In the introduction to his book about the popular appeal of National Socialism, Peter Fritzsche tells how in 1930, in a café in Munich, the photographer Heinrich Hoffmann showed Adolf Hitler the pictures he had taken of the excited crowd that had assembled before the Feldherrnhalle on the first day of mobilization for war in 1914. Hitler leafed through them and then said abruptly, “I, too, stood in this crowd.” An ardent Nazi himself, Hoffmann was excited by the thought of the political advantage that might be made of this if it could be proved and subjected his prints to painstaking examination, finally discovering the face of his Führer, disheveled and intensely excited, near the bottom edge of the last photo.
“This fortuitously discovered shot,” Fritzsche writes, “caught the precise moment when the Third Reich became possible.” That is perhaps too sweeping a statement, but it is not entirely wrong. Hoffmann’s photograph documents in a remarkable way the sense of national solidarity that marked the August Days of 1914, a feeling that persisted later through the long years of defeat, revolution, and political frustration as a memory and a felt need. As we look at it, we are reminded also that the unkempt young man in the corner of Hoffmann’s photograph would become the leader of the political movement that was to respond most effectively to that longing and, because it did, to win the mass political support that was not the least important factor in bringing him to power in January 1933. Why this was true is the subject of Fritzsche’s book.
Even if the war had not ended in military defeat and the abdication of the Kaiser, it would have changed the political culture of Germany profoundly. The bitterness of the conflict and the sacrifices it demanded strengthened the feeling of national identity, while defining it in increasingly populist and racist terms. The ideal of the Volksgemeinschaft was a product of the war, and the rhetoric that accompanied it encouraged Germans to think of themselves as citizens rather than subjects, inspired by an equal temper of heroic hearts, and as members of a compact that depended for its existence upon the achievements and self-reliance of ordinary Germans. During the war these ideas inspired a degree of voluntarism and civic activism that was unknown before 1914, when such initiatives were left to constituted authorities. They found expression also in the rising expectations of ordinary citizens and the widely held belief that the war would do away with traditional inequalities and forms of subordination.
During the revolution of 1918, these ideas persisted, and they did not disappear after Germany moved by way of anti-republican coups and the trauma of the inflation to the relative stability of the mid-Twenties. They animated in particular the mass of non-Socialist, Protestant voters in the small towns and rural areas of the country who in the end constituted the primary dynamic of German politics in the last days of the Weimar Republic. These were the voters who assured Hindenburg’s election as president of the Republic in 1925, an election widely misrepresented, in Fritzsche’s view, as determined by the longing for the good old days of the Empire. The fact that the same voters abandoned Hindenburg for Hitler in 1932 indicates, he says, that they were not looking for a return to the past but “fashioning a populist nationalism that Hitler ultimately embodied much more plausibly than Hindenburg.”
Why did National Socialism succeed in winning over these voters? Partly because of the proliferation of party branches in every part of the country (3,400 by 1929), and the Nazis’ success in ingratiating themselves in small towns (honoring local celebrities, sponsoring band concerts, erecting maypoles and Christmas trees, and otherwise being good neighbors). Partly also because of the sheer political energy with which they pushed their message (2,370 public meetings across Germany in 1925, 1,300 meetings in the last thirty days before Saxony’s Landtag election in 1929). More important, however, was their ideological appeal.
The Nazis, Fritzsche writes, “developed an image of themselves as a party that was constructive, that would move forward and bring Germans together in a militant Volksgemeinschaft reminiscent of August 1914.” This attracted middle-class women, who believed (falsely, as it turned out) that the victory of the party would give them once more the opportunities and responsibilities that they had enjoyed during the war. It also appealed increasingly to workers disenchanted with the doctrinal rigidities of the parties of the left and increasingly susceptible to Nazi slogans (one of every ten Nazi voters in the summer of 1932, Fritzsche claims, was an ex-Social Democrat). And it was a magnet as well to young people, who were impressed by the confidence in imminent victory that characterized the mass rallies of the party and were not put off by the brutality with which Nazis dealt with their opponents.
The party profited from the fact that its conservative rivals seemed incorrigibly tied to the past, while the Social Democrats were timid and unimaginative in the solutions they offered for the country’s economic ills. In contrast, the Nazis claimed to speak for the future, for a radical reformation of the nation that would give all Germans an equal place in the new Volksgemeinschaft. This new Germany would be as technologically advanced as any other nation on earth and would guarantee social justice to all of its members, provided, of course, they had the proper völkisch credentials. The envisaged economic reforms were not clearly stated, but this vagueness was obscured by the nationalistic rhetoric in which they were presented.
