While Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist government was persecuting Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses and driving forty-two small German religious sects underground, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continued to practice unhindered. How some fourteen thousand Mormons not only survived but thrived in Nazi Germany is a story little known, rarely told, and occasionally rewritten within the confines of the Church’s history—for good reason, as we see in David Conley Nelson’s Moroni and the Swastika. A page-turning historical narrative, this book is the first full account of how Mormons avoided Nazi persecution through skilled collaboration with Hitler’s regime, and then eschewed postwar shame by constructing an alternative history of wartime suffering and resistance. The Twelfth Article of Faith and parts of the 134th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants function as Mormonism’s equivalent of the biblical admonition to “render unto Caesar,” a charge to cooperate with civil government, no matter how onerous doing so may be. Resurrecting this often-violated doctrinal edict, ecclesiastical leaders at the time developed a strategy that protected Mormons within Nazi Germany. Furthermore, as Nelson shows, many Mormon officials strove to fit into the Third Reich by exploiting commonalities with the Nazi state. German Mormons emphasized a mutual interest in genealogy and a passion for sports. They sent husbands into the Wehrmacht and sons into the Hitler Youth, and they prayed for a German victory when the war began. They also purged Jewish references from hymnals, lesson plans, and liturgical practices. One American mission president even wrote an article for the official Nazi Party newspaper, extolling parallels between Utah Mormon and German Nazi society. Nelson documents this collaboration, as well as subsequent efforts to suppress it by fashioning a new collective memory of ordinary German Mormons’ courage and travails during the war. Recovering this inconvenient past, Moroni and the Swastika restores a complex and difficult chapter to the history of Nazi Germany and the Mormon Church in the twentieth century—and offers new insight into the construction of historical truth.
This balanced history offers a concise, readable introduction to Nazi Germany. Combining compelling narrative storytelling with analysis, Joseph Bendersky presents an authoritative survey of the major political, economic, and social factors that powered the rise and fall of the Third Reich. His classic treatment provides an invaluable overview of a subject that retains its historical significance and contemporary importance.
Shaping the minds of the future generation was pivotal to the Nazi regime in order to ensure the continuing success of the Third Reich. Through the curriculum, the elite schools and youth groups, the Third Reich waged a war for the minds of the young. Hitler understood the importance of education in creating self-identity, inculcating national pride, promoting 'racial purity' and building loyalty. The author examines how Nazism took shape in the classroom via school textbook policy, physical education and lessons on Nationalist Socialist heroes and anti-Semitism. Offering a compelling new analysis of Nazi educational policy, this book brings to the forefront an often-overlooked aspect of the Third Reich.
Not all Germans living under Hitler succumbed passively to the rhetoric and horror of the Nazi regime. Covert popular opposition in the form of humorous resistance was wider spread than is commonly thought. Embracing jokes, stories and 60 cartoons, this is the only collection in English of underground anti-Nazi humour. It is, as such, an invaluable contribution to the social history of twentieth century Germany.
Conformity, Opposition, and Racism in Everyday Life
Author: Detlev Peukert
Publisher: Yale University Press
This book by Detlev Peukert is a survey of the complex experiences and attitudes of ordinary German people between 1933 and 1945. It records how people lived during this period, how they evaded or accepted the regime's demands, and where they positioned themselves along the spectrum between the front lines, side lines, and firing lines.
Bendersky (history, VA Commonwealth Univ.) supplies an incisive introduction to the Nazi regime, employing both narrative and analytical approaches to account for Hitler's rise to power, Nazi ideology, the polycratic nature of the regime, territorial expansion, and the Final Solution. The second edition of his 1984 book (CH, Oct'85) features expanded coverage of German women, a review of recent Holocaust scholarship, new photographs and illustrations, and annotated bibliographies entitled "Subjects Recommended for Research." Building upon his previous study, Carl Schmitt: Theorist for the Reich, Bendersky provides an exceptionally thoughtful discussion of German constitutional and legal matters. His synthesis offers an attractive alternative for classroom use to narratives by Jackson Spielvogel, Donald Wall, and Alan Wilt. Recommended. Choice Magazine A Burnham Publishers book
The Nazis never won a majority in free elections, but soon after Hitler took power most people turned away from democracy and backed the Nazi regime. Hitler won growing support even as he established the secret police (Gestapo) and concentration camps. What has been in dispute for over fifty years is what the Germans knew about these camps, and in what ways were they involved in the persecution of 'race enemies', slave workers, and social outsiders. To answer these questions, and to explore the public sides of Nazi persecution, Robert Gellately has consulted an array of primary documents. He argues that the Nazis did not cloak their radical approaches to 'law and order' in utter secrecy, but played them up in the press and loudly proclaimed the superiority of their system over all others. They publicized their views by drawing on popular images, cherished German ideals, and long held phobias, and were able to win over converts to their cause. The author traces the story from 1933, and shows how war and especially the prospect of defeat radicalized Nazism. As the country spiralled toward defeat, Germans for the most part held on stubbornly. For anyone who contemplated surrender or resistance, terror became the order of the day.
It has been thirty years since the publication of Irving Abella and Harold Troper's seminal work None is Too Many, which documented the official barriers that kept Jewish immigrants and refugees out of Canada in the shadow of the Second World War. The book won critical acclaim, but a haunting question remained: Why did Canada act as it did in the 1930s and 1940s? Answering this question requires a deeper understanding of the attitudes, ideas, and information that circulated in Canadian society during this period. How much did Canadians know at the time about the horrors unfolding against the Jews of Europe? Where did their information come from? And how did they respond, on both public and institutional levels, to the events that marked Hitler's march to power: the 1935 Nuremberg Race Laws, the 1936 Olympics, Kristallnacht, and the crisis of the MS St Louis? The contributors to this collection - scholars of international repute - turn to the wider public sphere for answers: to the media, the world of literature, the university campus, the realm of international sport, and networks of community activism. Their findings reveal that the persecutions and atrocities taking place in Nazi Germany inspired a range of responses from ordinary Canadians, from indifference to outrage to quiet acquiescence. It is challenging to recreate the mindset of more than seventy years ago. Yet this collection takes up that challenge, digging deeper into archives, records, and testimonies that can offer fresh interpretations of this dark period. The answer to the question "why?" begins here. Contributors include: Doris Bergen, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Chair in Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto, Richard Menkis, Department of History, University of British Columbia; Harold Troper, Department of Theory and Policy Studies in Education, OISE/University of Toronto; Amanda Grzyb, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario; Rebecca Margolis, Centre for Canadian Jewish Studies, University of Ottawa; Michael Brown, Department of Languages, Literatures and Lingustics, York University; Norman Ravvin, Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies, Concordia University; and James Walker, Department of History, University of Waterloo.