Hi Charlotte thanks for the reply. Well one thing I learned in school was part of a term paper is rereading a book and then write down your thoughts on the book and then evaluate your own thoughts on the book. So 2 people can draw their own conclusions. As for me I like the narrow economic focus but he actually doesn’t mention the big elephant in the room which is a lot of the criticism on this book. The whole idea of "lebensraum " or getting territory in the East. The National Socialist would have done a lot better (yes is also counterfactual) with less crazy food policies and actually working with the locals. Also eliminating the local population was already in Mein Kampf (lebensraum). There is a lot of criticism of Tooze as well (I like the book).
Which brings me to my second point:
“Without hindsight, voting for the Nazis was a supremely rational act, one most of us would have made. People say a lot of shit. They thought Hitler was lying about the whole race war thing because it was crazy talk. And Hitler certainly lied about nearly everything else, which makes him a typical politician. How do you tell brown toxic waste in a cesspit filled with liquid shit? You can’t”
With all respects I find this view simply not true in my view.
Well Hitler wasn’t the unknown factor. He tried a coup in 1924. Mein Kampf was widely read and he did not make a secret of his extreme antisemitic views, so it was not an invented lie on the fly he thought about it and people read it and voted for it. Hitler war kein betriebsunfall and the Germans could have voted for someone else instead of this violent gang with a history of trying to overthrow the Republic (proving that the people could stop these idiots if the had wanted to). I can’t go mindread each and every German who voted for Hitlers gang but based on the knowledge of 1933 I find this choice extremely irrational. Especially as the terror against the Democratic people was already widespread. I don’t think the Hitler of 1941 was so much different from that one of 1933, his voters knew.
In the Netherlands next door the Communist party had 3.2 percent and the Dutch fascist parties got no seats at all. So different countries made different choices. Yes circumstances were different but not crazy enough to mass vote for warlike Hitler just 15 years after losing a horrible number of people.
German also HAD many moderate choices but didn’t take that route, that is the end. After reading Mein Kampf, choosing Hitler wasn’t rational unless your ratio is pure hate and blaming the Germans who happened to be Jew or others.
Some people blame the “obrigkeitshorigkeits” mindset (very loosely translated as a follow the leader culture). Ed Shames a WW2 veteran compared them with automotons.In business meetings. On the other hand the German school systems is almost based around questioning authority. So I don’t speak for all Germans but they DID have a choice and too many made the wrong one.
In conclusion here simply is no scientific basis for the “inevitable single lane road from Democracy to Dachau” . There were a lot of turn-offs to better choices, more Germans could and should have made a better choice .