Shirer gives a clear, detailed and well-documented account of how it was that Adolf Hitler almost succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich has become one of the most authoritative books on one of mankind’s darkest hours. Shirer focuses on 1933 to 1945 in clear detail. Here is a worldwide bestseller that also tells the true story of the Holocaust, often in the words of the men who helped plan and conduct it. It is a classic by any measure.
The book has been translated into twelve languages and was adapted as a television miniseries, broadcast by ABC in 1968. This first ever e-book edition is published on the 50th anniversary of this iconic work.
Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as round-ups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever.
While this book discusses a specific Reserve Unit during WWII, the general argument Browning makes is that most people succumb to the pressures of a group setting and commit actions they would never do of their own volition.
Ordinary Men is a powerful, chilling, and important work with themes and arguments that continue to resonate today.
“A remarkable—and singularly chilling—glimpse of human behavior...This meticulously researched book...represents a major contribution to the literature of the Holocaust."—Newsweek
“[A] fascinating, engrossing, often dark history of drug use in the Third Reich.” — Washington Post
The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. Yet as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs: cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, which were consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to German soldiers. In fact, troops were encouraged, and in some cases ordered, to take rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to account for the breakneck invasion that sealed the fall of France in 1940, as well as other German military victories. Hitler himself became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—ultimately including Eukodal, a cousin of heroin—administered by his personal doctor.
Thoroughly researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.
“Delightfully nuts.” — The New Yorker
NORMAN OHLER is an award-winning German novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. He is the author of the novels Die Quotenmaschine (the world’s first hypertext novel), Mitte, and Stadt des Goldes (translated into English as Ponte City). He was cowriter of the script for Wim Wenders’s film Palermo Shooting. He lives in Berlin.
The Red Army had much to avenge when it finally reached the frontiers of the Third Reich in January 1945. Frenzied by their terrible experiences with Wehrmacht and SS brutality, they wreaked havoc—tanks crushing refugee columns, mass rape, pillage, and unimaginable destruction. Hundreds of thousands of women and children froze to death or were massacred; more than seven million fled westward from the fury of the Red Army. It was the most terrifying example of fire and sword ever known.
Antony Beevor, renowned author of D-Day and The Battle of Arnhem, has reconstructed the experiences of those millions caught up in the nightmare of the Third Reich's final collapse. The Fall of Berlin is a terrible story of pride, stupidity, fanaticism, revenge, and savagery, yet it is also one of astonishing endurance, self-sacrifice, and survival against all odds.
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.
A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.
Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.
“Here is one of the most riveting first-person accounts ever to come out of World War II. Robert Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1942, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his odyssey, from basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war’s fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifices of war, painting an unvarnished portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and often die in the defense of their country.
From the live-for-today rowdiness of marines on leave to the terrors of jungle warfare against an enemy determined to fight to the last man, Leckie describes what war is really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Woven throughout are Leckie’s hard-won, eloquent, and thoroughly unsentimental meditations on the meaning of war and why we fight. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow will leave no reader untouched. This is a book that brings you as close to the mud, the blood, and the experience of war as it is safe to come.”-Print Ed.
A bestseller in its original German edition and subsequently translated into more than a dozen languages, Joachim Fest’s Hitler has become a classic portrait of a man, a nation, and an era.
Fest tells and interprets the extraordinary story of a man’s and 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. Perhaps most importantly, he also brilliantly uncovers the destructive personality that aimed for and achieved devastation on an unprecedented scale.
As history and 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).
AnnaFunder delivers a prize-winning and powerfully rendered account of theresistance against East Germany’s communist dictatorship in these harrowing,personal tales of life behind the Iron Curtain—and, especially, of life underthe iron fist of the Stasi, East Germany’s brutal state security force. In thetradition of Frederick Taylor’s The Berlin Wall andPhilip Gourevitch’s WeWish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families, Funder’s Stasiland isa masterpiece of investigative reporting, written with novelistic vividness andthe compelling intensity of a universal, real-life story.
Having suffered during World War One – not only the indignities of political betrayal and battlefield defeat but also starvation, fuel shortages and a domestic flu epidemic – the German people were left in widespread discontent. Soon inflation and economic stagnation had further sunk the nation into exhaustion, humiliation and disillusionment.
Capitalizing on the nation’s instability, the Nazi Party, led by the embittered former soldier Adolf Hitler, achieved an improbable political dominance. Nazi Germany: History in an Hour explains how the elimination of political rivals and the Weimar constitution created a Nazi controlled Germany. Under violent state control and propaganda, life was altered across society, for women, for the family and, most significantly, for the Jews. As Hitler manipulated foreign policy to impose his ideology, Nazi Germany brought the world into war.
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With an acute eye for detail and his use of clear prose, acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander goes beyond counterfactual "What if?" history and explores for the first time just how close the Allies were to losing the war. Using beautifully detailed, newly designed maps, How Hitler Could Have Won World War II exquisitely illustrates the important battles and how certain key movements and mistakes by Germany were crucial in determining the war's outcome. Alexander's harrowing study shows how only minor tactical changes in Hitler's military approach could have changed the world we live in today.
How Hitler Could Have Won World War II untangles some of the war's most confounding strategic questions, such as:
Why didn't the Nazis concentrate their enormous military power on the only three beaches upon which the Allies could launch their attack into Europe?
