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Nazism, War and GenocideNew Perspectives on the History of the Third Reich$
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Neil Gregor

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780859897457

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859897457.001.0001

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Working-Class Identities in the Third Reich

Working-Class Identities in the Third Reich

(p.42) 3 Working-Class Identities in the Third Reich
Nazism, War and Genocide

Dick Geary

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the experience of the working class under the Third Reich and how the ties that bound the ‘people's community’ were not always strong and were far from universal. It agrees with the notion that the workers were not immune from the material, symbolic, and ideological blandishments of Nazism, but cites the political conditions under which they were forced to respond to the regime. In particular, it considers the fissure between bourgeoisie and working class in Nazi Germany and the effects of the terror apparatus on workers from 1933 onwards. The chapter argues that most German workers were forced to choose the path of circumspection in their relationship to the regime, but that their silence did not mean consent but rather a reflection of the realities of life under Nazism.

Keywords:   working class, Third Reich, people's community, Nazism, workers, bourgeoisie, terror apparatus, Nazi Germany

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