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What are the main elements of Nazi fascist thought? Why do you think they were so appealing to Germans? Was it German character or historical circumstances which compelled large numbers of Germans to embrace Hitler and Nazism?

The main elements of Nazi thought include the superiority of the German Volk, a drive to exterminate all of those peoples considered to be of inferior ethnic or national stock, and the desire to expand the German Lebensraum. Although historians in the immediate post-war years believed that Germany's unique historical circumstances led to the rise of Nazi ideology, this line of though has been discredited in the current-day scholarship.

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The origins of national-socialist ideology and Nazi thought in Germany are complex, and it would be inaccurate to relegate it to some essential characteristic shared by Germans and no one else. This was, coincidentally, a popular thread of historical thought that emerged in the aftermath of the Second World War. Historians talked about a peculiar German Sonderweg , or “special path,” fundamentally different from anywhere else in Europe, that Germany took to reach Nazi ideology. Their reasoning discussed Germany’s relatively weak imperial reach in comparison with France and Britain, the explosive industrial development it experienced in the mid-1800s, its violent experiences in Africa, and so on. However, most historians today dispute the argument that German historical development was extremely unique in comparison with other modern...

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