counter create hit The Third Reich at War - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Third Reich at War

Availability: Ready to download

The final volume in Richard J. Evans's masterly trilogy on the history of Nazi Germany traces the rise and fall of German military might, the mobilization of a "people's community" to serve a war of conquest, and Hitler's campaign of racial subjugation and genocide. Already hailed as "a masterpiece" (William Grimes in The New York Times) and "the most comprehensive hist The final volume in Richard J. Evans's masterly trilogy on the history of Nazi Germany traces the rise and fall of German military might, the mobilization of a "people's community" to serve a war of conquest, and Hitler's campaign of racial subjugation and genocide. Already hailed as "a masterpiece" (William Grimes in The New York Times) and "the most comprehensive history… of the Third Reich" (Ian Kershaw), this epic trilogy reaches its terrifying climax in this volume.Evans interweaves a broad narrative of the war's progress with viscerally affecting personal testimony from a wide range of people--from generals to front-line soldiers, from Hitler Youth activists to middle-class housewives. The Third Reich at War lays bare the dynamics of a nation more deeply immersed in war than any society before or since. Fresh insights into the conflict's great events are here, from the invasion of Poland to the Battle of Stalingrad to Hitler's suicide in the bunker. But just as important is the re-creation of the daily experience of ordinary Germans in wartime, staggering under pressure from Allied bombing and their own government's mounting demands upon them. At the center of the book is the Nazi extermination of Europe's Jews, set in the context of Hitler's genocidal plans for the racial restructuring of Europe.Blending narrative, description and analysis, The Third Reich at War creates an engrossing picture--at once sweeping and precise--of a society rushing headlong to self-destruction and taking much of Europe with it. It is the culmination of a historical masterwork that will remain the most authoritative work on Nazi Germany for years to come.


Compare
Ads Banner

The final volume in Richard J. Evans's masterly trilogy on the history of Nazi Germany traces the rise and fall of German military might, the mobilization of a "people's community" to serve a war of conquest, and Hitler's campaign of racial subjugation and genocide. Already hailed as "a masterpiece" (William Grimes in The New York Times) and "the most comprehensive hist The final volume in Richard J. Evans's masterly trilogy on the history of Nazi Germany traces the rise and fall of German military might, the mobilization of a "people's community" to serve a war of conquest, and Hitler's campaign of racial subjugation and genocide. Already hailed as "a masterpiece" (William Grimes in The New York Times) and "the most comprehensive history… of the Third Reich" (Ian Kershaw), this epic trilogy reaches its terrifying climax in this volume.Evans interweaves a broad narrative of the war's progress with viscerally affecting personal testimony from a wide range of people--from generals to front-line soldiers, from Hitler Youth activists to middle-class housewives. The Third Reich at War lays bare the dynamics of a nation more deeply immersed in war than any society before or since. Fresh insights into the conflict's great events are here, from the invasion of Poland to the Battle of Stalingrad to Hitler's suicide in the bunker. But just as important is the re-creation of the daily experience of ordinary Germans in wartime, staggering under pressure from Allied bombing and their own government's mounting demands upon them. At the center of the book is the Nazi extermination of Europe's Jews, set in the context of Hitler's genocidal plans for the racial restructuring of Europe.Blending narrative, description and analysis, The Third Reich at War creates an engrossing picture--at once sweeping and precise--of a society rushing headlong to self-destruction and taking much of Europe with it. It is the culmination of a historical masterwork that will remain the most authoritative work on Nazi Germany for years to come.

30 review for The Third Reich at War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Arghya

    Finally! I have finished reading this 3 volume tome on the history of Germany during the period of 1933 to 1945 on yesterday. The first volume The Coming of the Third Reich deals with the coming in power of the Nazi party, the second volume The Third Reich in Power is about the interesting social, political and many other dimensions of German life under the Nazi rule and, finally, the third volume describes the expansion of the Third Reich and its subsequent downfall in 1945. I liked these books f Finally! I have finished reading this 3 volume tome on the history of Germany during the period of 1933 to 1945 on yesterday. The first volume The Coming of the Third Reich deals with the coming in power of the Nazi party, the second volume The Third Reich in Power is about the interesting social, political and many other dimensions of German life under the Nazi rule and, finally, the third volume describes the expansion of the Third Reich and its subsequent downfall in 1945. I liked these books for a number of reasons: 1) They provide a rare glimpse into the life of the common members of the Nazi party, Nazi party bosses and, also, ordinary German folks. How did the Germans react to the overbearing regime of the Nazi party? Were they happy under its rule? Did they share the murderous attitude of Nazi party towards "subhuman(!)" Polish and Slovakian people and, worst of them all, according to Nazi ideology, Jewish people? As expected, these questions do not have a unanimous binary answer and the author explored them with the help of many diaries (most notably, that of a Jew -Victor Klemperer's and that of a Nazi - Melita Maschmann's) and other sources. 2) It is truly reassuring to learn about humane actions done by some Germans to save other people and to observe that the Germans did not lose their sense of humor even under such oppressive regime, as evidenced by many jokes quoted in the book. Though, let me be clear, this does not at all means that Prof. Evans has tried to defend the German atrocities committed during the war. Quite contrarily, he devoted almost 40% of the third volume detailing the massacre brought upon by the military and the SS on the civilian of the conquered countries. So, all in all, this is a splendid set of books that specifically focuses on the history of Germany during WW2 and provides a remarkably balanced, detailed and accurate account of it. Highly recommended to all interested in the perilous journey undertaken by mankind during WW2.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lewis Weinstein

    This is too much of an overview to suit my need for detail. The selection of which items to include is sometimes surprising.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dimitri

    Undoubtedly the war years are the greatest challenging to approach from a fresh angle, but with his focus on the inner workings of Nazi Germany, Evans rejuvenates the bombing war by placing us under the cross-hairs in a shelter. The guns of the Eastern Front rumble at a measured distance, felt mostly in their effect on the Home Front. Similar whispers of a different sort trail out of the Holocaust - another well-trodden ground, yet one which keeps yielding fresh ashes. Could Germany win the war Undoubtedly the war years are the greatest challenging to approach from a fresh angle, but with his focus on the inner workings of Nazi Germany, Evans rejuvenates the bombing war by placing us under the cross-hairs in a shelter. The guns of the Eastern Front rumble at a measured distance, felt mostly in their effect on the Home Front. Similar whispers of a different sort trail out of the Holocaust - another well-trodden ground, yet one which keeps yielding fresh ashes. Could Germany win the war ? the first wave of rationing between the Poland Campaign and Christmas says no. Did Germany believe it could win ? Below, only if every citizen was as monolithically fervent as Goebbels' propopganda wished him to be. In reality, the encoroaching deprivations were shouldered as an individual or close-knit primus vindendum . Above, the statistics surrounding the failure to create a war economy spelled frank defeat as early as 1942, while the popularity of Hitler and the egime could no longer be cranked up sporadically by victory.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Loring Wirbel

    The final book in Evans' Third Reich trilogy was bound to be the most crisply written, if only because the subject matter demanded it. With a long and complex war to cover in less than 800 pages, the author simply didn't have the time to expand into realms that occasionally bogged down the first two books. Evans makes clear in the introduction that this is not a book about the war itself, nor about the Holocaust. That is particularly evident in the former point. While detailed observations of t The final book in Evans' Third Reich trilogy was bound to be the most crisply written, if only because the subject matter demanded it. With a long and complex war to cover in less than 800 pages, the author simply didn't have the time to expand into realms that occasionally bogged down the first two books. Evans makes clear in the introduction that this is not a book about the war itself, nor about the Holocaust. That is particularly evident in the former point. While detailed observations of the Eastern Front are provided, useful for American readers who don't hear enough about Stalingrad or Kursk, we get almost no sense of the Allies' move into North Africa, Sicily, and Northern France. FDR and Churchill are not merely bit players in this book, they are dim images, scarcely viewed over the horizon. The book is more Holocaust-centric, but focusing less on particular suffering that the Holocaust-tome industry has provided, and more on mass-murder as a government bureaucracy. Even though many of these events have been covered ad nauseum, Evans gives us a fresh look at how the Nazi infrastructure swelled during the invasions of Poland and France, and how the beast slowly died from 1942 on. He shows that there were no written orders turning a Jewish eastern deportation into a death-camp industry, but that the interpretation of the hints of the Fuhrer left little doubt that facilities like Treblinka would be created, used, and destroyed as efficiently as possible. While all three books in Evans' series gives unique insights into Nazi Party evolution, the third book scarcely wastes a word in bringing us to the inevitable climax of terror. Goebbels and Goring emerge as real characters, and the evil of Heydrich is adequately described, though Himmler still seems a mystery. Evans cuts the average German in the street less slack than some historians. While the murder of Jews was not front-page news, most citizens knew of it and chose not to know. Most citizens chose to bring Hitler to power in a bid to recapture imaginary German honor. And far too many Germans continued to believe in Nazi philosophy, and in a secret global Jewish-Freemason conspiracy, long after the war is over. While "Third Reich at War" can be read on its own, the trilogy is best read in its entirety, even though the first two books are a bit slower moving than this one. The author dissects how a movement, a party, and a nation at large can fall victim to a belief system that is overtly deranged. Useful lessons for us all.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hadrian

    The final volume of Evans' trilogy on the Third Reich, starting with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and concluding with its end in May 1945. The atrocities of 1940-1945 had their start in 1939 with the invasion of Poland: enslavement, mass murder, all were well-established policy and based upon racial ideology. This was done with the support of the Nazi party, the army, and masses of ordinary civilians. It was Nazi beliefs on race that accompanied the need to avoid the national humilia The final volume of Evans' trilogy on the Third Reich, starting with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and concluding with its end in May 1945. The atrocities of 1940-1945 had their start in 1939 with the invasion of Poland: enslavement, mass murder, all were well-established policy and based upon racial ideology. This was done with the support of the Nazi party, the army, and masses of ordinary civilians. It was Nazi beliefs on race that accompanied the need to avoid the national humiliation and material deprivation which they remembered so bitterly after the end of the First World War. The creation of a racial underclass and the plans for genocide began, says Evans, in Poland 1939. By 1941, the invasion of the Soviet Union changed wars of movement into wars of attrition. While the combined forces of Germany and its allies outnumbered the Soviet forces in June 1941, by the end of July some 10% of the invading force was dead, wounded, or missing. Evans even goes so far as to say that with the Nazis so decisively outproduced and outnumbered, the war was lost by December of that year. But they fought on out from their prejudices and again from the fear of 1918. While still a broad overview, Evans includes some useful descriptions; of the Battle of Kursk, the T-4 forced euthanasia program, popular culture, aerial bombing, and the narrative of Albert Speer's command of the German war economy - before Adam Tooze et al. challenged that. He includes useful testimonies, letters, and diary extracts. That said, Evans doesn't have much of a conclusion or idea behind the narrative of the war years - besides the standard. The first volume was most useful in that way, in his understanding of how the different social groups of Germany worked or made themselves live with Nazism. But here?

