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The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a…

The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture

by Tilman Allert

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It is amazing from how many different angles the evil that was Nazism can be studied . ( )
  JNSelko | May 7, 2010 |
Not only do our verbal greetings have a history that describes us as a culture, our gestures have deep meanings, too. Rather than just include the "Heil Hitler" greeting and salute in a chapter of a larger gestures book, Allbert spends an entire book (albeit a short one) on the history of the salute, what it meant, what it replaced, and how it changed the interactions of the German people. A very interesting insight to the time leading up to WWII and an insight into the German people at the time. I was particularly intrigued by the notion of using it as a unifying symbol to give the German people a little dignity after the Treaty of Versailles. ( )
  kaelirenee | Feb 24, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 080508178X, Hardcover)

A strikingly original investigation of the origins and dissemination of the world's most infamous greeting
Sometimes the smallest detail reveals the most about a culture. In Heil Hitler: The History of a Gesture, sociologist Tilman Allert uses the Nazi transformation of the most mundane human interaction--the greeting--to show how National Socialism brought about the submission and conformity of a whole society.
Made compulsory in 1933, the Hitler salute developed into a daily reflex in a matter of mere months, and quickly became the norm in schools, at work, among friends, and even at home. Adults denounced neighbors who refused to raise their arms, and children were given tiny Hitler dolls with movable right arms so they could practice the pernicious salute. The constantly reiterated declaration of loyalty at once controlled public transactions and fractured personal relationships. And always, the greeting sacralized Hitler, investing him and his regime with a divine aura.

The first examination of a phenomenon whose significance has long been underestimated, Heil Hitler offers new insight into how the Third Reich's rituals of consent paved the way for the wholesale erosion of social morality.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:47 -0400)

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