Fritzsche is firm in insisting that it was not an accident that so many Germans became Nazis. Nor was it the result of the Versailles Treaty, or the inadequacy of the Republic and its leaders, or the Inflationszeit, or the Great Depression. Anti-Semitism, he says several times, had little to do with their support of Nazism, although most Germans learned to live with it in exacerbated forms after 1933. On the contrary, he writes, “It should be stated clearly that Germans became Nazis because they wanted to become Nazis and because the Nazis spoke so well to their interests and inclinations.” Or, more precisely, the Nazis responded effectively to broad demands for popular sovereignty and social recognition, while insisting that “these could only be achieved through national union, which would provide Germans with an embrasive [sic] sense of collective identity and a strong role in international politics.”
Fritzsche’s book suffers from its flat and repetitive style and the fact that he has very little (and nothing very interesting) to say about Adolf Hitler. These complaints cannot be made about the first volume of Ian Kershaw’s biography, in which the Nazi leader is rarely far from the center of the stage, and which is written in a prose that is clear and direct and a pleasure to read. There can be little doubt that this will become the classic Hitler biography of our time, not only because of the author’s mastery of the sources and of the staggeringly voluminous secondary literature, but because he has corrected and amplified the historical record and significantly altered the perspective from which Hitler and his actions have been seen by previous biographers.
For the greatest of these, Alan Bullock and Joachim Fest, Hitler was always the prime mover in the events described. Bullock made this clear even in his title, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny. Fest’s more psychological approach heightened this tendency, and it is significant that, perhaps under the influence of Burckhardt, he devoted a good deal of space to the question of whether Hitler could be considered to possess historical greatness. Kershaw believes that this question is both irrelevant and potentially an apology for Hitler and that, given what we now know about the social history of Germany in the first half of this century, it is not enough to think of Hitler as the author of his own destiny. What is required of the modern biographer, he writes, is an examination of Hitler’s power—“how he came to get it, what its character was, how he exercised it, why he was allowed to expand it to break all institutional barriers, why resistance to that power was so feeble.” And these, he adds, are questions that cannot be answered by focusing exclusively on Hitler, but only by analyzing German society.
Hitler’s own attempts to portray his career as a triumph of the will Kershaw views with the most extreme skepticism. Hitler claims in Mein Kampf that his despair over the state of his country in 1918 and 1919 made him decide to become a politician. In a brilliant reconstruction of the events in Munich in 1919, however, Kershaw shows that during the revolutionary troubles Hitler was without political conviction or initiative and intent only upon avoiding anything that would lead to his being mustered out of the army and returned to civilian life. He was saved from this when Captain Karl Mayr, the head of the army’s Information Department in Munich, sent him to an anti-Bolshevik instruction course in the university and then used him as an instructor to indoctrinate troops. This led adventitiously to his involvement with Anton Drexler’s German Workers Party, where his political career began. But none of this was determined by a sense of mission on Hitler’s part or a triumph of his will. Captain Mayr wrote later in life that when he met Hitler “he was like a tired stray dog looking for a master” and was “ready to throw in his lot with anyone who would show him kindness,” adding that “he was totally unconcerned about the German people and their destinies.” Kershaw comments that Hitler’s course had been
shaped by circumstance, opportunism, good fortune and, not least, the backing of the army…. It was indeed the case…that Hitler did not come to politics, but that politics came to him—in the Munich barracks.
Nor was this the only time in his career when Hitler’s course was determined less by his own wishes than by external forces. In the crisis year 1923, which began with the French invasion of the Ruhr and saw headlong inflation in Germany, a Communist attempt to infiltrate the government of Saxony, and attempted coups in Küstrin and Hamburg, Hitler, now a rising politician in Munich, felt driven to attempt a revolt against the national government because of the pressure of his growing but highly volatile supporters, who had been inflamed by his anti-republican rhetoric and were now demanding action. But he had no control over the forces he needed to guarantee success—the Bavarian government, the police, and the local army garrison—and when their leaders, after posing as allies, betrayed him, he marched into disaster.
