The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 Hardcover – Sep 8 2011
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"Kershaw's comprehensive research, measured prose, and commonsense insight combine in a mesmerizing explanation of how and why Nazi Germany chose self-annihilation." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[A]superb examination of the final defeat of Hitler's tyranny...an excellent portrait of the regime's death throes." — Booklist (starred review)
"This is an astonishing story well told by the reigning English-speaking master of Third Reich history...A carefully considered and powerfully told saga." — Kirkus (starred review)
About the Author
Ian Kershaw is the author of Fateful Choices; Making Friends with Hitler, which won the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography; and the definitive two-volume biography of Hitler, Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris and Hitler 1936-1945: Nemesis. The first volume was shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Award and the Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction, and the second volume won the Wolfson Literary Award for History and the inaugural British Academy Prize.
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Top Customer Reviews
Part of the answer is that the German people were terrorized by the Nazis. After the failed plot on Hitler's life, the Nazis declared total war and reorganized for it. The regime settled scores against its perceived enemies with ever increasing brutality: political opponents in concentration camps were murdered; the few surviving Jews died in death marches. But the violence also targeted ordinary German who just wanted to survive. More than 20,000 German soldiers, often stragglers in a retreating army, were executed for "cowardice". Thousands of civilians were sentenced to death by "people's courts" for inciting soldiers to stop fighting.
But Nazi terror is only part of the answer. For Hitler, if the German people did not win the war, they deserved to disappear. But the Nazis could not have kept the fight and exerted extreme violence on the German people without the complicity of the Wehrmacht. Not all the German generals were Nazi fanatics and none of them wanted the German people to disappear.Read more ›
Structural and cultural aspects of German society and Nazi rule contributed to both military and civilian dedication to the doomed cause. Hitler's charisma and track record accorded a warped loyalty but terror played a huge role in the police state. And as the war continued, the Soviet threat was also terrifying and provided another reason to hold out. It is incredible how bureaucracy refused to shut down so that the mail, arms manufacture, propaganda films, and parades continued which must have given citizens a surreal sense of comfort even though the reality of the situation was undeniable and unavoidable. Lastly, the Allies unwavering "Unconditional Surrender" strategy hemmed Nazi leadership in and conjured up memories of World War One most Germans did not want to repeat.
An interesting premise but it could have been an article or paper, it did not warrant a book given the meat of the thesis is constrained to two chapters.
Most recent customer reviews
Essentiel pour comprendre les derniers jours du troisième Reich!Published 15 months ago by Jean Cartier
This is an engaging analysis of the question "Why did the Germans continue to fight to the end" in WWII. Read morePublished on July 2 2014 by Rmancuso