  6. 5 out of 5

    AC

    (Of the three volumes, I think the first remains in all aspects the best. But the whole trilogy is excellent and a sound corrective to Kershaw. It is the best and most judicious survey of the whole topic in English that I am aware of. That said, it is a long trilogy, and it is nice to have it behind me rather than before me.) This book, as expected, is excellent -- and marks the entire trilogy as a valuable achievement. Evans is best when dealing with the more granular -- his treatment of the bro (Of the three volumes, I think the first remains in all aspects the best. But the whole trilogy is excellent and a sound corrective to Kershaw. It is the best and most judicious survey of the whole topic in English that I am aware of. That said, it is a long trilogy, and it is nice to have it behind me rather than before me.) This book, as expected, is excellent -- and marks the entire trilogy as a valuable achievement. Evans is best when dealing with the more granular -- his treatment of the broader events of military/geopolitical history is solid, but appears derived. This is not, however, to detract from the value and interest of this book. In particular, Evans now represents the fullest and most modern refutation of the 'structuralist' approach favored by Kershaw, Broszat, and others -- according to which the Nazi's merely 'stumbled' into their crimes and misadventures. (See my reviews of Kershaw and MacGregor Knox) His broad thesis here is as follows: The astounding success of German arms from 1939 through Summer of 1941 was ultimately due to their speed, boldness, and audacity -- applied to an unprepared opponent. But then in the summer of 1941, when the Central Group confronted the bulk of the shaken Soviet army before Moscow -- which was slowly beginning to firm -- Hitler blinked. He diverted troops to Group South to the Caucasus to secure the Romanian oil fields -- and by the time he returned them in the Fall -- the Soviet troops had stiffened, the rains had begun..., and winter was upon them. Momentum was stopped cold. And at this point, it became a war of attrition (371f.) But a war of attrition is something the Germans could never win. To give just two sets of statistics: Airplane production. By 1943, Germany was producing about 26,000 aircraft per year. But in that same year, the British produced 35,000, the Russians produced 37,000, and the U.S. about 100,000. Combined allied machine gun production that year was over 1.1 million; Germany production just 165,527 (332f.). The GDP of the Allies to that of the Axis (combined) was never less than 2:1 and, by 1944, was more than 3:1 And so, by 1941 Winter, the War was essentially lost -- a massive push the following year (Stalingrad) notwithstanding.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    The Third Reich at War: 1939-1945, by Richard J. Evans, is the final book in The History of the Third Reich trilogy, and an excellent conclusion to the series. Evans has written a magnum opus on the Nazi's rise to power (The Coming of the Third Reich), their rule (The Third Reich in Power), and finally, the world war they initiated, and eventually lost (this title). The Third Reich at War examines the Nazi's opening of the Second World War, beginning with political maneuverings before the war, H The Third Reich at War: 1939-1945, by Richard J. Evans, is the final book in The History of the Third Reich trilogy, and an excellent conclusion to the series. Evans has written a magnum opus on the Nazi's rise to power (The Coming of the Third Reich), their rule (The Third Reich in Power), and finally, the world war they initiated, and eventually lost (this title). The Third Reich at War examines the Nazi's opening of the Second World War, beginning with political maneuverings before the war, Hitlers incessant want for confrontation with the Allied powers, and continuing with the reordering of Europe, the war with the USSR, and the eventual destruction of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, and the long road to complete defeat following. Evans also, throughout the book, examines the Nazi's ideological push to reorder Europe in its own image, working to destroying people groups like the Jews and Gypsies completely, smashing Communism and propping up Fascist governments in France, Norway, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and so on. Evans does an excellent job examining first the complete and total victory of German armies at the wars introduction. The lessons learned in Poland in regards to Blitzkrieg were utilized first in Western Europe to great effect, defeating France, Belgium and the Netherlands quickly. Yugoslavia and Greece fell soon after that, and the USSR was successfully pushed far back in the opening year of Operation Barbarossa. Denmark and Norway fell to Nazi troops as well. However, the German army suffered from a number of issues, not least the interference of Hitler and the upper brass of the Nazi party. German army staff also began to take too much stock in what they considered to be their "invincible" fighting force. This zealous mirage came to a screeching halt at Stalingrad, and it was only downhill from there as Soviet troops, who quickly recovered the loss of much of their industrial base and a million dead and more captured of their soldiers, to push the German's back farther and farther, eventually overrunning most of Eastern and Central Europe. Europe under occupation is also examined. No history of Nazi Germany is complete without a close examination of their brutal racial ideology, and the attempted (and in some cases successful) destruction of the Jewish population in conquered territories. The German occupation was marked by extreme martial brutality. Partisans who fought the Germans often had to watch local populations wiped out in reprisal for the death of German soldiers. Jews were often targeted straightaway, and sent to concentration camps and death camps all over Europe. Evans details the invention of gas trucks, gas chambers and crematoriums used to kill millions of innocent Jewish peoples, elderly and crippled Slavs, political prisoners and Soviet POW's. Evan's also examines the companies behind these disturbing innovations, with car makers, furnace companies and industrial-chemical firms creating the products of death (some, like the makers of the gas vans and crematoriums, were aware of what they were doing, some like the makers of Zyklon-B pellets, may not have been). Germany's allies and puppet states often eagerly participated. Vichy France sent thousands to death camps in Poland. Dutch SS also took part in brutal and sadistic killings. Local populations in Eastern Europe who felt mistreated by the Soviets often willingly participated, with Ukrainian militias, residents of the Baltic states and so on engaging in deadly raids on Jewish villages in an attempt to participate in the Final Solution. Romania eagerly participated in early days, and the 400+ thousand Jewish Romanians killed in World War II by that regime was second only to Germany. Croatian government officials and the Catholic Church collaborated to send Croatian and Serbian Jews to the camps of the Third Reich, with Serbia being one of the areas eventually considered "free of Jews." Some, however, resisted. Fascist Finland refused to send Jews to Germany (except for a small number of foreign partisans) even as it allied with Germany to take on the Soviets. Belgium residents, church groups and so on conspired to hide many of their Jewish residents from German SS. Denmark was able to send almost 90% of its Jewish population to neutral Sweden, with the help of the local German governor, who wished to avoid local insurrection (he ironically proclaimed the area "free of Jews" later on). The economic issues of the Third Reich are examined in detail as well. Albert Speer took over much of the Reich economy in 1941 and oversaw massive improvements in efficiency, military production, and economic exploitation of conquered territories. However, Speer and other German armaments and economic politicians foresaw Germany's defeat as early as 1941, as the Soviets, Brits and Americans easily outproduced Germany in most categories. As the German's tightened the screws on their allies, and governments in Europe that were previously collaborationist began to realize Germany was going to lose, acts of resistance began to grow. French, Polish, Soviet and Yugoslavian partisans began to have an effect on German logistics and supplies to the front, and helped to tie down German soldiers in policing duties. Bombing from allied long range bombers began to eat away German industry. The USA's entry into the war really kicked the wind out of most of the German people's hope for a favourable conclusion. Finally, the Soviet victory in the grinding war of attrition in the steppes of Russia destroyed the morale of the German army, erased its image as an invincible fighting force, and turned many German's away from supporting the Nazi regime. Finally, the conclusion of the war brought to horrifying light the atrocities of the German regime and those of its allies. Millions of innocent men, women and children were killed by brutal extra-judicial killings in Eastern Europe, by industrial death camps built to wipe out the Jewish population of Europe, and by starvation. Indeed, the Nazi regime planned to starve out the Slavic population of Europe by re-prioritizing supplies for the German armies in the area. The Reich's plan to create a New Order in Europe, by controlling the economic and political spheres of most of the continent, are detailed. There was no place in this Order for those considered racially inferior, ideologically intolerable, or suffered from disabilities. As Allied and Soviet troops advanced into the Reich and its occupied territories, these atrocities began to come to light. After their destruction in 1945, much of the upper echelon of Nazi society was put to death in the Nuremberg Trials. Evans book is a detailed look at this tumultuous period of history. As in the past books, he mixes first hand accounts of the Reich's history by local people's, soldiers, politicians and occupied citizens with detailed history, archival sources, policy papers and so on. Evan's trilogy, and this book, seem to be the most detailed work on the Third Reich yet available (outside of academic sources). It's depth, clarity, tone and detail all combine to make a work so fascinating and so intricate that it is a truly interesting read. He details all of the aspects of this time period in the Third Reich, no matter how difficult and disturbing. This trilogy should be rightly considered the best work on Nazi Germany written so far (and that is saying something, dozens of books are released a year on this topic). If you are going to pick up a couple of books on Nazi Germany, make sure they are Richard J. Evans The History of the Third Reich series. These books are highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Three thick volumes is the new minimum for a survey of Nazi Germany geared toward the general reader. The final installment of this series seamlessly continues the story to its conclusion, which is welcome indeed. Being steeped in Nazi history for the duration of three long books is a fatiguing exercise in misery; one can only imagine what it must have been like to actually live (or die) amongst the carnage of such a hideous moral vacuum. "The Third Reich at War" does a spectacular job answering Three thick volumes is the new minimum for a survey of Nazi Germany geared toward the general reader. The final installment of this series seamlessly continues the story to its conclusion, which is welcome indeed. Being steeped in Nazi history for the duration of three long books is a fatiguing exercise in misery; one can only imagine what it must have been like to actually live (or die) amongst the carnage of such a hideous moral vacuum. "The Third Reich at War" does a spectacular job answering the basic questions of how and why the Nazi regime (and greater Germany itself) was able to indulge in genocide, unprecedented levels of military violence, and all other manner of horrors. Highly specific geopolitical considerations and deep analysis of military tactics are largely glossed over in favor of a wider (and more inclusive) cultural perspective; this is principally an effort to illuminate the forest without entirely dispensing with the trees. The pace and style throughout is consistent, smoothly erudite, and unflaggingly interesting. It is especially helpful to have previous histories and perspectives reevaluated and subtly adjusted (or refuted) by diligent and meticulous data mining. The overall effect is one of volatile history settling - at long last - into a semblance of substantiated truth.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Themistocles

    After Evans' two first books in the trilogy, this came as a disappointment. I had very high expectations to read about the conditions in the Third Reich during war, learn something new about the social, economical, political etc process that took place during the war years. Instead I got a mash-up of various topics that totally lack focus and do not add much to the historiography of the third reich. The first 400 pages, for instance, are almost wholly devoted to the war in the East and the Jewish After Evans' two first books in the trilogy, this came as a disappointment. I had very high expectations to read about the conditions in the Third Reich during war, learn something new about the social, economical, political etc process that took place during the war years. Instead I got a mash-up of various topics that totally lack focus and do not add much to the historiography of the third reich. The first 400 pages, for instance, are almost wholly devoted to the war in the East and the Jewish question (excuse me???!!!). From thence on it gets somewhat better, but not much. Evans starts hopping around, dealing with various issues - from the naval war (including the U-boat story, all in a few short pages!) to the battle of Kursk, to a statistical analysis of the men comprising a typical german division. Trying to cover all those issues (that need book(s) of their own to be described) in a short chapter or two ends up, unsurprisingly, as wholly inadequate. There are some nice snippets here and there but, in the whole, I didn't feel I learned much new about any of the issues that he touched. What's more, in a few places Evans seems to want to overthrow common beliefs - which is fine, and he may be right in his conclusions, but his explanations are not nearly enough. Oh, and what is it with translating the "Fuehrer" into "Leader" and other such german terms (like Volksturm) that have survived as they are? This is plain silly… hence we get "Hail, Leader" instead of "Heil, Fuhrer", the Leader Bunker etc etc. Why would he chose to do something like that, other than differentiating himself from the rest of the authors, eludes me, but the result is silly, to say the least. What a shame…

