The Holocaust Historiography Project

Book Reviews

National Socialism and Fascism: Recent Books in Brief

Précis by Keith Stimely

The Revisionist Historians and German War Guilt

by Warren B. Morris. Brooklyn: Revisionist Press, 1977. 141 pp. $69.95. Objective, analytical study of the foundations of revisionist historiography relating to Germany and its roles in the Second World War. Includes discussions of A.J.P. Taylor, David L. Hoggan, Harry Elmer Barnes, Paul Rassinier, Arthur R. Butz. Extensive notes and bibliography.

Explaining Hitler’s Germany: Historians and the Third Reich

by John Hiden and John Farquharson. Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble, 1983. 190pp. $19.95. The most up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of how historians have viewed, and changed views of, the Third Reich over the years. Much emphasis on recent German scholarship, West and East. Nearly exhaustive bibliography.

The Nazi Question: An Essay on the Interpretations of National Socialism 1922-1975

by Pierre Aycoberry. New York: Pantheon Books, 1981. 257pp. $6.95 pb. A history of the history of Nazism, as interpreted through 50 years by the Nazis themselves, their sympathizers, the Left, social scientists and historians of all stripes and particular disciplines. Much of the focus is on Nazism as a peculiar political/psychosocial/ cultural phenomenon.

Carl Schmitt: Theorist for the Reich

by Joseph W. Bendersky. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983. 280pp. $25.00. First major treatment in English of the German political philosopher who formulated the “Law of Political Plenum,” within his overarching construction “Concept of the Political.” Schmitt is seen as having played a leading role in formulating the politico-legal ethos used to justify the revolutionary Nazi regime — this despite his own abiding preference for the “conservative” label.

National Socialist Ideology: Concepts and Ideas

by James B. Whisker. Greensboro, NC: WUN Press, 1979. 72pp. $3.95 pb. Concise but wide-ranging introduction to Nazi ideology, featuring a lengthy analytical essay and a varied selection of readings from Nazi literature. Most of the readings are newly translated by the author, from sources not usually featured in collections of this type.

The Social, Political, and Religious Thought of Alfred Rosenberg: An Interpretive Essay

by James B. Whisker. Washington DC: University Press of America, 1982. 141pp. $5.95 pb. An exposition and analysis of the views of the leading Nazi Party philosopher, who was hanged at Nuremberg in 1946. Traces the evolution of Rosenberg’s thought as expressed in his several major works, and presents a comprehensive overview of his contemporaries and precursors in the fields of scientific racialism and Nordicist theology.

The Myth of the Twentieth Century

by Alfred Rosenberg. Costa Mesa, CA: Noontide Press, 1982. 454pp. $15.00. First English-language edition, unexpurgated, of this fundamental work of Nazi philosophy. Contains a preface by Prof. Peter H. Peel, an introduction by Prof. James B. Whisker, and Rosenberg’s own preface to the third (1931) German edition, replying to the early critics.

When Nazi Dreams Come True: The Third Reich’s Internal Struggle Over the Future of Europe After a German Victory

by Robert Edwin Herzstein. London: Sphere/Abacus, 1982. 302pp. $8.95 pb. Based largely on heretofore-unexamined sources, including private and ministerial records and a wide range of Nazi and collaborationist periodicals. Details the conflict within the Nazi hierarchy between pan-German and pan-European thinkers and planners; holds that pan-European propaganda and professions of faith generally increased in direct proportion to the likelihood of a German defeat.

To the Heart of Asia: The Life of Sven Hedin

by George Kish. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1984. 260pp. $16.50. Biography of the great, part-Jewish, Swedish explorer and author who knew and admired Hitler, and whose 1943 book Amerika im Kampf der Kontinente made a great impression on the Führer. Includes a full discussion of Hedin’s relations with Nazi leaders, his ventures into pro-German diplomacy, and what this augured for him after the war.

Berlin Alert: The Memoirs and Reports of Truman Smith

edited by Robert Hessen. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1984. 195pp. $19.95. First publication of the personal and official papers of the U.S. military attache in Berlin who was one of the earliest American observers of the rise to power of Hitler — and who in the 1930s reported candidly on Germany’s growing military potential. Colonel Smith was ultimately accused, along with his friends Charles Lindbergh and Lawrence Dennis, of being a Nazi sympathizer.

The Nightmare Years 1930-1940

by William L. Shirer. Boston: Little, Brown, 1984. 654pp. $22.50. The second volume, covering the Nazi period which made him famous, of the correspondent’s autobiography, “Twentieth Century Journey.” Contains much material republished verbatim — though not identified as such — from his earlier books.

Who’s Who in Nazi Germany

by Robert Wistrich. New York: Macmillan, 1982. 359pp. $17.75. Reference work of 350 entries described by the author as “the first comprehensive Who’s Who on the subject to be written in any language.” (It is not; Erich Stockhorst’s Fuenftausend Koepfe: Wer war Was im Dritten Reich was published in 1967, and contains some 4,650 more entries.) Of some use as a basic source for English-language readers, but should be approached with caution, given some factual errors and the author’s anti-Nazi bias.

