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Weimar ThoughtA Contested Legacy$
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Peter E. Gordon and John P. McCormick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135106.001.0001

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The Aftermath

The Aftermath

Reflections on the Culture and Ideology of National Socialism

Chapter:
(p.394) 19 The Aftermath
Source:
Weimar Thought
Author(s):

Anson Rabinbach

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691135106.003.0020

This chapter presents some chilling reflections that highlight certain continuities between the Republic and the Third Reich. It demonstrates how fluid and flexible Nazi ideology was in practice—so amenable to multiple interpretations and accommodations, in fact, that the majority of elites and masses could demonstrate fealty to the regime in multiple ways and thereby maintain a continued and even increased level of “normalcy” after the Nazi Gleichschaltung, notwithstanding the tragic fates suffered by too many of those who had once been citizens of the Republic. Biographies and institutional studies of the conservative circles in Weimar and the Kaisserreich reveal that unlike Soviet Communism, intellectual fealty to National Socialism required not so much rhetorical and ideological conformity as an ethos or “Gesinnung,” a willingness to adhere to the precepts of the worldview which was vague and indistinct enough to embrace a variety of related perspectives.

Keywords:   Third Reich, Nazi Germany, Nazi ideology, Weimar Republic, Gleichschaltung

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