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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (1960)

de William L. Shirer

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7,852951,137 (4.3)1 / 252
Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer's monumental study of Hitler's German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the twentieth century's blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic. Now, years after the end of World War II, it may seem incredible that our most valued institutions, and way of life, were threatened by the menace that Hitler and the Third Reich represented. Shirer's description of events and the cast of characters who played such pivotal roles in defining the course Europe was to take is unforgettable. Benefiting from his many years as a reporter, and thus a personal observer of the rise of Nazi Germany, and availing himself of some of the 485 tons of documents from the German Foreign Office, as well as countless other diaries, phone transcriptions, and other written records, meticulously kept at every level by the Germans, Shirer has put together a brutally objective account of how Hitler wrested political control of Germany, and planned and executed his six-year quest to dominate the world, only to see Germany go down in flames. Although 1600 pages long, this is such a richly rewarding experience for anyone who wants to come to grips with the mysterious question of how this menace to civilization ever came into being, much less was sustained for as long as it was. The answer, unfortunately, is that most of Germany, for a whole host of reasons, embraced Nazism and the fanaticism that Hitler engendered.… (més)
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This book is causing me to have a lot of thoughts. Thoughts about
- Effectiveness
- Deception - how easily people are deceived
- How the wicked sew confusion and misunderstanding
- How a person can be an evil genius

“Man may deceive his fellow-men, deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the grave;”
(Joseph Smith History, endnote)

Parallels between Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump
1. Bully, demean, throw temper tantrums
2. Instill a hatred in the people as a means of rising to and gaining more power
3. In negotiations change your stand without any compunction - be wildly inconsistent
4. Lie repeatedly, regardless of how blatant it is — Sycophants repeat the blatant lies
5. Obfuscate — to encourage their followers and deceive others
6. Throw friends under the bus when the sycophants are no longer useful

I see some historical similarities. In chronological order:
Hitler: I will make Germany great again.
Trump: I will make America great again
Putin: I will make Russia great again.

And from the Afterword:
“This book had a surprising reception. No one—not my publisher, my editor, my agent, my friends—believed that the public would buy a book so long,”
“And though the academic historians, on the whole, were cool to the book and to me (as if I were a usurper with no right to invade their field—to write good history, they said, you had to teach it), there were notable exceptions.”
“In Germany, to put it mildly, the book did not fare very well with the reviewers. The Germans simply could not face up to their past.”
Perhaps it will help too if the erring governments and the wondering people of this world will remember the dark night of Nazi terror and genocide that almost engulfed our world and that is the subject of this book. Remembrance of the past helps us to understand the present.( )
  bread2u | May 15, 2024 |
The classic history of the Third Reich, by a journalist who lived and work in Europe during the 1930s. I've read this book twice. A must read for a study of history. ( )
  taylor7152 | May 11, 2024 |
The deed is done. And it only took me 5 months. Stepping back from the morass of Nazi minutia I've been swimming in, it's a pretty good book overall. Hitler's childhood and family backstory is written very well and sucked me in with its attention to detail. And then that detail was given to the buildup to war and the machinations of war and every. single. conversation. Hitler and his generals had on a daily basis and I wanted to pull my head off from boredom. But I get why all that detail is, you know, vital to the historical record.

The chapters that dealt with Nazi atrocities were very difficult to get through emotionally but I'm glad I read them. We should all have to read them.

I learned a hell of a lot from this book. And I am very glad I am not reading it anymore. ( )
  gonzocc | Mar 31, 2024 |
I began reading this tome last year as many began to compare then-candidate Donald Trump to Hitler and referred to him as a Facist. My goal was to understand the parallels and contrasts between the two men.

First, regarding the book itself: it's a terrific detailed account from someone who lived in Nazi Germany and referenced an enormous amount of historical records to produce this work. It was long, and yes occasionally it was a grind, and it was well worth the time to read. Some of it even feels a bit rushed, like there's more to dig into, but then how do you tell the tale of one of the most important events in the history of the Western world from Hitler's youth to the Reich's end in a form that at least approaches a digestible length?

