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Inside Hitler's Bunker [Hardcover]

Joachim C. Fest
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 April 2004
There is nothing in recent history that comes close to the cataclysmic events of the spring of 1945. Never before has the defeat of a nation been accompanied by such monumental loss of life, such utter destruction. Author Joachim Fest shows that the devastation was the result of Hitler's determination to take the entire country down with him; he would make sure that his enemies would find only a wasteland, where once there was a thriving civilization. Fest describes in riveting detail the final weeks of the war, from the desperate battles that raged night and day in the ruins of Berlin, fought by boys and old men, to the growing paranoia that marked Hitler's mental state--his utter disregard for the well being of both soldiers and civilians-- to his suicide and the efforts of his loyal aides to destroy his body before the advancing Russian armies reached Berlin. Inside Hitler's Bunker combines meticulous research with spellbinding storytelling and sheds light on events that, for those who survived them, were nothing less than the end of the world.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,164 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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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Ending to a Dark Time 24 July 2004
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid historical narrative 9 Oct 2005
By G. L. Haggett VINE VOICE
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and Sweet 28 Jan 2009
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars history like the front page 19 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
this book puts you at the heart of the final days in Hitler's bunker. As it is written one cannot avoid a feeling of impending doom as the Russians get ever nearer. I like the way the author has found out what happened to the principal players after the war and tells the reader their story. A very interesting and accurate book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable and gripping narrative 1 Dec 2007
An immensely readable short book about the fall of Hitler and the Third Reich. Fest's writing style is perfect for the non-specialist and his analysis of Hitler as a wholly new phenomenon in world history in terms of sheer mania for destruction without purpose is clear and convincing.
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