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Inside Hitler's Bunker Hardcover – 16 Apr 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; 1st Edition edition (16 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405045906
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405045902
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 641,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A well-considered slice of the Nazi era, and one with a happy ending.' -- Kirkus Reviews, February 2004

‘Fest surprises with a number of unreported or overlooked details ... A vivid reconstruction of the final weeks of Hitler’s regime.' -- Kirkus Reviews, February 2004

About the Author

Joachim Fest is the author of several highly regarded, award winning books on Nazi Germany including Speer: The Final Verdict, Plotting Hitler’s Deat, The Face Of The Third Reich and his classic biography of Adolf Hitler, Hitler. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By William Holmes on 24 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
Joachim Fest is a distinguished German journalist and the author of an acclaimed biography of Hitler. In "Inside Hitler's Bunker," he focuses on the last days of the Third Reich, beginning his narrative on April 16, 1945 as the Soviets open their final offensive against Berlin. The book explores the surreal and miserable world of the "Fuhrer Bunker" under the Reich Chancellery, the fanatical resistance and eventual collapse of the German armies defending Berlin, Hitler's delusional attempts to command armies that had been wiped out, and the astonishing willingness of soldiers and civilians to obey his orders until the very end.
This is a highly readable and very powerful book, and the translator (Margot Bettauer Dembo) deserves high marks for the result. I read the book avidly, and as soon as I was done my wife picked it up and did the same.
"Inside Hitler's Bunker" may be somewhat disappointing for those who have read a great deal about the Battle of Berlin or Hitler's last days, but it will prove to be a gripping narrative for those who are new to the horrors of Berlin in 1945. Part of the continuing fascination of this dark time is the challenge of trying to understand the incomprehensible: how could a madman like Hitler stay in control of Germany in the last weeks of April 1945, and why did so many Germans follow him as he dragged them into the final catastrophe?
The answer to those questions may lie in the 12 years of indoctrination that preceded those fateful days in 1945. For a brief and readable perspective on this period (which has been thoroughly explored in numerous more massive tomes), you may want to try "Inside Hitler's Germany: Life Under the Third Reich" by Matthew Hughes and Chris Mann.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By G. L. Haggett VINE VOICE on 9 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
A vivid account of the events at the end of Hitler's life.
Margot Bettauer Dembo's excellent translation conveys Fest's straightforward style to great effect. Fest is very good on Hitler's need to destroy, but he also paints a not altogether unsympathetic picture of a man in physical, moral and mental decline, with a continuous tremor and a prodigious appetite for cake. The latter detail is typical of those throughout the book which make infamous characters more "human" for the general reader for whom this book is intended.
Fest is particularly good on the nature of history and its interpretation and on how difficult it can be to unravel the truth behind even recent events, as different interested parties seek to place a different spin on them.
As other reviewers have said, this book is probably a good starting point for those unfamiliar with the subject, rather than a reference work for the expert. As such, it represents a very worthy addition to the recent genre of vivid historical narrative.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jl Adcock TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Jan. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Let's be honest - how many of those 800+ page tomes on Hitler and the Nazis actually come off the shelf, get read, or remembered when we've finished with them? Not many, I'll wager. Here, Fest bucks the trend of history being all about narrative and yet more narrative, and replaces it with a sound, analytical account of the last days of the Third Reich. It's a well-known story given a dust down in the light of new evidence, but it still wears the learning lightly, which so many histories of this perod don't do. Concise, crisp and to the point, if more books were produced with this kind of approach, history and historical analysis would be served much more richly. In any list of the "best history books under 200 pages long" - this would be on it.
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Format: Paperback
Joachim Fest introduces us to this truly exceptional study in his foreword by the opening line: ‘No catastrophe in recent history is comparable to the collapse of Germany in 1945.’

What I would add is that there can be few books on the subject comparable to Joachim Fest’s ‘Inside Hitler’s Bunker’. And however clichéd my following line may sound, it IS plain to read that Fest did his homework, for the results are outstanding.

Humbly enough, toward the end of the foreward, he states that the authors named at the back of the book deepened his insights into the sequence of events, “though a comprehensive portrayal, both of what happened and important background aspects is, it seems, still needed”. Indeed, he calls it a “sketch”, and a “step in the right direction”. And yet, let’s remind ourselves, something of a New Millennium cinematic masterpiece was based on this book. ‘Downfall’.

It is an outstanding, informative, erudite piece. And wherever Fest is unclear of the validity of information, he says so.

If only fiction could be like this. Because none can ever match this story, most of which we may now accept as historical fact, “sketch” or no sketch.

The book primarily covers the final living days of Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich, during the Russian offensive. It looks at a country ‘led’ by a man who barely saw light of day, who was prone to fits, and who had fallen deeply into the realms of delusion: he’d fight battles dependent on non-existing armies, order generals and advises who’d dare not to contradict him.
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