Encyclopedia of German resistance to the Nazi movement /
edited by Wolfgang Benz and Walter H. Pehle ; translated by Lance W. Garmer.
New York : Continuum, 1997.
xi, 354 p. ; 24 cm.
More Details
New York : Continuum, 1997.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1996-12:
Originally published in German in 1994, this work does not totally dispel traditional assumptions regarding the resistance to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis, but it does clarify the kinds of resistance offered by groups as diverse as religious and youth movements. "Most early resistance movements by the `quiet opposition' Catholics, Jehovah's Witness, went unrecognized or denied by mainstream Western observers," the editors, who are German scholars, assert. The strength of their work lies in its organization. Part 1 offers an excellent overview of Nazi resistance by subject group. Part 2 is an encyclopedic arrangement of resistance topics, groups, and events, each given an in-depth and copiously cross-referenced explanation. Part 3 contains biographical sketches of resistance people. Indeed, excellent biographical notes appear throughout. While there is no traditional index, other indexing systems‘including a cross-reference system offered at the end of the book‘allow the reader to find specific information easily. Major indexes of books, including World Cat (OCLC), do not contain anything comparable to this concise volume. Any World War II collection should have this encyclopedia.‘Harry Willems, Kansas Lib. System, Iola
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1996-11-11:
German opposition to Hitler's national-socialist party took many forms before the Nazis came to power in 1933, including pamphlets, polemical books, novels, protests, lawsuits, George Grosz's graphics and John Heartfield's political posters. After 1933, resistance groups distributed propaganda but came under Gestapo surveillance. Scattered German resistance to the Nazis, as this revealing study shows, continued throughout the war both underground and in now well-known movements like the Munich student group White Rose; the secret Jewish youth organization Chug Chaluzi; and in the assassination plot on Hitler led by government officials; and through the clandestine activities of some 7000 identified resistance fighters. A valuable resource, this volume includes 10 essays by German historians and political scientists discussing opposition to Hitler by socialists, communists, liberals, reactionary nationalists, dissenting Protestants and Catholics, women, exiles, youth and the military. Also here are short articles on specific topics, plus biographical sketches of resisters. Benz teaches at Berlin's Center for Research on Anti-Semitism; Pehle is editor of the 100-volume series The Age of National Socialism. (Jan.)
Appeared in Choice on 1997-05:
Any account of Nazi Germany must stress the disgrace of a nation whose lackeys, after embracing Hitler's twisted ideology, persecuted and butchered millions of people judged dangerous or inferior. Yet with that cruel reality as backdrop, German resistance to the Third Reich should also be noted. Marked by nobility and naivete, that story is well covered in this book (a translation of Lexikon des Deutschen Widerstandes, Frankfurt, 1994), edited by two esteemed German scholars. Composed of three cross-referenced parts, the volume opens with a "General Overview," ten essays that provide a generic outline of groups that resisted Hitler's regime. Treating topics as disparate as Communist resistance and the growing defiance of middle-class youth, the essays are smoothly translated by Lance W. Garmer and furnish a solid introduction to resistance history. The "Encyclopedia," the volume's core, covers more than 60 topics ranging from the Kreisau Circle to military sabotage. Part three provides 550 compact "Biographical Sketches" of Hitler's opponents. Although superficial, the biographies are generously cross-referenced to the other sections. Until recently notice of the resistance seldom extended beyond the assassination attempt of July 20, 1944. One reason is that the resistance was never a coherent movement with well-defined goals. The resisters were driven to action by everything from Communist ideology to Christian principle. Moreover, the war-based notion that all Germans were guilty for Hitler's crimes has been resilient; Daniel Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners (CH, Jul'96) rekindled the idea that violent antisemitism was "deeply embedded in German culture." By addressing acts both of great courage and modest defiance, Benz and Pehle provide a corrective to Goldhagen. Many who acted against the regime did so because of crimes carried out against the Jews. Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, hung on a meat hook at Berlin's Pl"otzensee prison in August 1944, spoke for scores of conspirators when he said that the "most terrible thing is knowing that we cannot succeed and yet that we have to do it, for our country and our children." The editors give appropriate details concerning the activities of Hitler's better-known adversaries, and do not neglect lesser-known individuals. Of course, a single volume will not satisfy everyone. Excluded are Erwin Planck (son of the famous physicist, executed at Pl"otzensee, January 1945) and Eduard Hamm, who on September 23, 1944 suspended his Gestapo interrogation at Berlin's Lehrter-Strasse prison by leaping through a third-floor window. The "General Overview" needs an essay on diplomatic contacts, and Hans Mommsen's inconsistency on page 35 must be noted: the July 1944 conspirators in adjacent paragraphs are "overwhelmingly bourgeois" and "predominantly of ... the upper class." But such criticism cannot detract from the value of this resource. It is strongly recommended for libraries supporting programs in modern history. C. P. Vincent; Keene State College
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, November 1996
Library Journal, December 1996
Choice, May 1997
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