Robert Gallately–Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Catastrophe–Videos

Posted on March 5, 2011. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Communications, Demographics, Economics, European History, history | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

CrossTalk: Nuremberg Justice

“…Synopsis

This remarkably ambitious book tells the story of the great social and political catastrophe that enveloped Europe between 1914 and 1945. In a period of almost continuous upheaval, society was transformed by two world wars, the Russian Revolution, the Holocaust, and the rise and fall of the Third Reich. Combining a powerful narrative with profound analysis, acclaimed historian Robert Gellately argues that these tragedies are inextricably linked and that to consider them as discrete events is to misunderstand their genesis and character. Central to the catastrophe, of course, were Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler, and this book makes use of recently opened Russian and German sources to explain how these dictators’ pursuit of utopian—and dreadfully flawed—ideals led only to dystopian nightmare.

In a groundbreaking work, Gellately makes clear that most comparative studies of the Soviet and Nazi dictatorships are undermined by neglecting the key importance of Lenin in the unfolding drama. Rejecting the myth of the “good” Lenin, the book provides a convincing social-historical account of all three dictatorships and carefully documents their similarities and differences. It traces the escalation of conflicts between Communism and Nazism, and particularly of the role of Hitler’s anathema against what he called “Jewish Bolshevism.” The book shows how the vicious rivalry between Stalin and Hitler led inescapably to a war of annihilation and genocide. The reverberations of this gargantuan struggle are felt everywhere to this day. …”

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Lenin-Stalin-and-Hitler/Robert-Gellately/e/9781400032136

Robert Gellately

“…

Backing Hitler also challenges conventional views on the nature of modern dictatorships. Perhaps as a way for us to believe that “it couldn’t happen here,” we have viewed the Holocaust as an atrocity that was the work of a handful of evil men. Gellately, however, presents persuasive evidence that Hitler and the Third Reich were able to build a consensus for their policies.

“They began with small violations of the rights of Jews and other minorities, and then ratcheted up their racism and persecution only when they saw implied consent from the German people.” Gellately says. “Many Germans disapproved of Hitler’s fascism and brutality, at first. But after the long economic depression following the First World War, the German people allowed the thriving economy and return to law and order under Hitler to mute their concerns. People had jobs and the streets were safe. Hitler was managing a fine balance of consent and coercion.”

Gellately has recently published a set of original documents dealing with the 1945-46 Nuremberg trials of war criminals in The Nuremberg Interviews: Profiles of the Leading Nazis, by the Prison Psychiatrist to the Nuremberg Trials (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004). This volume is scheduled to be translated into fourteen languages.

Gellately’s work, many would argue, should be translated into every nation’s language, for his project does more than just apply rigorous scholarship to demystify this period of history. It is a study of the modern human being, what we have done and how we came to do it—and how in understanding our vulnerabilities, we might survive them.

http://www.fsu.edu/profiles/gellately/

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