Why did the terrifying German panzers, on the brink of driving the British army into the sea in May 1940, halt their advance and allow the British to regroup and evacuate at Dunkirk?
With the chance to cut off the Soviet lifeline of oil, and therefore any hope of Allied victory from the east, why did Hitler insist on dividing and weakening his army, which ultimately led to the horrible battle of Stalingrad?
Ultimately, Alexander probes deeply into the crucial intersection between Hitler's psyche and military strategy and how his paranoia fatally overwhelmed his acute political shrewdness to answer the most terrifying question: Just how close were the Nazis to victory?
Why did Hitler insist on terror bombing London in the late summer of 1940, when the German air force was on the verge of destroying all of the RAF sector stations, England's last defense?
With the opportunity to drive the British out of Egypt and the Suez Canal and occupy all of the Middle East, therefore opening a Nazi door to the vast oil resources of the region, why did Hitler fail to move in just a few panzer divisions to handle such an easy but crucial maneuver?
On the verge of a last monumental effort and concentration of German power to seize Moscow and end Stalin's grip over the Eastern front, why did the Nazis divert their strength to bring about the far less important surrender of Kiev, thereby destroying any chance of ever conquering the Soviets?
From the Hardcover edition.
From the turret of a German tank, Colonel Hans von Luck commanded Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer Division. El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day, the disastrous Russian front--von Luck fought there with some of the best soldiers in the world. German soldiers.
Awarded the German Cross in Gold and the Knight's Cross, von Luck writes as an officer and a gentleman. Told with the vivid detail of an impassioned eyewitness, his rare and moving memoir has become a classic in the literature of World War II, a first-person chronicle of the glory--and the inevitable tragedy--of a superb soldier fighting Hitler's war.
Masters of the Air is the deeply personal story of the American bomber boys in World War II who brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep. With the narrative power of fiction, Donald Miller takes you on a harrowing ride through the fire-filled skies over Berlin, Hanover, and Dresden and describes the terrible cost of bombing for the German people.
Fighting at 25,000 feet in thin, freezing air that no warriors had ever encountered before, bomber crews battled new kinds of assaults on body and mind. Air combat was deadly but intermittent: periods of inactivity and anxiety were followed by short bursts of fire and fear. Unlike infantrymen, bomber boys slept on clean sheets, drank beer in local pubs, and danced to the swing music of Glenn Miller’s Air Force band, which toured US air bases in England. But they had a much greater chance of dying than ground soldiers.
The bomber crews were an elite group of warriors who were a microcosm of America—white America, anyway. The actor Jimmy Stewart was a bomber boy, and so was the “King of Hollywood,” Clark Gable. And the air war was filmed by Oscar-winning director William Wyler and covered by reporters like Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite, all of whom flew combat missions with the men. The Anglo-American bombing campaign against Nazi Germany was the longest military campaign of World War II, a war within a war. Until Allied soldiers crossed into Germany in the final months of the war, it was the only battle fought inside the German homeland.
Masters of the Air is a story of life in wartime England and in the German prison camps, where tens of thousands of airmen spent part of the war. It ends with a vivid description of the grisly hunger marches captured airmen were forced to make near the end of the war through the country their bombs destroyed.
Drawn from recent interviews, oral histories, and American, British, German, and other archives, Masters of the Air is an authoritative, deeply moving account of the world’s first and only bomber war.
These massive crimes have been generally overlooked or underestimated by Holocaust historians, who have focused on the gas chambers. In this painstaking account, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes profiles the eastern campaign’s architects as well as its “ordinary” soldiers and policemen, and helps us understand how such men were conditioned to carry out mass murder. Marshaling a vast array of documents and the testimony of perpetrators and survivors, this book is an essential contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust and World War II.
There is no story in twentieth-century history more important to understand than Hitler’s rise to power and the collapse of civilization in Nazi Germany. With The Coming of the Third Reich, Richard Evans, one of the world’s most distinguished historians, has written the definitive account for our time. A masterful synthesis of a vast body of scholarly work integrated with important new research and interpretations, Evans’s history restores drama and contingency to the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis, even as it shows how ready Germany was by the early 1930s for such a takeover to occur. The Coming of the Third Reich is a masterwork of the historian’s art and the book by which all others on the subject will be judged.
What made a failed Austrian artist into the most reviled and destructive personality of the twentieth century? Where did the seeds of his rabid anti-Semitism lie? How did a marginalized loner become such a moving force in Germany? How could a nation have fallen for such a fanatic? What made him so determined to bring about war?
Through manipulation of politicians and civilians, bullying, diplomacy, violence and lies, Hitler achieved a total and unlikely power. Covering his early life, military service in World War One and eventual rise to power, first as the leader of the Nazi party, and then head of state, Hitler: History in an Hour describes the life of a man who spent his final days inside a bunker having plunged the world into a global conflict, the bloodiest in history.
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In a landmark work of history, Nikolaus Wachsmann offers an unprecedented, integrated account of the Nazi concentration camps from their inception in 1933 through their demise, seventy years ago, in the spring of 1945. The Third Reich has been studied in more depth than virtually any other period in history, and yet until now there has been no history of the camp system that tells the full story of its broad development and the everyday experiences of its inhabitants, both perpetrators and victims, and all those living in what Primo Levi called "the gray zone."
