- Paperback: 680 pages
- Publisher: Ivan R Dee, Inc (16 May 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1566638194
- ISBN-13: 978-1566638197
- Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 3.7 x 21.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,22,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933-1944 Paperback – Import, 16 May 2009
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About the Author
Franz Neumann was a political activist and labor lawyer in Germany who became a political scientist in exile. He studied in Germany and the United Kingdom, and spent the last phase of his career in the United States. Peter Hayes is the Theodore Z. Weiss Professor of Holocaust Studies at Northwestern University and the author or editor of seven books, including From Cooperation to Complicity and a prize-winning study of the IG Farben corporation.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
He exposes several myths about the Nazis, such as the Nazi Government being above classes, that Nazi anti-Semitism had always had strong support among most Germans and that the Nazi regime was monolithic.
While, during their rise to power, the Nazi's claimed to support the rights of workers, small farmers, and small business owners, but under the Nazi government, unions were crushed, and the Labor Fronts that replaced them were dominated by employers. The government created a maximum as well as minimum wage, encouraged increased wage differentials between male and female workers and skilled and unskilled workers, and economic inequality increased under the Nazi Government. The Nazi government encouraged the growth of Cartels' which resulted in the elimination of many small businesses.
Although, Neumann admits that anti-Semitism has deep roots in German History, it only affected certain segments of the population such as parts of the Middle upper classes. Most of the working class rejected it. During the Bismark/Wilhemite erea, the largest party was the Social Democratic Party, which rejected anti-Semitism. One of its leaders, August Bebel, called Anti-Semitism the Socialism of fools. Anti-Semitic partied had only limited appeal before the dislocations of the war and the Great Depression.
The Ruling class in Nazi Germany, was made up of the Nazi Party hierarchy, top civil servants, top military leaders and the top industrialists. The industrialists and rural aristocrats supported the Nazi's because the Nazi's protected their class interests by preventing lower class rebellion and the resultant redistribution of their wealth. The military brass supported the Nazi's plans for rearmament and German expansion.
Neuman shows that the Nazi ideology had no rational philosophy behind it and concluded as early as 1941, when the book was first published and Nazi Germany was undefeated and seemed to be invincible, Neumann concluded that even if Germany won the war, the essential irrationality of the Nazi ideology would eventually cause the regime's downfall. The edition that I just read, included some appendixes' written in 1944, that provides updates for the information in the book.
My dissertation topic at Penn in 1990s was totalitarian systems with special emphasis on Burma, Russia, Nazi Germany and China--I also used organizational charts and looked at structure and control systems, especially in Burma--
Not light reading in the first few minutes of the new year, but an important and essential one nonetheless--
I was reading Raul Hilberg's memoir, The Politics of Memory, in which he says the size of the Holocaust Museum in DC is very important. I must go back again and go through the whole experience again.
In the past, I only went for one event, as I reasoned I had been to Auschwitz and Majdanek in Poland already, so why go to a museum--but it seems the museum visitor is given a card (an ID card of a victim) and then "goes through life" with this computer card at various points in the Museum, I guess with the Nazis coming to the house, being deported in a cattle car and so on.
In c. 2001 C3 and S. went, but I sat on a bench on the Mall and waited for them. I still find my visits to Majdanek and Auschwitcz memorable, traumatic and unforgettable, though it was in 1968-69.
In any case this book, has a large online sample
Including a complete introduction by Peter Hayes--
a table of contents and the introduction by Neumann--
Just reading this sample, I can't help but think about Burma--
in this book the behemoth can only be removed by military action and Nuremberg-style trials, and Peter Hayes says that in practice, the amount of de-structuralization in (West) Germany was much less than Neumann had thought.
I wonder about de-structuralization in Japan after defeat in WW II and about Cambodia after defeat of Khmer Rouge by Vietnam.
I haven't read the Neumann book yet, but now I have reviewed it, maybe more thoroughly than some reviewers, I might as well post this on Amazon.
Even the online sample, you should read it in small doses, as it is abstract and theoretical, but theoretical does not mean it is untrue--
like all theory it is an attempt to make sense of a situation, and I feel that it is much much better than all the jargon and cliches written about the so-called democratization and reform, both so-called, in Burma, said to be taking place right now.
I did not think at all I would go this route intellectually in 2016, but it seems I will.
On Facebook, if you can follow me please do, if you can't look at the pictures of flowers etc, but I myself will go this route.
Burmese Rohingya supporters should also read the arguments that anti-semitism is ingrained in German culture.
A slow and dark read, but at the end you will understand a whole lot more, I am sure.
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