Obituary – Hans Mommsen


With our interpretations and evidence posters now complete, next week is going to be very important for us. We are going to plan and write a past paper on the causes of the First World War debate.

As you know, there is another controversy question later in the course. This focuses upon the nature of Nazi government. In particular, the key question asked is was Hitler a weak dictator ? A key figure in this debate was Hans Momsen (who died this month).

As his Daily Telegraph obituary argues, “one of Mommsen’s key themes was that moral responsibility for the evils of the Third Reich could not be laid solely at the door of the Nazi leadership but had to be shared more widely. Starting with Civil Servants in the Third Reich (1966), Mommsen maintained that the crimes of the Nazi period had required the active involvement of many different groups in German society, including business leaders, the aristocracy, the judiciary the civil service and the military, rejecting the traditional view in Germany that they had been the work of a few criminals entirely unrepresentative of German society as a whole“.

Have a read and see what you think.

Mr Kydd.

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