Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Third Reich at War: How the Nazis Led Germany from Conquest to Disaster by Richard J Evans

This is not a book about the second world war or the Holocaust, but about a specific regime created in Germany by Hitler and his National Socialists. Having charted its rise in The Coming of the Third Reich (2003), and revealed how it took control of the German psyche in The Third Reich in Power (2005), Evans now completes his impressive trilogy by showing how Hitler's imperialist ambitions saw the Third Reich evolve into "The Great German Reich", starting with the invasion of Poland in 1939. For Evans, 1943 is the crucial year when devastating allied air raids turned ordinary Germans against Hitler's regime. A minority, such as the White Rose resistance movement, stood up to Nazism, while Evans observes that "the majority of Germans felt uneasy [sic] at the mass murder of Jews and Slavs, and guilty that they were too afraid to do anything to stop it". The history of the Third Reich, he argues, shows us "the human hatred and destructiveness that exist, even if only in a small way, within all of us".

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