Two recent works on Nazi extermination plans and concentration camps are reviewed in order to show the basic differences between two main approaches to modern totalitarian dictatorships. The first approach, embodied by Snyder, refers to Hitler’s ideology as the most important source to analyze the entire reality of the Third Reich. On the basis of a similar utopianism the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union jointly worked without any regard for millions of civilians deported, enslaved, and killed in the «Black Earth» of Eastern Europe. The second essay by Wachsmann depicts the whole evolution of the Nazi concentration camps, focusing on their changing functions within the regime’s institutional framework. Time after time, the KL camps worked as a multipurpose weapon against political opponents, everyday criminals, social dropouts, Jews, prisoners of war, foreign workers. Until the end of WW2 the SS leader Himmler used that network of power to increase his personal leadership in front of the Führer.
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