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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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by oberstgruppenfuhrr2011 » 20 May 2011 21:39

Another good book is "The Third Reich-in power" Richard.J.Evens.. It includes maps, illustrations, and 900 pages of everything you ever wanted to know. Unfortunately I haven't got round to reading much of this one yet, I've been using it more for reference.. So many books so little time :milwink:
"The doom of a nation can be averted only by a storm of flowing passion, but only those who are passionate themselves can arouse passion in others."

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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by artribus » 11 Jun 2011 12:07

I recommend you this historical novel. It is a story of major SS :milwink: has Berlin in 1945. Daniel

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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by Annelie » 11 Jun 2011 14:58

Would be nice if it was also in English.

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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by Mauser K98k » 12 Jun 2011 23:23

I recommend Maus I (My Father Bleeds History) and Maus II (And Here My Troubles Began) by Art Spiegelman.

It is the true story of Vladek Spiegelman, the author's father, a well-to-do Jew who owned a Textile factory in Bielsko Poland before the Nazi invasion. It chronicles Vladek's harrowing Holocaust experiences from prisoner-of-war in Nazi hands to his ordeal in the Sosnowiec ghetto to his ghastly internment at Auschwitz and beyond. One of the things that
struck me after reading the books was how incredibly lucky one had to be to have survived the Holocaust.

Although rendered in cartoon form (Jews are mice, Nazis are cats, other nationalities are pigs, dogs, etc.) it is powerfully done, earning Mr. Spiegelman a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Part of the story and much of the charm of these two books is in the interaction between Vladek and his son as Art tries to pry out the details of his father's saga while coming to grips with their differences. Also charming is Vladek's slightly fractured English, his old-world views and habits which are in such stark contrast to life today.

When I started reading Maus I literally could not put it down. I immediately ordered Maus II from Amazon to finish
the story.

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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by Dostojny Dzikus » 30 Jun 2011 15:16

I do not know if it has been mentioned but The Rise and fall of the Third Reich by William is a good one.

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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by Polar bear » 01 Jul 2011 08:24


yes, ... William L. Shirer

greetings, the pb
Peace hath her victories no less renowned than War
(John Milton, the poet, in a letter to the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652)

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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by Silver222 » 30 Dec 2011 14:56

Real time World War 2 twitter feed
A 24-year-old Oxford University history grad started a Twitter account last August, tracking Nazi forces in “real time” as they forge across Europe in the fall of 1939.
Here is the link to the Twitter account:!/realtimewwii

Here's a couple of stories explaining it all: ... -at-a-time ... 93345.html


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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by Annelie » 30 Dec 2011 15:03

Thanks, interesting.

One tweet which seems sad seeing it was on Christmas


RealTimeWWIILive Tweets from WW2
UK Cabinet report: On Christmas "tentative attempts by a German garrison to fraternise with enemy troops interrupted by French machine guns"

28 Dec


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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by Svetlana Karlin » 06 Feb 2012 04:33

I recently finished reading Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule by Karel C. Berkhoff. It's the most comprehensive and enlightening book on realities of life in a Nazi-occupied part of the Soviet territory that I've found so far. The author covers everything: nationalist strife, occupation politics, agriculture and urban areas, popular sentiments and loyalties, collaboration and partisan warfare, and much more. Highly recommend to everyone who wants to get a broad picture of Nazi-occupied Ukraine.

I've posted a long review of the book on my blog : ... -berkhoff/
Scorched earth, scorched lives:

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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by waldzee » 11 Apr 2012 01:41

A Princess in Berlin: A Novel by Arthur R. G. Solmssen (Hardcover - Sept. 1980)
Now out of print, a tale that stays with you. Solmessen's first novel. ... 09-0540539

This review is from: A Princess in Berlin: A Novel (Hardcover)
A Princess in Berlin is a good book I have no doubt in recommending: an interesting an pleasurable reading. Berlin in the 1920s, through a myriad of characters and stories in different levels, is its true protagonist. The book tells a highly formative and easy to read story. We come to understand, among other things, the political and economic situation that made possible the arrival of Hitler and the nazis. It may lack some depth in its characters, and the story seems sometimes streched to tell us many bits of history. It probaly comes short in style to become a masterpiece, but it certainly succeeds in taking you close to Berlin in a critical moment in history. And despite its limitations, the book remains close to your heart. This probably explains its hughe success

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Re: Recommended reading on Weimar Republic and Austria

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 25 Sep 2012 22:25

Marcus Wendel wrote:The idea of this sticky is to collect recommandations on good books dealing with the Weimar Republic and pre-Anschluss Austria.

