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Detlev Peukert

Detlev Peukert (September 20, 1950, G tersloh May 17, 1990, Hamburg) was a German historian, noted for his studies of the relationship between what he called the "spirit of science" and the Holocaust and in social history and the Weimar Republic. Peukert taught modern history at the University of Essen and served as director of the Research Institute for the History of the Nazi Period. Peukert was a member of the German Communist Party until 1978, when he joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

One of Peukert's first books was Ruhrarbeiter gegen den Faschismus (Ruhr Workers Against Fascism), a study of anti-Nazi activities amongst the working class of the Ruhr during the Third Reich. Peukert was a leading expert in Alltagsgeschichte (history of everyday life) and his work often examined the effect of Nazi social policies on ordinary Germans and on persecuted groups such as Jews and Roma. In particular, Peukert looked at how in "everyday" life in Nazi Germany, aspects of both "normality" and "criminality" co-existed with another[1]. Peukert was one of the first historians to make a detailed examination of the persecution of the Roma. Peukert often compared Nazi policies towards Roma with Nazi policies towards Jews.

Another related area of interest for Peukert was resistance, opposition and dissent in the Third Reich. Peukert developed a pyramid model starting with "nonconformity" (behavior in private that featured partial rejection of the Nazi regime) running to "refusal of co-operation" (Verweigerung) to "protest", and finally to Widerstand (resistance), which involved total rejection of the Nazi regime[2].

Peukert often wrote on the social and cultural history of the Weimar Republic whose problems he saw as more severe examples of the problems of modernity. Peukert died of AIDS in 1990.


  • Ruhrarbeiter gegen den Faschismus Dokumentation ber den Widerstand im Ruhrgebeit 1933-1945, Frankfurt am Main, 1976.
  • Die Reihen fast geschlossen : Beitr ge zur Geschichte des Alltags unterm Nationalsozialismus co-edited with J rgen Reulecke & Adelheid Gr fin zu Castell Rudenhausen, Wuppertal : Hammer, 1981.
  • Volksgenossen und Gemeinschaftsfremde: Anpassung, Ausmerze und Aufbegehren unter dem Nationalsozialismus Cologne: Bund Verlag, 1982, translated into English by Richard Deveson as Inside Nazi Germany : Conformity, Opposition and Racism in Everyday Life London : Batsford, 1987 ISBN 0-7134-5217-X.
  • Die Weimarer Republik : Krisenjahre der Klassischen Moderne, Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp Verlag, 1987 translated into English as The Weimar Republic : the Crisis of Classical Modernity, New York : Hill and Wang, 1992 ISBN 0-8090-9674-9.
  • The Genesis of the `Final Solution from the Spirit of Science pages 234-252 from Reevaluating the Third Reich edited by Thomas Childers and Jane Caplan, New York: Holmes & Meier, 1994 ISBN 0-8419-1178-9. The German original was published as "Die Genesis der 'Endloesung' aus dem Geist der Wissenschaft," in Max Webers Diagnose der Moderne, edited by Detlev Peukert (Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989), pages 102-21, ISBN 3-525-33562-8.


  1. Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000 page 230.
  2. Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000 page 205.


  • Kershaw, Ian The Nazi Dictatorship Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, London: Arnold Press, 2000, ISBN 0-340-76928-1

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