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Crossing Hitler

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199743780
Size: 58.16 MB
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During a 1931 trial of four Nazi stormtroopers, known as the Eden Dance Palace trial, Hans Litten grilled Hitler in a brilliant and merciless three-hour cross-examination, forcing him into multiple contradictions and evasions and finally reducing him to helpless and humiliating rage (the transcription of Hitler's full testimony is included.) At the time, Hitler was still trying to prove his embrace of legal methods, and distancing himself from his stormtroopers. The courageous Litten revealed his true intentions, and in the process, posed a real threat to Nazi ambition. When the Nazis seized power two years after the trial, friends and family urged Litten to flee the country. He stayed and was sent to the concentration camps, where he worked on translations of medieval German poetry, shared the money and food he was sent by his wealthy family, and taught working-class inmates about art and literature. When Jewish prisoners at Dachau were locked in their barracks for weeks at a time, Litten kept them sane by reciting great works from memory. After five years of torture and hard labor-and a daring escape that failed-Litten gave up hope of survival. His story was ultimately tragic but, as Benjamin Hett writes in this gripping narrative, it is also redemptive. "It is a story of human nobility in the face of barbarism." The first full-length biography of Litten, the book also explores the turbulent years of the Weimar Republic and the terror of Nazi rule in Germany after 1933. [in sidebar] Winner of the 2007 Fraenkel Prize for outstanding work of contemporary history, in manuscript. To be published throughout the world.

Burning The Reichstag

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199322325
Size: 67.33 MB
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Delving into the controversy surrounding the fire that burned down the Reichstag and ignited the Third Reich, this gripping account of Hitler's rise to dictatorship reopens the arson case, profiling key figures and making use of new sources and archives to reinvestigate one of the greatest mysteries of the Nazi period.

Death In The Tiergarten

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674038614
Size: 19.87 MB
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From Alexanderplatz, the bustling Berlin square ringed by bleak slums, to Moabit, site of the city's most feared prison, Death in the Tiergarten illuminates the culture of criminal justice in late imperial Germany. In vivid prose, Benjamin Hett examines daily movement through the Berlin criminal courts and the lawyers, judges, jurors, thieves, pimps, and murderers who inhabited this world. Drawing on previously untapped sources, including court records, pamphlet literature, and pulp novels, Hett examines how the law reflected the broader urban culture and politics of a rapidly changing city. In this book, German criminal law looks very different from conventional narratives of a rigid, static system with authoritarian continuities traceable from Bismarck to Hitler. From the murder trial of Anna and Hermann Heinze in 1891 to the surprising treatment of the notorious Captain of Koepenick in 1906, Hett illuminates a transformation in the criminal justice system that unleashed a culture war fought over issues of permissiveness versus discipline, the boundaries of public discussion of crime and sexuality, and the role of gender in the courts. Trained in both the law and history, Hett offers a uniquely valuable perspective on the dynamic intersections of law and society, and presents an impressive new view of early twentieth-century German history. Table of Contents: Acknowledgments Introduction 1. In Moabit 2. The Berlin of Surrogates 3. Honorable Men 4. Justice Is Blind 5. "Were People More Pitiless Fifteen Years Ago?" Epilogue Appendix: Regimes and Rulers Abbreviations Notes Archival and Primary Sources Index Death in the Tiergarten is an impressive book. Written in a light and entertaining style, with elegance and wit, it is a rich source of thought-provoking insights. Hett offers his own distinct spin on some of the common themes of Berlin literature--crime, sex, sensation, mass media, and the dramatic character of life in the modern metropolis. This unusually successful and effective work of scholarship has the potential to reach a broad audience. --Jonathan Sperber, University of Missouri at Columbia An extremely rich and well-argued analysis of the culture of the criminal courtroom in Wilhelmine Germany. Using stories about love, lust, betrayal, and honor--crime stories and city stories--Benjamin Hett pries open Berlin's public life in brilliant, unexpected ways. --Peter Fritzsche, author of Reading Berlin 1900

The Law In Nazi Germany

Author: Alan E. Steinweis
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857457810
Size: 37.60 MB
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While we often tend to think of the Third Reich as a zone of lawlessness, the Nazi dictatorship and its policies of persecution rested on a legal foundation set in place and maintained by judges, lawyers, and civil servants trained in the law. This volume offers a concise and compelling account of how these intelligent and welleducated legal professionals lent their skills and knowledge to a system of oppression and domination. The chapters address why German lawyers and jurists were attracted to Nazism; how their support of the regime resulted from a combination of ideological conviction, careerist opportunism, and legalistic selfdelusion; and whether they were held accountable for their Nazi-era actions after 1945. This book also examines the experiences of Jewish lawyers who fell victim to anti-Semitic measures. The volume will appeal to scholars, students, and other readers with an interest in Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and the history of jurisprudence.

