THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE THE GERMANS 1933 45

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They Thought They Were Free

Author : Milton Mayer
ISBN : 9780226525976
Genre : History
File Size : 84.91 MB
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“When this book was first published it received some attention from the critics but none at all from the public. Nazism was finished in the bunker in Berlin and its death warrant signed on the bench at Nuremberg.” That’s Milton Mayer, writing in a foreword to the 1966 edition of They Thought They Were Free. He’s right about the critics: the book was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1956. General readers may have been slower to take notice, but over time they did—what we’ve seen over decades is that any time people, across the political spectrum, start to feel that freedom is threatened, the book experiences a ripple of word-of-mouth interest. And that interest has never been more prominent or potent than what we’ve seen in the past year. They Thought They Were Free is an eloquent and provocative examination of the development of fascism in Germany. Mayer’s book is a study of ten Germans and their lives from 1933-45, based on interviews he conducted after the war when he lived in Germany. Mayer had a position as a research professor at the University of Frankfurt and lived in a nearby small Hessian town which he disguised with the name “Kronenberg.” “These ten men were not men of distinction,” Mayer noted, but they had been members of the Nazi Party; Mayer wanted to discover what had made them Nazis. His discussions with them of Nazism, the rise of the Reich, and mass complicity with evil became the backbone of this book, an indictment of the ordinary German that is all the more powerful for its refusal to let the rest of us pretend that our moment, our society, our country are fundamentally immune. A new foreword to this edition by eminent historian of the Reich Richard J. Evans puts the book in historical and contemporary context. We live in an age of fervid politics and hyperbolic rhetoric. They Thought They Were Free cuts through that, revealing instead the slow, quiet accretions of change, complicity, and abdication of moral authority that quietly mark the rise of evil.
Category: History

They Thought They Were Free

Author : Milton Mayer
ISBN : 9780226525839
Genre : History
File Size : 52.15 MB
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Interviews with ten former Nazis comprise the core of this penetrating study of the psychological causes of Nazism and their implications for modern Germany.
Category: History

They Thought They Were Free

Author : Milton Mayer
ISBN : 9780226924731
Genre : History
File Size : 38.39 MB
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First published in 1955, They Thought They Were Free is an eloquent and provocative examination of the development of fascism in Germany. Mayer’s book is a study of ten Germans and their lives from 1933-45, based on interviews he conducted after the war when he lived in Germany. Mayer had a position as a research professor at the University of Frankfurt and lived in a nearby small Hessian town which he disguised with the name “Kronenberg.” “These ten men were not men of distinction,” Mayer noted, but they had been members of the Nazi Party; Mayer wanted to discover what had made them Nazis. “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.”--from Chapter 13, “But Then It Was Too Late”
Category: History

Defying Hitler

Author : Sebastian Haffner
ISBN : 0312421133
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 74.67 MB
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A memoir on the rise of Nazism in Germany and the lives of ordinary German citizens between the two world wars finds the author witnessing such developments as the rise of the First Free Corps, the Hitler Youth movement and Stresemann years, and Hitler's coming to power. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Popular Opinion And Political Dissent In The Third Reich Bavaria 1933 1945

Author : Ian Kershaw
ISBN : 0199251118
Genre : History
File Size : 39.36 MB
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Now updated with a new introduction and bibliography Ian Kershaw's classic study of popular responses to Nazi policy and ideology explores the political mentality of 'ordinary Germans' in one part of Hitler's Reich. Basing his account on many unpublished sources, the author analyses socio-economic discontent and the popular reaction to the anti-Church and anti-Jewish policies of the Nazis, and reveals the bitter divisions and dissent of everyday reality in the Third Reich, in stark contrast to the propaganda image of a 'National Community' united behind its leaders. The focus on one particular region makes possible a depth of analysis that takes full account of local and social variations, and avoids easy generalization; but the findings of this study of ordinary behaviour in a police state have implications extending far beyond the confines of Bavaria or indeed Germany in this period.
Category: History

I Paid Hitler

Author : Fritz Thyssen
ISBN : 1781555109
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 30.76 MB
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Friedrich 'Fritz' Thyssen was a leading German industrialist. In 1923 General Ludendorff advised Thyssen to attend a speech to be given by Hitler, and Thyssen was very impressed, and primarily due to his strident opposition to the Treaty of Versailles he began to make large donations to the party. His principal motive appears to have been his fear of communism, but he was not initially politically aligned to the Nazis, and remained a member of the German National People's Party until 1932. The following year he overcame his inhibitions and formally joined Hitler's National Socialists. In November, 1932 Fritz Thyssen and Hjalmar Schacht were the main organizers of a letter to President von Hindenburg urging him to appoint Hitler as Chancellor. Thyssen also persuaded the Association of German Industrialists to donate three million Reichsmarks to the Party for the March, 1933 Reichstag election. As a reward, he was elected a Nazi member of the Reichstag. He welcomed the suppression of the Communist Party, the Social Democrats and the trade unions and gained enormously by the strict control over workers' rights. His financing of the Nazis initially proved to be a sound investment. Thyssen accepted the exclusion of Jews from German business and professional life by the Nazis, and dismissed his own Jewish employees. But as a Catholic, he objected to the increasing repression of the Roman Catholic Church, which gathered pace after 1935. Thereafter he experienced his 'awakening' to what was happening and drifted away from Hitler. He was against the violent pogrom against the Jews in November 1938, known as Kristallnacht, which caused him to resign from the Council of State. By 1939 he was also bitterly criticizing the regime's economic policies, which were subordinating everything to rearmament in preparation for war. At the beginning of September 1939, following his son-in-law's death in Dachau--and knowing that his opposition to Hitler made him a 'marked man'--he escaped to Switzerland. In 1940 Thyssen took refuge in France, but was caught up in the German invasion of France and the Low Countries while he was visiting his sick mother in Belgium. He was arrested and sent back to Germany, where he was confined, first in a sanatorium near Berlin, then from 1943 in Sachsenhausen. In February 1945 he was sent to Dachau but survived the war. Prior to his arrest he had dictated his memoirs which he entrusted to an American journalist, Emery Reves, and these memoirs--the subject of this book--was first published in the USA at the end of 1941.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Broken Lives

