by Otis C. Mitchell
Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008. Pp. viii, 192.
Illus., notes, biblio., index. $40.00. ISBN: 0786439122
The Stormtroopers and the Rise of Hitler
First published in hardback in 2008, this is a history of the rise of the Nazi Party
seen through the actions of
its paramilitary wing, the Sturmabteilun
(SA) and its role in the destruction of the Weimar Republic. Prof. Mitchell (emeritus Cincinnati), known for his work in German history, opens with a look at the roots of German militarism, fascism, and anti-Semitism, set against the background of the disaster of 1914-1919.
Mitchell then negotiates the complex life of postwar Germany,
the consequences of
revolution and counter-revolution,
all of which fostered
the slow growth of the Nazi movement
. He devotes individual chapters to the appearance of Hitler on the scene, the early history of the Nazi movement and the disastrous Munich “Beer Hall” putsch, and then covers the restructuring of the movement as a political party, its rise through elections and radical action, and the final attainment of power. While his primary subject is the
he also takes close looks how its actions were used by
Hitler and his more notable henchmen
to promote the rise of Nazism
Mitchell’s approach is unusual in some ways
” that delve more deeply into
right wing radicalism in
paramilitary movements in
, and the multifaceted street warfare in
which rather helps serve to clarify some of the ways in which the Nazis took advantage of local conditions
Anyone interested in the rise of the Nazi movement will find this a valuable read.