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Just because many communists were Jews does not mean that there was anything remotely rational in Hitler's constant conflation of “Jewish-Bolshevism”.Nazi anti-Semitism, he insists, was “rooted in German nationalism.”The argument about the origins of Nazism will run and run.A hundred years ago, a malignant form of governance, both modern and barbaric, slouched towards St. As it grew, it swept across Eurasia, enveloping the largest territorial state on the planet and cloning itself elsewhere.
The combination of anti-Jewish and anti-Bolshevik rhetoric played well with the German public.
People felt humiliated by defeat and impoverished by recession, and Hitler blamed “the Jews” for both. His model was what Mr Gellately calls “consensus dictatorship”: cautious, sounding out public opinion and changing course when necessary.
To caricature the argument: Germany declared war on Jews because Jews (at least communist ones) had declared war on Germany.
Mr Gellately has no time for Mr Nolte, who he says is guilty of an “astonishing and reprehensible replication of Nazi rhetoric”.
Between the political arrangement of August 1939 and the German attack on June 194 1 , economic relations between the two states had increased in an extraordinary way on the basis of the credit agreement of August 19, 1939, and the two economic contracts of February 11, 1940, and January 10, 1941.
While in 1939 the German- Soviet trade capacity of 61 million RM hit the low of the time between the two world wars, it rose to a total turnover of 600 million RM in 1940 and reached a peak of about 425 million RM in the first half of 1941.4 The German industry delivered mainly industrial equipment and machines, including about 6,500 machine tools for the Soviet war industry, as well as samples of the newest weapons such as a few standard war planes of the German Luftwaffe and a half finished cruiser.5 Altogether, the Soviet Union placed orders for 1,6 billion RM between 19.
But there is little danger of Germany rehabilitating Hitler, even in the driest and most academic corners of historical theory.
In Russia, by contrast, Stalin's memory is being burnished.
Mr Gellately sets a high standard for anyone writing about comparative dictatorship.
But perhaps some future scholar, matching this author's knowledge of German and Soviet history but possessing equal mastery of China's communist decades, could write a more complete account of 20th-century horrors, including that missing monster, Mao Zedong.