Book picks similar to
Heinrich Himmler by Peter Longerich
Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris
Ian Kershaw - 1998
One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in this century. Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the character of the bizarre misfit in his 30-year ascent from a Viennese shelter for the indigent to uncontested rule over the German nation that had tried & rejected democracy in the crippling aftermath of WWI. With extraordinary vividness, Kershaw recreates the settings that made Hitler's rise possible: the virulent anti-Semitism of prewar Vienna, the crucible of a war with immense casualties, the toxic nationalism that gripped Bavaria in the 20s, the undermining of the Weimar Republic by extremists of the Right & the Left, the hysteria that accompanied Hitler's seizure of power in 1933 & then mounted in brutal attacks by his storm troopers on Jews & others condemned as enemies of the Aryan race. In an account drawing on many previously untapped sources, Hitler metamorphoses from an obscure fantasist, a drummer sounding an insistent beat of hatred in Munich beer halls, to the instigator of an infamous failed putsch &, ultimately, to the leadership of a ragtag alliance of right-wing parties fused into a movement that enthralled the German people. This volume, 1st of two, ends with the promulgation of the infamous Nuremberg laws that pushed German Jews to the outer fringes of society, & with the march of the German army into the Rhineland, Hitler's initial move toward the abyss of war.
The Charisma of Adolf Hitler
Laurence Rees - 2012
So how was it possible that Hitler became such an attractive figure to millions of people? That is the important question at the core of Laurence Rees' new book.The Holocaust, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the outbreak of the Second World War - all these cataclysmic events and more can be laid at Hitler's door. Hitler was a war criminal arguably without precedent in the history of the world. Yet, as many who knew him confirm, Hitler was still able to exert a powerful influence over the people who encountered him. In this fascinating book to accompany his new BBC series, the acclaimed historian and documentary maker Laurence Rees examines the nature of Hitler's appeal, and reveals the role Hitler's supposed 'charisma' played in his success. Rees' previous work has explored the inner workings of the Nazi state in The Nazis: A Warning from History and the crimes they committed in Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution. The Charisma of Adolf Hitler is a natural culmination of twenty years of writing and research on the Third Reich, and a remarkable examination of the man and the mind at the heart of it all.
The Women Who Flew for Hitler: The True Story of Hitler's Valkyries
Clare Mulley - 2017
With the war, both became pioneering test pilots and were awarded the Iron Cross for service to the Third Reich. But they could not have been more different and neither woman had a good word to say for the other.Hanna was middle-class, vivacious, and distinctly Aryan, while the darker, more self-effacing Melitta came from an aristocratic Prussian family. Both were driven by deeply held convictions about honor and patriotism; but ultimately, while Hanna tried to save Hitler's life, begging him to let her fly him to safety in April 1945, Melitta covertly supported the most famous attempt to assassinate the Fuhrer. Their interwoven lives provide vivid insight into Nazi Germany and its attitudes toward women, class, and race.Acclaimed biographer Clare Mulley gets under the skin of these two distinctive and unconventional women, giving a full--and as yet largely unknown--account of their contrasting yet strangely parallel lives, against a changing backdrop of the 1936 Olympics, the Eastern Front, the Berlin Air Club, and Hitler's bunker. Told with brio and great narrative flair, The Women Who Flew for Hitler is an extraordinary true story, with all the excitement and color of the best fiction.
The Killing of Reinhard Heydrich: The SS Butcher of Prague
Callum A. MacDonald - 1989
In 1941, at the height of the Nazi's seeming invincibility, the Czech government-in-exile launched a desperate operation to kill Heydrich. From the assassins' training in England to their Thermopylae-like last stand in the flooded crypt of a Prague church, and the Nazi's savage reprisals (including the obliteration of two villages), The Killing of Reinhard Heydrich brilliantly recounts one of World War II's most daring and tragic missions.
Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939
Saul Friedländer - 1997
We hear from the persecutors themselves: the leaders of the Nazi party, the members of the Protestant and Catholic hierarchies, the university elites, and the heads of the business community. Most telling of all, perhaps, are the testimonies of ordinary German citizens, who in the main acquiesced to increasing waves of dismissals, segregation, humiliation, impoverishment, expulsion, and violence.
The Last Days of Hitler
Hugh R. Trevor-Roper - 1947
He had simply disappeared, missing for four months. The author, a British counter-intelligence officer, was given the task of solving this mystery. His brilliant piece of detective work not only proved that Hitler had killed himself in Berlin, but also produced one of the most fascinating history books ever written. His book tells the extraordinary story of those last days in the Berlin Bunker. The New Statesman has called this book "incomparable by far the best written on any aspect of the second German war-a book sound in scholarship, brilliant in its presentation." Chapters include: Hitler & his court. Hitler in defeat. The court in defeat. Crisis & decision. Siege of the Bunker. Et Tu Brute. Death of Hitler. Epilogue. Notes on sources. Index.
