The Nazi Empire

Christopher R. Browning

in The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199232116
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 The Nazi Empire

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  • Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing
  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This articles addresses genocide in the Nazi Empire. Genocide in the Nazi Empire issued from a confluence of traditions: anti-Semitism, racism, imperialism, and eugenics. None of these was unique to Germany, but they came together in a lethal combination in Germany under Nazi rule to provide the ideological underpinnings for three clusters of genocidal projects. The first was the ‘purification’ of the German race through the mass murder of the mentally and physically handicapped within the Third Reich and the expulsion and mass murder of ‘Gypsies’ from the Third Reich. The second was a demographic revolution or ethnic restructuring within the lands deemed to be Germany's future Lebensraum through the decimation, denationalization, and expulsion of the predominately Slavic populations living there. The third was the systematic and total mass murder of every Jew — the Holocaust.

Keywords: Nazi Empire; genocide; Holocaust; Third Reich; racism; imperialism; Hitler; Jews

Article.  8326 words. 

Subjects: History ; Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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