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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.167) Conclusion
Suicide in Nazi Germany

Christian Goeschel

Oxford University Press

After the Nazi regime's collapse in 1945, Germans continued to commit suicide, but not in such high numbers as in the Third Reich. The low suicide rates (if compared to the socially and politically turbulent Weimar and Nazi years) mirrored the relative political stability and the slow beginning of the economic miracle in the new West German democracy. The Third Reich created a condition of anomie, a context in which many people thought that life was insupportable and therefore killed themselves. This book suggests a new history of Nazi Germany, one that combines traditional social history with cultural history, concerned with individual fates and circumstances. A notable observation is that suicides explicitly linked their own difficulties to wider social pressures. Social dislocation and economic deprivation prompted many people to commit suicide. Nazi politics had a direct impact on many suicides. German Jews committed suicide in their thousands during the Third Reich, more so after the outbreak of World War II. Allied bombings also contributed to suicide.

Keywords:   Nazi Germany, suicide, bombings, Third Reich, anomie, social dislocation, economic deprivation, German Jews, World War II, politics

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