Through analyses of three eventful years in Nazi Germany’s history – the Kristallnacht pogrom, the invasion of Poland and the invasion of Soviet Russia – this book explores the violence of states. All three events were part of the Nazi colonial project and led to mass killings, eventually resulting in the systematic murder of Jews becoming a major war aim – one that Germany would pursue to the end, even when it became clear that the military conflict could no longer be won. Drawing on voluminous historical and sociological literature, as well as documentary and contemporary evidence, the author presents a new account of the phenomenon of extreme state violence as a special category of violence, in which the armed forces, maintained in a state of readiness, are used unnecessarily and excessively, often on thin pretexts, and, unlike coercive violence, only rarely for the purposes of carrying messages to the public. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, history and anthropology concerned with mass and state violence.



chapter 1|14 pages

Types of violent events

chapter 2|6 pages

Kristallnacht revisited

chapter 3|22 pages

Three final solutions

chapter 4|28 pages

Two or three Jewish policies

chapter 5|10 pages

Subduing and annihilating Germans

chapter 6|6 pages

Why states use violence excessively

chapter 7|7 pages