Leaders and Personalities of the Third Reich: Their Biographies, Portraits, and Autographs

by Charles Hamilton. San Jose, CA: R. James Bender Publishing, 1984. 480pp. $24.95. The best “Who’s Who” available in English, of interest not only to scholars but to autograph and document collectors. Contains in addition to biographical data some 880 photos/ documents/autographs. 55 pages are devoted to Hitler alone, including a valuable section on Hitler forgeries. A second volume, dealing mainly with military figures, is promised in 1985.

The Hitler Movement: A Modern Millenarian Revolution

by James M. Rhodes. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1980. 253pp. $14.95. Holds that Nazism, arising out of the mass-calamity of World War I with its “revelation” and promise of salvation to the Germans, was a modern, secular version of the apocalyptic-millenarian religious movements of the Middle Ages. The author contends that it is a great mistake for historians not to take Nazi “mythic” self-interpretations very seriously indeed.

Nazism: A Historical and Comparative Analysis of National Socialism

by George L. Mosse. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1978. 134pp. $5.95. A distillation of the views of one of the leading social historians of Nazism, as recorded in this wide-ranging interview with Michael Ledeen, who sets the stage with a 14-page introduction to Mosse’s work and influence as an interpreter of modern Europe.

Hitler’s World View: A Blueprint for Power

by Eberhard Jaeckel. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981. 140pp. $6.95 pb. Current edition of the influential 1972 work which overthrew the venerable myth that Hitler never held any real philosophical convictions — was just an opportunist interested only in power for its own sake. Shows via careful examination of Hitler’s words and actions that, whatever one might think of it, the Führer did hold and hold to a consistent and internally-logical world view in which he believed deeply.

Hitler’s Secret Book by Adolf Hitler

Introduction by Telford Taylor. New York: Grove Press, 1983. 230pp. $7.95 pb. Most recent edition of the semi sequel to Mein Kampf, dealing mainly with concrete questions of long-term foreign policy, which Hitler wrote in 1928 but never allowed to be published. This translation was originally published in 1961.

Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in Britain and America: A Publishing History 1930-39

by James J. Barnes and Patience P. Barnes. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980. 101pp. $19.95. An investigation into the labyrinthian saga of Hitler’s famous book as it was presented to English-speaking audiences in the 1930s. Deals with the various translation and publication efforts from the abridged British 1933 version (My Battle) through pirated productions (including a tabloid “anti-Hitler version") to the well-known James Murphy, New School for Social Research, and Ralph Manheim translations.

Hitler in Vienna 1907-1913: Clues to the Future

by J. Sydney Jones. 350pp. $19.95. Careful study of Hitler’s youth, based on some sources not exploited by previous researchers. It is as much a general biography of Viennese cultural and intellectual life during this time as of its stated subject; captures well the milieu surrounding Hitler during his formative years.

The Memoirs of Bridget Hitler

edited by Michael Unger. London: Duckworth, 1979.192pp. $9.95. First publication of the largely-spurious memoirs of the English wife of Hitler’s half-brother, Alois. The memoirs reposed for many years in the New York Public Library as a typescript ("My Brother-in-Law Adolf"), and describe a mythical 1913 visit by young Hitler to England.

Ein Andere Hitler: Erlebnisse, Gespraeche, Reflexionen

(A Different Hitler: Experiences, Conversations, Reflections) by Hermann Giesler. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1977. 527pp. DM 46.00. The memoirs of Hitler’s “other architect,” responsible for some of the great public building projects planned for the New Reich. Avoids the guilt- ridden apologetics, responsibility-shiftings, and recriminations characteristic of Albert Speer’s memoirs; frankly pro-Hitler.

Hitler’s Personal Security

by Peter Hoffman. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1979. 321pp. $15.00. Meticulous study of the means and methods used to protect the life of the Führer, his residences/offices, and entourage, from the time of his entry into political prominence to the last days. Based in large part on the files of the agencies responsible for security. Many maps, photos, diagrams.

Hitler’s Secret Life: The Mysteries of the Eagles Nest

by Glenn B. Infield. New York: Stein and Day, 1981. 317pp. $2.95 pb. Sensationalistic, unreliable account by a contemporary master-chronicler of Third Reich gossip. Much use made of patently spurious sources, including material from the “archives” of Nuremberg trial judge Michael Mussmano — the author’s predecessor in producing “history” of this sort.

The Medical Casebook of Adolf Hitler

by Leonard L. Heston and Renate Heston. Introduction by Albert Speer. New York: Stein and Day/Scarborough, 1982. 184pp. $9.95 pb. Careful, detailed reconstruction of the state of Hitler’s health over the years, approached in terms of Hitler as just another patient for whose patient-history all available evidence is gathered and evaluated. Little extraneous discussion: the authors stick to their subject — the result being probably the definitive study.

The Secret Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor

by David Irving. New York: Macmillan, 1983. 310pp. $16.95. The notes made by Hitler’s chief attendant physician, Dr. Theo Morell, transcribed and translated by David Irving, who provides a lengthy introduction and extensive commentary throughout. This book has renewed discussion over Morell’s unorthodox treatments and their effect on Hitler’s performance as statesman and warlord.

