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Ordinary Germans in Extraordinary Times : The Nazi Revolution in Hildesheim - Andrew Stuart Bergerson

Ordinary Germans in Extraordinary Times

The Nazi Revolution in Hildesheim

Hardcover Published: 14th October 2004
ISBN: 9780253344656
Number Of Pages: 336

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Hildesheim is a mid-sized provincial town in northwest Germany. Ordinary Germans in Extraordinary Times is a carefully drawn account of how townspeople went about their lives and reacted to events during the Nazi era. Andrew Stuart Bergerson argues that ordinary Germans did in fact make Germany and Europe more fascist, more racist, and more modern during the 1930s, but they disguised their involvement behind a pre-existing veil of normalcy.

Bergerson details a way of being, believing, and behaving by which "ordinary Germans" imagined their powerlessness and absence of responsibility even as they collaborated in the Nazi revolution. He builds his story on research that includes anecdotes of everyday life collected systematically from newspapers, literature, photography, personal documents, public records, and especially extensive interviews with a representative sample of residents born between 1900 and 1930.

The book considers the actual customs and experiences of friendship and neighborliness in a German town before, during, and after the Third Reich. By analyzing the customs of conviviality in interwar Hildesheim, and the culture of normalcy these customs invoked, Bergerson aims to help us better understand how ordinary Germans transformed "neighbors" into "Jews" or "Aryans."

Industry Reviews

[Bergerson's] carefully crafted volume, divided into two major sections dealing with pre-Nazi and Nazi Germany and providing 'thick descriptions' of a number of the interviewees he so patiently worked with, is both insightful and fair-minded.June 2009 * American Historical Review *

Introduction: New Manners
Conviviality in Hildesheim
The Stroll
Dirty Politics
Making Hildesheim Fascist
Conclusion: Dangerous Deeds
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780253344656
ISBN-10: 0253344654
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 14th October 2004
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.68