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Source: Taylor, AJP. (1990) From the Boer War to the Cold War. London, UK: Hamish Hamilton,
p. 347.
The real problem in German history is why so few of the educated, civilized classes recognized
Hitler as the embodiment of evil. University professors; army officers; businessmen and bankers
- these had a background of culture, and even of respect for law. Yet virtually none of them
exclaimed: This is anti-Christ. Later, they were to make out that Hitler had deceived them and
that the bestial nature of national socialism could not have been foreseen. This is not true. The
real character of national socialism was exposed by many foreign, and even by some German,
observers long before Hitler came to power. It could be judged from Hitlers writings and his
speeches; it was displayed in every street brawl that the Nazi brownshirts organised. Hitler did
not deceive the responsible classes in Germany: they deceived themselves. Their selfdeception had a simple cause: they were engaged in fighting the wrong battle and in saving
Source: From a letter by the Headmaster of Northeims Girls High School, 1967, in W. Allen,
1984, The Nazi Seizure of Power.
I observed many things in Berlin which could not be noticed - or only to a lesser degree - in
small towns. I saw the Communist danger, the Communist terror their gangs breaking up
bourgeois meetings, the bourgeois parties being utterly helpless, the Nazis being the only
party that broke terror by anti-terror. I saw the complete failure of the bourgeois parties to deal
with the economic crisis...Only national socialism offered any hope. Anti-semitism had another
aspect in Berlin: Nazis mostly did not hate Jews individually, many had Jewish friends, but they
were concerned about the Jewish problem...Nobody knew of any way to deal with it, but they
hoped the Nazis would know. If they had guessed how the Nazis did deal with it, not one in a
hundred would have joined the party.
Source: Richard Overy, as cited in Traynor, J. (1991). Challenging History: Europe 1890-1990.
Nelson Thornes, p. 191.
Until 1928 Nazism was an insignificant political force trying to win factory workers away from
Marxism...It was a marginal political movement on the radical rise. But under the impact of the
slump, the rise of communism and the political stalemate of parliamentary politics, the
movement began to attract more attention. Nazism became the authentic voice of the small
townsman, the anxious officials and the small businessmen, the peasant who felt he had a raw
deal from the Republic...The Nazi party was made up and led by people like this: Nazi leaders
articulated their fears and desires, and promised to end the crisis. Nazism gave expression to

the latest nationalism of the conservative masses by blaming the Allies and reparations for
Germanys ills. Above all, Nazism was violently anti-Marxist. It was the only party demonstrably,
visibly combating the threat of communism on the streets. Although the violence alienated many
respectable Germans, they hated communism more. Social disorder and disintegration seemed
a reality in 1932 with eight million unemployed. In the chaos Nazism promised to restore order,
to revive German fortunes, to bring about a moral renewal, to give bread and work.
Source: By the owner of a printing shop in Northeim, in W. Allen, 1984, The Nazi Seizure of
It was the depression and business was bad. The Nazis used to ask my father for contributions
and he refused. As a consequence of this he lost business. So he joined the Nazi party. But this
lost him other customers, so he was discouraged by the whole situation. He probably wouldnt
have joined of his own choice.
Source: National Assembly and Reichstag election results, 1919-1933, numbers in percentage,
in Distel, B. (2005). The Dachau Concentration Camp. Dachau, Germany: Comite International
de Dachau.