Hitler: The Survival Myth

by Donald M. McKale. New York: Stein and Day, 1981. 270pp. $14.95. A meticulous cataloging — and debunking — of just about every “Hitler is alive” story of the past 40 years, of both the patently ridiculous and more logically presentable varieties. Includes a thorough analysis of the official, politically motivated, Soviet story- changing and backtracking in mid-1945.

Munich 1923: The Inside Story of Hitler’s First Grab for Power

by John Dornberg. New York: Harper and Row, 1982. 385pp. $18.95. Most recent account of Hitler’s ill-fated attempt to “Putsch” himself into power. Provides a good account of the whole city of Munich and what it was going through politically and socially, as well as the story of the Nazis' would-be revolution.

1933: Die Nationale Erhebung

(1933: The National Rising) by Georg Franz-Willing. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1982. 340pp. DM 29.80 pb. Unbiased history of the decisive year of the Nazis' capture and consolidation of power. Shows just how tenuous at first was the hold of the Nazi Party on the reins of government, even after passage in the Reichstag of the crucial Enabling Act. Concludes that Hitler’s party could finally become supreme in the state only because it was, indeed, the organized will of the people.

Aus Deutscher Sicht: Erlebte Zeitgeschichte

(From the German View: The Experience of Recent History) by Hans-Juergen Evert. Berg am See: Kurt Vowinckel Verlag, 1980. 386pp. DM 30.00 pb. A general scholarly treatment of the course of German history from Versailles to Potsdam and its aftermath. Written from a nationalistic perspective, sympathetic to National Socialism.

Guernica: Greuelpropaganda oder Kriegsverbrechen?

(Guernica: Atrocity Propaganda or War Crime?) by Adolf von Thadden. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1982. 160pp. DM 22.50. Holds that the popular view of the Spanish Civil War bombing of Guernica by the Germans is largely based on myth, not fact. Sees the liberal/Stalinist propaganda line about Guernica as a precursory case-study of the greater anti-German atrocity stories to come.

Guernica! Guernica! Diplomacy, Propaganda, and the Press

by Herbert R. Southworth. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977. 552pp. $37.50. The most scholarly and generally-informative study of the Guernica bombing as a continuing problem in fact-sifting and propagandistic exploitation. Extensive use of press accounts and examination of foreign-correspondent behavior and motivations.

Mut zur Warheit: Beitraege zur Geschichte unserer Zeit

(Courage Towards the Truth: Contributions to the History of Our Time) by Helmut Suendermann. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1981. 256pp. DM 28.00. A collection of the author’s most important revisionist essays and reviews, 1951-72, some previously unpublished, many appearing originally in such periodicals as Nation Europa and Deutsche Wochen-Zeitung. Suendermann was Deputy Reich Press Chief during the war, and after it a leading revisionist publisher and author.

Germany and the Two World Wars

by Andreas Hillgruber. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1981. 120pp. $7.95 pb. An encapsulation of the conclusions reached by one of West Germany’s foremost historians of the problem of continuity and change in German foreign policy in this century. Presents the major arguments of his Hitlers Strategie: Politik und Kriegfuehrung 1940 and Der Zenit des Zweiten Weltkrieges: Juli 1941, as well as his colleague Klaus Hildebrand’s influential Vom Reich zum Weltreich.

Den Sieg Verspielt: Musste Deutschland den Zweiten Weltkrieg verlieren?

(The Lost Victory: Did Germany Have to Lose the Second World War?) by Max Kluever. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1983. 340pp. DM 36.00. Considers all factors — economic, military, strategic, social — bearing on the question asked in the subtitle. Particularly treats the importance of the forces of treason, sabotage and resistance, often ignored in such examinations. Concludes that Germany’s total defeat was by no means inevitable.

Bedingungslose Kapitulation: Inferno in Deutschland 1945

(Unconditional Surrender: Inferno in Germany 1945) by Franz Kurowski. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1983. 384pp. DM 39.80 pb. General history, from a revisionist perspective, of the events surrounding the capitulation of Germany, including the aftermath of occupation, forced expulsion, reeducation, denazification, forced repatriation, and war crimes trials

Regierung Dönitz: Die letzten Tage des Dritten Reiches

(The Dönitz Government: The Last Days of the Third Reich) by Walter Luedde-Neurath. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1980. 208pp. DM 24.80. Latest edition of the classic 1950 study of Dönitz’s short-lived successor government, by a Dönitz naval aide who participated in the events he describes. This edition is supplemented with selections from Dönitz’s personal diary of the period.

Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz: Vom U-Bootkommandanten zum Staatsoberhaupt

(Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz: From U-Boat Commander to Head of State) by Karl Alman. Berg am See: Kurt Vowinckel Verlag, 1983. 256pp. DM 29.80. Sympathetic biography of Hitler’s successor as Reich President, covering the Second World War years in great depth and ending with Dönitz’s release from Spandau prison in 1956.

