The German people's knowledge of and complicity in all aspects of the Nazi agenda are the subject of this powerful study. Gellately (Holocaust history, Clark U., US) studied newspaper accounts and other archives to assess the popularity of the Nazi leaders and the degree to which Germans were informed of the widespread use of concentration camps and what happened to those sent there. The use of slavery, executions, imprisonment, and the mass executions at the end of the Third Reich are described with attention to the propaganda used, and often accepted, against those the Nazis wished to cleanse from society. This is a paperbound edition of a 2001 book. Annotation c. Book News, Inc.,Portland, OR
Books on the Holocaust and Nazism now number in the tens of thousands. Of that vast library, a handful of texts should be deemed essential reading for any serious student of the bloody and pathetic 20th century. Robert Gellately's Backing Hitler is among them. Nazi crimes are frequently described as bestial, demonic or the acts of a handful of madmen and the hypnotized masses.....In sharp contrast, Gellately dispassionately documents that ordinary human beings organized the Holocaust, extermination camps and all....Gellately's stated aim -- "trying to cope with the full enormity of the many atrocities committed in the name of, and with the support of, so many Germans" -- focuses attention on those aspects of the Holocaust that are less titillating for television and far more difficult to face. Yet it is also these characteristics of systemic cruelty that remain most relevant for today's world.