In KL, Wachsmann fills this glaring gap in our understanding. He not only synthesizes a new generation of scholarly work, much of it untranslated and unknown outside of Germany, but also presents startling revelations, based on many years of archival research, about the functioning and scope of the camp system. Examining, close up, life and death inside the camps, and adopting a wider lens to show how the camp system was shaped by changing political, legal, social, economic, and military forces, Wachsmann produces a unified picture of the Nazi regime and its camps that we have never seen before.
A boldly ambitious work of deep importance, KL is destined to be a classic in the history of the twentieth century.
The U.S.S. Wahoo was the most successful submarine in the World War II Pacific fleet. She was the first to penetrate an enemy harbor and sink a Japanese ship. She was the first to wipe out an entire enemy convoy single-handed. In her 11 short months of life she managed an incredible 21 kills.
Just 45 minutes before leaving Midway for her last—and fatal—patrol, her Chief Yeoman Forest Sterling was transferred to other duty.
The result is this book—Sterling’s fantastic yet completely authentic account of a remarkable crew and captain, and the ship they lived and died for.
“Many will remember the newspaper stories during World War II and the photo of Wahoo with a broomstick tied to her periscope signifying a clean sweep...But (here is) the full story from the yeoman who made all the patrols...except the last one.”—Medal-of-Honor winner Captain E. B. Fluckey, USN
This magnificent second volume of Richard J. Evans's three-volume history of Nazi Germany was hailed by Benjamin Schwartz of the Atlantic Monthly as "the definitive English-language account... gripping and precise." It chronicles the incredible story of Germany's radical reshaping under Nazi rule. As those who were deemed unworthy to be counted among the German people were dealt with in increasingly brutal terms, Hitler's drive to prepare Germany for the war that he saw as its destiny reached its fateful hour in September 1939. The Third Reich in Power is the fullest and most authoritative account yet written of how, in six years, Germany was brought to the edge of that terrible abyss.
She was credited with sinking twenty Japanese ships, eight of them destroyers. Her captain, Sam Dealey, devoted son and loving husband and father, was a product of peace. Sam Dealey, deadly torpedo marksman and destroyer killer, was a product of war.
Aboard the Harder there was no time for gloating over, her victories. Dealey himself never gloated. As we have said, his attack manners were calm. He indulged in no shouting, no fanfare of destruction. After his torpedoes hit, he went about the business of bringing his ship into a position of safety as rapidly as possible. He did not linger to rejoice at the sight of an enemy going down. In his veins ran the milk of human kindness, in his heart was a feeling of humility and humanity that could not find pleasure in the destruction of a beautiful ship and a hundred odd human beings—deadly enemies though they were.
Perhaps he remembered the worlds of Captain Philip of the old battleship Texas at the Battle of Santiago, who called to his cheering crew as their Spanish adversary sank: “Don’t cheer, boys; those poor devils are dying.” While Dealey never said so, in so many words, one could conclude that he hated the job of killing but knew it had to be done and did his best to carry out his duty.
“HIT ‘EM HARDER!”...was the ship’s motto, and she most certainly did. On April 13 1944, open season was declared by our Submarines against the destroyers of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and Comdr. Sam Dealey was at the forefront of the attack. The hunters had become the hunted and Dealey’s “down the throat torpedo attacks helped to sink the Rising Sun. He showed great courage, too, when rescuing Australian coast watchers from Borneo’s shores, and again, with no reading left on the Fathometer and surf breaking twenty yards ahead, holding Harder against a reef and under fire of snipers to save an American pilot.—Print Ed.
Then There Was One is a story of men—like Admiral “Bill” Halsey, who rode the Big E as his flagship; Air Group Cmdr. McClusky who, in what was officially termed “the most important decision of the entire action, helped win the Battle of Midway; Cmdr. Turner Caldwell whose decision to take eleven Enterprise planes to Guadalcanal helped determine the fate of the Solomons; young Lt. “Birney” Strong who fulfilled a life’s ambition and scratched one Jap flattop; Ensign Neal Scott whose dying letter to his parents is one of the most moving documents of the war—of these men and many others.
It is a story of battles—from that first Sunday morning when the Enterprise was returning to Pearl Harbor as the Japs were attacking it, right down through every major carrier action, save one, with the Big E writing one of the grandest record-breaking pages in naval history: 29 Jap ships sunk and 185 Jap planes destroyed. It is a story of courage and heroism in the face of two of the heaviest air attacks ever launched against any American ship by the enemy.
This is the carrier story long awaited by those who have followed our progress in the Pacific. For those who have not, it will be an exciting and inspiring eye-opener. This is it—the grand, glorious, and victorious first year of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Adroitly blending narrative, description, and analysis, Richard J. Evans portrays a society rushing headlong to self-destruction and taking much of Europe with it. Interweaving a broad narrative of the war's progress from a wide range of people, Evans reveals the dynamics of a society plunged into war at every level. The great battles and events of the conflict are here, but just as telling is Evans's re- creation of the daily experience of ordinary Germans in wartime. At the center of the book is the Nazi extermination of the Jews. The final book in Richard J. Evan's three-volume history of Hitler's Germany, hailed "a masterpiece" by The New York Times, The Third Reich at War lays bare the most momentous and tragic years of the Nazi regime.
