Recommended Reading

Discussions on every day life in the Weimar Republic, pre-anschluss Austria, Third Reich and the occupied territories. Hosted by Vikki.
Boby
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Post by Boby » 02 May 2007 21:40

R. Grunberger "A social History of the Third Reich". Excellent!

ypsilon
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Post by ypsilon » 25 May 2007 02:31

"A Woman in Berlin" by Anonymous is a riveting personal account of the fall of Berlin. There was some controversy over it being a forgery, but has since been confirmed as reputable.
I also found "The Warriors: My Life as a Jewish Soviet Partisan" by Harold Zissman and "No Time to Mourn" by Leon Kahne fascinating accounts of life as a partisan soldier in Eastern Europe.
Traudl Junge's memoirs (Until the Final Hour) are also a great story of Hitler's last secretary and her coming to terms with her past as a 'youthful fellow traveller.'

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I B Piper
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The Bunker

Post by I B Piper » 20 Jun 2007 21:27

There are several books I’d recommend. The Bunker by James P. O’Donnell has a wealth of information about the last days of Hitler, the suicides, the breakout attempts, right up to the last man in the bunker Johannes Hentschel.

An example of some of the detail; there is mention of Hitler having an attack of jundice, stomach pains and headache, and two competent Berlin Doctors, Erwin Giesing and Professor Carl von Eiken were called. They induced Hitler to show them the “harmless charcoal tablets” Dr. Morrell had been giving Hitler. The tablets turned out contain both strychnine and atropine. Dr. Morrell had also been giving Hitler a new sulfa drug called Ultraseptyl which had not been released on the German market due to it’s unknown side effects. Dr. Morrell had a financial interest in the Budapest firm that produced this drug.

There is mention that the early shots Dr. Morrell gave Hitler contained caffeine and a drug called Pervitin, similar to Benzedrine. There is the suggestion that later injections contained such bizarre stuff as concoctions of pulverized bull’s testicles and ‘hormones from healthy Bulgarian stock’.

In addition, Hitler had severe sinusitis following the July 20th attempt on his life. Dr. Geisling prescribed a 10% solution of cocaine to be administered once daily with an eyedropper. Linge administered this, once a day at first, but during the last two months of April 1945, Hitler was demanding a dose 10 times a day.

Hitler is reported to have the look of a patient suffering from morphine withdrawal symptoms, and that possibly, Dr. Hasse may have been giving him strong tranquilizing shots.

All this is on pages 316-317 of O’Donnell’s book.

I’m a psychologist, and a Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner. The drugs mentioned above would certainly help to explain Hitler’s erratic moods, if it is indeed true that he was exposed to all those substances. Among other things, they would also reduce inhibitions regarding open display of socially unacceptable behavior. The cocaine could have induced a state of paranoid psychosis. Not good in someone who usually was suspicious anyway.

I'll add some other books in another post.

Regards,

I B Piper

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I B Piper
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The Death of Hitler

Post by I B Piper » 20 Jun 2007 21:34

Anyone interested in the forensic evidence regarding how Hitler died would find The Death of Adolf Hitler by Ada Petrova and Peter Watson very informative. Information that used to be a closely guarded secret if the Kremlin is thoroughly reported. Also, there are some color pictures of Hitler's artwork from his sketchbook, and even a picture of a skull fragment reported to be Hitler's.

Regards

I B Piper

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I B Piper
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The Meaning of Hitler

Post by I B Piper » 20 Jun 2007 21:41

I'm not sure if this is the same book by Haffner that was mentioned in an earlier posting (Defying Hitler). The title is different, so I suspect it is. Anyway, The Meaning of Hitler by Sebastian Haffner is an excellend analysis of the historical, political and emotional forces that shaped Hitler's character. Haffner also addresses the question, could this happen again. A very sobering, and thought provoking book.

Regards,
I B Piper

jlabr
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Post by jlabr » 22 Jun 2007 00:36

As mentioned earlier, the "Fall of the Third Reich" is incredibly detailed and very insightful. On the other hand, one of the best books I have read on the period is mainly fictional and is called "Winter: A Berlin Family" by Len Deighton. He is a historian / fictional author that does an excellent of portraying the timeline of 1905 through 1945 through the eyes of a Berlin family as they experience both the first and second world war.

Another, but very explicit, good book is called "The good 'ol days" which supplies a first hand account of the killings of jews and partisans on the eastern front. It also goes into the administrative side of mass executions. Gruesome but interesting.

