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A Social History of The Third Reich [Kindle Edition]

Richard Grunberger
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

One of the most devastating portraits ever drawn of a human society - life in Hitler's Germany during the Third Reich

The Nazis developed a social system unprecedented in history. It was rigidly hierarchical, with the seemingly beneficent and ascetic figure of Hitler at the top - focus for the homage and aspirations of every man,

woman and child. How did the 'ordinary citizen' live under such a system? The author discusses such subjects as beauty in the Third Reich (no cosmetics, no slimming) as well as charting how you progressed to the elite Nazi cadres - administrators, propagandists or coercers. It shows childhood with the Hitler Youth and describes the intense medieval ritual injected into every phase of life from school and university to farm labour. It shows life in the office, in industry, in the professions - doctors, lawyers, artists - and in the Nazi Party itself. Finally, it documents what happened at the two extremes of German society - to the aristocrats and to the Jews.

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Product Description

Book Description

One of the most devastating portraits ever drawn of a human society - life in Hitler's Germany during the Third Reich

About the Author

Richard Grunberger was a British historian, who specialised in study of the Third Reich. He was born in Austria in 1924 to Jewish parents. After the 1938 Anschluss with Hitler's Germany, he was put on the first Kindertransport train to leave Vienna. He died in London in 2005.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2544 KB
  • Print Length: 692 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0753819384
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; New Ed edition (11 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C2V4UP6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #360,623 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very readable book 25 April 2005
By Markey
The author writes very well in this book, touching on areas which other authors of similar titles barely skim.

I found fascinating the chapter about consumption and food rationing. As in the UK, food was also rationed in Germany, but the rationing scheme was much tighter, as things like bread, milk and potatoes (unrationed in the UK) were rationed.

Well worth a read.

Note that this has been reprinted recently, so is available. The cover is different to the previous version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and fascinating 3 July 2014
By A Ryder
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like Ms. Johnston, I read this after having watched 'Generation War' recently, since that challenged my perceptions of how much the 'ordinary' German citizen knew about their Nazi government.

Having studied this period of history, I thought I knew quite a bit about it, but this is a very thorough and informative text, helpfully divided by chapters on topics such as health, students, the army etc. and explaining how each area of life changed under Nazi rule. The book is also very readable and contains lots of well-sourced snippets as well as evidence from primary documents of the era. The snippets highlight the absurdities of a regime whose prejudices came into conflict with both reality and other prejudices, and - as these things inevitably will - tied them up in knots. The everyday double-think in a society where, for example, 'protective custody' meant imprisonment and eventual death, encouraged farcical situations with people convincing themselves that apathy or active cooperation was, in fact, the best thing for all concerned.

There is also objectivity in so far as the few positive (some unintentional) improvements that happened are also dealt with in their relevant chapters. These mostly took the form of more opportunities for the working population, rather than the old-fashioned class bias lingering through the Weimar Republic after the end of Imperial rule. Since in practice, however, this meant that instead of those with moneyed backgrounds, preference was given to those who were fanatical party members, it seems mostly to have substituted one form of corruption for another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having watched Generation War on BBC2 recently, I wanted to read this book to gain more insight into daily life in the Third Reich. It's extremely well written and Richard Grunberger's style is not dry as so many historians fall into this trap. The book arrived quickly and is an acceptable copy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining in places a horrible sort of way! 29 Jun. 2008
This is an interesting book by someone (I think) of German Jewish origin whose family fled Austria. It is divided into sections on various topics, such as Cinema or Media. Sometimes it is funny in an awful kind of way, the way people are when they have no sense of humour. For example, a Berlin social club organiser concludes an evening's speeches with 'If we go to dance now, it will not be with a sense of alien lustfulness. Our dance is dance for Germany's rebirth.' Or there is the cycling enthusiast who claims, as the Weimar democratic constitution is dissolved that 'The Fuhrer demands the complete co-ordination (ie Nazi style structure) of the German cyclists' movement.'

There is a German comedian in it who is in and out of prison after a tailor's shop sketch, involving a man being measure for a suit with his hand raised in a Nazi salute. The tailor with a measuring tape says "19-33, -suspended rights." When barracked by an SS man in the audience as 'a lousy yid' he answers 'I only happen to look intelligent.'

-an unforgettable and haunting read.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super book 6 Jan. 2013
Brilliant book by a super Historian. I had the great pleasure to have been taught 'O' level History by Richard Grunberger, at a school in North London. Thoroughly recommend the book, due to it's detailed analysis of this terrible period in modern history.
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