Dönitz at Nuremberg: A Re-Appraisal

edited by H.K. Thompson, Jr., and Henry Strutz. Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1983. 200pp. $5.00 pb. Revised, expanded edition of this collection of testimonials from over 400 world figures in government, the judiciary, the law, the military, diplomacy, scholarship, philosophy, and the arts, condemning the Nuremberg war crimes proceedings and betokening support for Grand Admiral Dönitz as a man unjustly maligned in law and in history.

Guenther Prien: Der “Wolf” und sein Admiral

(Guenther Prien: The “Wolf” and His Admiral) by Karl Alman. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1981.320pp. DM 19.80 pb. Biography of the legendary U-Boat commander who provided one of the great dramatic exploits in the war at sea: the sinking of the “unsinkable” British battleship Royal Oak in harbor at Scapa Flow. Traces in detail all of Prien’s hunting expeditions, and his relationship with Admiral Dönitz.

Germany Reborn

by Hermann Göring. Costa Mesa, CA: Noontide Press, 1983. 67pp. $4.00 pb. New translation of Göring’s 1934 memoir-history (Aufbau einer Nation) of the Nazi movement’s struggle for power from the earliest days. A fundamental document of Nazism as seen by one of its leaders. Introduction by the translator, Prof. James B. Whisker.

The Murder of Rudolf Hess

by W. Hugh Thomas. New York: Harper and Row, 1979. 224pp. $9.95. A British doctor who examined Spandau’s famous prisoner #7 in the early 1970s here makes the claim that the man held at Nuremberg and in Spandau has all along been an impersonator, set up by the Nazis to make the flight to England after the real Hess was murdered. The book does not really resolve the many questions attendant to such an extraordinary thesis.

Rudolf Hess: Der Deutsche Martyr

(Rudolf Hess: The German Martyr) by Robert H. Drechsler. Vienna: Verlag des “Vereines zur Foerderung Volkstreuen Schrifttums in Oesterreich,” 1979.383pp. DM 30.00 pb. A comprehensive selection of documents from Nuremberg and Spandau accompanies this biography, sympathetic to both Hess and National Socialism.

Final Entries 1945: The Diaries of Joseph Goebbels

edited by Hugh Trevor-Roper. New York: Putnam's, 1978. 368pp. $14.95. First publication of the last-days diaries of the Reich propaganda minister, providing a unique look at life in high official Berlin as a world went up in flames. Includes some photo reproductions of original pages of the transcriptions.

The Goebbels Diaries 1939-1941

edited by Fred Taylor. New York: Putnam's, 1983. 490pp. $17.95. Diary selections from the years of victory, providing much insight into both “pure” propaganda and official Nazi cultural policy. The copies of the transcription-sheets came to the publisher from the Eastern bloc; entries relating to the Nazi-Soviet pact are missing.

Finale Furioso: Mit Goebbels biz zum Ende

(Furious Finale: With Goebbels to the End) by Wilfred von Oven. Tuebingen: Grabert Verlag, 1979. 670pp. DM 39.80. Current edition of the memoirs of one of Goebbels' principal aides in the propaganda ministry. Transcends the basics of an “I was there” account, providing intelligent philosophical reflections on the meaning of the war and Germany’s loss.

Magda Goebbels: The First Lady of the Third Reich

by Hans Otto Meissner. New York: Dial Press, 1980. 288pp. $14.95. First biography of Joseph Goebbels' influential wife, written by longtime Reich State Secretary Otto Meissner’s son, who knew both well. A full chronicle of the often stormy relationship which ended in a double-suicide in the Reich Chancellery bunker.

The Secretary: Martin Bormann — The Man Who Manipulated Hitler

by Jochen von Lang. New York: Random House, 1979. 430pp. $15.95. Most complete and scholarly account of the life of one of the most powerful men around Hitler, by a West German journalist who spent 10 years on the research, and was largely responsible for the forensic investigation which finally determined that Bormann had indeed died in Berlin in 1945.

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile

by Paul Manning. Secaucus, N.J.: Lyle Stuart, 1981. 302pp. $14.95. Latest variation on the Bormann-is-alive-and- well-and-behaving-terribly theme. Claims that Bormann became an advisor to Argentine dictator Juan Peron, and personally engineered the postwar German economic rebirth. No source notes, no bibliography.

Walter Reder: Der Gefangene von Gaeta

(Walter Reder: The Prisoner of Gaeta) by Robert H. Drechsler. Vienna: Verlag die Leuchtkugel Robert H. Drechsler, 1977. 192pp. DM 25.00 pb. A documentation and narrative history of the four-decades-long ordeal of Major Walter Reder, still held prisoner in the Italian fortress of Gaeta for being convicted of “war crimes” in the execution of a group of communist partisans in German-held Italy in 1944.

Hasso von Manteuffel: Panzerkampf im Zweiten Weltkrieg

(Hasso von Manteuffel: Panzer-Struggle in the Second World War) by Joachim von Schaulen. Berg am See: Kurt Vowinckel Verlag, 1983. 280pp. DM 29.80. A study of the military leadership of one of the most tenacious of German tank generals, particularly famed — and respected by his opponents — for his role in slowing up the Western advance into Germany in 1944-45.

