A Timely Subversion: The Role of Politics and Pressure in the Nazi Rise to Power

4 April 2015
A discussion of the book “The Nazi Seizure of Power” by William Sheridan Allen.

This paper examines Allen’s book The Nazi Seizure of Power. It discusses the author’s use of the town of Thalburg as a microcosmic example of German social and political realities.
“Following the end of World War I, the people of Germany felt the consequences of their loss coupled with the reverberations of the American stock market crash. The effects of the Great Depression only trickled down slowly to the small German town of “Thalburg,” the fictitious name of a real town whose privacy William Sheridan Allen wishes to protect throughout his work, The Nazi Seizure of Power. Attempting a democratic state in early twentieth century Germany was difficult at best, futile at worst. Using Thalburg as a microcosmic example of German social and political realities, Allen describes the Nazi rise to power as a function and result of divisions among the general populace. “In the wake of defeat came a revolution led by the working class which overthrew the Kaiser and established a republic in Germany,” (p. 8). However, Allen soon points out that “the town (of Thalburg) soon became a relatively strong center for the violently rightist organization, Jung deutsche Orden As in the Thirty Years War the town was rent by strife and inner cleavage,” (p. 8). This “inner cleavage” was clearly represented by election statistics in 1925.”
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