In a number of regions across Germany the Nazi party received Catholic votes exceeding that of the average electoral distribution. The Party achieved such an electoral success in a number of Catholic enclaves where Nazi political machinery was less than remarkable. The paradox of electoral success in the face of rather desultory organization and propaganda causes us to believe that the focus of discussion must be moved away from the Nazi party itself, and shifted onto that of the society in which it operated. The Black Forest case-study enables us to focus on the public sphere of German Catholic society, and in particular one of its cornerstones: the voluntary association (Verein). Broadly speaking, we shall contend that the impotence of the Catholic Vereine from the end of the 1920s, together with the plight within wide segments of society, created a social and political vacuum in some areas of Germany that was effortlessly filled by the Nazi party.
ASJC Scopus subject areas