Operation Valkyrie: The German Generals' Plot Against Hitler

by Pierre Galante. New York: Harper and Row, 1981. 299pp. $15.95. New treatment of the 20 July bomb plot, its genesis and aftermath. Based largely on the personal archives and recollections of General Adolf Heusinger, operations chief of the general staff 1940-44 and a leading figure in the treason conspiracy.

Albert Speer: The End of a Myth

by Matthias Schmidt. New York: St. Martin's, 1984. 288pp. $14.95. Very critical examination, from an anti- Nazi perspective, of Albert Speer’s veracity as a memoirist and chronicler of the Third Reich. Holds that Speer after the war assiduously promoted a view of himself which amounted to a clever lie, and concludes that he was a shameless opportunist at every stage of his life; after 1945 he just changed sides and told lies about his former regime and his role in it.

Infiltration: How Heinrich Himmler Schemed to Build an SS Industrial Empire

by Albert Speer. New York: Macmillan, 1981. 384pp. $15.95. Speer’s last book, based on extensive archival research in addition to his own experience. Describes Himmler’s plan to develop the SS into a vast financial/industrial “state within a state.” Although Speer hardly intends it, the net effect of his research — which demonstrates just how important concentration camp labor was to Himmler’s plans — is to reinforce revisionist conclusions about the non-existence of an “extermination policy.”

The SS: Alibi of a Nation

by Gerald Reitlinger. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1981. 502pp. $17.50. Re-issue of the 1957 standard work describing the internal workings and political infighting of the SS, with a new foreword by Martin Gilbert.

Secrets of the SS

by Glenn B. Infield. New York: Stein and Day, 1984. 271pp. $3.50 pb. The author, in typical fashion, mixes in just enough established fact with his vivid collection of gossip, rumor, innuendo, and outright invention, as to enable this basically silly volume to have at least just the hint of the reflection of the gloss of the veneer of scholarship.

Reinhard Heydrich: A Biography

by Guenther Deschner. New York: Stein and Day, 1981. 351pp. $18.95. Well-researched biography of the SD chief of the SS. The author exhibits an unusual ambivalence, amounting to a much-qualified revisionism, in discussing Heydrich’s own ambivalent attitudes in his roles as Reich Protector of Bohemia-Moravia and key administrator trying to formulate a coherent and consistent Reich policy toward the Jews.

Eichmann Interrogated

edited by Jochen von Lang. New York: Farrarl Straus and Giroux, 1983.240pp. $19.95. A selection (stated to be about ten percent) from the transcripts of Eichmann’s supposed pre-trial interrogation testimony, as given by him in Israel between 29 May 1960 and 11 April 1961, to Israeli Captain Avner Less.

Ich, Adolf Eichmann: Ein Historischer Zeugenbericht

(I, Adolf Eichmann: A Historical Witness-Account) edited by Rudolf Aschenauer. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1980.550pp. DM 36.00. Controversial book purporting to be the memoirs of Eichmann obtained by the editor in their original form through Eichmann’s widow. Contains extensive commentary and analysis by the editor, a major revisionist historian and former defense lawyer in several war crimes trials.

Krieg ohne Grenzen: Der Partisanenkampfgegen Deutschland 1939-1945

(War Without Frontiers: The Partisan Struggle Against Germany 1939-1945) by Rudolf Aschenauer. Leoni am Starnberger See: Druffel Verlag, 1983. Landmark study of an aspect of World War II in Europe that has remained largely unexplored in English-language literature. This book deals not only with the partisans' activities, but also the Germans' desperate countermeasures — seen by the author as providing the victors with a convenient peg on which to hang “extermination” allegations.

Hitler and the Final Solution

by Gerald Fleming. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.272pp. $15.95. Direct, hard-driving attack on David Irving’s thesis that Hitler did not know of exterminations of Jews. Attempts to reverse Irving and “set the record straight” for all time by proving that Hitler did indeed order an extermination program. The attempt fails, however, to bring forth what Irving has always demanded of his critics: a single piece of paper from the war years (not postwar) showing that Hitler even knew about such a thing.

Hitler, Germans, and the “Jewish Question”

by Sarah Gordon. Princeton University Press, 1984. 412pp. $40.00 hb. $14.50 pb. A study of German politics and society, 1870-1945, with reference to the Jewish question. The focus is mainly on the Weimar and Nazi years. Not about the “Holocaust” per se — though there are many assertions about it, all drawn from secondary sources.

Hitler’s Death Camps: The Sanity of Madness

by Konnilyn G. Feig. New York and London: Holmes and Meier, 1981. 423pp. $19.95. Based almost exclusively on secondary literature, this book attempts to provide an over-view of the Nazi internment system, on a camp-by-camp basis. Lurid assertions, now generally accepted as false, about “extermination” camps on German soil are uncritically repeated. Not for the squeamish or intelligent.