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patrynius
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Post by patrynius » 01 Jul 2007 16:30

In Poland was published books in excellent point of view on third reich it is "Third Reich in Report of SPD (Sopade)" by K. Gelles with short German Summary.
It's based on monthly reports with was published by Rinner between 1934 (april) to 1940 (may) - first at Prague, later in Paris. Reports (so called "Green reports") was based on SPD informators inside third reich, only collected by so called "boundary offices" and later send to Rinner.
Excellent idea, and another source of informations..
Regards

bratello
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Post by bratello » 18 Jul 2007 00:18

In my opinion a must read book about Nazi Germany is Victor Klemperer's "I will bear witness. Diaries 1933-45". One shall take one's time reading it: It is long, tedious at times (but also engrossing), full of (seemingly) un-significant details, but having read it one:

a) learns about (pecularities of) life in Nazi Germany not obtainable from any other source (It is worth keeping in mind that even at the darkest hour Victor Klemperer did not consider himself a Jew, but a German first and foremost--his dislike of Zionism made him compare it to Nazism);

b) finds it impossible to idealize any of the Nazi achievements, be it German economic "recovery", "full employment", autobahns, "cool" uniform, etc., because the hatred towards and the treatment of German of foreign Jews nullifies all of the above and

c) is one step closer to understanding what man is.

Read it. Regards to all.

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Silke
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Post by Silke » 02 Sep 2007 17:45

I´d recommend Ursula von Kardorff´s "Diary of a Nightmare: Berlin 1942-1945" / "Berliner Aufzeichnungen 1942-1945".
Ursula von Kardorff was a German journalist born in 1911. She grew up in a middle class family, her father being an anti nazi from the very beginning while her mother was a fervent follower of Hitler
Von Kardorff´s book provides us with an insight into the life of young intellectuals during wartime in Berlin. Several of von Kardorff´s friends were involved in the July 20th plot.
What I like about the book is that von Kardorff is honest to herself and lets the reader participate in her doubts, hopes and beliefs.
Best regards,

Silke

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phylo_roadking
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Post by phylo_roadking » 02 Sep 2007 22:51

One of the most valuable books I've come across for the early history of Nazi Germany is Philip Metcalfe's "1933" ISBN 0-552-99405-7, compiled from the diaries, letters and biographies of Martha Dodd the American ambassador's daughter, Bella Fromm a Jewish newspaper society columnist, Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengel, and Rudolf Diels, first head of the Gestapo. It covers many important areas in detail - as several of these names were caught right up in them at the very top - The Brownshirt Terror in Berlin in 1933, the Reichstag Fire, the organisation of the first political concentration camps and roundups - and how out of control they were, and finally the "Night of the Long Knives." For example - Diels was actually INSIDE the Reichstag while the fire was being fought, and is a valuable first-hand source on the events and reactions of Hitler, Goering and Goebbels - who also rushed to the building that night. He records the degree to which the SA were out of control, particularly in Berlin - as Diels got caught up in a personal feud with them. It's vital reading for anyone who thinks the Nazi "revolution" and the events of 1933 were to any degree part of a "masterplan" - more that the Party hierarchy lurched from crisis to crisis and using each of them to further its ends on the spot...even those crises inadvertently created by the SA!!!

Metcalfe's style is easy to read, yet not at the expense of detail in any way - a skill few historians seem to have!

Ryan81
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Post by Ryan81 » 27 Sep 2007 22:04

For me, it is Raul Hilberg's phenomenal 3rd edition (2003) of "Destruction of the European Jews"

It's not cheap by any means but if you can, GET IT. You will not find a more detailed book on the Holocaust.

Not only that, it comes in a great boxset with three hardback volumes.

Recato
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Post by Recato » 20 Oct 2007 20:23

Guy Walters book "Berlin Games How Hitler Stole the Olympic Dream" was one of the best books I could read about general life, how the minorities were treated during the time, etc. Nice photos as well.

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Panzer Peter
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Post by Panzer Peter » 22 Nov 2007 13:30

Has Anyone read this book ?? The Fall of Berlin 1945 by Antony Beevor ?? I would like to know your oppinion if you have read it.

Best, peter

Ecam
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Post by Ecam » 25 Nov 2007 01:42

I had long wondered how a nation that in January 1933 was still essentially very poor and virtually bankrupt, could have been able to have rebuilt the economy and rearmed the military to the point where the nazi regime felt strong enough just six years later to take on the rest of Europe. Adam Tooze explains all in “The Wages Of Destruction”. Published in 2006, ISBN-13: 978-0-713-99566--4.

Hjalmar Schact was the brilliant economics minister behind the German economic miracle of this era. It was however, a house of cards and you will understand why, by 1938, Hitler had to go to war or face hyperinflation, which would quite likely have caused his downfall. You'll also find out how the regime managed to finance over five years of all out war, and why in fact the war was never really winnable.

Economics can be very dry, but this was a book I could not put down.

Cheers,

Ecam

PS: Peter, Beevor's book is quite good and worth the read.

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reichpilot
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Post by reichpilot » 25 Nov 2007 04:19

I think Ian Kershaw's book HITLER (comes in 2 vols.) is about the best set of books on the man and how things unfolded. It is a lengthy read, but well worth it. There are a lot of well respected names in his source list as well.

Don

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