For ten months, from November 1945 to September 1946, an International Military Tribunal methodically tried twenty-two major figures in the Nazi hierarchy for their war crimes, including Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, Albert Speer, and Martin Bormann. Each participant is vividly drawn—from the icy coolness of Goering (who would commit suicide in his cell after being found guilty) to the whimpering of Security Chief Erns Kaltenbrunner and Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop to the professionalism of American prosecutor Robert H. Jackson. The Nuremberg Trial brilliantly recreates the proceedings and offers a reasoned, often profound, examination of the processes that created international law, standards that still guide prosecuting crimes against humanity to this day.
The Gestapo offers a detailed history of this evil operation – commanded for much of its life by the SS chief Heinrich Himmler – whose 20,000 members were responsible for the internal security of the Reich. Under its auspices, hundreds of thousands of civilians, resistance fighters and spies in occupied Europe were brutalized, tortured and murdered, and many, many more were deported to almost certain death in concentration camps. Based upon the Gestapo's own archives and eye-witness accounts, the author charts the development of the organization, its key figures, such as Reinhard Heydrich, its brutal methods, and how the Gestapo dealt with internal security, including the various unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Hitler.
The book is a lively and expert account of this notorious but little-understood secret police that terrorized hundreds of thousands of people across Europe. [This is a text-only ebook edition.]
“Saburo Sakai is Japan's greatest fighter pilot to survive World War II, and his powerful memoir has proven to be one of the most popular and enduring books ever written on the Pacific war. First published in English in 1957, it gave Americans new perspectives on the air war and on the Japanese pilots who, until then, had been perceived in the United States as mere caricatures. Today, the books remains a valuable eyewitness account of some of the most famous battles in history and a moving, personal story of a courageous naval aviator.
A living legend, Sakai engaged in more than two hundred dogfights, from the Philippines to Iwo Jima, and was the only Japanese ace never to lose a wingman in combat. By war's end he reportedly had shot down sixty-four Allied planes. Although this number cannot be confirmed, Sakai's exploits in the air were extraordinary by any standards. His most renowned accomplishment, an epic of aviation survival, occurred after action over Guadalcanal in August 1942. Partially paralyzed and nearly blind from multiple wounds, he managed to fly 560 miles to Rabaul and safely land his crippled Zero.
Here, Sakai offers a full account of his experiences, modestly recalling his rise from an impoverished childhood to feats of mythic proportions. And because he shares his innermost thoughts with his readers, the book not only provides rare insights into the Samurai character but also describes with complete honestly the human emotions common to warriors of all causes.”-Print Ed.
All first-person accounts of great events have their own fascination, but the editors of American Heritage have discovered that people writing about World War II seem to tell their own story with particular passion and eloquence. That is one reason American Heritage has published so many of them - and why noted military historian Stephen W. Sears has selected the most compelling.
The result of his search is a uniquely moving and valuable anthology - a series of personal histories that, marshaled together, become an intimate history of the Second World War.
Here is Edward Beach, the highly decorated submarine skipper and author of Run Silent, Run Deep, recalling what it was like to be sent into hostile waters with torpedoes that didn't work; Charles Cawthon recounts the landing at Normandy Beach in a restrained and poetic narrative whose quiet humor does nothing to blunt the savagery of the experience; General James Gavin tells of the jump into Sicily and of a battle fought that never should have been fought; Hughes Rudd watched the war from overhead in a flimsy spotter plane, his "Maytag Messerschmitt; and William Manchester remembers a particularly audacious and hilarious scam that a reckless Marine buddy played on the entire army.
Some of the stories are heartbreaking, some amusing, some horrifying, but every one of them - whether told by the women who hammered fighter planes together or the men who flew them - glows with hard-won experience.
In The Faithful Executioner, Harrington vividly re-creates a life filled with stark contrasts, from the young apprentice's rigorous training under his executioner father to the adult Meister Frantz's juggling of familial duties with his work in the torture chamber and at the scaffold. With him we encounter brutal highwaymen, charming swindlers, and tragic unwed mothers accused of infanticide, as well as patrician senators, godly chaplains, and corrupt prison guards. Harrington teases out the hidden meanings and drama of Schmidt's journal, uncovering a touching tale of inherited shame and attempted redemption for the social pariah and his children. The Faithful Executioner offers not just the compelling firsthand perspective of a professional torturer and killer, but testimony of one man's lifelong struggle to reconcile his bloody craft with his deep religious faith.
The biography of an ordinary man struggling for his soul, this groundbreaking book also offers an unparalleled panoramic view of Europe on the cusp of modernity, a society riven by violent conflict at all levels and encumbered by paranoia, superstition, and abuses of power. Thanks to an extraordinary historical source and its gifted interpreter, we recognize far more of ourselves than we might have expected in this intimate portrait of a professional killer from a faraway world.
American journalist and author William L. Shirer was a correspondent for six years in Nazi Germany—and had a front-row seat for Hitler’s rise to power. His most definitive work on the subject, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, is a riveting account defined by first-person experience interviewing Hitler, watching his impassioned speeches, and living in a country transformed by war and dictatorship.
William Shirer was originally commissioned to write The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler for a young adult audience. This account loses none of the immediacy of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich—capturing Hitler’s rise from obscurity, the horror of Nazi Germany’s mass killings, and the paranoia and insanity that marked Hitler’s downfall. This book is by no means simplified—and is sure to appeal to adults as well as young people with an interest in World War II history.