  10. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Cook

    Sir Richard Evans is the leading Anglophone proponent of a certain school of history. This might be termed neo-empiricism or neo-Rankeanism. He has famously defended his approach, in somewhat curmudgeonly fashion, in his book 'In Defence of History', which is widely assigned to first year undergraduates in history departments throughout the Anglophone world (and perhaps beyond). Suffice it to say that, as an academic historian of a rather different period, I have serious methodological disagreem Sir Richard Evans is the leading Anglophone proponent of a certain school of history. This might be termed neo-empiricism or neo-Rankeanism. He has famously defended his approach, in somewhat curmudgeonly fashion, in his book 'In Defence of History', which is widely assigned to first year undergraduates in history departments throughout the Anglophone world (and perhaps beyond). Suffice it to say that, as an academic historian of a rather different period, I have serious methodological disagreements with Evans' 'just the facts, ma'am' approach to historiography. Even if I had no other objections to this approach, it would, applied to my own period, make the writing of history virtually impossible. However, it cannot be denied that, when applied to an area with such a plethora of documentary evidence as the Third Reich, this approach produces results. This book is stunning. It is also very easy to read, or at least as easy as any 950 page book can be. Evans is not an exciting or colourful prose stylist in the manner of Hugh Trevor-Roper (or Peter Brown, to use a less loaded example), but he writes with a consistent clarity that will be accessible to any general reader. Finally, Evans has, in the best sense, a clear view of the moral duties of a historian. This is a masterpiece that will endure for many years.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Blamp Head

    Please be aware that the following includes some disturbing and graphic (violent) text. This year (complaints/observations of my own, or of people I have spoken to / seen in the news) And back then (quotations from the book) I ordered my lunch on UberEats and it took 45 minutes! God I was STARVING by the time it FINALLY-- "Over 300,000 Red Army prisoners had died by the end of 1941. Wilm Hosenfeld was shocked by the way in which the Russian prisoners were left to starve, a policy he found ‘so repuls Please be aware that the following includes some disturbing and graphic (violent) text. This year (complaints/observations of my own, or of people I have spoken to / seen in the news) And back then (quotations from the book) I ordered my lunch on UberEats and it took 45 minutes! God I was STARVING by the time it FINALLY-- "Over 300,000 Red Army prisoners had died by the end of 1941. Wilm Hosenfeld was shocked by the way in which the Russian prisoners were left to starve, a policy he found ‘so repulsive, inhumane and so naively stupid that one can only be deeply ashamed that such a thing can be done by us’." Amazon's next day delivery service is bloody hopeless now, takes way longer-- "German jeep and truck production was still relatively low despite the motorization drive of the 1930s, and motor vehicles in any case were restricted in their use by the shortage of fuel. In these circumstances, the German and allied armies relied heavily on horses– at least 625,000 of them on the Eastern Front– for basic transport, hauling artillery pieces, carrying ammunition and pulling supply carts." Yeah, it's just so easy now to just get a vasectomy or take the pill, so then after you've had kids you don't have to worry about accidentally-- "On 14 July 1933 the regime had introduced compulsory sterilization for Germans considered to be suffering from hereditary weaknesses, including ‘moral feeble-mindedness’, a vague criterion that could encompass many different kinds of social deviance. Some 360,000 people had been sterilized by the time the war broke out. In 1935, in addition, abortion on eugenic grounds had been legalized." Racism is still prevalent here in Australia. It's, like, 2020 and we're still treating some people like-- "The General Plan for the East, now the official policy of the Third Reich, proposed to remove between 80 and 85 per cent of the Polish population, 64 per cent of the Ukrainian and 75 per cent of the Belarussian, expelling them further east or allowing them to perish from disease and malnutrition." The government border system - is that run by Nazis? We're not even allowed to-- "‘We [soldiers] and the SS were merciful yesterday, for every Jew we caught was shot right away. It’s different today, for we again found the mutilated bodies of 60 comrades. Now the Jews had to carry the corpses out of the cellar, stretch them out neatly, and then they were shown the atrocities. Then after inspecting the victims they were beaten to death with truncheons and spades. Up to now we have sent about 1,000 Jews into the hereafter, but that’s too few for what they’ve done.’" The media is so biased and shouldn't be allowed to-- "On 3 May 1943, Goebbels issued a confidential circular to the German press demanding that more attention be devoted to attacks on the Jews. ‘The possibilities for exposing the true character of the Jews are endless,’ he opined. ‘The Jews must now be used in the German press as a political target: the Jews are to blame; the Jews wanted the war; the Jews are making the war worse; and, again and again, the Jews are to blame.’" I've never eaten at such a terrible restaurant, portion size was okay but, goodness me, it tasted like absolute-- "‘I myself,’ he recalled, ‘came across a Russian lying beween piles of bricks, whose body had been ripped open and the liver removed. They would beat each other to death for food… They were no longer human beings. They had become animals, who sought only food.’ It evidently did not occur to Höss to give it to them. Of the 10,000, only a few hundred were left alive by the following spring." More has to be done by governments across the globe to protect the population from Covid19 (there are some obvious examples of where government response hasn't been nearly adequate), and to assist those affected by-- "Over the whole period of the camp’s existence, at least 1.1 million and possibly as many as 1.5 million people were killed at Auschwitz; 90 per cent of them, probably about 960,000, were Jews, amounting to between a fifth and a quarter of all Jews killed in the war. They included 300,000 Jews from Poland, 69,000 from France, 60,000 from Holland, 55,000 from Greece, 46,000 from Czechoslovakia (the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia), 27,000 from Slovakia, 25,000 from Belgium, 23,000 from Germany (the ‘Old Reich’), 10,000 from Croatia, 6,000 from Italy, the same number from Belarus, 1,600 from Austria and 700 from Norway. At a late stage in the war, as we shall see, some 394,000 Hungarian Jews were taken to the gas chambers and put to death. More than 70,000 non-Jewish Poles were killed, 21,000 Gypsies, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 people of a whole variety of nationalities, mainly East Europeans." Nationalism is sweeping the globe again. We're more introspective, more selfish, than we've been in a very long-- "Speaking in Posen in October 1943, Heinrich Himmler declared: ‘Whether 10,000 Russian women collapse with exhaustion in the construction of an anti-tank ditch for Germany only interests me insofar as the ditch gets dug for Germany.’" We are really lucky where we are to have low rates of infection; elsewhere there's been-- "One young soldier reported that his company had been given only a single loaf for six men to last three days. ‘Dear Mummy… I can’t move my legs any more, and it’s the same with others, because of hunger, one of our comrades died, he had nothing left in his body and went on a march, and he collapsed from hunger on the way and died of cold, the cold was the last straw for him.’ On 28 January 1943 the order was issued that the sick and wounded should be left to starve to death. The German troops were in effect suffering the same fate that Hitler had planned for the Slavs." I've heard it said that nations need strong leaders willing to make the really hard-- "The power of nationalism had also been broken, so thoroughly that when elderly Germans came towards the end of the century to look back on the Third Reich and ask themselves why they had supported it, they could no longer remember that one of the main reasons had been because they had thought that it made Germany great again." OMG work is like a prison-- "At Sachsenhausen and Natzweiler, mustard gas, which had caused such suffering in the First World War, and which, it was feared, might be used in Allied bombing raids, was injected into some inmates, while others were made to drink it in liquid form, or forced to inhale it. Some had wounds inflicted on them and infected with the gas." We need to find out who is responsible for the pandemic and-- "The Allies concluded that the best way to stop the genocide was to concentrate everything on winning the war as quickly as possible. Bombing the railway lines to Auschwitz and other camps would only have achieved a temporary respite for the Jews, and distracted attention and resources from the larger purpose of overthrowing the regime that was killing them." ~~~~~~~~~ Every now and then when I'm feeling upset I read some highlighted sections from this book, as it reminds me that things I face could be worse. I find a little perspective goes a long way. This is not meant to detract from struggles we all face but I find it useful to consider the struggles of others when coming to terms with my own (and to be fair my own struggles are feeble - I've led a very easy life so far). Indeed, it can be empowering to remember what humans can overcome and overthrow - but it also serves as a reminder of what a lack of humanity can achieve. For me, the book (the third in a trilogy of books on Nazism) strikes a superb balance between detailing perspectives of "everyday Germans" and those at the top of the regime. These are dense tomes though, and incredibly shocking and disturbing. Topics are discussed thematically, not chronologically, and mostly deal with Germans and their perspectives. If you're after a quick and sharp overview of WWII this is probably not for you. Highly recommended.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Charles Haywood

