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Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State
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Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  204 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A stunning account of the economic workings of the Third Reich--and the reasons ordinary Germans supported the Nazi state

In this groundbreaking book, historian Götz Aly addresses one of modern history's greatest conundrums: 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 u
Hardcover, 431 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Metropolitan Books (first published 2005)
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Nov 28, 2012 Jaclyn rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jaclyn by: Allison (via Caldwell)
I was absolutely thrilled with this book. Recommended by Allison by way of Caldwell, this book delighted me for three main reasons:
1. The figures on the economies of Nazi allies and Nazi-occupied countries were staggering and incredibly enlightening. It is amazing what the bureaucrats, especially those in the finance ministry of the Third Reich, were able to get away with.
2. Albeit rather trite, I appreciate that Aly looked at the "socialism" part of national socialism, rather than adding anoth
David Bird
May 01, 2015 David Bird rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-extremis
Aly presents a very simple thesis about the Nazi regime: that it inspired the widespread loyalty that it did in significant measure because it made life good for the average (non-Jewish) German. He notes that taxes were kept considerably lower than in other belligerent states; that the material standards were kept high; and that the secret police force was surprisingly small.

He describes how the appropriation of property from Jews and others marginalized by the regime, and occupied countries, w
Dec 25, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
You don't know much about the Nazis. That's because we don't get much about the Nazis in school and most of the "common knowledge" about them is wrong. For example, many people are under the false impression that the Nazis were "right wing" or conservative, yet the term "Nazi" is short for "National Socialist German Workers Party." That doesn't sound like a right wing party to me. This book, while it is not entertaining, will teach you that the Nazis were a left wing group that gained and kept p ...more
Maria Beltrami
Spesso e volentieri, quando si ha a che fare con reati, si dice che bisogna seguire i soldi per capire che cosa è successo, e seguire i soldi è esattamente quello che fa Aly per analizzare il Reich nazista, che altro non fu se non una immebnsa associazione a delinquere, i cui capi furono i gerarchi nazisti, e i felici gregari furono l'intero popolo tedesco, sottratto alle conseguente delle decisioni dei suoi capi da una politica sociale tesa ad ottenerle sempre e comunque l'approvazione.
E seguen
morning Os
May 15, 2013 morning Os rated it really liked it
I enjoyed his introduction a bit too much (because he claims that the Nazi regime was exceptionally a "young" one!), and didn't know to what extent he is taken seriously as a scholar since I do not study German history. I had to contextualize his work and found a review by John Connelly online ( Connelly's review was helpful in confirming the novelty of this work (as many reviewers mention, this is the first book to highlight how Nazis financed WWII thro ...more
Mike Ceballos
Al terminar de leer este ensayo, tengo una admiración aún mayor al sistema político e idiológico de los Nazis; y no me malinterpreten, me refiero al gigantesco organismo social, político y económico del cuál varios se beneficiaron para llevar a cabo el sueño Ario: El Tercer Reich.
Götz lleva al lector a través del esquema de trabajo del partido Nacional Socialista, y de como buscaron un ideal que llevara al pueblo aleman a su merecido lugar de honor y respecto histórico. Habiendo perdido una de
Jul 30, 2011 Malaga rated it liked it
It only took me 6 years and probably as many restarts to finally read this book but it was worth it. He cites so many aspects of the same data - extensive data about where goods and money went during the Nazi regime - that it's hard to process but it's the only way to make the point.

He shows that Nazi plunder of invaded countries and the taxes and levies imposed on them funded the war machine and kept the German population at the time well taken care of an happy. It's mentioned that when German
Jul 08, 2009 Russell rated it liked it
The conventional view is that the Holocaust was mostly about racial ideology, and only partly about plunder. With reading books such as this one (and one of my other current reads, The Secret War Against The Jews) I’m really starting to believe it was probably the other way around!

Update after finishing the book:

We’ve traditionally seen the Holocaust as a racial war by Hitler’s Europe against its Jewish population; as a program of extermination accompanied by incidental plunder. The picture that
David Hill
Jan 28, 2015 David Hill rated it really liked it
This was a bit of a tough one to get through. I find the subject interesting, but it's not a very exciting topic. It's complicated, and there were many times I would have liked more background information.

