From Weimar to Auschwitz - Essays in German History

Author(s): Hans Mommsen; Philip O'Connor (Translator)


In this book Hans Mommsen analyzes perhaps the most appalling political journey of the twentieth century--the road traversed by the German people as the Weimar Republic collapsed and Nazism emerged. Mommsen is one of the foremost political historians writing today, and these are some of his finest essays. Examining the problem of how the relatively hopeful beginnings of a German democracy in 1918 and 1919 ended finally in catastrophe, the pieces here confront major questions of human history: the viability of democracy, the nature of politics, and the origins of genocide. The name "Auschwitz," writes Mommsen, "symbolizes the almost inconceivable crimes committed by the Nazi regime against the European Jews. But it also represents the destruction of politics' which occurred under Nazism; the process by which the existing system of balancing divergent societal interests, however imperfect," was replaced by a "rampage of ruthless violence, unparalleled brutality and the destruction of large areas of Europe." To locate the roots of the tragedy, Mommsen begins with the decline of the Brgertum and goes on to discuss such topics as generational conflict and "class war" in the Weimar Republic, the SPD, Heinrich Brning's still controversial role as German Chancellor, and the place of Hitler in the Nazi system. Also of great interest are the essays on German resistance to Hitler, Mommsen being a pioneer in research on this subject. The book ends with an essay on Hannah Arendt and the Eichmann trial. Throughout the work Mommsen suggests links between the crisis of the 1930s and political practices in contemporary Germany. From Weimar to Auschwitz will become a standard reference on the rise of Nazism and its implications for current developments in Europe.

Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780691031989
  • : University Presses of California, Columbia, & Princeton Limited
  • : 0.481715
  • : December 1991
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Hans Mommsen; Philip O'Connor (Translator)
  • : Hardback
  • : English
  • : very good
  • : 388