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Suicide in Nazi Germany$
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Christian Goeschel

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532568

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532568.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Suicide in Nazi Germany

Christian Goeschel

Oxford University Press

Most people know that the Third Reich ended in an orgy of self-immolation, with the suicides of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, Joseph Goebbels and his wife, Heinrich Himmler, later on Hermann Göring, and many other leading Nazis. But few know very much about how these events fitted into the wider pattern of self-destruction in Nazi Germany. Were they startlingly unexpected, or did they form the culmination of broader and deeper trends in ideology and behaviour? This book aims to provide an answer to this question, examining suicide in Germany between 1918 until 1945, from the end of World War II till the end of the World War II. As well as interpreting suicide levels as indicators of social and political developments, this book also studies the way in which contemporaries perceived them. In addition, it takes up the recent interest in gender. In particular, it sheds light on changing ideals of masculinity through a study of suicide.

Keywords:   Third Reich, Nazi Germany, suicide, masculinity, World War I, World War II, political developments, Adolf Hitler

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