This might have been the end of him had it not been for his opportunism and his ability to turn the fiasco into a legend and a promise, as he did in his sensational performance during his jury trial for treason in the People’s Court in Munich in February and March 1924. (Kershaw tells us that after Hitler’s first speech, one of his judges said, “What a tremendous chap, this Hitler!”) What he learned from the experience was that he could not hope to seize power in Germany by means of force and that only propaganda and mass mobilization would open the way to the national revolution. This was the line he followed after he had served his short sentence in Landsberg prison and emerged to reorganize his divided party and to establish his mastery over it. Kershaw has some very acute things to say about this process, particularly about the Bamberg party conference of February 1926, which decided that the party would be subordinated not to its program but to its leader, a move that effectively reduced squabbling over doctrinal points within the ranks. This creation of a Führerpartei was the first step toward the creation of the Hitler myth—the readiness of his followers to see heroic qualities in him and to place all their faith and expectations in him that is the essence of charismatic power.
The reorganized party grew slowly and did not make a significant breakthrough until the fall of 1930. In analyzing the motivating factors behind support for the NSDAP, Kershaw agrees in general with Fritzsche. On the basis of an examination of the life stories of 581 members of the party made in 1934, he writes that in a third of the cases the idea of national consolidation promised by the Nazis was the strongest theme. It was clear also that many were moved by the idealistic vision of a new Germany that the Nazis alone of the parties of the right were offering. In contrast, only one eighth seem to have been motivated primarily by anti-Semitism. He also notes, however, that two thirds of the biographies he examined revealed some form of dislike of Jews. Perhaps the most significant of these findings was that one fifth of the members seem to have been motivated solely by the Hitler cult.
On January 30, 1933, Hitler became Reich chancellor, after a political confrontation in which, despite his party’s electoral strength, he had no more control over events than he had had in 1923. As Henry Turner has pointed out, there was nothing inevitable about this elevation.* At the end of 1932, despite his electoral strength, he had maneuvered himself into an apparently hopeless position. He had alienated Reich President von Hindenburg by refusing to undertake any political responsibility unless he were given the chancellorship. As the stalemate continued, there were signs of disaffection among Hitler’s followers and the beginning of a significant downturn in his electoral fortunes. Political observers had begun to say that he had overplayed his hand and lost his chance. He was saved by the ambitions of a small group of rightist politicians led by the President’s friend Franz von Papen, who gambled on their ability to control Hitler after giving him the prize he had sought for so long. “We have hired him!” Papen said cynically when the new cabinet was formed. This was a fateful mistake on their part, and Hitler soon outmaneuvered them and concentrated all power in his own hands.
This was an astonishing example of how fortune shaped Hitler’s career. As Kershaw says:
What he had been unable to achieve himself, his “friends” in high places had achieved for him. The “nobody of Vienna,” “unknown soldier,” beerhall demagogue, head of what was for years no more than a party on the lunatic fringe of politics, a man with no credentials for running a complicated state-machine, practically his sole qualification the ability to muster the support of the nationalist masses whose base instincts he showed an unusual talent for rousing, had now been placed in charge of government of one of the leading states in Europe.
The question now was how he would use the power that had fallen into his hands.
Here it must be noted that Hitler’s daily regimen had not changed significantly since his days as a rising politician in Munich. He rose late, lunched in the early afternoon, and unless he was engaged in writing a speech, which always commanded his complete attention, spent much of the afternoon sitting in cafés talking with close associates, and then, after dinner, watched movies. In the details of the so-called Nazi Revolution, for instance, he was not interested, and, as far as possible, he avoided them. “The extraordinary economic recovery that rapidly formed an essential component of the Führer myth was not,” Kershaw tells us, “of Hitler’s making.” Until the end of May 1933 he gave no backing to the work-creation programs developed in the Labor Ministry; and then, when under the strong urging of ministers and economic experts, he embodied them in a “Law for the Reduction of Unemployment,” he was interested only in their propaganda effects. His program for making automobile manufacturing Germany’s chief industry, hailed as “the turning-point in the history of German motorization,” proved not to be a program at all but merely some ideas he aired in a speech to the International Automobile and Motor-Cycle Exhibition in Berlin.