Joachim Fest - 1974
Fest tells and interprets the extraordinary story of a man's and a nation's rise from impotence to absolute power, as Germany and Hitler, from shared premises, entered into their covenant. He shows Hitler exploiting the resentments of the shaken, post-World War I social order and seeing through all that was hollow behind the appearance of power, at home and abroad. Fest reveals the singularly penetrating politician, hypnotizing Germans and outsiders alike with the scope of his projects and the theatricality of their presentation. Fest also, perhaps most importantly, brilliantly uncovers the destructive personality who aimed at and achieved devastation on an unprecedented scale. As history and as biography, this is a towering achievement, a compelling story told in a way only a German could tell it, "dispassionately, but from the inside." (Time)
Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East
Stephen G. Fritz - 2011
As the key theater of the war for the Germans, the eastern front consumed enormous levels of resources and accounted for 75 percent of all German casualties. Despite the significance of this campaign to Germany and to the war as a whole, few English-language publications of the last thirty-five years have addressed these pivotal events.In Ostkrieg: Hitler's War of Extermination in the East, Stephen G. Fritz bridges the gap in scholarship by incorporating historical research from the last several decades into an accessible, comprehensive, and coherent narrative. His analysis of the Russo-German War from a German perspective covers all aspects of the eastern front, demonstrating the interrelation of military events, economic policy, resource exploitation, and racial policy that first motivated the invasion. This in-depth account challenges accepted notions about World War II and promotes greater understanding of a topic that has been neglected by historians.
Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich
Robert Gerwarth - 2011
Chief of the Nazi Criminal Police, the SS Security Service, and the Gestapo, ruthless overlord of Nazi-occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and leading planner of the "Final Solution," Heydrich played a central role in Hitler's Germany. He shouldered a major share of responsibility for some of the worst Nazi atrocities, and up to his assassination in Prague in 1942, he was widely seen as one of the most dangerous men in Nazi Germany. Yet Heydrich has received remarkably modest attention in the extensive literature of the Third Reich.Robert Gerwarth weaves together little-known stories of Heydrich's private life with his deeds as head of the Nazi Reich Security Main Office. Fully exploring Heydrich's progression from a privileged middle-class youth to a rapacious mass murderer, Gerwarth sheds new light on the complexity of Heydrich's adult character, his motivations, the incremental steps that led to unimaginable atrocities, and the consequences of his murderous efforts toward re-creating the entire ethnic makeup of Europe.
Army of Evil: A History of the SS
Adrian Weale - 2010
The world would know them as the dreaded SSâ€”the most loyal and ruthless enforcers of the Third Reichâ€¦ It began as a small squad of political thugs. Yet by the end of 1935, the SS had taken control of all police and internal security duties in Germanyâ€”ranging from local village “gendarmes” all they way up to the secret political police and the Gestapo. And by 1944 the militarized Waffen SS had more than eight hundred thousand men serving in the field, even rivaling Germany’s regular armed forces, the Wehrmacht. In Army of Evil: A History of the SS, author Adrian Weale delves into materials not previously available, including recently released intelligence files, the most up-to-date research and rare and never-before-published photographs. Going beyond the myths and characterizations, this comprehensive account reveals the reality of the SS as a cadre of unwavering political fanatics and power-seeking opportunists who slavishly followed an ideology that disdained traditional morality, and were prepared to implement it to the utmost, murderous extreme that ultimately resulted in the Holocaust. This is a definitive historical narrative of the birth, legacy, and ultimate demise of one of the most feared political and military organizations ever known, and those twisted, cruel men who were responsible for one of the most appalling crimes against humanity in all history.
Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich
Omer Bartov - 1991
Bartov focuses on the barbaric struggle between Germany and the Soviet Union--where the vast majority of German troops fought--to show how the savagery of war reshaped the army into Hitler's image.
The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill and Hitler
John Lukacs - 1990
"A masterful book—masterful in its portrayal of its protagonists, masterful in its overall understanding of the death-struggle in which they engaged, masterful, above all, in its vivid, suspenseful chronicling of the most momentous eighty days in the history of this century." —Geoffrey Ward "This is a marvelous book. John Lukacs has lucid, unsentimental insight into the mind and character of both Churchill and Hitler." —Conor Cruise O’Brien "A wonderful story wonderfully told." —George F. Will "It is salutary to be reminded in this powerful study how close Hitler came to winning in 1940. . . . An impressive study . . . [written] with elegance and panache." —Peter Stansky, New York Times "A master of narrative history on a par with Barbara Tuchman and Garrett Mattingly." —Kirkus Reviews
Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust
Richard Rhodes - 2002
And he shows how these squads were utilized as the Nazis made two separate plans for dealing with the civilian populations they wanted to destroy. Drawing on Nuremberg Tribunal documents largely ignored until now, and on newly available material from eyewitnesses and survivors, Richard Rhodes has given us a book that is essential reading on the Holocaust the World War II.
Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil
Ron Rosenbaum - 1998
Hitler did not escape the bunker in Berlin but, half a century later, he has managed to escape explanation in ways both frightening and profound. Explaining Hitler is an extraordinary quest, an expedition into the war zone of Hitler theories. This is a passionate, enthralling book that illuminates what Hitler explainers tell us about Hitler, about the explainers, and about ourselves.
The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS
Heinz Höhne - 1966
Swearing eternal allegiance to Adolf Hitler, it infiltrated every aspect of German life and was responsible for the deaths of millions. This gripping history recounts the strange and, at times, absurd true story of Hitler's SS. It exposes an organization that was not directed by some devilishly efficient system but was the product of accident, inevitability, and the random convergence of criminals, social climbers, and romantics. Above all, this eye-opening book describes in fascinating detail the chaotic political conditions that allowed the SS-despite rivalries and bizarre conditions-to assume and exercise unaccountable power.