The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation


Ian Kershaw - 1985
    Kershaw expertly synthesizes data and evaluates complex historiography looking at the major themes and debates among scholars about Nazism. Drawing on the findings of a wide range of research, particularly the work of German scholars which has not been widely available in English editions, he uncovers interpretational problems, outlines the approaches taken by various historians, and provides clear evaluations of their positions.This edition reflects current concerns and fresh research and contains substantial revisions to the chapter on "Hitler and the Jews" and an updated survey of recent historical work including Goldhagen's controversial book, Hitler's Willing Executioners.

The Scourge of the Swastika: A History of Nazi War Crimes During World War II


Edward Frederick Langley Russell - 1954
    While the Final Solution was a unique and unparalleled horror, German atrocities did not end there. The Nazis terrorized their own citizens, tortured and murdered POWs, and carried out countless executions throughout occupied Europe. Lord Russell of Liverpool was part of the legal team that brought Nazi war criminals to justice, and from this first-hand position, he published the sensational, bestselling The Scourge of the Swastika in 1954. Liverpool shows that the actions of the Third Reich, including the Holocaust, were illegal, not merely immoral.

The Question of German Guilt


Karl Jaspers - 1946
    "Are the German people guilty?" These lectures by Karl Jaspers, an outstanding European philosopher, attracted wide attention among German intellectuals and students; they seemed to offer a path to sanity and morality in a disordered world.Jaspers, a life-long liberal, attempted in this book to discuss rationally a problem that had thus far evoked only heat and fury. Neither an evasive apology nor a wholesome condemnation, his book distinguished between types of guilt and degrees of responsibility. He listed four categories of guilt: criminal guilt (the commitment of overt acts), political guilt (the degree of political acquiescence in the Nazi regime), moral guilt (a matter of private judgment among one's friends), and metaphysical guilt (a universally shared responsibility of those who chose to remain alive rather than die in protest against Nazi atrocities). Karl Jaspers (1883-1969) took his degree in medicine but soon became interested in psychiatry. He is the author of a standard work of psychopathology, as well as special studies on Strindberg, Van Gogh and Nietsche. After World War I he became Professor of Philosophy at Heidelberg, where he achieved fame as a brilliant teacher and an early exponent of existentialism. He was among the first to acquaint German readers with the works of Kierkegaard.Jaspers had to resign from his post in 1935. From the total isolation into which the Hitler regime forced him, Jaspers returned in 1945 to a position of central intellectual leadership of the younger liberal elements of Germany. In his first lecture in 1945, he forcefully reminded his audience of the fate of the German Jews. Jaspers's unblemished record as an anti-Nazi, as well as his sentient mind, have made him a rallying point center for those of his compatriots who wish to reconstruct a free and democratic Germany.

Speer: The Final Verdict


Joachim Fest - 1999
    Soon he was designing the Third Reich's most important buildings. In 1942 Hitler appointed him Armaments Minister and he quadrupled production, an astonishing achievement that kept the German Army in the field and prolonged the war. Yet Speer's life was full of contradictions. The only member of the Nazi elite with whom Hitler developed more than a purely functional relationship (he has even been called "Hitler's unrequited love"), Speer was always an outsider in Hitler's inner circle. He saw himself as an artist, above the crass power struggles of the roughnecks around him. But his enormous ambition blinded him to the crimes in which he played a leading role. Brilliantly illustrated, this gripping account of one man's rise and fall helps explain how Germany descended so far into crime and barbarism.

Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany


Robert Gellately - 2001
    Now, in this well-documented and provocative volume, historian Robert Gellately argues that the majority of German citizens had quite a clear picture of the extent of Nazi atrocities, and continued to support the Reich to the bitter end. Culling chilling evidence from primary news sources and citing dozens of case studies, Gellately shows how media reports and press stories were an essential dimension of Hitler's popular dictatorship. Indeed, a vast array of material on the concentration camps, the violent campaigns against social outsiders, and the Nazis' radical approaches to "law and order" was published in the media of the day, and was widely read by a highly literate population of Germans. Hitler, Gellately reveals, did not try to hide the existence of the Gestapo or of concentration camps. Nor did the Nazis try to cow the people into submission. Instead they set out to win converts by building on popular images, cherished ideals, and long-held phobias. And their efforts succeeded, Gellately concludes, for the Gestapo's monstrous success was due, in large part, to ordinary German citizens who singled out suspected "enemies" in their midst, reporting their suspicions and allegations freely and in a spirit of cooperation and patriotism. Extensively documented, highly readable and illustrated with never-before-published photographs, Backing Hitler convincingly debunks the myth that Nazi atrocities were carried out in secret. From the rise of the Third Reich well into the final, desperate months of the war, the destruction of innocent lives was inextricably linked to the will of the German people.

The Origins of Nazi Violence


Enzo Traverso - 2002
    Now, in a brilliant synthesis of this work, Enzo Traverso situates the extermination camps as the final, terrible moment in European modernity’s industrialization of killing and dehumanization of death. Traverso upends the conventional presentation of the Holocaust as an inexplicable anomaly, navigating an excess of antecedents both technical and cultural. Deftly tracing a complex lineage—the guillotine and machine gun, the prison and assembly line, as well as widespread ideologies of racial supremacy and colonial expansion—Traverso reveals that the ideas that coalesced at Auschwitz came from Europe’s mainstream and not its margins.

Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940-1944


Robert O. Paxton - 1972
    Paxton's classic study of the aftermath of France's sudden collapse under Nazi invasion utilizes captured German archives and other contemporary materials to construct a strong and disturbing account of the Vichy period in France. With a new introduction and updated bibliography, "Vichy France" demonstrates that the collaborationist government of Marshal Pétain did far more than merely react to German pressures. The Vichy leaders actively pursued their own double agenda--internally, the authoritarian and racist "national revolution," and, externally, an attempt to persuade Hitler to accept this new France as a partner in his new Europe.

Hitler's Thirty Days to Power: January 1933


Henry Ashby Turner - 1996
    Providing vivid portraits of the main players of the drama of January 1933, and using newly available documents, Turner masterfully recreates the bewildering circumstances surrounding Hitler’s unexpected appointment as chancellor of Germany. The result is a work that Booklist calls “first rate … a gripping, foreboding narrative.”

The Gestapo: The Myth and Reality of Hitler's Secret Police


Frank McDonough - 2015
    Popularly depicted as a central part of an all-powerful "'Big Brother" Nazi totalitarian police state, its primary aim was to hunt down "the enemies of the people." Drawing on a detailed examination of previously unpublished Gestapo case files, this book relates the fascinating, vivid, and disturbing stories of a cross-section of ordinary and extraordinary people who opposed the Nazi regime. It also tells the equally disturbing stories of their friends, neighbors, and sometimes relatives drawn into the Gestapo's web of intrigue, either as informers or as staff. The book reveals, too, the cold-blooded and efficient methods of the Gestapo officers. This book argues that while it lacked the manpower and resources to spy on everyone, ultimately relying on tip-offs from the general public, the Gestapo was still a strong instrument of Nazi terror. It ruthlessly and efficiently targeted its officers against clearly defined political and racial "enemies of the people."

The Trial of Adolf Hitler: The Beer Hall Putsch and the Rise of Nazi Germany


David King - 2017
    Reporters from as far away as Argentina and Australia flocked to Munich for the sensational, four-week spectacle. By the end, Hitler would transform a fiasco into a stunning victory for the fledgling Nazi Party. The first book in English on the subject, The Trial of Adolf Hitler draws on never-before-published sources to re-create in riveting detail a haunting failure of justice with catastrophic consequences.

The Young Hitler I Knew


August Kubizek - 1973
    This book tells the story of their extraordinary friendship, and gives fascinating insight into Hitler's character during these formative years.

Hitler Youth


Michael H. Kater - 2004
    Determining that by age ten children's minds could be turned from play to politics, the regime inducted nearly all German juveniles between the ages of ten and eighteen into its state-run organization. The result was a potent tool for bending young minds and hearts to the will of Adolf Hitler.Baldur von Schirach headed a strict chain of command whose goal was to shift the adolescents' sense of obedience from home and school to the racially defined Volk and the Third Reich. Luring boys and girls into Hitler Youth ranks by offering them status, uniforms, and weekend hikes, the Nazis turned campgrounds into premilitary training sites, air guns into machine guns, sing-alongs into marching drills, instruction into indoctrination, and children into Nazis. A few resisted for personal or political reasons, but the overwhelming majority enlisted.Drawing on original reports, letters, diaries, and memoirs, Kater traces the history of the Hitler Youth, examining the means, degree, and impact of conversion, and the subsequent fate of young recruits. Millions of Hitler Youth joined the armed forces; thousands gleefully participated in the subjugation of foreign peoples and the obliteration of racial aliens. Although young, they committed crimes against humanity for which they cannot escape judgment. Their story stands as a harsh reminder of the moral bankruptcy of regimes that make children complicit in crimes of the state.

The Goebbels Diaries, 1939-1941


Joseph Goebbels - 1948
    From 1923 to 1941, he wrote the entries himself. From 1941 to 1945, he dictated lengthy passages to aides. He sometimes telephoned them in the middle of the night when he wanted to add some text.The dictations usually opened with a description of the military situation, followed by his personal comments. The dictated diary is not as personal as the earlier one he wrote himself.Much of the diaries were thought to have been lost during World War II. However in 1992, they were discovered to be held in Soviet-era archives — as Goebbels himself had ordered his diaries to be duplicated while in the Fuhrerbunker, and buried in a nearby grove of trees, believing that one day history would laud him, and would want to know about his life.There is dispute over which researcher first discovered the Soviet archives, with Elke Fröhlich and David Irving both laying claim to the title.

The Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle


Anthony Read - 2003
    But while it lasted, his closest lieutenants competed ferociously for power and position as his chosen successor. This peculiar leadership dynamic resulted in millions of deaths and some of the worst excesses of World War II. The Devil's Disciples is the first major book for a general readership to examine those lieutenants, not only as individuals but also as a group. It focuses on the three most important Nazi paladins—Göring, Goebbels, and Himmler—with their nearest rivals—Bormann, Speer, and Ribbentrop—in close attendance. Perceptive, illuminating, and grandly ambitious, The Devil's Disciples is above all a powerful chronological narrative, showing how the personalities of Hitler's inner circle developed and how their jealousies and constant intrigues affected the regime, the war, and Hitler himself.

Göring


David Irving - 1989
    In this major biography, based on hitherto undiscovered diaries and private and official documents, David Irving tells how Göring connived, intrigued, and conspired to bring Adolf Hitler to power, how he directed National Socialist Germany's industrial resurgence, commanded the mighty Luftwaffe, (Air Force), and served as Hitler's buttress through the years of struggle, triumph, and decline.