Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
The Racial State

The Racial State
Germany 1933–1945


  • Date Published: November 1991
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521398022

£ 24.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Between 1933 and 1945 the Nazi regime in Germany tried to restructure a 'class' society along racial lines. This book deals with the ideas and institutions which underpinned this mission, and shows how Nazi policy affected various groups of people, both victims and beneficiaries. The book, first published in 1991, begins with a serious discussion of the origins of Nazi racial ideology, and then demonstrates the thoroughness and purposiveness with which this was translated into official policy. The book deals with the systematic persecution not only of the Jews, the largest group of victims of Nazism, but also with the fate of lesser-known groups such as Sinti and Roma, the mentally handicapped, the 'asocial', and homosexuals. Finally, the book examines the racially-motivated social policies of the regime which affected every German 'national comrade'. The authors argue that the Third Reich was fundamentally different from other totalitarian regimes because of the all-encompassing nature of its racial policies. These were neither exclusively reactionary nor 'modern', but were rather an unprecedented form of progress into barbarism.

    • A beautifully produced and highly illustrated book examining the Nazi's quest for racial purity and domination
    • Not only describes, but questions and interprets the Nazi's belief in racial purity and their programme of 'removal' of minorities such as Jews, gypsies, moral 'degenerates' and the mentally ill
    • A further book in Michael Burleigh's exhaustive study of the Nazi regime for which he has become so widely respected
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'The greatest strength of the book is the way in which Burleigh and Wippermann demonstrate the 'all-pervasive racism of the Nazi state'. They capture the obsessive nature of Hitler's racism, while sensibly concluding that 'racial anti-Semitism' was its 'most important element' … The major importance of The Racial State, however lies rather in the following chapters, on the persecution of the 'Gypsies' (Sinti and Roma), the mentally, congenitally and hereditarily ill, 'Rhineland bastards', 'asocials' and homosexuals, all of which groups were perceived as threats to the Nazis' vision of a purified and homogenous national community. If the Jews were perceived as the chief, demonic threat, these other victims were also seen as intolerable blemishes, to be eliminated with measures of uninhibited violence ranging from compulsory sterilisation/castration/abortion and often fatal incarceration to systematic murder.' The Times Literary Supplement

    ' … deserves a wide readership … the lessons taught by this book should be learned by all of us'. The Times Higher Education Supplement

    'The Racial State may be recommended as one of the best introductions available to the still burgeoning and highly charged scholarly literatures on the Third Reich.' Ethnic and Racial Studies

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1991
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521398022
    • length: 404 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 77 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Introduction: why another book on the Third Reich?
    Part I. The Setting:
    1. How modern, German, and totalitarian was the Third Reich? Some major historiographical controversies
    2. Barbarous utopias: racial idealogies in Germany
    3. Barbarism institutionalised: racism as state policy
    Part II. The 'Purification' Of The Body Of The Nation:
    4. The persecution of the Jews
    5. The persecution of Sinti and Roma, and other ethnic minorities
    6. The persecution of the 'hereditarily ill', the 'asocial', and homosexuals
    Part III. The Formation Of The 'National Community':
    7. Youth in the Third Reich
    8. Women in the Third Reich
    9. Men in the Third Reich
    Conclusion: National Socialist racial and social policy
    Bibliographical essay

  • Authors

    Michael Burleigh, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Wolfgang Wippermann, Freie Universität Berlin

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.