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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Many important works in the field of consumer studies focus on the United States and post-World War II Western Europe, with the former often cast as the paradigmatic example of consumer society. Notwithstanding the disruptions of the Great Depression and less-severe business cycles, these societies offer plentiful images of bustling stores, widening economic opportunities, and the emergence of politicized citizen-consumers. The unique violence of the movements – whether manifested in the militant machismo of Benito Mussolini or the genocidal thrust of National Socialism – sets fascism apart from other twentieth-century developments. This article addresses some of the questions that emerge from a consideration of fascism and consumption, focusing in particular on National Socialist Germany, where consumption served a uniquely harsh end. It explores how Nazism envisioned the function of buying, selling, and consuming; the extent to which consumption was shaped by the state's ideological priorities; Nazi visions of consumption; realities of consumption and marketing in the Third Reich; and the debate on consumption and consent.

Keywords: Germany, fascism, Nazism, consumption, buying, selling, National Socialism, consent, marketing

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