The Death Of Democracy

Author: Benjamin Carter Hett
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1250162513
Size: 22.92 MB
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A riveting account of how the Nazi Party came to power and how the failures of the Weimar Republic and the shortsightedness of German politicians allowed it to happen. Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time. To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship. Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicians show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.

The Nazi Concentration Camps 1933 1939

Author: Christian Goeschel
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 0803227825
Size: 77.14 MB
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Weeks after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, the Nazi regime established the first concentration camps in Germany. Initially used for real and suspected political enemies, the camps increasingly came under SS control and became sites for the repression of social outsiders and German Jews. Terror was central to the Nazi regime from the beginning, and the camps gradually moved toward the center of repression, torture, and mass murder during World War II and the Holocaust. This collection brings together revealing primary documents on the crucial origins of the Nazi concentration camp system in the prewar years between 1933 and 1939, which have been overlooked thus far. Many of the documents are unpublished and have been translated into English for the first time. These documents provide insight into the camps from multiple perspectives, including those of prisoners, Nazi officials, and foreign observers, and shed light on the complex relationship between terror, state, and society in the Third Reich.

The Making Of A Nazi Hero

Author: Daniel Siemens
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1780760779
Size: 18.21 MB
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A sobering portrait of the mythologized Nazi figure who after being assassinated in 1930 was rendered a subject of propaganda by Joseph Goebbels shares insights into Nazi propaganda strategies while describing how Wessel was recreated as a martyr and upheld as a hero in the popular "Horst Wessel Song," Die Fahne Hoch.

Hitler S Stormtroopers

Author: Jean-Denis Lepage
Publisher: Frontline Books
ISBN: 1848324278
Size: 46.88 MB
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The Sturm Abteilung der NSDAP (SA, assault battalion of the Nazi party) – created in August 1920 – were squads of strong arms intended to protect the Nazis’ meetings, to provoke disturbance, to break up other parties’ meetings, and to attack and assault political opponents as part of a deliberate campaign of intimidation. After 1925 the name Braunhemden (Brownshirts) was also given to its members because of the colour of their uniforms. Under the leadership of Hitler’s close political associate, Ernst Röhm, the SA grew to become a huge and radical paramilitary force. This book answers several questions concerning the SA. How did the SA become a national movement? What was the relationship between Röhm and Hitler? What role did the SA play in providing Hitler with the keys to power? After the seizure of power by the Nazis on January 30, 1933, what was the function of the Brownshirts? Why did the brutal and scandalous Ernst Röhm stand in Hitler’s way? What became of the SA after the bloody purge of June 1934, the notorious ‘Night of the Long Knives’?

Taken At Midnight

Author: Mark Hayhurst
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472590317
Size: 40.74 MB
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In your quest for respectability I think we can say you have been talking out of both corners of your mouth. One corner talks to your rich backers, the other to your street-fighters. 1931. Hans Litten is one of the most celebrated lawyers in Berlin, famed for his brilliant mind and the rhetorical flair with which he defends those fighting back against the rapidly growing Nazi movement. So, when he calls Herr Hitler as star witness in the trial of a band of murderous SA men, the politician feels the full force of Litten's intellect, wit and courage. It arouses in Hitler a feeling he can't abide or forget. Two years later, on the night of the Reichstag fire, Litten is arrested. He is held without trial, beaten, tortured, and threatened as 'an enemy of human society'. As Litten disappears into the Nazi system, his indomitable mother, Irmgard, confronts his captors and, at enormous personal risk, fights to secure his release. This riveting drama by the writer of The Man Who Crossed Hitler explores Irmgard's struggle, her son's resistance, and the heroic battle of the weak against the powerful, truth against lies and mothers against murderers. Taken At Midnight received its world premiere on 26 September 2014 at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester. This edition features an introduction by the author.

The Perfect Nazi

Author: Martin Davidson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101513527
Size: 12.16 MB
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What if you found out that your grandfather had been a Nazi SS officer? This is the confession that Martin Davidson received from his mother upon the death of demanding, magnetic grandfather Bruno Langbehn. The Perfect Nazi is Davidson's exploration of his family's darkest secret. As Davidson dove into his research, drawing on an astonishing cache of personal documents as well as eyewitness accounts of this historical period, he learned that Bruno's story moved lock-step in time with the rise and fall of the Nazi party: from his upbringing in a fiercely military environment amid the aftermath of World War I, to his joining the Nazi party in 1926 at the age of nineteen, more than six years before Hitler came to power, to his postwar involvement with the Werewolves, the gang of SS stalwarts who vowed to keep on after the defeat of Nazism. Davidson realized that his grandfather was in many ways the "perfect Nazi," his individual experiences emblematic of the generation of Germans who would plunge the world into such darkness. But he also realized that every fact he uncovered was a terrible truth he himself would have to come to terms with...