Recommended Reading

Discussions on every day life in the Weimar Republic, pre-anschluss Austria, Third Reich and the occupied territories. Hosted by Vikki.
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Vikki
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Recommended Reading

Post by Vikki » 07 Dec 2006 06:04

This thread is an area for members to recommend books and other works they've found especially useful or interesting on Life in the Third Reich and the Occupied Territories. The reference should include a brief summary of the work, and why you think other readers would find it useful.

~Vikki

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doubefix
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Post by doubefix » 10 Dec 2006 01:42

I red, like 10 years ago "Nuremberg trials". Sadly I don't remember the author, quick goggle search will do, I guess. The book is an excellent narrative and cross examinations of high ranking figures inside the pack. I never finished it, thou I am going to buy it and read it as I find some time. There is no fiction or theoretical speculations there, just cold facts and really it seems like the best vehicle to 1933 -1945. What stayed in my memory, was the cross examination of Goring and account of how he managed to organize, from outside, cyanide potassium, poison he killed himself with, before being hung. I believe he got it from Americans for a few handy tips but I don’t recollect many details.

ResearcherF
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A new book about Occupied France

Post by ResearcherF » 29 Jan 2007 11:07


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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 20 Feb 2007 02:08

On the subject of life during the last days of the Reich, Anthony Read and David Fisher’s The Fall of Berlin is simply incredible for a broad overview. It's packed with eyewitness accounts, and details on everything from the colour of ration cards for each kind of food to the propaganda Berliners heard on the radio every day---and as readable as a good novel!

Best,
~Vikki

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Post by Jon G. » 20 Feb 2007 09:21

Martin Kitchen's book Nazi Germany at War (search returns from Abebooks) is a very good book about daily life in Germany during the war.

Kitchen's book is not very in-depth but his study is very broad - he includes chapters on government and legislation, the party and the state, a so-so chapter about the war economy and sections about daily life and daily worries during the war - rationing, social and educational policy, entertainment in wartime, agriculture, the role of women in German society and the effects of the Allied bombing raids are all covered, plus a host of other subjects.

Kitchen's book is not likely to be the definitive work on the wide-ranging subject of life in the Third Reich and the occupied territories, but it's always a good place to start. I heartily recommend it. It should be easy to find Kitchen's book second-hand.

MarmiteMan
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Wine & War. The Battle For France’s Greatest Treasure

Post by MarmiteMan » 27 Feb 2007 19:06

... "Dawn brought the Gondrée family up from the cellars where they had been sheltering throughout the night-time fighting. Upon discovering the newcomers were British, Georges Gondrée dug-up 98 bottles of champagne and poured out drinks – much-welcomed!" [from an essay I am writing on British 6th Airborne Division's first few days in France, June 1944]

But this is about the number of bottles, for this seems to vary with each publication! However, hiding wine and champagne just before the arrival of German troops in June 1940 had been quite normal practice all over France. Vineyards and distributors went to considerable lengths to hide their best vintages – burial, immurement, etc. – leaving the lesser vintages with wrong labels on them for the Germans to find, buy and/or confiscate.

Containing a range of serious, tragic, but also comical accounts, much of this story on France's effort to safeguard her best wines from the invader (this later included some of the Allies, too!) is:

Don & Petie Kladstrup, Wine & War. The Battle For France’s Greatest Treasure. (Hodder & Stoughton, London 2001, ISBN 0340766786).

The book includes endnotes and a good bibliography. Recommended light reading for AHF posters & readers of such topics as 'art treasure thefts,' etc. In France fine wines are art, too ...!

Santé :)

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 28 Feb 2007 02:05

MarmiteMan,

Wine and War is one of my favorites too! A book on two of my favorite subjects! (Wine and Occupied France, not wine and war. :wink: )

Best,
~Vikki

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Post by MarmiteMan » 28 Feb 2007 10:22

Thanks Vikki!

Don & Petie Kladstrup have written another book, Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times (John Wiley & Sons Ltd., Chichester 2006, ISBN 978-0-470-02782-0). Have not got/read it yet, the usually-overpriced bubbly stuff having far less appeal than the barrel-aged fermented grapejuice ...!

Regards :)

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Post by Vikki » 18 Mar 2007 04:53

Since we're on the subject of Occupied France....

I've just finished reading Robert Gildea's Marianne in Chains: Daily Life in the Heart of France During the German Occupation (Metropolitan: New York, 2002).

