Coercion and Consent in Nazi Germany

Richard J. Evans

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 151, 2006 Lectures

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264249
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734045 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Coercion and Consent in Nazi Germany

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This lecture discusses three central propositions to a new consensus that the Third Reich was a ‘dictatorship by consent’. The first proposition states that the Nazis did not seize power; rather, they won it legally and by consent. The second is that the Nazi repression, which was exercised through the Gestapo and the concentration camps, was on a small scale and did not actually affect most of the population. The third proposition discussed in this lecture is that the overwhelming popularity of the regime was demonstrated by the staggeringly successful results it achieved in national elections and plebiscites.

Keywords: Third Reich; central propositions; dictatorship by consent; Nazi repression; concentration camps; Gestapo; regime popularity

Chapter.  12754 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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