“For nearly 100 years William L Shirer has spoken to us of fascism, Nazis, and Hitler . . . [He] tells the unvarnished truth as he experienced it . . . I figured this school-type book wasn’t going to tell me anything new. But when I started reading, I realized that I wasn’t reading for the facts anymore. I listened to his story and heard the urgency in his voice: a voice from nearly 60 years ago telling us the truth about today.” —Daily Kos
“The key to victory in World War II Europe lay in wresting control of the skies from the Nazis. America’s most courageous pilots hurled their underrated P-47 Thunderbolts time and again against the Luftwaffe’s over-whelming power, and won. This is the true life story of one of the greatest Thunderbolt aces of all, Robert S. Johnson: his training, his early failures, his brushes with death, and his twenty-eight kills that helped smash the German juggernaut. Step by step, dogfight by dogfight, maneuver by maneuver, he details daring aerial exploits against monumental odds with America’s fabled 56th Fighter Group, a special breed of men who changed the course of history.”-Print ed.
The first installment in Giles Milton's outrageously entertaining series, History's Unknown Chapters: colorful and accessible, intelligent and illuminating, Milton shows his customary historical flair as he delves into the little-known stories from the past.
There's the cook aboard the Titanic, who pickled himself with whiskey and survived in the icy seas where most everyone else died. There's the man who survived the atomic bomb in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And there's many, many more.
Covering everything from adventure, war, murder and slavery to espionage, including the stories of the female Robinson Crusoe, Hitler's final hours, Japan's deadly balloon bomb and the emperor of the United States, these tales deserve to be told.
Countless books have been written about why Nazi Germany lost World War II, yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the equally vital question of how and why it was able to hold out as long as it did. The Third Reich did not surrender until Germany had been left in ruins and almost completely occupied. Even in the near-apocalyptic final months, when the war was plainly lost, the Nazis refused to sue for peace. Historically, this is extremely rare.
Drawing on original testimony from ordinary Germans and arch-Nazis alike, award-winning historian Ian Kershaw explores this fascinating question in a gripping and focused narrative that begins with the failed bomb plot in July 1944 and ends with the German capitulation in May 1945. Hitler, desperate to avoid a repeat of the "disgraceful" German surrender in 1918, was of course critical to the Third Reich's fanatical determination, but his power was sustained only because those below him were unable, or unwilling, to challenge it. Even as the military situation grew increasingly hopeless, Wehrmacht generals fought on, their orders largely obeyed, and the regime continued its ruthless persecution of Jews, prisoners, and foreign workers. Beneath the hail of allied bombing, German society maintained some semblance of normalcy in the very last months of the war. The Berlin Philharmonic even performed on April 12, 1945, less than three weeks before Hitler's suicide.
As Kershaw shows, the structure of Hitler's "charismatic rule" created a powerful negative bond between him and the Nazi leadership- they had no future without him, and so their fates were inextricably tied. Terror also helped the Third Reich maintain its grip on power as the regime began to wage war not only on its ideologically defined enemies but also on the German people themselves. Yet even as each month brought fresh horrors for civilians, popular support for the regime remained linked to a patriotic support of Germany and a terrible fear of the enemy closing in.
Based on prodigious new research, Kershaw's The End is a harrowing yet enthralling portrait of the Third Reich in its last desperate gasps.
For eight weeks in 1945, as Berlin fell to the Russian army, a young woman kept a daily record of life in her apartment building and among its residents. "With bald honesty and brutal lyricism" (Elle), the anonymous author depicts her fellow Berliners in all their humanity, as well as their cravenness, corrupted first by hunger and then by the Russians. "Spare and unpredictable, minutely observed and utterly free of self-pity" (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), A Woman in Berlin tells of the complex relationship between civilians and an occupying army and the shameful indignities to which women in a conquered city are always subject--the mass rape suffered by all, regardless of age or infirmity.
A Woman in Berlin stands as "one of the essential books for understanding war and life" (A. S. Byatt, author of Possession).
Known already in the 1850s for the friendly company of its “warm brothers” (German slang for men who love other men), Berlin, before the turn of the twentieth century, became a place where scholars, activists, and medical professionals could explore and begin to educate both themselves and Europe about new and emerging sexual identities. From Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a German activist described by some as the first openly gay man, to the world of Berlin’s vast homosexual subcultures, to a major sex scandal that enraptured the daily newspapers and shook the court of Emperor William II—and on through some of the very first sex reassignment surgeries—Robert Beachy uncovers the long-forgotten events and characters that continue to shape and influence the way we think of sexuality today.
Chapter by chapter Beachy’s scholarship illuminates forgotten firsts, including the life and work of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, first to claim (in 1896) that same-sex desire is an immutable, biologically determined characteristic, and founder of the Institute for Sexual Science. Though raided and closed down by the Nazis in 1933, the institute served as, among other things, “a veritable incubator for the science of tran-sexuality,” scene of one of the world’s first sex reassignment surgeries. Fascinating, surprising, and informative—Gay Berlin is certain to be counted as a foundational cultural examination of human sexuality.
From the Hardcover edition.
In The German War, acclaimed historian Nicholas Stargardt draws on an extraordinary range of firsthand testimony -- personal diaries, court records, and military correspondence -- to explore how the German people experienced the Second World War.
