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Making of a Nazi Hero, The: The Murder and Myth of Horst Wessel by [Siemens, Daniel]
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Making of a Nazi Hero, The: The Murder and Myth of Horst Wessel Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Review

Daniel Siemens's troubling historical study resurrects one of the 20th century's most powerful cases of memory being used to manipulate politics. --(The Guardian)

[a] definitive study... I cannot recommend this book too highly. --(Nigel Jones, History Today)

...an outstanding work of history. --( Roger Moorhouse, BBC History Magazine)

Excellent...thoroughly readable text, which tells its complex story with considerable élan...Siemens has delivered an outstanding work of history, which illuminates and educates, yet wears its considerable erudition lightly...Siemens has raised the flag for serious, well-written, accessible history...

Roger Moorhouse, BBC History Magazine, June 2013

In this masterful book, Daniel Siemens tells the gripping story of how a small-time SA firebrand became a celebrated Nazi martyr. Beautifully written and assiduously researched, Siemens provides a penetrating account of political radicalism and violence in the Weimar Republic, and of terror, propaganda and popular mobilization in the Third Reich. An outstanding work of history. --Nikolaus Wachsmann, Birkbeck, University of London

"Excellent...thoroughly readable text, which tells its complex story with considerable élan...Siemens has delivered an outstanding work of history, which illuminates and educates, yet wears its considerable erudition lightly...Siemens has raised the flag for serious, well-written, accessible history..." --- [Roger Moorhouse, BBC History Magazine, June 2013]

"In this masterful book, Daniel Siemens tells the gripping story of how a small-time SA firebrand became a celebrated Nazi martyr. Beautifully written and assiduously researched, Siemens provides a penetrating account of political radicalism and violence in the Weimar Republic, and of terror, propaganda and popular mobilization in the Third Reich. An outstanding work of history." --Nikolaus Wachsmann, Birkbeck, University of London

About the Author

Daniel Siemens is an historian of Weimar and Nazi Germany and DAAD Francis L. Carsten Lecturer in Modern German History at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES), University College London.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4246 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1780760779
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris; 1 edition (2 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D5VAUX8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #289,678 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Horst Wessel was born in September 1907 in Bielefeld, Germany. He was the son of a pastor. After entering law school he dropped out in 1926 and joined the Nazi Brownshirt paramilitary in the dying days of the Weimar Republic. In 1928 he was sent by Goebbels to Vienna to organize the Nazi youth movement in that city.

Siemans' book is a scholarly and rigorous account of the life of a 'Brownshirt' who was elevated by propaganda to the status of martyr after his assassination by two communists on 14 January 1930. The killing was exploited by the Nazis and the Communists in order to further their political aims. Some 30000 attended his funeral in Berlin, a funeral organised by Goebbels.

During the Nazi regime his life was deliberately glorified, in books, films and memorials. In 1929 Wessel had written the verses to what became known as the 'Horst Wessel Lied'. It was performed at his funeral by a choir of the SA. In 1931 it became the official anthem of the Nazi Party.
From 1934 every German had to raise their right arm in a Hitler greeting upon hearing it. A Waffen-SS division and a Luftwaffer squadron were named after him. He became the poster boy of the Nazi Kampfzeit.

The author does a fine job of dissecting Wessel's violent life in the SA. The text, based on original documents, is very readable telling a story of a squalid murder, the murderous activities of SA thugs, and the power of propaganda.

There is very little to like about Wessel and on the whole this account is neutral in tone. What Siemans has achieved so admirably is to strip away the mythology surrounding Wessel and give us in just over 300 pages a superb work of history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an unexpected book which systematically dredges up the unsavoury facts about Horst Wessel, the Nazi thug about whom a hymn was written. It says a lot about the Nazis that they thought it was perfectly all right to lionize this unpleasant man and turn his sordid death into a tale of martyrdom. It just goes to show that human beings have no limits to their gullibility and will believe any old rubbish if it serves their interests. The littering of political creeds through history make this clear. But Horst Wessel is the joker in the pack of martyrs. He doesn't belong there. But this makes the story all the more fascinating. How did they make a silk purse out of this sow's ear? If you have a taste for the tragi-comic ludicrious figures of history, then this is the book for you.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is an interesting look at how the Nazi regime used propaganda to help prop up the regime. Horst Wessel was a member of the SA and, according to Siemens, not a particularly nice character. However, when he was murdered by Communist activists in 1930, the Nazis lionised him and made him into a martyr for the National Socialist cause. Siemens explains how the murder took place, the aftermath, and how Wessel’s reputation was engineered under the regime.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the absence of any other book in English on the life and murder of Horst Wessel this book is worth getting. The first couple of chapters, those on Wessel's murder and early life are reasonably fair and informative, however, the authors left-wing bias soon begins to show and this tarnishes what could have been a great book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was hoping to have an interesting and thought provoking read, but instead was hit with a dull work of academia which didn't promote any feeling of wanting to get to the end. Gave up in the end as it was as dry and boring as old toast...............
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