Monographs in German History
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A Single Communal Faith?
The German Right from Conservatism to National Socialism
306 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-368-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2007)
“…presents a synthesis that is exceptionally rich in ideas and information, offering a comprehensive but very readable and well structured overview from the ‘völkisch’ romanticism of 18th century, to the politically virulent Conservatism of 19th century and the radical nationalism of Imperial Germany to that of National Socialism.” · Neue Politische Literatur
“The book is clearly written and the arguments are effectively presented. Rohkrämer has used and mastered an enormous amount of secondary materials and printed primary sources that are well integrated into the overall argument. This is a powerfully argued book on an issue of the utmost importance, one that is immensely stimulating and thought provoking.” · German History
“…a well informed, carefully argued study that incorporates the most recent research [on this topic].” · H-Soz-u-Kult
How could the Right transform itself from a politics of the nobility to a fatally attractive option for people from all parts of society? How could the Nazis gain a good third of the votes in free elections and remain popular far into their rule? A number of studies from the 1960s have dealt with the issue, in particular the works by George Mosse and Fritz Stern. Their central arguments are still challenging, but a large number of more specific studies allow today for a much more complex argument, which also takes account of changes in our understanding of German history in general. This book shows that between 1800 and 1945 the fundamentalist desire for a single communal faith played a crucial role in the radicalization of Germany's political Right. A nationalist faith could gain wider appeal, because people were searching for a sense of identity and belonging, a mental map for the modern world and metaphysical security.
Thomas Rohkrämer is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at Lancaster University. He received his PhD at Freiburg University, his habilitation at Berne University and was Lecturer at Auckland University from 1991 to 1996. His publications include books on militarism and on cultural criticism in modern German history.