I was prepared early on not to like the book at all. I was expecting a strong "bad French" theme from the book, since Gildea attacks the works of authors like Philippe Burrin, whose work I like very much, head-on (in the summary of a chapter appropriately titled "Cohabitation"):

The sullen rejection of the Germans represented by Vercors in Le Silence de la Mer has to be set against a more nuanced analysis of cohabitation between French and Germans that held good at least for the first two years of the Occupation. The image evoked by the historian Philippe Burrin of the "blind town" refusing to make eye contact with the Germans was more patiotic ideal than reality.


But Gildea delivers what he promises in his Introduction. His account of the Germans' administration and the daily lives of the French in the Loire valley is, as he says, a needed balance to the historic emphasis on what was happening in higher circles--in Paris and Berlin. His version of the "Resistance" killing of the French-sympathetic Feldkommandant of Nantes, Oberstleutnant Karl Hotz, and the reactions, remarkable restraint, and careful balancing acts of both the French and the German authorities trying to maintain peace, is a riveting example of "Cohabitation" in itself.

Even more interesting are his observations at that lower level he promised: the changes in perception and loyalties over time, the average person's ways of "making do" both physically and psychologically under changing conditions. (I think the man must be at least part Anthropologist rather than a pure Historian :D ). When I finished the book, I found myself very much agreeing with the end of that paragraph whose beginning I hadn't liked when I began reading the book:


...Perspectives also changed with time, so that practices tolerated by communities weakened by evacuation and the absence of POWs in 1940 were judged harshly in 1944 when communities were seeking to rebuild themselves after the Liberation....The perspective of 1944 should not, however, prevent us from remembering that in many respects occupied France was another country where they did things differently.


And MarmiteMan, you'll be glad to know that wine figures fairly prominently in Gildea's account of people's "making do".... :wink:


~Vikki

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hellboy50012
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Post by hellboy50012 » 24 Mar 2007 01:19

i know this very good website, it tells of almost all history, eyewitness. here it is, you can just take a look around it. it has the d-day landings, the nuremburg trials an a bunch more stuff.

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/

Rich K
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Post by Rich K » 25 Mar 2007 03:07

William L. Shirer's " Berlin Diary."

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 02 Apr 2007 02:32

Rich K wrote:William L. Shirer's " Berlin Diary."


Rich K,

Shirer's Berlin Diary is an obvious "must" for anyone who's read it. But for those who haven't, can you give a quick summary of why it's an important source for Life in the Third Reich and the Occupied Territories?

Best,
~Vikki

robsa
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An excellent book about life under the Nazis...

Post by robsa » 10 Apr 2007 14:11

...is 'Defying Hitler' by Sebastian Haffner. Excellently written with genuinely fascinating insights into life at the time. I have been reading about the Nazis for over 25 years and I can honestly say that this book taught me a great deal. It really paints a good picture of life then - when I say a 'Good Picture' I don't mean 'life was great back then' but he describes life so vividly that you can imagine being there.

I can heartily recommend it to anyone who wants to know what life was like at the time for an intelligent individual.

-Robsa

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Post by Reuillon » 20 Apr 2007 00:59

I also consider 'Defying Hitler' by Sebastian Haffner an excellent book. Haffner also wrote a good biography of Churchill. Among his qualities as a writer, he had a psychological insight comparable with Stephan Zweig's.

Concerning the daily life in occupied France, two authors are prominent:
- Robert Aron "Histoire de la France de Vichy"
- Henri Amouroux, whose series of books on "La Vie des Français sous l'Occupation" and "La Grande Histoire des Français sous l'Occupation" reflect fairly well the realities of that time.
Both have been criticized for relying too much on direct witnesses of that period, but this is precisely what makes the value of their books.
Some of their works were translated in English.

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patrynius
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Post by patrynius » 02 May 2007 21:14

Adam LeBor "Surviving Hitler"
http://www.adamlebor.com/Surviving%20Hitler.html
About ordinary life in Reich

There is v. good books of Polish count - Antoni Sobanski ("Cywil w Berlinie" means "civilian in Berlin") made couple excellent articles from living in Berlin 1934 (before war he also write for "Times").
I know books is also in German

http://www.amazon.de/s?ie=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books-de&field-author=Antoni%20Graf%20Sobanski&page=1

regards

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