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Building a Nazi Europe
The SS's Germanic Volunteers

$105.00 (C)

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  • Date Published: January 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107155435

$ 105.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In a compelling new study, Gutmann offers an in-depth examination of the Swedish, Swiss and Danish men who worked and fought for the SS, during the Second World War. Dispelling a host of myths regarding foreign collaboration with Hitler's regime, it reveals how these men were highly motivated to affect a National Socialist revolution across North-Western or 'Germanic' Europe. Working behind Berlin desks, they played a pivotal part in shaping the Nazi New Order and actively participated in the regime's brutal atrocities on the Eastern Front and on the streets of Western Europe. The book argues that these men became a focal point for infighting in the regime regarding the role of non-Germans in National Socialism. Building a Nazi Europe sheds new light on historical conceptions of fascism, collaboration, transnational history and the Holocaust.

    • Provides in-depth profiles of non-Germans working within the SS during the Second World War
    • Outlines Nazi plans for Western Europe (New Order) and the role of non-Germans in conceptualizing and implementing it
    • Offers new insights as to the meaning and role of National Socialist ideology during the war
    Read more


    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Reviews & endorsements

    'That not only Germans engaged in Hitler’s genocidal reorganization of Europe is well established, but we still know only little about the specter and the mindsets of non-Germans eagerly fighting for it. Gutmann’s meticulously researched inquiry into Swiss, Swedish and Danish SS volunteers is a milestone in the long overdue transnational history of this crucial dimension of Nazi terror in Europe - a model study that will spur others to come.' Thomas Kühne, Clark University, Massachusetts

    'Building a Nazi Europe is a highly innovative study on 'Germanic' volunteers in one of the most notorious military formations of the twentieth century: the Waffen-SS. Based on meticulous and extensive archival research in several countries, Gutmann’s book sheds new light on those men who were neither coerced nor drafted into Hitler’s crusade against the Soviet Union, but voluntarily left their homes in neutral countries to fight for the Nazi cause. In exploring the volunteers’ backgrounds and expectations for the New Order, the book makes a significant contribution to the flourishing debate about the transnational dimension of the Nazi project of violently transforming the European continent.' Robert Gerwarth, University College Dublin

    'As nationalist authoritarianism surges around the world, historians need to look in much more depth at the post-war history of the far right. Studies like Building a Nazi Europe will be essential starting points.' Steven P. Remy, German History

    'Despite the continuous avalanche of Third Reich studies, the intensive study of even a sliver of the SS volunteers from neutral Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland in the hands of a skilled historian illuminates new contradictions of the Nazi bureaucracy. This well-researched and elegantly written study is based on the stories of a hundred of the most influential and high-ranking volunteers from those three countries outside Germany’s sphere, and reveals the tension between national loyalty and the SS’s obsession with a racial Germano-centric plan for Nazi-occupied Europe. In spite of the neutrality of the countries and their volunteers, and the clear inequality of the volunteers in the German Waffen-SS, they became enthusiastic participants in the Holocaust. … A significant contribution to the examination of the stresses of fascism and nationalism run amuck … Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries.' A. P. Krammer, Choice

    'Building a Nazi Europe contains much of interest to scholars and readers interested in transnational European history, transnational fascism, and the complex realities of wartime history and memory in Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland during and after the Second World War. Gutmann concludes his work with a series of pointed insights … Given Europe’s current political turmoil, and what is known of transnational cooperation among far-right political groups today in Europe, the troubling historical precedents unearthed by Building a Nazi Europe are worthy of considerable attention.' H-War

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107155435
    • length: 254 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 159 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Germanic dreams: the Waffen-SS and foreign recruitment
    2. Restless youth: prewar biographical sketches
    3. Joining the burgeoning Waffen-SS
    4. Building a Germanic Europe
    5. Molding the Germanic political soldier
    6. The end of the Germanic project

  • Author

    Martin R. Gutmann, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany
    Martin R. Gutmann is European Union Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany.


    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

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