    When reading this book, the third volume of Richard Evans’s massive study of the Third Reich, scenes from the TV show "The Man in the High Castle" kept flashing before my eyes. That show (based on a Philip K. Dick book) posits a Nazi victory in World War II, and depicts how the postwar Greater German Reich affects the people who live under it. The problem with Evans’s book is that it fails to paint such scenes for the actual Third Reich. Rather, it is an endless litany of dead innocents and how When reading this book, the third volume of Richard Evans’s massive study of the Third Reich, scenes from the TV show "The Man in the High Castle" kept flashing before my eyes. That show (based on a Philip K. Dick book) posits a Nazi victory in World War II, and depicts how the postwar Greater German Reich affects the people who live under it. The problem with Evans’s book is that it fails to paint such scenes for the actual Third Reich. Rather, it is an endless litany of dead innocents and how they were killed, mixed with occasional talk of political and military happenings, along with a tiny bit about daily life for average civilians. And while listing how millions of innocents were killed is certainly a task that could fill many, and longer, books, after a while it becomes merely a chronicle of atrocity, not a work of synthesized history. Thus, I will not specifically review this book, because if you want to know more details about Nazi crimes, you now know where to go, and there is little analysis to add. At times I had to force myself to return to the book, not because the writing is bad (it is very competent), but because it was depressing. This emphasis on innocents killed by the Nazis is a change from older writing. For example, if you read Robert Ergang’s "Europe Since Waterloo," 800 pages, published in 1954 and a standard textbook of the 1950s and 1960s, there is no talk at all of the Holocaust—not by name, certainly, since the name is a neologism first widely used in the 1970s, nor by any other mention. The 1935 Nuremberg Laws are mentioned in passing, but no other mention at all is made of the Jews, or of any other group that was the focus of Nazi persecution. The 1946 Nuremberg Trials are covered, but there is little discussion of the charges, other than “war crimes, atrocities, and acts of aggression on a vast scale.” Some of this difference in emphasis is due to many new sources of evidence since 1954, based on efforts made since the 1960s; some of it is due to changing fashions. William L. Shirer’s classic" The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," published just a few years later (in 1960), covers the Holocaust in some detail. But Evans’s book swings the pendulum too far to the other side; it drowns broader history, and critical history, in a sea of undifferentiated blood. Of course, there is theoretical societal value in the feeling of being overwhelmed by atrocity—it impels the reader to a visceral conclusion of “Never Again.” Unfortunately, there is little indication that theoretical value is ever transformed into action. From Rwanda to Syria, millions of people are slaughtered all the time. Even in Europe, a lethal combination of Muslim dominance and supine Europeans has created a resurgence of anti-Semitism that has led many of Europe’s remaining Jews to flee, justifiably afraid of the future. Never again is, very often, instead right now, and that is true in no time or place more than America today, where every year millions are killed through abortion. We have met the Nazis, and they are us. My purpose here is to draw the analogy, exact in all relevant ways, between the modern American system of abortion and similar Nazi killings. The parallel is not to the Holocaust itself. It is true that the Holocaust (correctly defined as the attempt to exterminate Jews) is generally analogous to our abortion practices, differing most obviously in that more people have been killed by abortion (although it is idle and foolish to rank evils based on the number of dead, as if we were grading on a curve). But the Holocaust is not the most direct Nazi analogue to our abortion program. That non-honor goes to the earlier Nazi efforts to kill the mentally and physically handicapped, generally labeled the “Aktion T4” program, which in the late 1930s killed something more than 100,000 people, many children, and laid the groundwork for the subsequent Holocaust. The T4 program was strikingly similar to the abortion regime currently imposed on the United States. It used ideological justifications, language, procedures, and practices remarkably similar to our abortion industry, and it was participated in and defended by the same types of people, using much the same arguments, as our abortion regime. While superficial differences arising from time, place, and victims exist, there were are only two material differences. First, the ideological justification of the Aktion T4 program was an unhinged emphasis on collective national purification; for those who imposed and impose abortion on America, the ideological justification was and is primarily an unhinged emphasis on individual autonomy, so-called “choice” (with a side order of collective purification, through killing “populations that we don’t want to have too many of,” as Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently slipped up by commenting). And unlike abortion, which has lasted for decades, the Aktion T4 program was stopped relatively quickly, by effective action taken at great personal risk by Catholic bishops, whose successors today, with a few exceptions, are mealy-mouthed, weak and fearful men. As Evans relates, the genesis of the T4 program was the forced sterilization program begun by the Nazis as soon as they came to power. That program was designed to eliminate “hereditary weakness,” and was no different in kind than the program being implemented at the same time and earlier in the United States, led by the Progressives and such people as Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood (“planned” there meaning “the elimination of the ‘feebleminded’ and of black people”). The Nazi sterilization program included allowing abortions, otherwise illegal, for “racial health” (and Jews were actively encouraged to obtain abortions). As always, fond of taking things to their logical conclusion and having the power to do so, the Nazis very early on considered expanding this to killing of mental patients and other “defectives,” using the same ideological justification as underlay the sterilization program. By 1935, Hitler was telling his doctor, Karl Brandt, that he planned to radically expand the program during wartime, when it could be done without garnering attention. Long before that, though, propaganda began to be disseminated about “life unworthy of life,” and the necessary administrative structure put into place, including pressure to transfer institutionalized patients to facilities run not by the Church, but by the SS. As he had promised, as soon as war arrived in 1939, Hitler moved to implement his program of murder, under the aegis of the “Reich Committee for the Scientific Registering of Serious Hereditary and Congenital Illnesses.” (Whether it’s handicapped people or guns, allowing grasping big government types to register anything is always a mistake.) The killing program was run directly from the Chancellery, Hitler’s personal administrative apparatus, rather than through the Party or the civil service, in order to speed the process up and avoid inconvenient objections from those with moral qualms. The focus initially was on children—those “suffering from Down’s Syndrome, microcephaly, the absence of a limb or deformities of the head or spine” and so forth. Not children in institutions, though—rather those at home, living with their parents, who were told that their children were going to a “specialist clinic” to receive treatment to improve their condition—where they would die of “natural causes,” as their parents were informed, as they received random ashes from the crematoria identified as the remains of their child. The ideological justification for this was, as I noted above, part and parcel of the Nazi program of “improving the race”—both in general, and to aid in fighting the war. But ideology was only part of the T4 program. Personal enrichment also entered into the picture. Doctors and midwives were paid for reporting children to be killed. They “sent lists of the infants in question to a postal box number in Berlin,” where bureaucrats arranged for the “nearest public health office [to] order the child’s admission to a pediatric clinic.” True, the payments per head were a mere two Reichsmarks, a far cry from the luxurious enrichment of those who participate in America’s abortion industry. As we learned in the summer of 2015 (not that it was much of a secret before), most of America’s abortion industry participates for personal gain, while mouthing, like the Nazis, propagandistic language of “women’s health” and “choice,” and arguing that their actions improve the lives of the nation as a whole. Evil individuals running Planned Parenthood, such as Deborah Nucatola, hope to earn enough money by selling the body parts of dead babies to buy a Lamborghini. So, as often happens, ideology shades into corruption, reinforcing the evil that men do. Evans notes that within the medical community, the T4 program was no secret—the medical establishment was largely or wholly perverted, just as much of our medical establishment is perverted today with respect to abortion. It is true that most American doctors refuse to perform abortions, but the medical establishment that controls medical schools enforces a radical pro-abortion line, and doctors are increasingly threatened with loss of licenses for opposition to abortion, or for refusal to arrange for someone else to do the killing if they will not. “A large number of health officials and doctors were involved in the [T4] scheme, whose nature and purpose thus became widely known in the medical profession. Few of them objected. . . . Virtually the entire medical profession had been actively involved in the sterilization program, and from here it was but a short step in the minds of many to involuntary euthanasia. . . . Many of those doctors involved spoke with pride of their work even after the war, maintaining that they had been contributing to human progress.” We can only wonder whether the same will be true in a future post-abortion world. The T4 program was quickly expanded to older children, adolescents, and adults. Given the large numbers projected to be killed, starvation and other slow methods were not adequate, so the doctors in charge, such as Victor Brack and Werner Heyde, developed methods of gassing groups of people, later used on an even greater scale in the Holocaust, and then ways of burning the corpses en masse. These methods were used to empty the mental asylums and other institutions, where there were no parents or guardians nearby to object to what was obviously happening (most parents objected to the T4 killings when they suspected their real nature, although some were happy to participate in “improving the race” and “making sure every child was wanted”). Those who implemented the T4 program also showed the same ghoulish enjoyment of their killings as the Planned Parenthood employees we saw on video in the summer of 2015. “At Hartheim [one of the asylums with crematoria newly built in] the staff held a party to celebrate their ten-thousandth cremation, assembling in a crematorium around the naked body of a recently gassed victim, which was laid out on a stretcher and covered with flowers. One staff member dressed as a clergyman and performed a short ceremony, then beer was distributed to all present.” The program was kept quiet by the Nazis, outside the medical profession—as with today’s abortionists, the program was kept hidden from the public by the use of pseudonyms, innocuous titles and nondescript buildings, and sloganeering in response to inquiries. The press cooperated, of course. Public objections were rare. When one local judge, Lothar Kreyssig (a Confessing Church member) voiced his suspicions to the Justice Minister (here, of Brandenburg), the Justice Minister’s response “was to try once more to draft a law giving effective immunity to the murderers, only to have it vetoed by Hitler on the grounds that the publicity would give dangerous ammunition to Allied propaganda.” Instead, as before, the program was run extra-legally by decree out of Hitler’s Chancellery. Kreyssig continued to complain, including to State Secretary Roland Freisler (later the infamous chief judge of the “People’s Court”), and was forcibly retired and silenced as a result, while the Justice Ministry assured judges and prosecutors that Hitler was well aware and approved of the murder program, even though it was technically illegal, as well as extra-legal. (Kreyssig’s silencing is directly analogous to the machinery of the American state currently being used against those who have exposed the true nature of America’s abortion regime, such as the heroic David Daleiden, who faces trumped-up criminal charges—more personal punishment than Kreyssig faced.) The whole legal structure of involuntary euthanasia, therefore, was very like the program of unrestricted abortion we have in America, the most extreme in the Western world, which was similarly imposed illegally and extra-legally. In our case it was not the party in power, but the unelected Supreme Court, which imposed abortion, through its creating out of whole cloth a phantom right to kill babies and reading it into the Constitution. The only difference is that our equivalents to Roland Freisler, such as Harry Blackmun and William Brennan, took their actions publicly and to open accolades. And unlike Freisler, they died in their beds, though presumably to go to the same reward as Freisler. We should not ignore the personal responsibility of many parents in both abortion and the T4 program, even if we recognize and acknowledge the possible emotional burden an unwanted or handicapped child places on a parent. The initial steps in actually implementing the T4 program were internally justified by a 1939 letter from a father, Richard Kretschmar, to Hitler, wanting his infant son (“lacking a leg and suffering from convulsions”) killed, but his doctor refused, afraid not of the act, but of a possible prosecution for murder. Similarly, while traditionally and rationally parents have been regarded as less morally culpable for abortion than the person who performs the murder for money, this distinction should not hold in all cases. Sometimes, as was Richard Kretschmar, a parent who kills his baby is just as morally culpable as the abortionist, especially in this day of ultrasounds, where a heartbeat is clearly seen at less than five weeks after conception. On the rare occasions that abortion proponents are actually willing to debate the substance of abortion, rather than chanting inane and meaningless slogans to drown out rational thought, you sometimes hear that one cannot compare abortion to the killing of someone able to appreciate what is happening to him, mentally deficient or not. This, of course, ignores partial birth abortions, as well as tends to rely on politicized science about at what point an unborn child can feel pain. But such arguments revolving around consciousness are, on a deeper level, profoundly stupid. They suggest that there was nothing wrong when Jewish children were removed from Auschwitz, “between the ages of five and twelve,” and “taken on 20 April 1945 to a sub-camp at Bullenhuser Damm.” There they “were injected with morphine, after which an SS man accompanying them hanged the sleeping children from a hook one by one, pulling on their bodies to make sure they would die.” The reality is that the only difference between an abortionist today and that SS man is that the SS man knew for certain his victims couldn’t feel their own deaths. The moral quantity is the same. The Nazis, as is well known and Evans discusses at length, were violently opposed to Christianity, and had by 1939 long been actively persecuting both the small number of Protestants uncooperative with the Nazi program (mainly embodied in the Confessing Church) and the much larger number of uncooperative Catholics. The Pope had repeatedly and formally censured the Nazis, in this area specifically with regard to the sterilization program. Nonetheless, most priests and bishops were afraid, for good reason, both of their personal safety and of further suppression of the Church, since many priests were already in Dachau. And quite a few bishops supported other goals of the Third Reich. But it only took a few months, until mid-1940, for the Catholic hierarchy to get wind of the murders being conducted under the T4 program, in part through the voiced concerns of parents and also through the Caritas Association, which ran asylums. Bishop Clemens August von Galen led the Catholic response, initially through official channels, but he was stonewalled by the Ministry of the Interior and received limited support from other bishops, some of whom were afraid of further persecution of priests, especially those already imprisoned in concentration camps. Nonetheless, in August 1941, he explicitly identified and publicly reviled the T4 program from the pulpit, and demanded that Catholics censure and avoid those involved in it. Galen printed his sermons and distributed them widely. “The sensation created by the sermons . . . was enormous.” The Gestapo arrested the priests in charge of printing, as well as others who spoke out in response. But other bishops took up the cry from the pulpit. “This was the strongest, most explicit and most widespread protest movement against any Nazi policy since the beginning of the Third Reich.” And, notably, it took place at the height of the war and Nazi success in it, which was not the time most people were speaking out on topics the Nazis didn’t like. Galen himself expected he would certainly be killed, or, more precisely, martyred. But that didn’t happen, because “so huge was the publicity he had generated that the Nazi leaders, enraged though they were, feared to take any action against him.” Despite pressure to hang him from Martin Bormann and others, Hitler and Goebbels simply didn’t dare to (although they had explicit plans to do so immediately after the war). Given backbone and courage by Galen, Catholics across the spectrum moved to obstruct the T4 program, in ways overt and covert. Anti-Nazi sentiment began to rise, and muttering directed at Hitler (who many believed did not know about the program, but they were beginning to change their minds) increased. Thus, by August 24, the T4 program was shut down (although sub rosa killings on a smaller scale of “life unworthy of life” continued until the end of the war). The lesson learned by the Nazis, though, wasn’t not to kill people—it was “just in case a future action of this kind against another minority ran into similar trouble, it was inadvisable to put such an order down in writing.” The machinery of extermination, including the means to kill and dispose of large numbers of people, had been developed, and soon enough, the Nazis had a new use for it. [Review continues as first comment.]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Boudewijn

    This book is (in the words of the writer) about the Germans and Germany, not about the Second World War. Having read a lot of books about the Second World war, I have found it very refreshing and interesting. It covers a lot of topics that are usually not touched upon in a book about this area. It handles the German conquests, the treatment of the Jews and other minorites by the Nazi's, every day life for the Germans during the war and economic, social and cultural consequences. If you're into h This book is (in the words of the writer) about the Germans and Germany, not about the Second World War. Having read a lot of books about the Second World war, I have found it very refreshing and interesting. It covers a lot of topics that are usually not touched upon in a book about this area. It handles the German conquests, the treatment of the Jews and other minorites by the Nazi's, every day life for the Germans during the war and economic, social and cultural consequences. If you're into history and especially the Second World War, this is a book for you.

  14. 4 out of 5

    fourtriplezed

    I genuinely ask the question, what more could anyone ask for in a 3 volume history of the Third Reich? Exceptional.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    Those giving this work four or five stars can only have done so in order to have congratulated themselves on having had the persistence to slog their way through this tedious long work which is totally inept from beginning to end. The Third Reich during WWII is a very crowded field and every other work that I have read on the topic is dramatically better. William L. Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" has best focus and narrative force. Volume II of Ian Kershaw's biography of Hiltler "Ne Those giving this work four or five stars can only have done so in order to have congratulated themselves on having had the persistence to slog their way through this tedious long work which is totally inept from beginning to end. The Third Reich during WWII is a very crowded field and every other work that I have read on the topic is dramatically better. William L. Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" has best focus and narrative force. Volume II of Ian Kershaw's biography of Hiltler "Nemesis" provides a much better portrait of the inner workings of the Nazi party. However, Evan's is revealed at its weakest when compared to Mark Mazower's "'Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe" which does a far better job at explaining how the Nazi's ruled the various territories that they conquered. Evan's very best work is "Death in Hamburg" which won the 1989 Wolfson demonstrated his extraordinary talent for conducting primary research and using secondary materials to support his investigations in the archives. For the "Third Reich at War" which is purely a work of synthesis history there was no structured primary research project while his choice of secondary sources was capricious at best. Using is deep understanding of Germany, he writes with sensitivity and insight on the "White Rose" resistance movement which was nonetheless a very marginal phenomenon. Evans, however, has virtually nothing to say to about the very large and active partisan groups in Poland, Yugoslavia and Russia. He very rightfully draws attention to the extraordinary insights into occupied France that can be obtained in Irene Nemirovsky's "Suite Francaise" but otherwise ignores the abundant material from the French literary community on occupied France. In my opinion, Evans is at his very worst in his treatment of Poland and the former Yugoslavia. Because Evans very reasonably feels that the Endlosung (a.k.a. Shoah a.k.a. Holocaust) was one of the dominating aspects of the Third Reich. Thus he spends a great deal of time on the events in Poland where the extermination camps were created. He gives a solid if not brilliant history of the camps but everything else about Poland is garbled. He makes no mention of the "Zegota" and other groups that operated in Poland for the purpose of hiding and rescuing Jews. His version of the Warsaw uprising is garbled at best . Evans is even worse in Yugoslavia where he discusses only Ante Pavelic's Ustase movement and government in Croatia giving no space to either Tito or the Royalists. Go ahead and read this book if you have already bought it. It still contains numerous pages where Evans drawing on his great knowledge of Germany to provide insight about the country during WWII. Evan's greatest sin is not arriving at the wrong conclusions, it is rather his erratic way in what he chooses to cover. If you have not already spent your money, there many better books available about the Third Reich that you could buy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leo Pääkkönen

    The legacy of the Third Reich is much wider. It extends far beyond Germany and Europe. The Third Reich raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and destructiveness that exist, even if only in a small way, within all of us. It demonstrates with terrible clarity the ultimate potential consequences of racism, militarism and authrotitarianism. It shows what van happen if some people are threated as less human than others. It poses in the most extreme possi The legacy of the Third Reich is much wider. It extends far beyond Germany and Europe. The Third Reich raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and destructiveness that exist, even if only in a small way, within all of us. It demonstrates with terrible clarity the ultimate potential consequences of racism, militarism and authrotitarianism. It shows what van happen if some people are threated as less human than others. It poses in the most extreme possible form the moral dilemmas we all face at one time or another in our lives, of conformity or resistance, action or inaction in the particular situations with which we are confronted. That is why the Third Reich will not go away, but continues to command the attention of thinking people throughhout the world long after it has passed into history. Evansin loppusanat huomalle trilogialleen summaavat, miten näistä hirveistä teemoista jaksaa itse lukea vuodesta toiseen. Tämä kolmen niteen ja lähemmäs parintuhannen sivun paketti oli kokonaisuutena vaikuttavimmasta päästä. Viimeinen osa käsittelee nimensä mukaan Hitlerin ja kansallissosialisten päätavoitetta, jolle Kolmannen valtakunnan kaikki toiminta oli alisteista: sotaa, Saksan palauttamista valta-asemaansa voiman avulla ja "elämään kelvottoman elämän" kitkemistä paitsi Saksasta, myös koko Euroopasta. Perinteistä sotahistoriaa on vähän, lähinnä antamassa ajallista kontekstia ja määrittämässä ne keikahduspisteet, jotka merkivät tuhatvuotisen valtakunnan unelman kaatumista. Äänessä ovat runsaiden alkuperäislähteiden käytön avulla sodan läpi eläneet byrokraatit, kenraalit, tavalliset saksalaiset ja vainojen uhriksi jääneet. Viimeksi mainittujen kohtalo käydään läpi mässäilemättä ja tuoden myös esiin, kuinka samalla koko Saksa oli tapahtuneesta vastuussa, mutta kuinka äärimmäisen tuhovimman ja epäinhimillisyyden keskelläkin jotkut kykenivät sanomaan vastaan. Parhaimmillaankin natsipuolue sai (ei täysin vapaissa) vaaleissa 37 prosentin äänisaaliin. Suosionsa huipullakaan se ei nauttinut koko kansan luottamusta. Totaalisen sodan alkaessa jo valmiiksi julma totalitaarinen yhteiskunta joutui kiristämään otettaan alamaisistaan entisestään. Todella hieno trilogia, joka pitänee hankkia referenssimateriaaliksi omaan hyllyyn. Seuraavaksi sitten varmaan Eichmann Jerusalemissa ja Evansin Third Reich in History and Memory lukuun, kuin ei vielä olisikaan tämän jälkeen tarpeeksi paha mieli.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mark Singer

    Over then years I have read many books on the Second World War, but this trilogy on the Third Reich is up there as essential for anyone who weants to understand the conflict. This last volume in the series covers from the beginning of the European phase of the Second World War in September 1939 up until the Third Reichs crushing defeat in May 1945. Evans approaches historical events from multiple viewpoints, not just the usual top-down of leaders in most other histories. He uses journal entries Over then years I have read many books on the Second World War, but this trilogy on the Third Reich is up there as essential for anyone who weants to understand the conflict. This last volume in the series covers from the beginning of the European phase of the Second World War in September 1939 up until the Third Reichs crushing defeat in May 1945. Evans approaches historical events from multiple viewpoints, not just the usual top-down of leaders in most other histories. He uses journal entries from participants and victims, as well as secret SS reports on the morale of the German populace. Evans also does not hold back from describing the brutality that Nazi Germany infilcted on both its own inhabitants and those of the conquered countries.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    3.75 stars. While there are certainly aspects of Evans's book that remove it from the typical broad appraisal of the Nazi period, there are points where he relies upon old saws, as well as some peculiar opinions, somewhat understandably but still distracting. On the whole, however, it's a very capable work and worth reading for a general understanding of the regime and the peoples who lived through it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Russ Smith

    I read this book with only a vague sense of whether I would read books 1 or 2 in this series. Reading the last book first was not a problem if the reader has a general sense of the history. However, I am now reading the others and they do build in a well structured flow. Structured flow, well constructed, and organized are in deed words that describe this book. It is one of the best histories I have read on the topic. Mr. Evans explains the underlying motivations, the nuances and of course the d I read this book with only a vague sense of whether I would read books 1 or 2 in this series. Reading the last book first was not a problem if the reader has a general sense of the history. However, I am now reading the others and they do build in a well structured flow. Structured flow, well constructed, and organized are in deed words that describe this book. It is one of the best histories I have read on the topic. Mr. Evans explains the underlying motivations, the nuances and of course the details of the Third Reich’s actions from 1939 to 1945. In depth analysis of the racial policy, armaments industry, politics, warfare etc. are all covered in interesting detail. This goes a long way in making facts into a compelling storyline. I’m not saying it’s exciting like a novel but for the history enthusiast, I would strongly recommend. As mentioned, I am reading books 1and 2!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dave Dentel

