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11 - The Continuity of Ambivalence: German Views of America, 1933-1945

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2013

David E. Barclay
Affiliation:
Kalamazoo College, Michigan
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Summary

German views of America have not attracted much attention in the historiography of Adolf Hitler, National Socialism, and the Third Reich. Indeed, no exhaustive analysis of the topic has yet appeared. However, the specialized studies published so far suggest that it is now possible systematically to assess the “views of America” held by Germans between 1933 and 1945; or, to be more specific, to evaluate judgments, prejudices, clichés, stereotypes, and images. The following remarks represent an attempt to provide such a systematic review. It will also incorporate this author's own research on Hitler's perception of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the United States of America.

A chronological summary of the years between 1933 and 1945 leads us to a rather basic and unsurprising observation, namely, that Nazi foreign policy largely determined opinions about the United States and its president. After all, published opinion under the National Socialist regime was the product of a severely controlled press, censorship, and propaganda. During the first few years of the Nazi regime coverage of the New Deal also served to legitimize Nazi rule. The predominant interest that Hitler and the Nazis took in U.S. foreign policy was the crucial factor that finally led to a marked change in the presentation of German views of America.

Type
Chapter
Information
Transatlantic Images and Perceptions
Germany and America since 1776
, pp. 243 - 264
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

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