Annotated bibliography – Shannon Murphy

For my dissertation, I plan on drawing particular focus to the Nazi Regime from 1933-1945 – discussing the totalitarianism in Nazi Germany and the fear and state terrorism used to control the lives of Germans.

SS Marriage Order (December 31, 1931). In United States Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume IV. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1946, Document 2284-PS [The History, Mission, and Organization of the Schutzstaffeln of the NSDAP, compiled on the Commission of the Reichsführer-SS by the SS-Standartenführer Gunter d’Alquen, 1939], pp. 976-77

This document is a primary source which showcases the controlling nature of Nazi Germany by emphasising the need for ‘pure-blood’ Germans in the SS and the importance of ensuring that SS men married women of superior worth and race. This is relevant as it provides an understanding of just how important identity was in Nazi Germany and gives an insight into the creation of the ‘perfect German’ to develop a strong, superior state.

The Fuhrer’s Decree on Preserving the Purity of the SS and the Police (November 15, 1941)

This is a Decree created by Hitler, which disowned any member of the SS or Police who was homosexual, and threatened death for any who acted upon their homosexuality. This will be useful in my dissertation as it is a perfect example of the fear and brutality ingrained into Nazi ideology and the intimidating nature of their organisations.

Decree from the Head of Security Police to the Heads of all State Police Offices (September 3, 1939)

This primary source outlines the beginning of the intrusion into the lives of German citizens and ensuring everyone followed the principles and ideas of the Nazi rule and did not spread anti-Nazi propaganda. This will help me highlight the constant fear amongst German citizens and how the Nazi Party were able to use these tactics to keep them in power.

Benedikt Kautsky’s Description of the Concentration Camps Hierarchy (Retrospective Account, 1961)

This is an account of a ‘political prisoner’ who experienced the Concentration Camps. The use of these type of accounts in my dissertation will be important as it is crucial to have evidence of the torture, horrific conditions and dehumanisation endured by these victims. This is the best way to emphasise the terror imposed by Germans and their push towards complete fear and control over these citizens.

Goeschel, Christian, and Nikolaus Wachsmann. “Before Auschwitz: The Formation of the Nazi Concentration Camps, 1933-9.” Journal of Contemporary History 45, no. 3 (2010): 515-34. Accessed February 6, 2021.

This journal is a great insight into the beginning of a Nazi totalitarian state and how terror and fear became imposed into Nazi ideology and German life. The author discusses the development of antisemitism throughout the concentration camps and the lead up to Auschwitz. This source provides analysis of Historians views on the matter and the different outlooks on Nazi terror and the relationship between Germans and the Nazi state.

Gellately, Robert. “The Gestapo and German Society: Political Denunciation in the Gestapo Case Files.” The Journal of Modern History 60, no. 4 (1988): 654-94. Accessed February 6, 2021.

I found this journal article particularly relevant to my dissertation topic as it focuses on the Gestapo’s role in creating a totalitarian state, and the attempt of complete eradication of all anti-state propaganda and ideas in Germany. The journal is a good example of the control the Nazi state had over Germany and the different perceptions of various historians on the motives of the Nazi’s to gain full support and superiority over its citizens.




One thought on “Annotated bibliography – Shannon Murphy”

  1. Gellately is the classic study of the Nazi security state and a good starting point. You should be able to follow the thread of ‘denunciation’ in the historiography. One interesting study is Vandana Shoshi on wives and denunciation. In terms of your primary sources, these are all very state- and administration-focused and it may be difficult to get sufficient sources on this particular angle to make a compelling argument about the Nazi security apparatus, still less its affects on the population. You might want to look at documents like memoirs (e.g. Victor Klemperer) in order to probe the effects of surveillance. As we will see in T6 in a few weeks time, surveillance was not just imposed from above, but also ‘co-constructed’ from below through the activities of civilians (this is also observable in Soviet Russia, Francoist Spain, Fascist Italy, etc.)

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