusing on the first 100 days following Hitler's ascent to the chancellorship in January 1933, the Nazi propaganda machine under Joseph Goebbels promoted a message of national unity as it existed prior to the outbreak of WW I, in contrast to the Weimar Republic, established by the "November criminals" of 1918. According to Fritzsche, the Nazi Party's success was attributable to both a policy of coercion and an appeal to Germans' sense of volksgemeinschaft ("people's community"), bolstered by the party violently singling out communists, social democrats, and other opponents as obstacles to national unity. During the 100 days the Nazis traveled across Germany promoting an agenda of ending unemployment and the communist threat, strengthening the nation, and advancing its virulent anti-Semitism. Fritzsche also highlights the importance of the radio to their success, juxtaposing Hitler's use of the medium with President Roosevelt's fireside chats. He notes that by 1938 one out of every two households owned a radio, enabling Hitler to reach millions of Germans with his prediction of a "Thousand-Year Reich." Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals.--J. Fischel, emeritus, Messiah CollegeJack Robert Fischelemeritus, Messiah College Jack Robert Fischel Choice Reviews 58:02 October 2020 Copyright 2020 American Library Association.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Before a negotiated political arrangement brought the National Socialists (Nazis) to power, Germany was a country with deep economic problems, including high rates of unemployment and inflation. In the first 100 days of Adolf Hitler's appointment as chancellor in 1933, Germany transformed from a troubled democracy to a country that put into practice extreme repression and limitations on personal freedom. Historian and author Fritzsche (history, Univ. of Illinois; An Iron Wind) explains the methods that the Nazi Party used to influence and persuade Germans to embrace Nazism, and the key events in Hitler's first days as chancellor. Using violence, fear, and intimidation, the Nazis created a culture of insiders and outsiders; those who did not support them either passively concurred or almost entirely disappeared from view. Fritzsche successfully weaves in excerpts from letters and interviews, providing firsthand accounts of German people grappling with a new world order. Fritzsche argues that the coup of the Third Reich was getting Germans to see themselves as the Nazis did: as an imperiled people creating national community. VERDICT Everyone concerned about the rise of nationalism, the impact of extreme partisanship, and preserving democracy should read this insightful book.—Beth Dalton, Littleton, CO Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

University of Illinois history professor Fritzsche (An Iron Wind) chronicles the hundred days following Adolf Hitler's appointment as German Chancellor in this detailed investigation into "the phenomenon of National Socialism." Opening with a fly-on-the-wall account of the January 1933 meeting in which conservative leaders broke a parliamentary stalemate by elevating Hitler and agreeing to hold new elections, Fritzsche details how Nazis banned opposition newspapers, pitted Aryans against Jews (though he notes that anti-Semitism was already "prevalent"), suspended civil liberties, and "wiped out their adversaries in calculated acts of counterterrorism." He draws on diaries, memoirs, and news reports to unpack the "apparent sudden shift in national mood" as ordinary Germans eager to experience social cohesion after two decades of war and fractious politics both consented to and were coerced into supporting National Socialism: a Hamburg resident discovers a new "sense of community" in the city's grittiest districts, while a Dresden teacher can't prevent her 14-year-old students from singing the Nazi anthem for fear of losing her job. Skillfully interweaving these anecdotal accounts with big-picture analysis, Fritzsche deepens readers' understanding of how Hitler consolidated power. This is a worthy look at a moment too often hurried through in histories of the period. (Mar.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A history professor and author describes how the deep division between political extremes in early 1930s Germany led to the pivotal moments that allowed the majority of Germans to join the Nazis and create the Third Reich. 30,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Over just a few months in spring 1933, Germany transformed from a deeply divided republic into a one-party Nazi dictatorship. In Hitler's First Hundred Days, award-winning historian Peter Fritzsche offers a probing new account of the dramatic and pivotal period when Germans became Nazis and the Third Reich began. Amid the ravages of economic depression, Germans in the early 1930s were pulled to political extremes both left and right. But after Adolf Hitler's appointment as chancellor in January, the Nazis moved with brutality and audaciousness to swiftly create a new political order. Fritzsche closely examines the events of these days--the elections and mass arrests, the gunfire and bonfires, the patriotic rallies and anti-Jewish boycotts--to understandboth the terrifying power that the National Socialists exerted over ordinary Germans, and the powerful appeal of the new era they promised. Going down streets, up stairwells, and into German homes, rifling through newspapers,letters, and diaries, listening to the sounds of the radio and to song and slogan, Fritzsche unfolds the moments when suddenly dissenting voices went silent and almost everyone seemed to be a Nazi. It was a time characterized by both coercion and consent--but ultimately, a majority of Germans preferred the Nazi future to the Weimar past. Remarkably rich and illuminating, Hitler's First Hundred Days is the chilling story of the beginning of the end, when one hundred days seemed to inaugurate a new thousand-year Reich"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

This accessible yet detailed descriptive narrative reveals how public sympathies shifted as Germans became Nazis during the first 100 days after Hitler became chancellor in 1933. Letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and popular culture of the period shed light on how ordinary Germans responded to the rise of National Socialism and events such as mass arrests and anti-Jewish measures. Author Peter Fritzsche (history, University of Illinois) has written other books on the Third Reich. Annotation ©2020 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Review by Publisher Summary 4

This unsettling and illuminating history reveals how Germany's fractured republic gave way to the Third Reich, from the formation of the Nazi party to the rise of Hitler.Amid the ravages of economic depression, Germans in the early 1930s were pulled to political extremes both left and right. Then, in the spring of 1933, Germany turned itself inside out, from a deeply divided republic into a one-party dictatorship. In Hitler's First Hundred Days, award-winning historian Peter Fritzsche offers a probing account of the pivotal moments when the majority of Germans seemed, all at once, to join the Nazis to construct the Third Reich. Fritzsche examines the events of the period -- the elections and mass arrests, the bonfires and gunfire, the patriotic rallies and anti-Jewish boycotts -- to understand both the terrifying power the National Socialists exerted over ordinary Germans and the powerful appeal of the new era they promised.Hitler's First Hundred Days is the chilling story of the beginning of the end, when one hundred days inaugurated a new thousand-year Reich.