Please post the title, author and a short (or long) explenation as to why you feel that particular title deserves to be included.

Carmen Diana ALBU-LISSON: Die in das Österreichische Bundesheer der Ersten Republik übernommenen k.u.k. Offiziere. Eine computerunterstützte Datenanalyse mit Berücksichtigung militärischer, wirtschaftlicher, sozialer, kultureller, klinischer und phaleristischer Aspekte ... 504316.pdf

I can recommend PhD dissertation written at the University of Vienna and defended in 2010 by Carmen Diana Albu-Lisson which analyses various aspects including social and professional background of the former k.u.k. officers taken into the Österreichische Bundesheer of the First Austrian Republic.

For me it was a rather interesting reading, since I like this kinds of analyses.


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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by stupidmop » 02 Oct 2012 17:52

I feel that Walter Schellenberg's The Labyrinth is a must read. I first read the book while a student in college, when I took a history of espionage course. Schellenberg's book is wonderful because he wrote it while he was in prison on his deathbed, so I feel he may have been a little more forthcoming than other Nazi survivors (although Schellenberg is clearly delusional about how good of a spy he is, as the Brits had compromised nearly his entire service toward the end of the war!).

However, as a memoir, Schellenberg points a very colorful picture of what his life was like working in the Third Reich, specifically in the Schutzstaffel. I particularly enjoyed the early parts of the novel that described his decisions to get involved in the government. A very good read, and I highly recommend it to anyone that has interest in the Third Reich or World War 2.
"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it." -- Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Recommended Reading

Post by Will Belford » 17 Apr 2013 10:09

I'm currently reading 'The Unfree French' by Richard Vinen as part of some book research. I'm mainly interested in 1940, but it gives a vivid account of the whole occupation, and from a social perspective, not as a history lesson. If you're interested in getting a sense of the effect of the sudden invasion and the daily life under the Germans, both in Vichy and the Occupied Zone, it's worth reading. The chapters on the Vichy government are a tad dull (politics!), but they show the fundamental hypocrisy of the whole situation; the rest of the book is a very good analysis of how people felt and reacted.

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Re: Recommended reading on Weimar Republic and Austria

Post by tonyp » 03 Jul 2013 15:14

Just got done reading William Brustein's The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933.
(ISBN: 978-0300074321)

Brustein's book was published in 1998, so I'd be interested to see a further expansion on it (as he expands on research done by others before him). He still bases it on over 40,000 NSDAP records, trying to answer the question as to why many became Nazis.

He goes through the major parties:
German Nationalist People's Party (DNVP)
The German People's Party (DVP)
The German Democratic Party (DDP)
The Catholic Center Party
The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDP)
The German Communist Party (KDP)
and of course the NSDAP.

Brustein goes into considerable detail on each party's platform and how the policies targeted particular segments of German society: the "old" middle class, the new middle class and the working class.

He also hypothesizes about many of the psychological and socioeconomic incentives that Germans had in joining the NSDAP and details the infighting that plagued the Weimar Republic.

Not a long read, but it helps fill in a lot of the gaps that other texts have left.

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Re: Recommended reading on Weimar Republic and Austria

Post by J. Duncan » 06 Jul 2013 13:47

Two books I would recommend on Weimar would be Otto Friedrich's "Before the Deluge: Berlin in the 1920's". It is well written, easy to read for the less scholastically inclined, and chock full of interesting personalities and history.
The other book is by Count Harry Kessler titled "Berlin in Lights: The Diaries of Count Harry Kessler". Kessler was a liberal minded German who was a witness to those years and he dissects the many individuals (Edouard Munch, Elizabeth Nietzsche, Oswald Spengler, Walter Rathenau, Count Hermann Keyserling, and of course, Adolf Hitler) who were making news at that time. He was a good friend of Elizabeth Nietzsche, but didn't like her anti-semitic and nationalistic attitudes. He considered himself to be what Nietzsche called "The Good European". It's a really good book and contains a lot of fascinating insights into the time.

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