    History’s most notorious criminals compel a certain fascination, though we are well-advised not to become too enthralled. St. Paul encouraged us to dwell on the true, just and lovely, a discipline no doubt meant to keep us from being enticed by the trappings of evil, the power it sometimes imbues (however briefly), or from forgetting that except for divine grace tyrants like Adolf Hitler might exist as the rule rather than the exception. Then again, speaking the truth is always a defense against m History’s most notorious criminals compel a certain fascination, though we are well-advised not to become too enthralled. St. Paul encouraged us to dwell on the true, just and lovely, a discipline no doubt meant to keep us from being enticed by the trappings of evil, the power it sometimes imbues (however briefly), or from forgetting that except for divine grace tyrants like Adolf Hitler might exist as the rule rather than the exception. Then again, speaking the truth is always a defense against malevolence. And few have unveiled the utter depravity of Hitler’s regime in as meticulous detail as historian Richard J. Evans. Getting at those details, however, requires some effort given the scope and style of Evans’ work. Rich in Detail The author breaks down his examination of the Third Reich into three books. The first deals with how the Nazis rose to power in the 1930s; the second explores how Hitler consolidated his hold on Germany and began to implement his policies. The final book examines the Third Reich from its invasion of Poland in 1939 to its crushing defeat in 1945. Evans’ histories are only loosely narrative. They offer slight treatment of the vast conflict the German war machine provoked from the Arctic Circle to the Horn of Africa. The books are instead primarily topical, focusing on the politics, policies and attitudes expressed by Germans of all ranks during the rise, rule and fall of Hitler’s oppressive regime. To achieve this, Evans cites journals, letters, and reports—including those compiled by reporters tasked with observing Nazi society. These ranged from journalists such as William Shirer, to members of the SS, and even clandestine operatives from the deposed Social Democratic political party. Groundwork for Lawlessness Again, much of what Evans unveils is simply a more elaborate recounting of how Hitler’s personal hatred and violence was institutionalized into murder and destruction on an unprecedented scale. Still, there is much for even the most well-read World War II aficionado to learn. Here are just a few things in Evans’ books I found novel and interesting. During his ascent toward becoming dictator, much of what Hitler said and did was not without precedent. His antisemitism reflected racist ideas held by many in Germany at the time. After his failed coup in 1923 (during a period of widespread political violence), Hitler turned more or less to legitimate politics. He built a large political organization and campaigned vigorously. And though it’s true his National Socialists augmented their canvassing for votes with street brawling and thuggery, they were by no means outliers in the use of these tactics. All the major political organizations in Weimar Germany apparently fielded paramilitary groups. This included the Communist Party, the Social Democrats, and even a veterans association known as the Steel Helmets. Seeking Cover Nor did Hitler commit an aberration by circumventing parliament and invoking emergency powers after being named chancellor. The precedent had already been established by several of his predecessors. Early on Hitler also took care to obtain legal cover for his atrocities. After his purge of Nazi stormtroopers in 1934, for example, he persuaded his cabinet to draft a statute retroactively justifying these political murders. One especially perplexing fact is, once the Nazis gained power, the extent to which they labored to put their stamp on German society as a whole. Evans points out how in order to continue functioning, even village sports leagues and choral societies were forced to become nazified—by excluding so-called undesirables and instituting a pledge to the Fuhrer, for example. Not until the war commenced, of course, were the Nazis able to realize their full plans for genocide and colonization. Ironically, the brutality and cynicism with which they implemented their policies eventually undermined their primary means for achieving conquest—terror and superior war-making. Twisted Priorities Germany lacked the manpower to match the Allies in the production of weapons and supplies, for example. So the Third Reich relied heavily on prisoners of war and conscripted foreigners. But these workers were not simply mistreated—quite often they labored under conditions designed to kill them. Granting for a moment that mass murder ranked fairly high on the Nazis’ list of priorities, one still has to ask how they failed to see that massacring their workforce threatened to undercut even loftier goals—like winning the war. One way Evans illustrates this dark irony is through his discussion of the V-2 rocket. He points out that the advanced weapon killed about 5,000 enemy combatants and civilians, while 20,000 workers involved in its production died from disease, starvation and other causes. Evans also notes that the Nazis were so single-minded about killing Jews that they spent increasingly scarce resources toward this aim even late into the war. Not satisfied with butchering most of the Jews on the European continent, Hitler’s minions went so far as to pressure communities on remote Mediterranean islands to hunt down and hand over these supposed arch-enemies of the German people. This effort continued even while Nazi leadership could offer no effective means for protecting their cities from American and British bombers or halting the advance of marauding Soviets. Believing Their Own Lies Equally dumbfounding is how Nazi leadership sought to rationalize their crimes by vilifying Jews through nonsensical propaganda. On one hand, the party line went, Jews deserved their fate because they were a filthy sub-human rabble incapable of contributing to society. On the other hand, Hitler also accused Jews of being wealthy, influential conspirators who were manipulating the world’s most powerful nations into warring against Germany. Whether or not the self-proclaimed leader of the so-called master race actually believed his own grotesque falsehoods is probably unanswerable. That he dared to excuse his brutality with such banality simply proves that the first victim evil targets is always the truth. Dark Lesson Yet ultimately, Evans sees in the history of the Nazis a warning to us all. “The Third Reich,” he writes, “raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and destructiveness that exist, even if only in a small way, within all of us.” And giving into this hatred simply lays the foundation for self-destruction, as the Germans discovered to their own despair. As Evans notes: “The violence at the core of Nazism had in the end been turned back on Germany itself.”

  21. 5 out of 5

    Urey Patrick

    This the last volume in Evans monumental history of the Third Reich. It is a breathtakingly comprehensive, perceptive immersion in the society, government, economy, culture, everyday life, military and political figures, policies and programs of Nazi Germany during the war years. It is spellbinding - informative - hard to put down. Evans dispels myths and conventional wisdom about Hitler's Germany, the relentless racial impetus underlying the ideology, the ruthless nature of the regime. He provi This the last volume in Evans monumental history of the Third Reich. It is a breathtakingly comprehensive, perceptive immersion in the society, government, economy, culture, everyday life, military and political figures, policies and programs of Nazi Germany during the war years. It is spellbinding - informative - hard to put down. Evans dispels myths and conventional wisdom about Hitler's Germany, the relentless racial impetus underlying the ideology, the ruthless nature of the regime. He provides data, comparisons, personal recollections, illustrative personal stories and vignettes. This is not a military history - although its narrative is juxtaposed against the critical military events and the polices and personalities involved. In the same way, it is not a political history - or a biography - yet it blends all those factors and more. The reader experiences Germany from 1939-1945. Evans has created an exhaustively comprehensive yet engaging and compelling history - I could not put it down. If you read only one volume of his trilogy - make it this one!!!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    So, it took me roughly eight years to finish Evan's opus. His first two books (Coming of the Third Reich & Third Reich in Power) are perhaps the two best books I've read on World War 2, so I was looking forward to this last one. It didn't disappoint. I almost want to go back and read the first one again--since towards the end of the war, he comments how support for Nazism had substantially dried up throughout Germany--but I vaguely remember political charts in the first one showing how enthusias So, it took me roughly eight years to finish Evan's opus. His first two books (Coming of the Third Reich & Third Reich in Power) are perhaps the two best books I've read on World War 2, so I was looking forward to this last one. It didn't disappoint. I almost want to go back and read the first one again--since towards the end of the war, he comments how support for Nazism had substantially dried up throughout Germany--but I vaguely remember political charts in the first one showing how enthusiastically the people backed it. Perhaps I'm remembering wrong or it was only certain districts that tipped overwhelmingly to evil, but to me it seemed more like losing began to put a bad taste in people's mouths and not anti-Hitler convictions. I liked how this book, while it could have been several times longer, covered parts often times left out--Serbia and the Balkans in particular.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bookhode

    Ah yes, "The Third Reich at war": the critically acclaimed World War 2 book with almost none of the actual straight up, front line war in it. Following the style and approach that was introduced in the first two books, Richard J. Evans' trilogy ending work focuses primarily on domestic events in Germany (and occupied territories), trying to show how the life was organized, and how the death was industrialized by the ruling Nazi structures, in the period of 1939-45. Along with the ever present abu Ah yes, "The Third Reich at war": the critically acclaimed World War 2 book with almost none of the actual straight up, front line war in it. Following the style and approach that was introduced in the first two books, Richard J. Evans' trilogy ending work focuses primarily on domestic events in Germany (and occupied territories), trying to show how the life was organized, and how the death was industrialized by the ruling Nazi structures, in the period of 1939-45. Along with the ever present abundance of statistical figures, Evans' text here relies heavily on excerpts from numerous letters and diaries, penned by many ordinary Germans (soldiers and civilians alike) throughout the course of the war, effectively demonstrating the rise and decline of people's faith in Hitler and the Nazi apparatus, as well as the rise and decline of their ability to just go with the flow, and ignore the systematic injustices and atrocities perpetrated by the state they all cared about and fought for. The course of the war was such that the early period of lightning German victories was followed by a long, increasingly depressing and hopeless decline, and one thing I feel that the author did really well in this book, was to illustrate the ever-expanding desperation of the people who had experienced it. As the chapters filled with defeats, and massive air raids, and ruins, and victims piled up one after the other, with no end and no hope in sight, it became increasingly difficult for the people on these pages, and for me as a reader to find the will to go on. Just like all of them, I could not wait for the end of this suffering. Unfortunately, the other major topic of this book, that is German treatment of occupied countries and occupied peoples, with the special focus on the Jewish holocaust, was not equally well presented in my opinion. Just like with the domestic front, there was a lot of research put into this, and a whole lot of applicable, meaningful statistics were used to illustrate the unfathomable scale of the whole terrible project of extermination. But in this aspect, Evans' insistence on details, and his repetitive use of place names (weirdly spelled by the way, especially in Poland) and numbers soon led to a complete loss of focus, at the most unfortunate moment. Stalin's notorious quote about the death of millions being just a statistic, had found its unwelcome practical confirmation right here on these pages. Based on these three books I've read, Evans as the author seems to be a great researcher, who is really good with numbers, pretty good with quoting people to illustrate a point, but pretty bad at unifying all these various sources, and using them to formulate an engaging story of his own. Time and time again in these books, I ran into moments that had so much historical gravity, and so much potential to provide a source for an entire subplot chain, but Evans just kept on missing them, or piling up facts all around them, rather than providing an analysis that could further interest and captivate the reader. His pacing decisions were also suspect, as he would routinely follow more dynamic chapters such as the Battle of Kursk, with droning reports on how the German teachers associations coped with the war. I'm paraphrasing here a bit, but my point is that it's a shame that the amount of research and useful data compiled for these books, was not matched by the author's ability to present them in a more inspiring, more user friendly way. Current score: 65/100 Current ranking: 19th on my list of non-fiction books.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Adam Balshan

