Contemporary Judgements of Nazism and the Third Reich
As pointed out in the above introduction, some of the main lines of interpretation of Nazism and the Third Reich were already suggested and discussed between the wars and during the Second World War. The current debate as to whether the notion of fascism or totalitarianism is more relevant (cf. Erdmann, 1976b, and Bracher, 1976b, pp. 13-32 and 33-61) is a revival of one which goes back to that period. So is the question whether Nazism and the Third Reich are primarily to be regarded as a product of the capitalist economy and social order, or whether they are historical and political phenomena in their own right.