Through analyses of three eventful years in Nazi Germany’s history – the Kristallnacht pogrom, the invasion of Poland and the invasion of Soviet Russia – this book explores the violence of states. All three events were part of the Nazi colonial project and led to mass killings, eventually resulting in the systematic murder of Jews becoming a major war aim – one that Germany would pursue to the end, even when it became clear that the military conflict could no longer be won. Drawing on voluminous historical and sociological literature, as well as documentary and contemporary evidence, the author presents a new account of the phenomenon of extreme state violence as a special category of violence, in which the armed forces, maintained in a state of readiness, are used unnecessarily and excessively, often on thin pretexts, and, unlike coercive violence, only rarely for the purposes of carrying messages to the public. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, history and anthropology concerned with mass and state violence.
Table of Contents
Prologue by Jacqueline Rose
1. Types of Violent Events
2. Kristallnacht Revisited
3. Three Final Solutions
4. Two or Three Jewish Policies
5. Subduing and Annihilating Germans
6. Why States Use Violence Excessively
Emanuel Marx is Professor Emeritus of Social Anthropology at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He is the author of Bedouin of the Negev, The Social Context of Violent Behaviour and Bedouin of Mount Sinai and editor of A Composite Portrait of Israel.