When war broke out in September 1939, it was deeply unpopular in Germany. Yet without the active participation and commitment of the German people, it could not have continued for almost six years. What, then, was the war the Germans thought they were fighting? How did the changing course of the conflict -- the victories of the Blitzkrieg, the first defeats in the east, the bombing of German cities -- alter their views and expectations? And when did Germans first realize they were fighting a genocidal war?
Told from the perspective of those who lived through it -- soldiers, schoolteachers, and housewives; Nazis, Christians, and Jews -- this masterful historical narrative sheds fresh and disturbing light on the beliefs and fears of a people who embarked on and fought to the end a brutal war of conquest and genocide.
In life, and in the grisly manner of his death, Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler’s most loyal acolytes. By the end, no one in the Berlin bunker was closer to the Führer than his devoted Reich minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. But how did this clubfooted son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler’s most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?
In this ground-breaking biography, Peter Longerich sifts through the historical record—and thirty thousand pages of Goebbels’s own diary entries—to provide the answer to that question. Longerich, the first historian to make use of the Goebbels diaries in a biographical work, engages and challenges the self-serving portrait the propaganda chief left behind. Spanning thirty years, the diaries paint a chilling picture of a man driven by a narcissistic desire for recognition who found the personal affirmation he craved within the virulently racist National Socialist movement. Delving into the mind of his subject, Longerich reveals how Goebbels’s lifelong search for a charismatic father figure inexorably led him to Hitler, to whom he ascribed almost godlike powers.
This comprehensive biography documents Goebbels’s ascent through the ranks of the Nazi Party, where he became a member of the Führer’s inner circle and launched a brutal campaign of anti-Semitic propaganda. Though endowed with near-dictatorial control of the media—film, radio, press, and the fine arts—Longerich’s Goebbels is a man dogged by insecurities and beset by bureaucratic infighting. He feuds with his bitter rivals Hermann Göring and Alfred Rosenberg, unsuccessfully advocates for a more radical line of “total war,” and is thwarted in his attempt to pursue a separate peace with the Allies during the waning days of World War II. This book also reveals, as never before, Goebbels’s twisted personal life—his mawkish sentimentality, manipulative nature, and voracious sexual appetite.
A harrowing look at the life of one of history’s greatest monsters, Goebbels delivers fresh insight into how the Nazi message of hate was conceived, nurtured, and disseminated. This complete portrait of the man behind that message is sure to become a standard for historians and students of the Holocaust for decades to come.
Praise for Goebbels
“Peter Longerich . . . has delved into rarely accessed material from his subject’s diaries, which span thirty years, to paint a remarkable portrait of the man who became one of Hitler’s most trusted lieutenants.”—The Daily Telegraph
Praise for Heinrich Himmler
“There have been several studies of this enigmatic man, but Peter Longerich’s massive biography, grounded in exhaustive study of the primary sources, is now the standard work and must stand alongside Ian Kershaw’s Hitler, Ulrich Herbert’s Best and Robert Gerwarth’s Hitler’s Hangman: The Life of Heydrich as one of the landmark Nazi biographies. As the author of a celebrated study of the Holocaust, Longerich is better able than his predecessors to situate Himmler within the vast machinery of genocide. And he brings to his task a gift for capturing those mannerisms that are the intimate markers of personality.”—London Review of Books
“[An] excellent and comprehensive biography.”—The New York Review of Books
From the Hardcover edition.
This is the story of the achievements, defeats, and victories of both the American and the Japanese navies as they met and battled in the greatest naval war of all time. This dramatic narrative brings to life both the glorious and the infamous—the decisive encounters at Midway...Guadalcanal...the Philippine Sea...Leyte Gulf...Iwo Jima...Okinawa...and the other points in the Pacific where history was made from 1941 to 1945.
The information for TRIUMPH IN THE PACIFIC was gathered by historians at the Naval Academy at Annapolis under the direction of E. B. Potter, the Academy’s Chairman of Naval History, and Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz who, as Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, was a principal figure in the conflict. The book is marked by authenticity, conciseness, objectivity, and the accuracy of years of painstaking research and preparation.
Why did democracy fall apart so quickly and completely in Germany in the 1930s? How did a democratic government allow Adolf Hitler to seize power? In The Death of Democracy, Benjamin Carter Hett answers these questions, and the story he tells has disturbing resonances for our own time.
To say that Hitler was elected is too simple. He would never have come to power if Germany’s leading politicians had not responded to a spate of populist insurgencies by trying to co-opt him, a strategy that backed them into a corner from which the only way out was to bring the Nazis in. Hett lays bare the misguided confidence of conservative politicians who believed that Hitler and his followers would willingly support them, not recognizing that their efforts to use the Nazis actually played into Hitler’s hands. They had willingly given him the tools to turn Germany into a vicious dictatorship.
Benjamin Carter Hett is a leading scholar of twentieth-century Germany and a gifted storyteller whose portraits of these feckless politicians show how fragile democracy can be when those in power do not respect it. He offers a powerful lesson for today, when democracy once again finds itself embattled and the siren song of strongmen sounds ever louder.
In this, the first of a two-volume biography of "der Führer," New York Times bestselling author Donna Faulkner explores Hitler's rise to power - as well as the twisted roots of his genocidal brutality. His story is one of dysfunction and megalomania: from Hitler's early days as a frustrated schoolboy and artist to a power-hungry, and masterful, politician who manipulated the German people wracked by economic deprivation.
