Hitler's Beneficiaries
How the Nazis Bought the German People
by Götz Aly Translated by Jefferson Chase
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448 pages / / 9781784786342

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/ 9781784786366

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448 pages / August 2007 / 9781844672172

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A stunning account of the economic workings of the Third Reich—and the reasons ordinary Germans supported the Nazi state

How did Hitler win the allegiance of ordinary Germans? The answer is as shocking as it is persuasive. By engaging in a campaign of theft on an almost unimaginable scale—and by channelling the proceeds into generous social programmes—Hitler bought his people’s consent. Drawing on secret files and financial records, Götz Aly shows that while Jews and people of occupied lands suffered crippling taxation, mass looting, enslavement, and destruction, most Germans enjoyed a much-improved standard of living. Buoyed by the millions of packages soldiers sent from the front, Germans also benefited from the systematic plunder of conquered territory and the transfer of Jewish possessions into their homes and pockets. Any qualms were swept away by waves of government handouts, tax breaks, and preferential legislation. Gripping and significant, Hitler’s Beneficiaries makes a radically new contribution to our understanding of Nazi aggression, the Holocaust, and the complicity of a people.


“One of the most consistently original and provocative historians of the Nazi regime.”

“Götz Aly is a highly original thinker who has made a range of breakthroughs in Holocaust Studies.”

“Germany’s most influential popular historian.”

“Serious and well-researched.”

“A pathbreaking work.”

“Aly once again brings to bear his formidable research skills, his knack for pursuing original lines of inquiry, and his incredible capacity to uncover neglected and seemingly innocuous documents … a fascinating and important book.”

“This rewriting of history, which dismantles the conventional distinction between fanatical Nazis and sober civil servants, will irreversibly transform our understanding of the Third Reich.”

“Aly has written a brilliant yet disturbing book that shatters our complacencies.”

“Thoroughly researched and fluently written, this book offers a new, brilliant, gripping, and convincing dimension to the understanding of one of the most puzzling questions in the history of our times.”

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