Royals and the Reich: The Princes Von Hessen in Nazi Germany

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Oxford University Press, 2008 - 524 pages
Princes Philipp and Christoph von Hessen-Kassel, great-grandsons of Queen Victoria of England, had been humiliated by defeat in World War I and, like much of the German aristocracy, feared the social unrest wrought by the ineffectual Weimar Republic. Jonathan Petropoulos shows how the princes,lured by prominent positions in the Nazi regime and highly susceptible to nationalist appeals, became enthusiastic supporters of Hitler. Prince Philipp, son-in-law to the King of Italy, became the highest-ranking prince in the Nazi state and developed a close personal relationship with Hitler andHermann Goering. Prince Christoph was a prominent SS officer and head of the most important intelligence agency in the Third Reich. In return, the princes made the Nazis socially acceptable to wealthy, high-society patrons. Prince Philipp even introduced Goering to Mussolini at a critical stage inthe Nazi Party's development and later served as a liaison between Hitler and the Italian dictator. Permitted access to Hessen family private papers and the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle, Petropoulos follows the story of the House of Hesse through to its tragic denouement--the princes' betrayaland persecution by an increasingly paranoid Hitler and prosecution and denazification by the Allies. "An enthralling book, well researched in archives and through interviews, including one with the Duke of Edinburgh himself.... An exhaustive study of the relationship between German royalty, major and minor, and the Nazi regime, with a particular focus on the Hessian princes, Philipp and Christoph,who penetrated its core.... Royals and the Reich gets the big picture right--and a disturbing, even sickening, one it is." --Martin Rubin, Los Angeles Times

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Royals and the Reich the princes von Hessen in Nazi Germany

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The development and denouement of Third Reich German culture continues to be a vital area of interest for historians and history readers alike. In a huge literature, some books stand out as ... Read full review


Strategies to Preserve Privilege Through the Great War
Tribulations the High Life and Fascist Flirtations
Making Hitler salonfähig and Helping the Nazis to Power
Princely Careers in the Nazi State
5 Roles in an Increasingly Radical Regime
6 Miscalculation and Misfortune
Denazification and Partial Dispossession
Schloss Fasanerie Financial Viability and Burdens of the Past
Understanding German Princes in the Twentieth Century
High Nobility in the Nazi Party
Geneological Tree of the Princes von HessenKassel in the Twentieth Century

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About the author (2008)

Jonathan Petropoulos is the John V. Croul Professor of European History at Claremont McKenna College. He is the author of The Faustian Bargain (OUP), which was named one of the 25 Books to Remember in 2000 by the New York Public Library. He was a Research Director on the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets and has served as an expert witness in cases involving Holocaust victims assets. He lives in Claremont, California.

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