The book is about how the Nazis financed the war while simultaneously keeping the folks at home happy and well fed. By keeping Germans happy and well fed, they were less likely to rise up against the Nazis. Clearly, their technique worked. There were no significant uprisings against the Nazis.
Sep 10, 2009 Hugolane rated it really liked it
So far I'm enjoying this book. Aly's focus on the economics and social policies of the Nazis I think is highly enlightening. Years ago there was a book I believe called, Anti-semitism: The Socialism of Fools, and what Aly describes here is how Nazi racial ideology provided a means to support the house of cards that was the Nazi economy. Some reviews I have read suggest that Aly may draw too materialist an explanation of why Germans continued to support Hitler, and I have not gotten so far as to ...more
Michael Connolly
Aug 07, 2012 Michael Connolly rated it really liked it
During the First World War, the standard of living of the German people suffered, which reduced support for the war. In order maintain support for World War II, the Nazis made sure that the German people lived comfortably during the war. This required a great deal of money, which the Nazis acquired, primarily from three sources: (a) taxing the rich, (b) looting the countries they invaded, and (c) confiscating the property of the Jews. Race, religion and prejudice clearly played a role in the Hol ...more
Dec 15, 2013 Waylaid rated it it was amazing
This book is brilliant. It's interesting for three reasons:
(1) an examination of Germany's real intentions in the war; (2) how governments run wars; and (3) how economies function during wars.

Germany's 'economic miracle' caused massive debts, which it attempted to reconcile by basically stealing other people's money. This makes the book very pertinent to the world today.

In many ways it's far more interesting than the accounts of the battles, though drier. The details are remarkable, such as Germ
Jan 18, 2010 Branco rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
The book is easy to read although you can easely get lost in the annotations that the author uses, I found that in a first read it is better to ignore them. Also I bought the portuguese version but the images were not translated from german which was a shame. Fortunately my wife speaks german and I asked her to translate some for me which I found very usefull.

Other than that it makes it easier to understand not the active support that the germans gave to Hitler but the silent consent of the majo
May 11, 2013 Olethros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Un título muy evocador pero engañoso a la vez.-

Género. Historia.

Lo que nos cuenta. Ensayo sobre el interés del nacionalismo en mantener un “estado de bienestar” para sus ciudadanos a pesar de las enormes inversiones en la industria bélica, a expensas del saqueo de los bienes, valores y fuerzas laborales de los grupos, poblaciones y países sometidos (y otros simplemente alineados), plagado de ejemplos y de números.

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Nov 23, 2013 Anthony rated it it was amazing
An excellent and well researched answer to the question of how the Nazis gained so much support from so many Germans for as long as they did? We see how Jews and citizens from Nazi occupied lands suffered from crippling taxation, mass looting, forced labour, and destruction. All the money obtained from this was channelled into generous social programs and government handouts so that Germans could enjoy an improved standard of living. So to answer the question, Hitler literally bought the German ...more
Oct 28, 2007 Bill rated it really liked it
Gotz Aly shows how every German benefited from the Nazis' system of plunder during WWII and justifies how that plunder kept the German populace quiescent. While it's way too detailed on the financial records, it's an utterly fascinating read. He gives the monetary reasoning behind the Holocaust and destruction the Nazis perpetrated and has it all make sense. You'll never look at WWII the same way again.
Canard Frère
Exposé détaillé d'un très bon historien, expliquant comment le nazisme s'est maintenu au pouvoir en assurant à la population le confort matériel avant et pendant la guerre, confort financé par des pillages divers (aux dépens des pays envahis ou de certaines portions de sa population, comme les Juifs), ou "acheté" par diverses mesures démagogiques.
Rob Barry
Jul 29, 2016 Rob Barry rated it really liked it
Book: Hitler's Beneficiaries
Gotz Aly

Nazi strategy of creating a welfare state, funded by the oppressed, to make the recipients of the benefits amenable to propaganda -- and giving them a vested interest in the Third Reich.

Underlying the heady sensation, however, was the nagging pull of bad conscience, an uneasy feeling that one was damned to either total victory or total destruction.
Christian Krüger
Viele Bücher wurden über den Zweiten Weltkrieg geschrieben und man meint es gibt nur noch wenig neues zu berichten. Doch Aly zeigt in dem hier vorliegenden Buch das Gegenteil auf. Er geht der Frage nach: Wie wurde der Krieg überhaupt finanziert? Die dabei zutage tretenden Erkenntnisse zeigen ein interessantes Bild.
Apr 10, 2011 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. Very easy to read, especially once I stopped reading every single footnote.

Volkmar suggested this to me, and this book did not disappoint. I had no idea that the Nazis stole as much as they did. I'm not sure why this was a surprise to me.
Jun 09, 2008 C.R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very dry, very scholarly, lots of numbers. The book does an excellent job, though, of demonstrating the oft-ignored "Socialist" part of National Socialism. In particular, just how utterly rapacious the socialist system can be in its rawest form.
Esther Mateo
Gotz Aly nos descubre la complicidad de la mayoría del pueblo alemán que se dejó comprar a cambio de seguridad y bienestar material.
Libby Stott
Libby Stott rated it really liked it
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Götz Haydar Aly is a German journalist, historian and social scientist.
After attending the German School of Journalists, Aly studied history and political science in Berlin. As a journalist, he worked for the taz, the Berliner Zeitung and the FAZ.
Presently, from 2004 to 2005, he is a visiting professor for interdisciplinary Holocaust research at the Fritz Bauer Institut in Frankfurt am Main.
More about Götz Aly...

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