Nearly three-quarters of a century later, the world is still grappling with the horrific legacy of Adolf Hitler. Here's how it all began.
Heinz Knoke was one of Nazi Germany’s outstanding pilots, and this dramatic record of his experiences, illustrated with personal photos, has become a classic among aviation memoirs. He joined the Luftwaffe at the outbreak of the war, rose to the rank of commanding officer, and received the Knight’s Cross. Knoke’s account crackles with vivid accounts of air battles; and captures his utter desolation at Germany’s defeat.—Print Ed.
The conflict on the Eastern Front, fought between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1945, was the greatest, most costly, and most brutal conflict on land in human history. It was arguably the single most decisive factor of the war, and shaped the postwar world as we know it. In this magisterial work, Bellamy outlines the lead-up to the war, in which the fragile alliance between the two dictators was unceremoniously broken, and examines its far-reaching consequences, arguing that the cost of victory was ultimately too much for the Soviet Union to bear. With breadth of scope and a surfeit of new information, this is the definitive history of a conflict whose reverberations are still felt today.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
U-505 is Admiral Gallery’s own story of his extraordinary feat—and also a gripping narrative of the fierce Allied war against the German U-Boat fleet.
“Terrific...the first-hand story of Uncle Sam’s U-Boat killers.”—Chicago Daily News
“Brimming with thrills.”—Philadelphia News
“An engrossing tale...Pungent, entertaining, informative.”—Navy Times
“A humdinger of a sea story...a highly readable book, trimmed from stem to stern with the writer’s irrepressible sense of humor.”—Chicago Sunday Times
“Excellent in several ways: it provides a fine quick survey of the whole Atlantic war, it describes the operation of the German U-boat service, and, most dramatically, it tells how an American task force under Admiral Gallery achieved the unique feat of capturing a German submarine.”—Publishers’ Weekly
“U-505 IS ONE OF THE WAR’S MOST EXCITING MEMOIRS.”—Chicago News
“One of the best non-fiction books about World War II.”—Raleigh News & Observer
“A first-rate adventure tale...suspense and excitement told with a seaman’s salty zest...excellent reading.”—Chicago Sunday Tribune
“A masterful job that merits the attention of every lover of sea stories.”—Pittsburgh Press
On May 13, 1939, the luxury liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, one of the last ships to leave Nazi Germany before World War II erupted. Aboard were 937 Jews—some had already been in concentration camps—who believed they had bought visas to enter Cuba. The voyage of the damned had begun.
Before the St. Louis was halfway across the Atlantic, a power struggle ensued between the corrupt Cuban immigration minister who issued the visas and his superior, President Bru. The outcome: The refugees would not be allowed to land in Cuba.
In America, the Brown Shirts were holding Nazi rallies in Madison Square Garden; anti-Semitic Father Coughlin had an audience of fifteen million. Back in Germany, plans were being laid to implement the final solution. And aboard the St. Louis, 937 refugees awaited the decision that would determine their fate.
Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts have re-created history in this meticulous reconstruction of the voyage of the St. Louis. Every word of their account is true: the German High Command’s ulterior motive in granting permission for the “mission of mercy;” the confrontations between the refugees and the German crewmen; the suicide attempts among the passengers; and the attitudes of those who might have averted the catastrophe, but didn’t.
In reviewing the work, the New York Times was unequivocal: “An extraordinary human document and a suspense story that is hard to put down. But it is more than that. It is a modern allegory, in which the SS St. Louis becomes a symbol of the SS Planet Earth. In this larger sense the book serves a greater purpose than mere drama.”
From Sicily to London, Normandy to Algiers, Capa experienced some of the most trying conditions imaginable, yet his compassion and wit shine on every page of this book. Charming and profound, Slightly Out of Focus is a marvelous memoir told in words and pictures by an extraordinary man.—Print Ed.
At the end of the Second World War, an estimated 30,000 Nazi war criminals fled from justice, including some of the highest ranking members of the Nazi Party. Many of them have names that resonate deeply in twentieth-century history -- Eichmann, Mengele, Martin Bormann, and Klaus Barbie -- not just for the monstrosity of their crimes, but also because of the shadowy nature of their post-war existence, holed up in the depths of Latin America, always one step ahead of their pursuers. Aided and abetted by prominent people throughout Europe, they hid in foreboding castles high in the Austrian alps, and were taken in by shady Argentine secret agents. The attempts to bring them to justice are no less dramatic, featuring vengeful Holocaust survivors, inept politicians, and daring plots to kidnap or assassinate the fugitives.
In this exhaustively researched and compellingly written work of World War II history and investigative reporting, journalist and novelist Guy Walters gives a comprehensive account of one of the most shocking and important aspects of the war: how the most notorious Nazi war criminals escaped justice, how they were pursued, captured or able to remain free until their natural deaths and how the Nazis were assisted while they were on the run by "helpers" ranging from a Vatican bishop to a British camel doctor, and even members of Western intelligence services. Based on all new interviews with Nazi hunters and former Nazis and intelligence agents, travels along the actual escape routes, and archival research in Germany, Britain, the United States, Austria, and Italy, Hunting Evil authoritatively debunks much of what has previously been understood about Nazis and Nazi hunters in the post war era, including myths about the alleged “Spider” and “Odessa” escape networks and the surprising truth about the world's most legendary Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
From its haunting chronicle of the monstrous mass murders the Nazis perpetrated and the murky details of their postwar existence to the challenges of hunting them down, Hunting Evil is a monumental work of nonfiction written with the pacing and intrigue of a thriller.
