Berlin Diary, 1934-1941: The Rise of the Third Reich Hardcover – 1 Nov 1997
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|Hardcover, 1 Nov 1997||
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There is absolutely no better book by an American about the rise of the Third Reich. A gripping -- and harrowing -- view from inside Hitler's Germany.(Lamar Graham)
The most complete news report yet to come out of war time Germany.(Time) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
William L. Shirer (1904-94) was a newspaper correspondent and radio journalist in the years before and during World War II. His many books include the critically acclaimed bestseller The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, This Is Berlin, and The Nightmare Years.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The book is widely praised for being written without hindsight. I agree that is a significant merit. If you want to track the progress of Germany in the years leading up to and into the second world war, and get a feel for how it felt at the time, this will be an excellent read - provided your main purpose is to revel in indignation over how awful Hitler and his cronies were. However, if you think that what happened demands a nuanced explanation, you will not find it here. Shirer's opinions, I am sorry to say, can only be described as racist. I am not exaggerating. Here are some examples, all taken without looking very hard.
"The deputies rose and cheered. One had almost forgotten how strong sadism and masochism are in the German people."
"The little men of Germany who have made nazism possible achieved the highest state of being the Germanic man knows - the shedding of their individual souls and minds."
"all those Americans and English, among others, who thought that German militarism was merely a product of the Hohenzollerns, from Frederick the Great to Kaiser Wilhelm II, made a mistake. It is rather something deeply ingrained in all Germans."
"Man's, or at least the German's, critical faculty is swept away at such moments and every lie pronounced is accepted as high truth itself."
So Germans are all sadists, their highest aspiration is to shed their individual souls and minds, they easily lose their critical faculties and militarism is part of their genetic makeup (perhaps he was unaware that in the century preceding the first World war, Britain had fought 10 wars, Russia 7, France 5 and Germany 3). He also has a special mention for "Balts" and German household furnishings:
"Rosenberg was one of Hitler's spiritual and intellectual mentors though, like most Balts I have met, he strikes me as extremely incoherent."
"We were lucky to get this place which is furnished modernly and with good taste. Most of the middle class homes we have seen in Berlin are furnished in atrocious style, littered with junk and knick-knacks."
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