The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry

by Walter N. Sanning. Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1983. 239pp. $12.00 hb. $8.00 pb. First scientific demographic study of the movements and fates of Eastern European Jews in the twentieth century. Highlights the constant processes of declining birthrate and extensive emigration, particularly during and after the Second World War. Throws doubt on “Holocaust” extermination claims

Vor dem Tribunal der Sieger: Gesetzlose Justiz in Nuernberg

(Before the Victors' Tribunal: Lawless Justice in Nuremberg) by Hildegard Fritzsche. Preussisch Oldendorf: Verlag K.W. Schuetz, 1981. 336pp. DM 24.00. Revisionist examination of the International Military Tribunal. Scathingly critical of the prosecution and judges, as well as the whole mentality behind the very concept of the trial, which would never have been set up but for the “victors' flush” that caused a wholesale casting-aside of venerable legal principle.

Justice at Nuremberg

by Robert E. Conot. New York: Harper and Row, 1983. 593pp. $22.50. General history, largely uncritical, of the International Military Tribunal. Based as much upon the prosecution’s pre-trial interrogation records as on the proceedings or documentary evidences themselves, with the resultant bias such an approach would entail. Essentially a Brief for the Prosecution.

The Nuremberg Trial

by Anne Tusa and John Tusa. New York: Atheneum, 1984. 600pp. $22.50. Latest overview of the IMT proceedings, much more thoroughly researched than the Conot book. Considers the many criticisms of the trial concept and course that have been made over the years, though ultimately ends up vindicating the trial as something that the victors just “had to” do to get the war out of their systems.

The Nazi Era 1919-1945: A Selected Bibliography of Published Works from the Early Roots to 1980

compiled by Helen Kehr and Janet Langmaid. London: Mansell, 1982. 618pp. £30.00. Multi-language guide of great scope and authority, though does not pretend to be exhaustive. Includes a bibliography of bibliographies, and listings of published documentary collections.

Italian Fascism and Developmental Dictatorship

by A. James Gregor. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979. 427pp. $27.50 hb. $9.75 pb. The political scientist who has emerged as America’s foremost revisionist interpreter of Fascism here expands upon and extends the lines of inquiry of his previous works (Contemporary Radical Ideologies, The Ideology of Fascism, The Fascist Persuasion in Radical Politics, Interpretations of Fascism) to present a detailed analysis of Italian Fascism in power. He sees Mussolini’s state as a prototypical developmental revolutionary regime — arising ideologically out of the “crisis of classical Marxism” with its “heresy” of nationalistic revolutionary syndicalism. A comparison of the Fascist mobilization of Italy — the rapid, forced industrialization and modernization of an economically “delayed” country — with the Bolshevization of Russia at the same time via similar means and under similar conditions, leads to the conclusion that all developmental revolutionary regimes must in fact be both intensely nationalist and socialist. Gregor’s vindication of the social science concept of totalitarianism is a unique one: accomplished without the usual unctuous moralizing, and with arguments not likely to please doctrinaire interpreters of Fascism of either Left or Right persuasion.

Young Mussolini and the Intellectual Origins of Fascism

by A. James Gregor. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. 271pp. $28.50. A major re-examination of the development of Mussolini’s thought, thoroughly debunking the notion that Mussolini was just an opportunistic seeker-after-power, with no real ideological convictions or program. Traced in great detail is the young radical’s evolution from anti-nationalist Marxist to fervently nationalist syndicalist, as his political genius combined the ideas of such as Sorel, Pareto, Mosca, Michels, Gentile, Malaparte, and Prezzolini into a mass-mobilizing belief system which swept away all competing revolutionary factions and has confused and consternated doctrinaire Marxists to this day. Contrary to the Marxists' persistent and wishful declarations that Mussolini’s belief-system never really existed, Gregor shows him as “an astute political thinker whose beliefs were as intelligent and coherent as any revolutionary of the twentieth century” and whose movement’s “intellectual credentials were as compelling as any.”


by Anthony James Joes. New York: Franklin Watts, 1982. 405pp. $18.95. A full-scale biography of the revolutionary intellectual turned Duce, by a leading interpreter of Fascism in the revisionist vein. Not sparing in criticisms, the work is nevertheless devoid of condemnatory zeal and not at all shy about describing matter-of-factly the many social, cultural, economic, and foreign policy accomplishments of the Fascist regime, the genuine idealism and intellectual grounding of Mussolini’s program, and the broad support it enjoyed from the Italian people. It is seen to be strange that the Mussolini of the 1920s and early '30s, so widely admired and praised even in the world liberal press as the savior of his country, institutor of needed reforms and developer of a workable “alternate way” transcending both Bolshevism and Reaction, could so quickly and so blithely be painted over as an inhuman monster or buffoon. This biography is essentially a careful restoration-job, scraping away the propaganda coloration to reveal a much more objective, truthful picture of the man and his era.


by Dennis Mack Smith. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1981.429pp. £12.95. A standard (i.e., disparaging) biography, by a well- known liberal historian of modern Italy who has been adamant in conducting rear-guard actions against the advances of Mussolini/Fascist revisionism that have been a feature of the past twenty years. In essence this is a much more sophisticated — and, certainly, more factually accurate — version of the “Sawdust Caesar” anti-Mussolini tracts of the wartime era. The author knows his sources well, and is a meticulous researcher, but ultimately this study adds nothing to our knowledge of the subject.

