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Type: Journal article
Title: Beyond resistance and collaboration: towards a social history of politics in Hitler's empire
Author: Drapac, V.
Pritchard, G.
Citation: Journal of Social History, 2015; 48(4):865-891
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0022-4529
Statement of
Vesna Drapac and Gareth Pritchard
Abstract: This article argues that Europe's seeming inability to escape from the divisive legacy of World War II is connected to the way in which the war is conceptualized almost everywhere and by almost everyone—not just by the public and politicians, but by professional historians as well. The underlying problem we identify is the dominance of a gendered resistance/collaboration paradigm in the historiography, which has both shaped and been shaped by public understandings of the war. The primacy of the resistance/collaboration paradigm has led not only to simplistic understandings of social behavior in Hitler's Europe, it has also made the historiography vulnerable to instrumentalization. We do not argue that the concepts of “resistance” and “collaboration” should be discarded, but that they should be incorporated into a modified framework for understanding how people responded daily to Nazi rule. This framework, which we have termed the “social history of politics” model, is based upon three key principles. First, it emphasizes the interconnectedness of the political, the social, the economic and the military spheres in Nazi-controlled Europe. Second, it recognizes that, at a time of total war waged by a regime with totalitarian aspirations, all behavior had the potential to be of political significance. Third, it incorporates gender as a category of analysis in the study of all political, social, military and economic processes in Hitler's empire.
Rights: © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
RMID: 0030032315
DOI: 10.1093/jsh/shv006
Published version:
Appears in Collections:History publications

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