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UI Historian Takes Close Look At Nazis’ First Days In Power

At age 10, Peter Fritzsche started writing history — an ambitious tract devoted to the Roman Empire.

Fifty years later and now a history professor at the University of Illinois, Fritzsche is still writing — his latest in a long series of books being the well-received “Hitler’s First Hundred Days.”

Reviewed favorably in a number of publications — The Wall Street Journal and New York Times, to name just two — Fritzsche’s recent works on European cultural history have evolved into a string of efforts on Nazi Germany and its ruthless dictator, Adolf Hitler.


But he said Hitler was not solely responsible for the popularity of the movement he led because the demonic, rabidly anti-Semitic leader struck a popular chord among the people.

“There would not have been a Holocaust (but for Hitler), but there would have been a fascist movement,” he said.

As for the Holocaust, Fritzsche said, Hitler “pushed it. He demanded it, and he demanded it all the time. And so it came to be.”

Read entire article at Champaign (IL) News-Gazette