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Capsule Review

Political Violence Under the Swastika: 581 Early Nazis

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Political Violence Under the Swastika: 581 Early Nazis

Political Violence Under the Swastika: 581 Early Nazis
By Peter H. Merkl
Princeton University Press, 1975, 735 pp. $30.00 Purchase

An American political scientist, who has written extensively on contemporary Germany, reexamines the 581 autobiographical statements by veteran Nazis, originally submitted in 1934 in response to a competition organized by a Columbia University sociologist. Using quantitative methods and ably supplementing these with common-sense observations drawn from existing literature, the author gives a fuller picture of what psychological and sociological reasons prompted these Germans to become Nazis. An interesting work.

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