Similarly, the reordering of German cultural life along Nazi lines (Gleichschaltung) was largely self-generating—left to the initiatives of local party members—and its effects upon German universities and museums and culture in general were all the more horrendous because of this. Nothing was done to issue national guidelines and restrictions. This would have been alien to Hitler’s whole style of governing, which, Kershaw says, produced “a most extraordinary phenomenon, a highly modern, advanced state without any central coordinating body and with a head of government largely disengaged from the machinery of government.” Yet, although Hitler was rarely involved in the transformation of Germany in the spring and summer of 1933, he was, Kershaw argues, the chief beneficiary. Popular adulation of the new chancellor reached new levels. “The Führer cult was established, not now just within the party, but throughout state and society, as the very basis of the new Germany.”
Meanwhile, a new kind of voluntarism became manifest. In February 1934, Werner Willikens, state secretary in the Prussian Agriculture Ministry, made a speech in which he argued that it was difficult for the Führer to order from above everything that he intended sooner or later to carry out. The resultant tendency to await such orders, therefore, should come to an end.
Rather, however, it is the duty of every single person to attempt, in the spirit of the Führer, to work towards him. Anyone making mistakes will come to notice it soon enough. But the one who works correctly towards the Führer along his lines and towards his aim will in the future as previously have the finest reward of one day suddenly attaining the legal confirmation of his work.
This suggestion, coming from a ministerial source and never disavowed by anyone in the party hierarchy, set off a Darwinian struggle between agencies and persons within agencies hoping to increase their influence in the state hierarchy. At a time when the racial and expansionist goals of the Nazi ideology were coming more sharply into focus, it also led to a progressive increase in the violence and unconditionality of politics. Kershaw says that working toward the Führer “invited radical initiatives from below and offered such initiatives backing, so long as they were in line with [the Führer’s] broadly defined goals.” This led to disingenuousness of a high order, as in 1935, when an eruption of anti-Jewish incidents and demands that Jews be excluded from citizenship and punished by death for “racial defilement” and other offenses was tolerated, and indeed encouraged, by the government until the police complained about the increase in public disturbances and the president of the Reichsbank, worried that they would jeopardize the country’s economic recovery, called for legislation to regulate anti-Semitic activity. Hitler then forbade further public outrages but at the same time partially appeased them by instituting the process that led to the Nuremberg Laws, a significant and ominous curtailment of Jewish rights.
In general, “working toward the Führer” enabled Hitler to accomplish things that he wanted to accomplish without relying on institutional means, and this enhanced his personal mastery over party and state. Important in this respect were his first successes in foreign policy. This was a field of activity in which Hitler’s knowledge was exiguous. Even so, he had no lack of confidence, and he possessed gifts that are of major importance in diplomacy, particularly a sense of its limits, a skill in the uses of ingratiation and bluff, shrewdness in assessing the weak spots of his opponents, and, when it was needed, great daring.
When he came to power, he was aware that the revisionism and expansion on which his heart was set could be pursued only after the home front had been stabilized and Germany’s armed forces built up. While the Gleichschaltung process was being carried out, therefore, Hitler encouraged foreign states to believe that his government would effect no radical break with the foreign policy of the past. His public pronouncements were pacific and disarming and even when he shocked Europe by withdrawing from the League of Nations and the Disarmament Conference in October 1933, he was able to avoid antagonizing the other powers by professing willingness to enter any schemes of arms limitation that they might propose.
But in the next two years he had a series of successes that belied those assurances. His pact with Poland in January 1934 drove a wedge in France’s eastern alliance system; his announcement in March 1935 that he would no longer abide by the arms clauses of the Versailles Treaty and was proceeding to build an air force and an army of thirty-six divisions ended any hopes of European disarmament; and his success in persuading the British to conclude a naval agreement in June 1935 effectively split the Stresa Front and destroyed the last possibility of reprisals against him for his proclamation in March.
These successes were greeted with the wildest enthusiasm in his own country, and this became shriller when in March 1936, disregarding the cautionary preachments of his own officers, he sent troops into the demilitarized Rhineland, effectively destroying the Locarno Treaty of 1925, in which Germany promised to respect established European borders. The Hitler myth now assumed its most extreme form, and the Führer’s infallibility became an article of faith.
Unfortunately, Hitler had begun to believe it himself. It was after the Rhineland coup that he said, before an immense gathering in Munich, “I go with the certainty of a sleepwalker along the path laid out for me by Providence.” Nothing now seemed impossible to him. Kershaw ends this volume with the words, “Hubris—that overweening arrogance which courts disaster—was inevitable. The point where nemesis takes over had been reached by 1936.” That story will come in the sequel.