The masterfully told story of the unlikely men who came together to make the Berlin Airlift one of the great military and humanitarian successes of American history.
On the sixtieth anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, Andrei Cherny tells a remarkable story with profound implications for the world today. In the tradition of the best narrative storytellers, he brings together newly unclassified documents, unpublished letters and diaries, and fresh primary interviews to tell the story of the ill-assorted group of castoffs and second-stringers who not only saved millions of desperate people from a dire threat but changed how the world viewed the United States, and set in motion the chain of events that would ultimately lead to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and to America’s victory in the Cold War.
On June 24, 1948, intent on furthering its domination of Europe, the Soviet Union cut off all access to West Berlin, prepared to starve the city into submission unless the Americans abandoned it. Soviet forces hugely outnumbered the Allies’, and most of America’s top officials considered the situation hopeless. But not all of them.
Harry Truman, an accidental president, derided by his own party; Lucius Clay, a frustrated general, denied a combat command and relegated to the home front; Bill Tunner, a logistics expert downsized to a desk job in a corner of the Pentagon; James Forrestal, a secretary of defense beginning to mentally unravel; Hal Halvorsen, a lovesick pilot who had served far from the conflict, flying transport missions in the backwater of a global war—together these unlikely men improvised and stumbled their way into a uniquely American combination of military and moral force unprecedented in its time.
This is the forgotten foundation tale of America in the modern world, the story of when Americans learned, for the first time, how to act at the summit of world power—a masterful and exciting work of historical narrative, and one with strong resonance for our time.
The battle fought on Black Thursday stands high in the history of American fighting men. It will be long remembered, like the immortal struggles of Gettysburg, St. Mihiel and the Argonne, of Midway and the Bulge and Pork Chop Hill. Tens of thousands of our airmen fought in desperate battles in the sky during World War II. From China to the Aleutians, from Australia through the Philippines and across the Southwest Pacific, through the Central Pacific, in Africa and the Mediterranean, and across the length and breadth of Europe, American fliers engaged in combat with the Germans, the Japanese, the Italians.
In all these battles one stands out among all the others for unprecedented fury, for losses suffered, for courage. This was the battle on Black Thursday, Mission 115 of the VIII Bomber Command from bases in England to the savagely defended German city of Schweinfurt. It was a battle in which we suffered unprecedented losses, and a battle that we cannot in honesty remember as having produced the results we had hoped for, or that hurt the enemy’s war effort as much as we had believed.
Yet it is an aerial struggle remembered with great pride, for it demanded the utmost in courage, in skill, in carrying on the fight in the face of bloody slaughter. All these things, and more, make up the story of Black Thursday, of this book.
The Tin Drum, one of the great novels of the twentieth century, was published in Ralph Manheim's outstanding translation in 1959. It became a runaway bestseller and catapulted its young author to the forefront of world literature.To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the original publication, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, along with Grass’s publishers all over the world, is bringing out a new translation of this classic novel. Breon Mitchell, acclaimed translator and scholar, has drawn from many sources: from a wealth of detailed scholarship; from a wide range of newly-available reference works; and from the author himself. The result is a translation that is more faithful to Grass’s style and rhythm, restores omissions, and reflects more fully the complexity of the original work. After fifty years, THE TIN DRUM has, if anything, gained in power and relevance. All of Grass’s amazing evocations are still there, and still amazing: Oskar Matzerath, the indomitable drummer; his grandmother, Anna Koljaiczek; his mother, Agnes; Alfred Matzerath and Jan Bronski, his presumptive fathers; Oskar’s midget friends—Bebra, the great circus master and Roswitha Raguna, the famous somnambulist; Sister Scholastica and Sister Agatha, the Right Reverend Father Wiehnke; the Greffs, the Schefflers, Herr Fajngold, all Kashubians, Poles, Germans, and Jews—waiting to be discovered and re-discovered.
When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, approximately one hundred sixty thousand Jews called Berlin home. By 1943 less than five thousand remained in the nation’s capital, the epicenter of Nazism, and by the end of the war, that number had dwindled to one thousand. All the others had died in air raids, starved to death, committed suicide, or been shipped off to the death camps.
In this captivating and harrowing book, Leonard Gross details the real-life stories of a dozen Jewish men and women who spent the final twenty-seven months of World War II underground, hiding in plain sight, defying both the Gestapo and, even worse, Jewish “catchers” ready to report them to the Nazis in order to avoid the gas chambers themselves. A teenage orphan, a black-market jewel trader, a stylish young designer, and a progressive intellectual were among the few who managed to survive. Through their own resourcefulness, bravery, and at times, sheer luck, these Jews managed to evade the tragic fates of so many others.
Gross has woven these true stories of perseverance into a heartbreaking, suspenseful, and moving account with the narrative force of a thriller. Compiled from extensive interviews, The Last Jews in Berlin reveals these individuals’ astounding determination, against all odds, to live each day knowing it could be their last.