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DystopiaA Natural History$
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Gregory Claeys

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785682

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785682.001.0001

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Totalitarianism from Hitler to Pol Pot

Totalitarianism from Hitler to Pol Pot

(p.177) 4 Totalitarianism from Hitler to Pol Pot

Gregory Claeys

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the Hitler and the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, Stalin’s Bolshevik regime and the Gulag camps, and Pol Pot’s rule in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. It also includes consideration of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Its aim, as in Chapter 3, is to explain how persecution became so extreme, violent, and bloody in these regimes. An explanation is offered of how the concept of ‘political religion’ has been defended as a means of explaining these regimes. The foregoing argument about the relationship between fear, paranoia, and dystopian groups is then used to extend and refine this analysis.

Keywords:   Auschwitz, Gulag, Hitler, political religion, Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot

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