This substantially revised and updated edition of The Nazis – A Warning from History tells the powerfully gripping story of the rise and fall of the Third Reich. During a 16-year period, acclaimed author and documentary-maker Laurence Rees met and interviewed a large number of former Nazis, and his unique insights into the Nazi psyche and World War 2 received enormous praise. At the heart of the book lies compelling eyewitness accounts of life under Adolf Hitler, spoken through the words of those who experienced the Nazi regime at every level of society. An extensive new section on the Nazi/Soviet war (previously published in Rees’ War of the Century) provides a chilling insight into Nazi mentality during the most bloody conflict in history.
‘The Nazis – A Warning from History’ exposes the popular myth surrounding the rise and fall of the Third Reich. The book takes a fresh look at how the Nazis came to power, how they ruled and Hitler’s role within the party. It describes the horrors perpetrated on the Eastern Front, including the occupation and division of Poland, the growth of anti-semitism to its culmination in the gas chambers of Treblinka and Auschwitz, and the final months of the war when the Nazis came to reap the consequences of the suffering they had sown. It challenges the popularly accepted perception of Nazi power which focuses on Hitler as the source of all the regime’s evil. Above all, it considers how a cultured nation such as Germany could be responsible for such acts of inhumanity. Included here are the testimonies of more than fifty eye-witnesses, many of whom were committed Nazis and are only now free to tell their story as a result of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism. Their experiences confirm that there was massive collaboration with the Nazi regime, both at home and on the war fronts, and that the terrible atrocities in the east were the work not just of elite killing squads but also of ordinary German soldiers and of local civilian populations. Laurence Rees’s history of the Nazis sheds new light on the causes of the worst conflict the world has ever known. The thought provoking conclusions may not be what we would like to believe.
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