What was the fourth empire

  • Browse by topic
    Search our book database by subject, country, epoch, year of publication or key word.
  • Book show of the week
    Haven't you had time to read the newspaper or drop by us in the last few days? Doesn't matter, because here you can view our review notes from the last six days of publication sorted by newspaper or topic.
  • Literature supplements
    All of our notes on the book reviews in the literature supplements from FAZ, FR, NZZ, SZ, taz and Zeit.


Translated from the English by Claudia Kotte. With an afterword by Sven Felix Kellerhoff. With 42 black and white illustrations. May 1945: The Third Reich fell, but the Fourth Reich will come? Immediately after the German surrender, rumors about the subversive actions of Nazis in hiding increased. Despite the rapid political and economic stabilization of Germany, the fear of the reincarnation of National Socialism is palpable. This myth of a fourth empire has accompanied the development of the western world since the post-war period and is also received in political polemics in the 21st century: "III. Reich tanks - fourth Reich banks!" long overdue. Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, who researches and publishes extensively on National Socialism, analyzes for the first time the development and transformation of the Fourth Reich as an idea inside and outside Europe, from its emergence in National Socialist Germany up to the present day Reich Citizens' Movement.

Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, June 24th, 2020

Reviewer Stephan Speicher finds the book by the historian Gavriel D. Rosenfeld to be too vague and methodologically too unclear. The attempt of the author to examine the idea of ​​the "Fourth Reich" and the associated fears in terms of a "counterfactual story" seems to be intriguing in itself. When Rosenfeld inspects the Naumann circle or the Werwolf partisan group, Speicher does not come across much, among other things because the author neglects to take a closer look at the "National Socialist seductiveness of post-war Germans". However, he is sympathetic to Rosenfeld's "unsensationalist" gesture.
Read the review at buecher.de