Chapter

The Third Reich

Peter M. R. Stirk

in Twentieth-Century German Political Thought

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780748622900
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652730 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748622900.003.0004
The Third Reich

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The twelve years of the National Socialist Third Reich have received more scholarly attention than any other period of similar duration for the obvious reasons of the brutality of the regime, its novelty, its instigation of the Second World War, and above all, the Holocaust. The pace of change, economic recovery and rearmament, anti-Semitic persecution, the hollowing-out of the legal system by the security apparatus, the increased if erratic state intervention in the economy, and expansion and war all forced theorists to attempt to grasp the nature of the regime in the light of the most recent developments. The union with Austria in 1938, in whose authoritarian constitution of 1934 some had seen the only alternative to National Socialism, the occupation of the Czech lands in 1939, and the occupation of most of Europe in the Second World War opened up new perspectives that further challenged the viability of traditional concepts.

Keywords: National Socialist; Second World War; Holocaust; rearmament; anti-Semitic persecution; political theory

Chapter.  9190 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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