In recent years a debate has been taking place among historians of Nazism about the role played by the concept of Volksgemeinschaft (Popular community) in the Third Reich. Though historians agree on the general relevance of this ideal for the National Socialist regime, the debate revolves around the question, whether this concept can be also useful employed for understanding material, political and social processes. Three German historians - Michael Wildt, Hans Mommsen and Ulrich Herbert - present their argumentations in favour or against the use of the concept of Volksgemeinschaft in this sense. Their stances imply different evaluations of how extensive and intense was the participation of the ordinary Germans in Nazi policy.
Keywords: National socialism, consent, social history of Germany, political violence