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The Fateful Alliance

German Conservatives and Nazis in 1933: The Machtergreifung in a New Light

Hermann Beck

372 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-496-8 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (April 2008)

ISBN  978-1-84545-680-1 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (April 2010)

eISBN 978-0-85745-018-0 eBook


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The strength of the study lies undoubtedly in the empirical research that is simply impressive and considerably widens our historical knowledge of the year 1933.  ·  Journal of Modern History

“Beck’s extraordinarily well-researched and trenchantly argued monograph restores a welcome sense of contingency to the first months of the Nazi ‘seizure of power’ “  ·  European History Quarterly

“...a compelling study...Beck’s engaging analysis offers valuable and perceptive insights into the course and character of the Nazi seizure of power and deserves to be read widely.”  ·  American Historical Review

“He uses the Machtergreifung to give new insight not only in the chaos of 1933, but also into the more general constellation of power relationships in Weimar Germany. A valuable contribution to the current literature on both the Nazis and the conservatives. Highly recommended.”  ·  Choice

“…[an] excellent treatment of the German National People’s Party (CNVP) in the tumultuous spring and summer of 1933…Beck’s signal contribution is the unblinking and well-researched fashion in which he sheds valuable new light on the oft-told story of the rise of the Nazi dictatorship.”  ·  German Studies Review

“Already the authoritative voice on German Conservatism in the nineteenth century, Beck proves himself anew with his meticulously researched, tightly-argued, and skillfully written book on the complex interaction between National Socialism and Conservatism during the Third Reich.”  ·  James F. Tent, University of Alabama at Birmingham

“…illuminating original research and insightful analysis.”  ·  Henry Ashby Turner, Yale University

“A well-written, readable and solidly researched account.”  ·  Jeremy Noakes

“Hermann Beck has given us by far the best account that we have of the German political right and the triumph of Hitler, an original, carefully researched and revisionist study which will revise certain standard interpretations. Provides a new perspective on the relationship between the DNVP and the Jews, and particularly on the Nazis’ intense animosity against the DNVP and the bourgeoisie.”  ·  Stanley G. Payne, Hilldale-Jaume Vicens Vives Professor Emeritus of History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

On 30 January 1933, Alfred Hugenberg's conservative German National People's Party (DNVP) formed a coalition government with the Nazi Party, thus enabling Hitler to accede to the chancellorship. This book analyzes in detail the complicated relationship between Conservatives and Nazis and offers a re-interpretation of the Nazi seizure of power - the decisive months between 30 January and 14 July 1933. The Machtergreifung is characterized here as a period of all-pervasive violence and lawlessness with incessant conflicts between Nazis and German Nationals and Nazi attacks on the conservative Bürgertum, a far cry from the traditional depiction of the takeover as a relatively bloodless, virtually sterile assumption of power by one vast impersonal apparatus wresting control from another. The author scrutinizes the revolutionary character of the Nazi seizure of power, the Nazis' attacks on the conservative Bürgertum and its values, and National Socialism's co-optation of conservative symbols of state power to serve radically new goals, while addressing the issue of why the DNVP was complicit in this and paradoxically participated in eroding the foundations of its very own principles and bases of support.

Hermann Beck is Professor of History at the University of Miami, where he teaches German and Modern European History. He has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and a Fellow at the Berliner Historische Kommission. The author of The Origins of the Authoritarian Welfare State in Prussia: Conservatives, Bureaucracy, and the Social Question, 1815-1870, he has also contributed articles to American and European journals, including among others, The Journal of Modern History, The Journal of Contemporary History, Central European History, and German History.

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Subject: 20th Century History
Area: Europe Germany

LC: DD240 .B3389 2008

BL: YK.2009.a.3594

BISAC: HIS014000 HISTORY/Europe/Germany; HIS037070 HISTORY/Modern/20th Century

BIC: HBLW 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000; HBJD European history




Contents

Preface

Introduction

Chapter 1. Pragmatists versus Fundamentalists: The DNVP in the Weimar Republic, 1918-1933
Chapter 2. Uneasy Partners: The Relationship between the DNVP and the Nazis, 30 January-5 March
Chapter 3. Conservatives and the NSDAP during the "National Revolution" of March 1933
Chapter 4. The Nazis and the Conservative Bürgertum: A Clash of Worlds
Chapter 5. Between the Dictates of Conscience and Poltical Expediency: The DNVP and Anti-Semitism
Chapter 6. Rebellion against the Inevitable: The Tribulations of Spring 1933
Chapter 7. Ignominious Demise: Defections, Prohibitions, and Final Dissolution

Epilogue

Appendix

Select Bibliography
Index

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