January 30, 1933, in the Nazi Historical Imaginary

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Abstract

From 1934 until 1945, the Nazi regime celebrated the anniversary of January 30, 1933, the day of Hitler's appointment as Reich Chancellor. This article, based on unpublished and published documents from central and local Nazi and state institutions, asks how the Nazis choreographed these celebrations at home and abroad and how they fit into broader Nazi conceptualizations of history. Stage-managed celebrations etched January 30 into the historical consciousness of Germans as beginning of the Third Reich and were a crucial step toward the realization of the Volksgemeinschaft (national community), although the Nazi seizure of power was a process and cannot be pinpointed to a single date. Ambivalence characterized the festivities, reflecting the fact that the Nazis saw their coming to power as both revolutionary and restorative of the natural flow of German history. In the Nazi imaginary, this day was a conjuncture in history, separating the Nazi struggle for power from their triumphant mission to “make Germany great again” and create a racial utopia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-414
Number of pages18
JournalCentral European History
Volume56
Early online date24 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • Nazism
  • seizure of power
  • rituals
  • chronopolitics

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