And now, a few words about the comparisons to Donald Trump. The Nazi war machine and its successes at world domination, as well as the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the party and the German people are well out of the reach for comparisons (for now anyway). The sheer level of brutality and devastation leveled by Hitler's Reich stand out as something we need to remember is part of the reason (or maybe the entire reason) why Nazi Germany is so reviled by the World's population. There is no comparison to that in America at this time; we're not at that level.

However, there are several concerning and fair comparisons that can be made between the Nazi leader and the man who is now America's president. One is their intense level of egomania. When Hitler was about to attack Russia and attempted to drive into Moscow, Shirer writes, "... the one-time Vienna waif regarded himself the greatest conqueror the world had ever seen. Egomania, that fatal disease of all conquerors, was taking hold." Trump's outlandish self-centered narcissism boils to a level of egomania unseen at the top of American politics perhaps ever, especially when he tells crowds, "I alone can fix this" and spews his self-aggrandizing midnight tweets.

Shirer also references Hitler's "violent nature following its momentary impulses," and we are all now watching a man driven perhaps entirely by impulse of a violent nature wield the highest power in our republic. Also, both men thrived and came to power by harnessing nationalist and racist emotions in a population that felt it had once been great and was now bitter about the way the rest of the world was treating it.

And lastly, I'm particularly concerned by the stark parallels between Goebbels' propaganda ministry and the Trump team's disregard for truth and facts, preferring instead to spread "Alternative Facts" as Kellyanne Conway put it a few weeks back. In this book, Shirer writes about the headline of a daily paper he bought on a train during the run-up to Hitler's invasion of Poland: "'WARSAW THREATENS BOMBARDMENT OF DANZIG - UNBELIEVABLE AGITATION OF THE POLISH ARCHMADNESS!' You ask: But the German people can't possibly believe these lies? Then you talk to them. So many do." The countless lies of Trump the candidate and now Trump the president, and the parroting of these lies by not only his surrogates but average American people, is quite frankly terrifying when compared to the Nazi aptitude for twisting or utterly replacing the truth with what one might call "Alternative Facts."

I hear sales of George Orwell's 1984 are on the rise. For those with the time and patience at this moment in American history, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich should also be on their list. ( )
  wsampson13 | Mar 2, 2024 |
Ӕ
  AnkaraLibrary | Feb 23, 2024 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Shirer, William L.Autorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Rosenbaum, Ronautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

Wikipedia en anglès (101)

12th Army (Wehrmacht)

1940 Field Marshal Ceremony

2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich

Abdication of Wilhelm II

Abwehr

Adolf Eichmann

Erhard Heiden

Erich Emminger

Erna Hanfstaengl

February 1914

February 1940

Friedrich Josef Rauch

List of Einsatzgruppen

List of people killed or wounded in the 20 July plot

Madagascar Plan

Military career of Adolf Hitler

Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact negotiations

National Reich Church

Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer's monumental study of Hitler's German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the twentieth century's blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic. Now, years after the end of World War II, it may seem incredible that our most valued institutions, and way of life, were threatened by the menace that Hitler and the Third Reich represented. Shirer's description of events and the cast of characters who played such pivotal roles in defining the course Europe was to take is unforgettable. Benefiting from his many years as a reporter, and thus a personal observer of the rise of Nazi Germany, and availing himself of some of the 485 tons of documents from the German Foreign Office, as well as countless other diaries, phone transcriptions, and other written records, meticulously kept at every level by the Germans, Shirer has put together a brutally objective account of how Hitler wrested political control of Germany, and planned and executed his six-year quest to dominate the world, only to see Germany go down in flames. Although 1600 pages long, this is such a richly rewarding experience for anyone who wants to come to grips with the mysterious question of how this menace to civilization ever came into being, much less was sustained for as long as it was. The answer, unfortunately, is that most of Germany, for a whole host of reasons, embraced Nazism and the fanaticism that Hitler engendered.

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