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A Social History of The Third Reich Paperback – 3 Nov 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (3 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753819384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753819388
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 5.1 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 born in Vienna in 1924 and now lives in London. He is married with three children.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Markey on 25 April 2005
Format: Paperback
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 By Ms. K. Johnston on 26 May 2014
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 By Amazon Customer on 29 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
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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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 4 people found the following review helpful By the professor on 6 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
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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