Readers of Kershaw’s impressive biography may find some fascinating elaboration of its earlier chapters in two books: Brigitte Hamann’s account of Hitler’s life in Vienna after he left Linz in February 1908, and David Clay Large’s lively book on the Munich that Hitler officially designated as the Capital of the Movement.
A well-known historian of the Habsburg Empire, particularly in its final days, Hamann has undertaken here to write a cultural and social history of Vienna in the last years before the First World War as it was seen by a young man from the provinces, combining this with a biography of her subject up to the time when he left for Munich at the age of twenty-four. The Vienna she describes, is not, she says at the outset, the artistic-cultural fin-de-siècle Vienna, which has become a cliché, but the Vienna of the “little people” who confronted the Wiener Moderne with incomprehension, and rejected it as degenerate, without any real tie to the Volk, and too international, too “Jewish,” and too liberal. It was also a city of mass politics, of prophets and hot-gospelers and popular demagogues, of bitter ethnic rivalries (particularly between the Pan-Germans and the Czech minority), and of rampant anti-Semitism.
In this city, Hamann is convinced, Hitler acquired important elements of his Weltanschauung. This he did by observation—he spent a lot of time in the Austrian parliament watching the endless and fruitless wrangling of the parties and was a faithful attendant of the speeches of Karl Lueger, a masterful popular tribune beloved of Vienna’s Christian Socialist population—and by endless reading of newspapers and pamphlets, acquiring miscellaneous information that he impressed upon his memory by repeating what he read to exasperated acquaintances. His philosophy was made up of a number of strongly held general ideas based on fragments of arguments that were sometimes taken out of context. Thus, in one of those debates in which he became involved in the men’s hostels in which he lived in Vienna, he once quoted Schopenhauer and was told by his vis à vis that he should not talk about things that he did not understand.
Hamann believes that Hitler’s fondness for bipolar theories of master and slave peoples, of strong and weak, of blond and dark, and of good and evil originated in Vienna and found corroboration in his memory of his favorite author Karl May’s Ardistan and Dschinnistan and in sentences that stuck in his mind from books like Otto Weininger’s Sex and Character, a work that he understood as imperfectly as he did Schopenhauer, which did not prevent him in later life from citing it for his own purposes. His tendency to see politics in friend-foe terms and his belief that evil is always bent on destroying good, fighting not openly in a fair Heldenkampf [heroic struggle] but “after the manner of the Untermenschen, with bacillae, parasites, Schmarotzer [spongers] or defilement of morals or blood,” were clearly influenced by the political struggles he witnessed in Vienna and by the rhetoric of the Pan-German leaders like Georg Ritter von Schönerer and mystics like Guido von List. And his lifelong belief that the downfall of the weak was as inevitable as the victory of the strong was rooted in the Darwinian atmosphere of Vienna at the turn of the century and in the rhetoric of people like his hero Lueger.
Despite Hitler’s professions in Mein Kampf, however, Hamann refuses to believe that his anti-Semitism originated in Vienna. There is no doubt that he thought deeply about the Jewish question and spent a lot of time discussing it with others. But as often as not, in debates about the Jews and their place in Austria he was on the side of the Jews rather than that of their opponents’. Hamann tells of a stormy discussion in 1910 about Empress Elizabeth’s veneration for Heinrich Heine, in which Hitler defended the poet and regretted that there were no statues to him in Germany. In other discussions in the men’s hostel, he was reported to have praised Maria Theresa’s great reforming minister Joseph von Sonnenfels and Jewish musicians like Mendelssohn and Offenbach. He had Jewish friends with whom he discussed religious questions and the future of the Zionist movement and upon whom he could rely for loans and other help in his worst times. He always preferred to sell his watercolors to Jewish dealers, because he thought that they were more honest and gave him better prices. No reliable source has reported Hitler making any anti-Semitic remarks in his Vienna period; on the contrary, he was known to have expressed admiration for the courage with which the Jews had withstood a long history of persecution.