Mussolini Unleashed: 1939-1941

by MacGregor Knox. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982. 385pp. $19.95. Ground-breaking revisionist study of Mussolini’s foreign policy and war aims. Rejects the interpretation of the Duce as a bluffing, clownish and inconsistent opportunist hitching a desperate ride on Hitler’s fast-moving war train only out of fear of being “left out” in the share of spoils. Mussolini emerges as neither a poor second-relation to Hitler in policy aims nor a “traditional” Italian statesman striving (even if unsuccessfully) to maintain a delicate, status-quo balance between the Western and Germanic powers. Rather, he consistently sought supremacy and empire for Italy in the Mediterranean, and the stunning Nazi victories of 1940, far from “pushing” him into a stance not really desired, “unleashed” him to attempt accomplishment of formidable goals he had always had in mind.

The First Duce: D'Annunzio at Fiume

by Michael Ledeen. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977. 225pp. $15.00. Descriptive and interpretive study of Gabriele D'Annunzio’s 16-month popular dictatorship, 1919-20, in the Italian-claimed North Adriatic city of Fiume. The romantic-mythic leadership exploits of the flamboyant poet/war- hero/dictator are seen as contributing greatly to the style, if not the substance, of Mussolini’s later dictatorship over Italy. D'Annunzio’s ability to unite (for a time) under his banner the many competing factions and ideological currents in Fiume demonstrated a drastic and revolutionary form of “consensus politics” whose lesson was not lost on later leaders working in a larger context. The turbulent Fiume of post- World War I is seen as a microcosm of the continuing turbulence and political possibilities of our own time.

The Syndicalist Tradition and Italian Fascism

by David D. Roberts. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1979. 440pp. $30.00. A meticulous tracing and analysis of the contributions of revolutionary syndicalism to the development of Italian Fascist ideology, politics, and practice-in-power — demonstrating just how much Fascism owed to the revolutionary Left. Particular attention is paid to the ideas and influence of Georges Sorel, erstwhile Marxist turned prophet of nationalist socialism and the “myth” of violence and action.

Fascism: An Informal Introduction to Its Theory and Practice

by Renzo De Felice. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1976.128pp. $5.95 hb. $3.95 pb. An interview with De Felice conducted by Michael Ledeen. Provides a concise but wide-ranging introduction to the thought of the controversial University of Rome historian, author of a monumental six- volume biography of Mussolini and editor of the Mussolini-D'Annunzio correspondence. Discussed are De Felice’s political and historical analyses of Fascism in all its stages, and the controversy his work has stirred up by virtue of its decided departure from long-standing “consensus” (including Marxist) interpretations. The paperback Italian edition of this book was the number-one best-seller in that country for a year — very unusual for a work of this kind. Doubtless contributing to the interest in it was the Marxist and popular-press characterization of De Felice as a closet “neo-Fascist. “

Interpretations of Fascism

by Renzo De Felice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1977. 248pp. $14.95. De Felice’s own comprehensive review of his predecessors and contemporaries — and critics — in the study of Fascism. He extends the scope of inquiry here beyond the Italian case to consider “generic” European Fascism and all its schools of interpretation through 50 years, including the Marxist, conservative, Catholic, totalitarian, social science, and psychosocial constructs.

Fascism in the Contemporary World: Ideology, Evolution, Resurgence

by Anthony James Joes. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1978. 238pp. $17.50. Not a work about contemporary “neo-nazi” movements, but a comparative historical/political study of certain nationalistic and socialistic regimes-in-power today — “the first attempt to systematically link fascist ideology and practice in Europe to that in the Third World.” Follows much of the approach of A. James Gregor (who contributes the Foreword) in positing the developing nations as seed-grounds for Fascism; no matter that these developmental, hurrying-to-modernize Third World regimes might call themselves “Marxist” (and be so called by both Western and Eastern Bloc commentators), they actually have much more in common with the Italian Fascist than the Marxist tradition. The author states bluntly that “Fascism is on the rise in the contemporary world.”

Who Were the Fascists? Social Roots of European Fascism

edited by Stein Ugelvik Larsen, Bernt Hagtvet, Jan Peter Myklebust, BergenEslo-Tromso: Universitetsforlaget, 1980. U.S. distributor: Columbia University Press. 893pp. $39.95. Massive compilation of original research, much of it quantitative, from more than two dozen researchers of Fascism’s appeal and its ultimate satisfaction or non-satisfaction of that appeal, among all population groups in all European countries. Social science, psychological, economic. and demographic approaches predominate.

Fascism in Europe 1919-1945

by R.A.H. Robinson. London: The Historical Association, 1981.45pp. $3.95 pb. Basic introductory booklet providing an overview of the history, belief systems, and leaders of the various European Fascisms, and an exposure to varied interpretations of the place of Fascism and its attendant phenomena in European history.

