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Seeing Hitler's Germany

Tourism in the Third Reich

Seeing Hitler's Germany by Kristin Semmens
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Seeing Hitler's Germany is the first comprehensive study of commercial tourism under the swastika. The Nazi regime believed that tourism could further its political ideological goals. Domestic travel would unify and strengthen the 'national community'; international tourism would play a part in foreign policy by overturning negative perceptions abroad. The book describes how effectively the Nazis coordinated all German tourism organizations. At the same time, it emphasizes the apparent normality of many everyday tourist experiences after 1933. These certainly helped some Germans and many foreign visitors to overlook the regime's brutality. However, tourism also celebrated the most racist, chauvinist aspects of the 'new Germany', which in turn became a normal part of being a tourist under Hitler. While violence and terror have continued to dominate many recent studies of the Third Reich, this book takes a different view. By investigating a range of 'normal' experiences - such as taking a tour, visiting a popular sightseeing attraction, reading a guidebook or sending a postcard - Seeing Hitler's Germany deepens our understanding of the popular legitimacy of Nazi rule.
Palgrave Macmillan; March 2005
278 pages; ISBN 9780230505308
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Title: Seeing Hitler's Germany
Author: Kristin Semmens
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