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Believe and Destroy


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Table of Contents

Foreword Acknowledgments Glossary PART ONE: The young men of Germany Chapter 1 A 'world of enemies' (I) The outbreak of war The silence of the Akademiker The 'time of troubles': an experience of war? Chapter 2 Constructing networks Places to study Places of association Networks of solidarity Chapter 3 Activist intellectuals The construction of academic knowledge Knowledge and activism (1919-1933) 'Combative science' and SS intellectuals in the Third Reich The shadow of the Great War PART TWO: Joining the Nazis: a commitment Chapter 4 Being a Nazi The foundations of the doctrine The origins of Nazi fervour: planning a sociobiological re-establishment The appropriation of a system of beliefs Chapter 5 Entering the SD Whether to enter the Party or not? Towards the SD: Nazi careers Recruitment: a social mechanism of enlistenment Chapter 6 From struggle to control From the 'Security Department of the SS' (SD) to the 'Reich Security Main Office' (RSHA) A 'world of enemies' (II) Control PART THREE : Nazism and violence: the culmination 1939-1945 Chapter 7 Thinking the east, between utopia and anxiety The curse of Germanic isolation The Nazi project for a sociobiological re-establishment Redevelop and settle: forms of Nazi fervour Chapter 8 Arguing for war: Nazi rhetoric From the reparative war to the 'Great Racial War' From the discourse of security to the discourse of genocide Expressing violence: defensive rhetorics, utopian rhetorics Chapter 9 Violence in action The experience of violence Demonstrative violence, violence of eradication A transgressive violence Violence as rite of initiation Chapter 10 SS intellectuals confronting defeat Defeat rendered unreal Finis Germaniae. The return of the old anxiety The denouement Chapter 11 SS intellectuals on trial Strategies of negation Strategies of evasion Strategies of justification: the Ohlendorf case Conclusion: Memory of war, activism and genocide Notes Sources and bibliography A piece of research and its context A specific conceptual framework List of archival collections consulted Printed sources Bibliography

About the Author

Christian Ingrao is the director of the Institut del histoire du temps present. A specialist in Nazism andwar studies, he also teaches at Sciences-Po. His previous work, Les Chasseurs Noirs, was an international success.


"a thoughtful, well researched, and well written addition to thefield of perpetrator studies a work that illustratesconvincingly the role of Germany s best andbrightest in the prosecution of genocide." Holocaust and Genocide Studies "A chilling collective portrait of a generation blinded by thefervor of their ideology and oblivious to the suffering ofothers." Wall Street Journal "Packed with useful information on this important Nazicadre." Standpoint "Presents gripping accounts of particular spectacles of violenceand their role in imposing order." Los Angeles Review of Books "With this quest for understanding in mind, Ingrao has undertakenwhat is clearly a mammoth historical task, and ultimately writtenan astonishingly profound and in-depth book on a subject that oughtnever be forgotten." David Marx Book Reviews "This is an important and original study of ideology and experiencerather than yet another catalogue of crime, and it therefore offersa different and powerful explanation for how educated men becameperpetrators of mass murder." Richard Evans, University of Cambridge "How did highly educated German intellectuals of a certaingeneration make themselves into believing Nazis, career-mindedideologues, and practitioners of terror? In compelling detail andin a manner consistent with the best accomplishments of recentscholarship, Christian Ingrao guides us astutely and assuredlythrough this shockingly normalized interior world." Geoffrey Eley, University of Michigan

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