    3.5 stars [History] Richard J. Evans writes a magisterial history of the Third Reich, in three volumes spanning 2,000 pages. This review will combine content from all three books: The Coming of the Third Reich (2003), The Third Reich in Power (2005), and The Third Reich at War (2008). Writing: 3 stars My rating system is a bell curve, so 3 stars for writing actually constitutes the top 25%. Evans writes in fairly good academic prose that almost never devolves into pedantry. The syntax does not suff 3.5 stars [History] Richard J. Evans writes a magisterial history of the Third Reich, in three volumes spanning 2,000 pages. This review will combine content from all three books: The Coming of the Third Reich (2003), The Third Reich in Power (2005), and The Third Reich at War (2008). Writing: 3 stars My rating system is a bell curve, so 3 stars for writing actually constitutes the top 25%. Evans writes in fairly good academic prose that almost never devolves into pedantry. The syntax does not suffer from flaws which are typical in works published even by professional publishing houses. It is clean writing, if not inspiring or profound. Parallels to broader historical movements are not supplied, nor are virtually any relevant parallels to culture, sociology, psychology, etc.--though Evans might contend these have no place in a pure history book. To make one specific contrast: Evans does much better than Shirer by varying subject matter and genre (Shirer focused overwhelmingly on the diplomatic exchanges of the Reich). It is not very linear, nor organized exceptionally well. It will, however, keep the reader turning pages if (s)he is interested in the subject matter. Evans improves somewhat in the 2nd and 3rd books in the series, with his transitions becoming a little more natural, and pertinent nuances occasionally explained. His explanation of the implications of the Fuhrer Oath in the 2nd book is a notable example. Use: 4 stars Authoritative reference. Register is appropriate for an undergraduate textbook or higher. In the lead-up to the war, Evans's description is much shorter than Shirer's and demonstrates a more appropriate length for non-specialized narrative. Disappointingly, the third volume, on the war, was not comprehensive, yet in the last 761 pages of it Evans did a fair job covering the salient bases. Truth: 3.5 stars Evans practices academic neutrality; he tactfully sprinkles a few politically incorrect truths into the narrative, such as the Darwinist connection to National Socialism, and the Soviet Gulag phenomenon. Evans could have included much more detail about the political resistance of the Church (the only institution to offer such resistance). However, it credits his good sense to have excluded it from more than passing, superficial treatment rather than speculating outside his field (like so many do) and bungling the affair. (The absence of Church resistance narrative was perhaps overly noticeable for my part, as I had finished Erwin Lutzer's book "Hitler's Cross" earlier on the same day as I did Evans's second book, which covered the same period in the Reich.) In the third volume, Evans delivers both starker truths and unfortunate slip-ups, raising certain truth elements a half- or full-star and lowering others the same amount, to arrive again at 3.5 stars on average. On the negative side of relaying truth, he rashly compared Hitler's policies in Poland with that of the American settlers and the Native Americans. On the positive side of relaying truth, he supplied rare diary witness of German cultural attitudes in the run-up to Poland's take-over, seeing themselves as "pioneers" and "cultural missionaries" civilizing the 'dirty Poles.' On the negative, his otherwise meaty section on "Life Unworthy of Life" was almost devoid of ethical comment. On the positive, his description of Nazi and Soviet atrocities for 150 pages in the sections Fortunes of War and The Final Solution ought to be proclaimed ad aeternum--particularly amidst the Orwellian rhetoric of today which ascribes the greatest suspicion of violence to religious war. (Atheistic/Humanistic totalitarianism kills people in the hundreds of thousands without a thought, and in the tens of millions before long, dwarfing all religious war deaths in history combined!) On the negative side, he makes a rare foray into the economic realm, and on p343-4 says that German command economy was "still a capitalist economy" and largely undifferentiated from before, totally missing the germane distinctions between command/market economies and "socialist/capitalist" designators, and moreover baldly contradicting his previous 21 pages. For the side of truth, he tells an uncommon story about how Germans retreating from Italy engaged in biological warfare against their own former allies and intentionally reintroduced malaria to the southern peninsula. Finally, in his very last paragraph he astoundingly asserts, "History does not repeat itself." He digresses at the end into an ephemeral statement of political futurism and says "There will be no Fourth Reich"--because of the kinds of lessons we still learn from the Third today. Writing in 2008, these already disconsonant statements were just a few years shy of our present year, where a massive European and American immigrant crisis has drastically changed formerly nigh-universal Western values of tolerance (and even self-abasement!) to effect a paradigm shift. The fastest-growing political party in Greece is a neo-Nazi party, Europeans fed up with the policies of the EU have been torching empty buildings set apart for immigrant resettlement, rape and willful blindness of that rape are now state policy in several advanced nations, and the Islamic State had added itself to the fold of other state and non-state actors bent on civilizational jihad. History does repeat itself. History not only repeats itself, but Western education has been hurling the discipline of dispassionate History into the toilet for 50 years because it does not conform to faddish, Deconstructionist theories of radical gender theory, radical race theory, or other fabrications. History not only repeats itself, but there are now numerous elements of, yes, Fascism in Europe and America calling themselves "tolerant" while energetically (and even violently) shutting up anyone who would dare disagree with their inane, self-righteous, triumphalistic worldviews. History not only repeats itself, but the West has now classified its own set of people as "non-humans" and murdered more than 100,000,000 of them--in the womb, with forceps, rather than the gas chamber, with Zyklon-B. History does repeat itself, and people have already forgotten its lessons. Street evangelist Ray Comfort can hold up pictures of 6 dictators on a placard and passersby can't even identify Hitler, or relate his most basic tenets or loyalties. We hear everyone on the Internet spouting "You're like Hitler," while having no inkling of what he actually stood for, or the methods of his calculating destruction of his enemies and allies. For a historian to say "History does not repeat itself" was a punch in the gut at the last. Thankfully, as the book ended seconds-of-reading later, it did not otherwise detract from Evans's work. Conclusion 3.5 stars isn't easy to get from me, and even though Evans's content didn't rate higher, this (taken as a trilogy) is now the highest-rated book concerning the Third Reich I have read (out of nine). I do expect Joachim Fest's biography of Hitler (1973) to rate higher, from what I have read in the first 160 pages, and the upcoming book Hitler's Religion by Richard Weikart has great prospect of excellence. However, neither of these works are comprehensive histories of the Third Reich in general, and thus Evans appears to have written the definitive magnum opus in that subcategory. His trilogy is worth buying to any who are interested in the Reich, as well as for any who would not, ahem, repeat history.

  25. 5 out of 5

    DALE Sabo

    Excellent history of broad scope and deep thoughtful analysis. This is the last book of three. This one examines Nazi rule during the Second World War. Not for the squeamish, painful in many parts. Half of the book is military and European history. The other half details the awful crimes of the regime. A grim reminder of horror on an unimaginable scale, deliberately built by a large percentage of an educated, religious and prosperous society. In Germany some eagerly volunteered, some did nothing Excellent history of broad scope and deep thoughtful analysis. This is the last book of three. This one examines Nazi rule during the Second World War. Not for the squeamish, painful in many parts. Half of the book is military and European history. The other half details the awful crimes of the regime. A grim reminder of horror on an unimaginable scale, deliberately built by a large percentage of an educated, religious and prosperous society. In Germany some eagerly volunteered, some did nothing to stop it, and some struggled against it. The story of a machine built to eat the world that ends by eating itself. A long chapter in the history of revenge and retribution from one war to the next. A warning from the past of our capacity for tribalism, racism, militarism and nationalism. Terrible and tragic.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Swystun

    This review is based on my second read of Evans' third and final instalment in his series. I must have been so overwhelmed when I first read to concoct a review. This is a masterful work on its own and that much more impressive given the previous works detailing the Nazi rise to power and its time in power. This book covers the actual war years of 1939-1945. Part of Evans' skill is organization. How he presents the sheer volume of content is beneficial to the reader without dumbing down or making This review is based on my second read of Evans' third and final instalment in his series. I must have been so overwhelmed when I first read to concoct a review. This is a masterful work on its own and that much more impressive given the previous works detailing the Nazi rise to power and its time in power. This book covers the actual war years of 1939-1945. Part of Evans' skill is organization. How he presents the sheer volume of content is beneficial to the reader without dumbing down or making easy this complex history. He is less a narrative historian than Beevor, Ryan, or Atkinson but that adds credibility to his research and analysis. That is not to say he does not take the reader to the frontlines or bombed homes or horrific death camps. He marries macro and micro and that is no easy accomplishment. He brilliantly dissects the Kangaroo Court that was Hitler's inner circle. In hindsight, the war and the Holocaust may even have been much worse if not for juvenile infighting, power games, and ineptitude at the highest levels. On the other hand, it is incredible how they put together the machinery ad bureaucracy of war and terror. We know now that the population was largely complicit and appreciated the victories. There were very few in the German resistance. This is surprising given how so many knew the war was lost from its earliest years. Even the once clean Wehrmacht is largely indictable for carrying on and often carrying on without honour. What struck me most is things may have been worse. If Hitler did not pit his people against each other, they may have advanced their agenda more. If he had not interfered in his general's war plans, the end result would be the same, but the conflict may have been extended. Small compensation but Evans supports the contention. The ideology of superiority and the nonsensical ramblings against Jews, Slavs (Untermensch), mentally and physically challenged gave the populace a shared ideal. One that was enforced with fear through the SS and Gestapo, not to mention fellow citizens who reported on each other. It is incredible how the actions were justified and defended even following the war. We hear much about the Nuremberg Trials but for the scale of atrocities, it is amazing how few trials there actually were. Evans believes the Allies were already prosecuting the Cold War and the trials would whip up more tension between East and West. Yet, out of all of the injustices and ferocity of combat it is the scale of this conflict that is difficult to absorb. The fact that the National Socialists brought this all about in just six years of power hardly seems plausible or possible. Yet, they did, and the impacts are staggering. I have read many histories of the war. Evans brings fresh facts and new thinking. The battle at Kursk was seen a major turning point of on the Eastern Front but the author shows that even though German losses were high they were not as dramatic as most histories claim. Meanwhile, Soviet losses were staggering. Their leaders saw soldiers as a commodity and were not as skilled in war. Evans features the gallows humour of the Germans, specifically Berliners, as the Nazi empire shrunk. And he indicts the other countries who made up the Axis forces. Beyond the big players like Japan and Italy, there was Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovak, Yugoslavia, Croatia, and many puppet governments. The Romanians, Bulgarians, Latvians and Ukrainians who gravitated to the Nazi war effort were brutal. Evans tells of the Bulgarians slaughtering 300,000 Greeks in a quest for territory. That is a little introduction to the scale of the war. The statistics are mindboggling and more so given the Nazis were in power for just a dozen years. We know of the 6 million Jews who died in the camps. Evans chillingly covers the Final Solution and how the Nazis prosecuted it right to the very end. It is incredible the relative low number of war crime trials given the extent and involvement of so many. The author believes the Allies moved on quickly given the demands and delicacies due to the Cold War. Speaking of statistics consider the following: - The British killed 750,000 domestics pets, mostly dogs and cats, in one week at the beginning of the war knowing they could not be supported when the country was on war footing (incredible that citizens so quickly obliged) - 2.5 million Soviet soldiers captured Berlin against a German force of 250,000 men - Soviet losses total 27 million between military and civilian and some estimates go higher - 5.5 million horses died on the Eastern Front - Millions upon millions were displaced on all fronts - Germany lost approximately 5 million soldiers with one-third of those deaths coming in the last four months of the war - Soviet forces raped 1.4 million women in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia. A further 100,000 were raped in Berlin. A diarist pointed out that in Berlin, the Soviet soldiers liked plump and well-fed women best. More often than not, these "were usually the wives of Nazi Party functionaries Statistics, compelling or haunting, never tell the full story. Thankfully, a historian like Evans brings us closer to the critical need to understand our histories. He sums why this important in a brilliant last paragraph in a brilliant history. Read it, read the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Superangela

