In Hitler's Germany: Everyday Life in the Third Reich; Inside Nazi Germany: Conformity, Opposition, and Racism in Everyday Life

In This Review

In Hitler's Germany: Everyday Life in the Third Reich

By Bernt Engelmann
Pantheon, 1987
335 pp. $21.95
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Inside Nazi Germany: Conformity, Opposition, and Racism in Everyday Life

By Detlev J. K. Peukert
Yale University Press, 1987
288 pp. $25.00
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Both books try to tell the story of ordinary, everyday life in Nazi Germany; though different in character, each has its own shortcomings. Engelmann, a well-known German journalist, uses interviews and his own experiences: he relates anecdotes, tinged with sentimentality, that tell a familiar tale of Nazi violence and a range of responses from careerist acquiescence to concealed, sometimes very effective resistance. A popular study, with some historical inaccuracies. Peukert aims at a scholarly study and uses much valuable documentary evidence collected by the regime itself and by the exiled Socialist Party. Originally a two-volume study in German, his condensation is diffuse, mixing historical account with a labored sociological analysis. Important material about the variety of responses, especially the widespread grumbling, but presented with inadequate historical empathy.

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