Author : Konrad H. Jarausch
ISBN : 9781400889334
Genre : History
File Size : 46.99 MB
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The gripping stories of ordinary Germans who lived through World War II, the Holocaust, and Cold War partition—but also recovery, reunification, and rehabilitation Broken Lives is a gripping account of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of ordinary Germans who came of age under Hitler and whose lives were scarred and sometimes destroyed by what they saw and did. Drawing on six dozen memoirs by the generation of Germans born in the 1920s, Konrad Jarausch chronicles the unforgettable stories of people who not only lived through the Third Reich, World War II, the Holocaust, and Cold War partition, but also participated in Germany's astonishing postwar recovery, reunification, and rehabilitation. Written decades after the events, these testimonies, many of them unpublished, look back on the mistakes of young people caught up in the Nazi movement. In many, early enthusiasm turns to deep disillusionment as the price of complicity with a brutal dictatorship--fighting at the front, aerial bombardment at home, murder in the concentration camps—becomes clear. Bringing together the voices of men and women, perpetrators and victims, Broken Lives reveals the intimate human details of historical events and offers new insights about persistent questions. Why did so many Germans support Hitler through years of wartime sacrifice and Nazi inhumanity? How did they finally distance themselves from this racist dictatorship and come to embrace human rights? Jarausch argues that this generation's focus on its own suffering, often maligned by historians, ultimately led to a more critical understanding of national identity—one that helped transform Germany from a military aggressor into a pillar of European democracy. The result is a powerful account of the everyday experiences and troubling memories of average Germans who journeyed into, through, and out of the abyss of a dark century.
Category: History

Opposition And Resistance In Nazi Germany

Author : Frank McDonough
ISBN : 052100358X
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 68.22 MB
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There was much popular support for Hitler's regime in Nazi Germany, and little widespread domestic opposition or resistance. However, a number of individuals amd small groups, from all sections of society, did engage in acts of public defiance or resistance against the regime. This opposition came from the Christian churches; communists, socialists and industrial workers; conservative groups; elements within the army; students and the German youth; and Jews. This book looks at the nature of this opposition and the historical debate surrounding it.
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Out Of Ashes

Author : Konrad H. Jarausch
ISBN : 9781400883479
Genre : History
File Size : 47.30 MB
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A sweeping history of twentieth-century Europe, Out of Ashes tells the story of an era of unparalleled violence and barbarity yet also of humanity, prosperity, and promise. Konrad Jarausch describes how the European nations emerged from the nineteenth century with high hopes for continued material progress and proud of their imperial command over the globe, only to become embroiled in the bloodshed of World War I, which brought an end to their optimism and gave rise to competing democratic, communist, and fascist ideologies. He shows how the 1920s witnessed renewed hope and a flourishing of modernist art and literature, but how the decade ended in economic collapse and gave rise to a second, more devastating world war and genocide on an unprecedented scale. Jarausch further explores how Western Europe surprisingly recovered due to American help and political integration. Finally, he examines how the Cold War pushed the divided continent to the brink of nuclear annihilation, and how the unforeseen triumph of liberal capitalism came to be threatened by Islamic fundamentalism, global economic crisis, and an uncertain future. A gripping narrative, Out of Ashes explores the paradox of the European encounter with modernity in the twentieth century, shedding new light on why it led to cataclysm, inhumanity, and self-destruction, but also social justice, democracy, and peace.
Category: History

Hitler My Neighbor

Author : Edgar Feuchtwanger
ISBN : 9781590518649
Genre : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
File Size : 87.32 MB
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Edgar Feuchtwanger came from a prominent German-Jewish family. He was a carefree five-year-old when Adolf Hitler moved into the building opposite. In 1933 the joy of this untroubled life was shattered. Hitler had been named Chancellor. Edgar's parents, stripped of their rights as citizens, tried to protect him from increasingly degrading realities. In class, his teacher had him draw swastikas, and his schoolmates joined the Hitler Youth. In 1939 Edgar was sent alone to England. It wasn't until the age of 88 he felt ready to tell the story of his buried childhood and his infamous neighbour.
Category: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY