Hitler's Empire charts the landscape of the Nazi imperial imagination – from those economists who dreamed of turning Europe into a huge market for German business, to Hitler's own plans for new trans-continental motorways passing over the ethnically cleansed Russian steppe, and earnest in-house SS discussions of political theory, dictatorship and the rule of law. Above all, this chilling account shows too what happened as these ideas met reality. After their early battlefield triumphs, the sheer bankruptcy of the Nazis' political vision for Europe became all too clear: their allies bailed out, their New Order collapsed in military failure, and they left behind a continent corrupted by collaboration, impoverished by looting and exploitation, and grieving the victims of total war and genocide.
Drawing on an unprecedented range and variety of original research, Hitler's Empire sheds new light on how the Nazis designed, maintained, and lost their European dominion-and offers a chilling vision of what the world would have become had they won the war. Mark Mazower forces us to set aside timeworn opinions of the Third Reich, and instead shows how the party drew inspiration for its imperial expansion from America and Great Britain.
Yet the Nazis' lack of political sophistication left them unequal to the task of ruling what their armies had conquered, despite a shocking level of cooperation from the overwhelmed countries. A work as authoritative as it is unique, Hitler's Empire is a surprising-and controversial- new appraisal of the Third Reich's rise and ultimate fall.