    The last tome of Evans' historical insight into the third reich was full of details some other books lack. It does also give some insight into what was believed at some point but then corrected. An amazing read!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    It took almost a month to read this description of Germany in WWII. Like "The Guns of August", I cannot imagine the amount of research and time committed to write a treatise such as this. At times it was very hard to read of the atrocities committed by the Third Reich. One such instance that made me feel the horror was when General Omar Bradley, along with Patton and Eisenhower entered a concentration camp in Thuringia. Bradley was so shaken at the sight of over 3200 naked, emaciated bodies in o It took almost a month to read this description of Germany in WWII. Like "The Guns of August", I cannot imagine the amount of research and time committed to write a treatise such as this. At times it was very hard to read of the atrocities committed by the Third Reich. One such instance that made me feel the horror was when General Omar Bradley, along with Patton and Eisenhower entered a concentration camp in Thuringia. Bradley was so shaken at the sight of over 3200 naked, emaciated bodies in open, shallow graves that he was "physically sick". This from an infantry general. I knew only small stories about the war, major battles. This is very comprehensive. Long, but well worth the read if you are interested.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alan Mauldin

    Spoiler alert: Hitler and his goons, after an improbable rise to power and lengthy reign of terror and butchery, get their Nazi asses pounded by a seemingly infinite number of T-34s and Sherman tanks. * In the final volume of his trilogy, author Richard J. Evans recounts how Adolf Hitler launched a global conflagration that he then blamed on the Jews running the show in the U.S. and Britain, the early successes, hubris that allowed the Russians to eliminate Germany's army as an offensive force at Spoiler alert: Hitler and his goons, after an improbable rise to power and lengthy reign of terror and butchery, get their Nazi asses pounded by a seemingly infinite number of T-34s and Sherman tanks. * In the final volume of his trilogy, author Richard J. Evans recounts how Adolf Hitler launched a global conflagration that he then blamed on the Jews running the show in the U.S. and Britain, the early successes, hubris that allowed the Russians to eliminate Germany's army as an offensive force at Stalingrad, and the Achilles' heel that many realized as early as 1941 doomed it in the war -- Germany couldn't win a war of production against the Soviets and U.S, and the Russians had more bodies to throw into the meat grinder that Stalin was perfectly happy to sacrifice by the millions. Millions of Germans fought bravely and died protecting their homeland (the hardcore Nazis never made up more than some 7 percent of the population, if that much), but the writing was on the wall by late 1942. Rather than being on the verge of collapse, as Hitler claimed, the Russians were cranking out more tanks, planes, artillery and the dreaded Katyusha rocket launchers than he could ever have imagined. One thing I like in reading history is an open question: This Evans provided in the discussion of the Allies' refusal to bomb railroad lines leading to Auschwitz and other death camps. Even flattening the camps -- while not good for the inhabitants would have prevented the deaths of perhaps hundreds of thousands of Jews -- would have been a benefit. But those already in the camps were as good as dead anyway, mostly, and being bombed to death has its attractions over being starved and worked to death on projects benefiting the German war effort. Evans gives the standard explanation, that the decision was made that the best way to save the Jews was to get the war over as quickly as possible. But there are examples given in other sources that the Allies diverted resources to save art treasures, and that General Patton diverted tanks and troops to save some dancing horses in Austria. They also bombed production facilities that were staffed by inmates at Auschwitz and auxiliary camps in the immediate vicinity of the killing chambers. Some have claimed that the Allies thought that their countries would be forced to accept large numbers of Jewish refugees if the camps and their railroads were attacked. Even after Kristallnacht, a solid majority of Americans were adamantly opposed to upping immigration quotas to allow Jews into the country. A ship filled with German Jews famously was turned away from the U.S. and several other "Christian" nations before finally returning to Germany, where nearly all died. The more things change, eh? Some leaders in the Allied countries actually did accept the Nazi narrative that in Soviet nations Jews were synonymous with communism and more particularly Bolshevism. Personally, I think that the emphasis the Nazis placed on eliminating the Jewish population was seen as a much larger diversion for the Germans. Adolf Eichmann made sure that trains were filled and rolling eastward toward the death camps, even at the expense of the country's military and industrial needs for transportation of troops, resources and arms. They tied up huge numbers of guards who otherwise could be on the battlefield or working in the munitions industry. Hitler made Jew-killing a priority until basically the very end of the war. In fact, it was when the Nazis realized that the war was over that they committed to devoting ever more resources to mass murder of every Jew they could get their hands on. To see why, it's worth nothing that Germany had a lengthy history of pogroms, as did other European nations-- Germany just seemed to be among the more zealous. Martin Luther famously wrote in "On the Jews and Their Lies" that all Jewish synagogues should be burnt to the ground, all Jews' houses destroyed, and they should be forced to earn their living as menial laborers and be banned from all other occupations. The idea of removing Jews from governmental and professional-class jobs was made in the German Reichstag in the 1890s, long before Hitler came on the scene. The Nazis promoted, and many Germans bought, the narrative that the Jews were behind the "stab in the back" theory that caused the German population, starving and war-weary, to turn against the army and brought about Germany's capitulation when its military was still capable of winning World War I. The reaction of Charlotte L., quoted by Evans from her diary, showed that this belief from 1918 didn't die with Hitler. After learning of his death she wrote: "As wonderful as things were under the Leadership of Adolf Hitler, they can no longer be for a long time. The newspapers are telling lies and screwing up their propaganda beyond measure. Behind all of this stands the Jew. Will the world ever realize that the Jew is the evil for us all?" Change "Jew" to "elites" and we have another more things change (...) moment here in 2017. We see nationalist, far-right groups becoming more powerful -- and more accepted and open in their fascist-like prescriptions -- in Europe and the U.S. these days. Under certain conditions these noxious strains of thought can unleash something that no one can imagine. The vast majority of Germans, though not supporters of Hitler, never thought he would utterly destroy their country. And it could have been worse: Hitler, at the end, demanded the destruction of dams, factories and infrastructure (those things that the U.S. and British bombers hadn't already destroyed) because since the Germans were unworthy of his brilliant leadership and, being that they were weak losers, deserved to be utterly wiped out as a people. In the some 2,500 pages or so of Evans' trilogy, there is a lot of material to make one think deeply about these issues. The Nazi regime was built on hate and fear and a belief that a return to "traditional values" were needed to make Germany great again. Hitler realized that when people are worried about boogeymen they can be swayed by emotion and by directing their anger at "the other" and the so-called untermensch into doing truly horrifying things. He used a lesser version of this in governing -- having several bodies whose functions overlap, making sure that they are constantly battling among themselves. That assured that they would be absorbed in their petty intrigues and private squabbles to challenge him, in my opinion. So, anyway, hate and fear and return to traditional values. Let's wrap this up with Evans wrapping up: "The Third Reich raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and destructiveness that exist, even if only in a small way, within all of us. It demonstrates with terrible clarity the ultimate potential consequences of racism, militarism and authoritarianism. It shows what can happen if some people are treated as less human than others. It poses in the most extreme possible form the moral dilemmas we all face at one time or another in our lives, of conformity or resistance, action or inaction in the particular situations with which we are confronted. That is why the Third Reich will not go away, but continues to command the attention of thinking people throughout the world long after it has passed into history." The last death-camp survivors will soon pass into that history; even now there are millions around the world who deny the Holocaust occurred, or, that if it did, disbelieve that deaths occurred in such great numbers. For the sake of argument, instead of 6 million let's suppose it was instead 4 million Jews intentionally slaughtered. Or 3 million. Or 1 million (a low-ball figure for the genocide of Jews carried out at Auschwitz-Berkenau alone). That doesn't alter the fact that less than 100 years ago there was a supposedly "civilized" European nation with a population that was more than 95 percent Christian that either through active participation or silent acquiescence (the Holocaust was the worst-kept-secret in Nazi Germany, apparently) rolled with the notion that the targeted elimination of an entire race was a pretty good idea. The engineers on the trains bursting with humans with stamped one-way tickets? Not Nazis. A number of doctors who decided life or death for those brought in from a cursory "special selection" of those chosen because they were judged to be potential healthy workers? Not Nazis. Those who were silent when their Jewish neighbors were first packed into ghettos and then sent East? Mostly not Nazis. Those who turned in fellow Germans who sheltered or even, in some instances, were just kind to Jews? Mostly not Nazis. The pope who made a deal with Hitler that resulted in his throttling the few church officials willing to speak out when the mentally ill and -handicapped and other "useless eaters" were euthanized, eliminating the church's moral authority when the serious killing began? Yeah, maybe he was a Nazi, in deed if not a card-carrying member of the tribe. * TLDR version: This is an amazing body of work that demonstrates how a nation of allegedly civilized people descend into madness and kill millions of people and a lesson from which, unfortunately, one can draw many parallels with our current political world. We ignore it at our peril. "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -- Albert Enistein

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ahn

    In Evans' third volume of this history set, he provides a comprehensive and precisely detailed account of the Third Reich from September 1939 through the end of the war and its aftermath. In Evans careful reporting, the horrors of the Holocaust are meticulously and clearly set on record. This is a history that cannot be forgotten. In his final paragraph, Evans writes: "The Third Reich raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and destructiveness that ex In Evans' third volume of this history set, he provides a comprehensive and precisely detailed account of the Third Reich from September 1939 through the end of the war and its aftermath. In Evans careful reporting, the horrors of the Holocaust are meticulously and clearly set on record. This is a history that cannot be forgotten. In his final paragraph, Evans writes: "The Third Reich raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and destructiveness that exist, even if only in a small way, within all of us. It demonstrates with terrible clarity the ultimate potential consequences of racism, militarism and authoritarianism. It shows what can happen if some people are treated as less human than others. It poses in the most extreme possible form the moral dilemmas we all face at one time or another in our lives, of conformity or resistance, action or inaction in the particular situations with which we are confronted. That is why the Third Reich will not go away, but continues to command the attention of thinking people throughout the world long after it has passed into history." (764) We forget or dismiss this history only at our great peril.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.