Nevertheless, Vienna was a profoundly anti-Semitic city and the Jews were the favorite targets of the politicians whom Hitler admired and studied most. Hamann concludes that it was only during the revolutionary disturbances in Munich in 1918-1919 that the young politician Hitler found it profitable to adopt anti-Semitism himself. And she adds, “It was then that he could use everything that he had learned in Vienna under the rubric, ‘Die Juden sind an allem schuld.’ [The Jews are to blame for everything.] ”
In the history of National Socialism, Munich took a larger part than any other German city. It was there that Hitler entered politics and founded the NSDAP, and it was there that the party had its first martyrs, during the 1923 Putsch. In 1935 Munich was officially designated as the Capital of the Movement, and in September 1938 it was the place where the Munich Conference, Hitler’s last great diplomatic success, was held.
Why did this particular city come to play the central role that it did in the development of the Nazi movement? In the nineteenth century it had been widely hailed as a beautiful city of broad avenues, baroque architecture, and more painters and sculptors than Berlin and Vienna combined. It was a city in which social divisions seemed to be less pronounced than in other parts of the country, a fact that the American consul in 1874 attributed to its most famous product, beer, which he said was “a great constitutional, political, and social leveler.” In the brisk survey of the city’s nineteenth-century history with which David Large begins his book Where Ghosts Walk, he expresses doubts about this, pointing out that the city’s beer halls were frequently the scenes of violent battles between opponents hurling great stone mugs, and that this was symptomatic of the tensions and rage that lay beneath the surface of the city even in its Golden Age.
Before the First World War, in the district called Schwabing, Munich possessed a bohemia for artists and writers that was as free and unrestrained as Montmartre. (Large has a splendid chapter on this in which he describes the antics of eccentrics like Oscar Panizza and Fanny zu Reventlow, the founding of the satirical journal Simplicissimus, and the daring bill of fare provided by the cabaret “The Eleven Executioners.”) But the reaction to Schwabing’s cultural norms by the general public was not much different than that of Vienna’s to the so-called Wiener Moderne. Similarly, Munich had acute social problems, evidenced in the numbers of beggars and prostitutes on the public streets and the virulent anti-Semitism that followed the sudden growth of the Jewish population after the turn of the century, when there was an influx of new migrants from Galicia, Poland, and Russia. The propensity to social and racial resentments and the willingness to consider violent solutions to alleviate them were present long before they were exacerbated by the war and the revolutions that followed it. It is not difficult to understand why the Nazi Party (NSDAP) found the city’s atmosphere congenial.
Not all of the party’s members were as enamored of the city as Hitler, however, and after the failure of the 1923 Putsch there was a protracted fight led by north German leaders like Gregor Strasser and Joseph Goebbels against the domination of the party by what they called “the dumbest city in the world.” Hitler, however, won the day, for reasons that Large makes clear, and Munich became the center of the movement and, for Nazi Bonzen in their relaxed moments, a third-class Babylon on the Isar, where one might, if one were lucky, catch a glimpse of the Führer gobbling ravioli at the Osteria Bavaria while Unity Mitford lurked in the doorway trying to catch his eye.
That the citizens of Munich delighted in their city’s position and the honors and festivities that it brought them, like the “2000 Years of German Culture Parade” in 1937, which Large says “broke new ground in the field of Nazi kitsch,” is all too clear, although they had reason to regret this when their special tie with Hitler became one of the reasons for the particular attention that Allied bombers paid them in the last two years of the war. Large is very good on the war years, and particularly on Munich’s only serious attempt at active resistance to Nazism, the White Rose Movement of Hans and Sophie Scholl, which was repudiated by the very university students to whom it was directed. As for most of the population, while doing a lot of complaining, they were loyal to Hitler to the end. When the Allied bombardment was at its height they attributed this not to anything he had done or any fault of their own but took it to be a confirmation of everything that Hitler had told them about the inveterate Jewish desire to destroy the Aryan race.
In a sardonic epilogue Large describes Munich’s astonishing rise from the ashes after 1945, so that by the 1960s it was the richest, fastest growing, most culturally ambitious city in the Federal Republic, drawing 1.7 million foreign tourists a year. This growth was accompanied by a remarkable amnesia about the past and a speedy disappearance of physical signs of the recent Nazi presence. During the days of the “economic miracle,” Vergangenheitsbewältigung—mastering the Nazi heritage—was not a matter of concern to most Müncheners. It was not until the 1990s that a new generation began to demand a reckoning with the ghosts of the past.
March 18, 1999