Reappraisals of Fascism

edited by Henry A. Turner, Jr. New York: Franklin Watts, 1975.238pp. $5.95 pb. A selection of essays representing some of the main currents of theory thrust up by the 1960s-'70s reawakening of scholarly interest in — and debate over — Fascism. One section is devoted to analyses of the interpretation of West German historian Ernst Nolte, whose Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche (1963; Three Faces of Fascism, 1966) has contributed markedly and lastingly to all serious discussions of the subject. Although many different viewpoints and approaches are featured in this anthology, there are none of the Marxist persuasion-since, in the words of the editor, “It proved impossible to find even one interpretation from that point of view of a quality comparable to that of the contributions published here.”


by Alan Cassels. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1975. 401pp. $7.95 pb. One of the more useful and provocative surveys of European Fascism, expanding on the author’s classic 1969 essay, “Janus: The Two Faces of Fascism.” Surveying all European nations, but concentrating on the two — distinct — “prototypes” of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy, Cassels posits a dichotomy between Fascisms in fully-modernized and in less-developed countries. The core ethos of German National Socialism, inheriting an advanced industrialized nation of the highest order, involved a fundamental rejection of modernism (though not of its technics), and a yearning for the return to a purer, uncorrupted and simpler volkisch past. Italian Fascism, on the other hand, arising in a comparatively backward country, proudly placed itself in the forefront of “modern movement” progressivism and positivism. The dichotomy of “backward-looking” vs. “forward-looking” Fascisms is extended to include other European variants, including Sir Oswald Mosley’s movement in Britain (placed in the former category). Cassels does not, however, discard the concept of a “generic” Fascism. He rather vindicates it by holding that all Fascisms shared the wellspring of desire for a renewal of social cohesion in societies that had become atomized — and shared as well the radical compulsion to sweep away the reigning establishments of pluralistic liberal capitalism and Marxism, manifestations both of despised materialism.

Fascism: Comparison and Definition

by Stanley G. Payne. Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1980. 234pp. $6.95 pb. The most rigorous and systematic work to review, define, compare, and contrast all theoretical approaches to the historical/political “problem” of Fascism, “the only major new ideology of the twentieth century.” Country-by- country and theory-by-theory comparative analyses lead to the conclusion that no one interpretative “system” can properly explain the phenomenon of Fascism — despite the numerous such systems that have been devised (often for political purposes); an “either/or” approach, such as the Marxist, won’t do and is in fact misleading. There was no absolute, shared single cause or generic phenomenon to which all the various Fascisms can be reduced; at the same time, however, a view of different Fascist regimes and movements which ignores their very real similarities, both in ideological and situational terms, is also inappropriate. As a “touchstone” for definition of what Fascism is and what it is not — a key question, given the widespread contemporary abuse of the term “Fascist,” often hurled about with little or no concern for definitional rigor — the author presents a descriptive typology positing certain characteristics making up a “Fascist minimum.” The outstanding feature of this book is its clarity and objectivity in treating a subject all too often wrapped up in myth and polemics.

Fascist Intellectual: Drieu La Rochelle

by Robert Soucy. Berkeley: University of California Press,1979. 400pp. $37.50. First biography in English of the famous French Fascist thinker, author of L'Europe contre les patries, Le Francais d'Europe and the classic Chronique Politique 1934-1942. Treats Drieu’s entire career from his formative experiences in the First World War to his early advocacy of a united Europe support of Jacques Doriot’s Parti Populaire Francais, feuds with Robert Brasillach, editorship of the collaborationist Nouvelle Review Francais, and despairing suicide in 1945.

Fables of Aggression: Wyndham Lewis, The Modernist as Fascist

by Fredric Jameson. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. 200pp. $18.95. Essentially a literary treatment of the avant-garde British prose stylist, but with the focus on his romantic, anti-democratic political views. Analyzes not only his “protofascist” fiction, but his ostentatiously “shocking” books on politics and society, such as The Art of Being Ruled, Blasting and Bombardiering, Left Wings Over Europe, Hitler, and The Jews: Are They Human? Despite his public turn away from admiration for Hitler in the late '30s. Wyndham Lewis is seen as having held throughout his life a peculiar Fascist “temperament.”

Deliberate Regression: The Disastrous History of Romantic Individualism in Thought and Art, from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Twentieth Century Fascism

by Robert Harbison. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980. 264pp. $15.00. The author of this study of art and society did not create the category “Romantic Individualism,” but he does manage here to divest it of all real meaning or usefulness by indiscriminately lumping together under its rubric any artistic expressions of the past 200 years that he happens not to like. What he doesn’t like are, for instance, paintings and sculptures of human beings that bear some resemblance to human beings. Quite beyond the pale are any representations that dare proclaim beauty in the human form or in human works, and express such traits as heroism, idealism, and nobility. Hence his zealous anti-"fascist” condemnation, in chapters entitled “Tribe and Race” and “Millennium,” of both the Nazi and Soviet realist/neo-classicist schools of art and architecture. The author’s strident intolerance betrays, perhaps, a lurking would-be Zhdanov in reverse; he has written a book full of intellectual sound and fury, signifying stupidity.

Bibliographic information
Author: Stimely, Keith
Title: National Socialism and Fascism: Recent Books in Brief (reviews)
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: Winter 1984
Issue: Volume 5 number 2, 3, 4
Location: Page 415
ISSN: 0195-6752
Attribution: “Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”
Please send a copy of all reprints to the Editor.