Believe and Destroy (eBook)

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  • 160,056 Words
  • 432 Pages

There were eighty of them. They were young, clever and cultivated;they were barely in their thirties when Adolf Hitler came to power.Their university studies in law, economics, linguistics, philosophyand history marked them out for brilliant careers. They chose tojoin the repressive bodies of the Third Reich, especially theSecurity Service (SD) and the Nazi Party’s elite protectionunit, the SS. They theorized and planned the extermination oftwenty million individuals of allegedly ‘inferior’races. Most of them became members of the paramilitary death squadsknown as Einsatzgruppen and participated in the slaughter of over amillion people.

Based on extensive archival research, Christian Ingrao tells thegripping story of these children of the Great War, focusing on thenetworks of fellow activists, academics and friends in which theymoved, studying the way in which they envisaged war and the‘world of enemies’ which, in their view, threatenedthem. The mechanisms of their political commitment are revealed,and their roles in Nazism and mass murder. Thanks to thispioneering study, we can now understand how these men came tobelieve what they did, and how these beliefs became sodestructive.

The history of Nazism, shows Ingrao, is also a history of beliefsin which a powerful military machine was interwoven with personalexperiences, fervour, anguish, utopia and cruelty.

There were eighty of them. They were young, clever and cultivated;they were barely in their thirties when Adolf Hitler came to power.Their university studies in law, economics, linguistics, philosophyand history marked them out for brilliant careers. They chose tojoin the repressive bodies of the Third Reich, especially theSecurity Service (SD) and the Nazi Party’s elite protectionunit, the SS. They theorized and planned the extermination oftwenty million individuals of allegedly ‘inferior’races. Most of them became members of the paramilitary death squadsknown as Einsatzgruppen and participated in the slaughter of over amillion people.

Based on extensive archival research, Christian Ingrao tells thegripping story of these children of the Great War, focusing on thenetworks of fellow activists, academics and friends in which theymoved, studying the way in which they envisaged war and the‘world of enemies’ which, in their view, threatenedthem. The mechanisms of their political commitment are revealed,and their roles in Nazism and mass murder. Thanks to thispioneering study, we can now understand how these men came tobelieve what they did, and how these beliefs became sodestructive.

The history of Nazism, shows Ingrao, is also a history of beliefsin which a powerful military machine was interwoven with personalexperiences, fervour, anguish, utopia and cruelty.


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  • Released:
  • Categories: History
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Polity
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13: 9780745670041

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by Christian Ingrao

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