The Nazis A warning from history

Laurence Rees, 1957-

Book - 1997

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Subjects
Published
New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co c1997.
Language
English
Item Description
Originally published: London : BBC Books, 1997.
"Published to accompany the television series The Nazis--a warning from history, first broadcast on BBC2 in 1997"--T.p. verso.
Physical Description
256 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 26 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (p. [243]-245) and index.
ISBN
1565844459
9781565844452
Main Author
Laurence Rees, 1957- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Rees produced the BBC series being televised on the History Channel in spring 1998 with which this heavily pictorial work is associated and, with a historian's guidance, wrote this text, which summarizes the oft-told strange and frightening history of the National Socialist German Workers' Party and its leader. The author's innovation in this project is his interviews with about 50 septuagenarian and octogenarian acolytes and victims of Hitler who have not testified on-screen before. Poles, Lithuanians, and Germans, they were, presumably, previously beyond the reach of documentary filmmakers because of the iron curtain. Getting their guard down, Rees manages to elicit some shockingly honest admissions from ex-Nazis, SS killers, and even an ordinary informant for the Gestapo--"ordinary" because the Nazis, research more and more proves, expected and got willing cooperation from German citizens. Such recollections Rees inserts into the appropriate chronological place of the gathering war and genocide, lending tragic personal details to the course in Nazism 101 that his project represents. Appropriate for any size or type of library. ((Reviewed March 15, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Rees, head of the BBC's history programming division, has drawn on newly available archival material and about 50 interviews he conducted with "eyewitnesses" to present a chilling crash course on the Nazis' chaotic rule. According to the author, despite the Germans' much-vaunted reputation for efficiency, Hitler's regime was largely an improvisation, with his underlings ever striving to do the Fuhrer's bidding. Rees traces how measures affecting countless lives, e.g., establishing ghettos for Jews, were often decided haphazardly, with Hitler instructing subordinates, who were frequently bitter rivals, to "sit down together and when you've made up [your minds about a policy], come and see me." Though most Gestapo files were destroyed before war's end, one revealing discovery from intact archives in the town of Wurzburg indicates that the secret police?far from randomly unleashing terror?spent much of its time responding to denunciations by ordinary citizens against their neighbors. An interesting focus of this book is on perpetrators of Nazi crimes. Fritz Arlt, a ranking German official in occupied Poland, when asked whether he knew what went on in the concentration camps to which his orders consigned thousands of Poles, conceded only, "They were places where people were concentrated." The inhuman face of the Nazi enterprise is exposed here as a significantly grass-roots construction. Throughout, graphic photos highlight Nazi crimes. (May)

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Rees, head of the BBC's history programming division, has drawn on newly available archival material and about 50 interviews he conducted with "eyewitnesses" to present a chilling crash course on the Nazis' chaotic rule. According to the author, despite the Germans' much-vaunted reputation for efficiency, Hitler's regime was largely an improvisation, with his underlings ever striving to do the Führer's bidding. Rees traces how measures affecting countless lives, e.g., establishing ghettos for Jews, were often decided haphazardly, with Hitler instructing subordinates, who were frequently bitter rivals, to "sit down together and when you've made up [your minds about a policy], come and see me." Though most Gestapo files were destroyed before war's end, one revealing discovery from intact archives in the town of Würzburg indicates that the secret police far from randomly unleashing terror spent much of its time responding to denunciations by ordinary citizens against their neighbors. An interesting focus of this book is on perpetrators of Nazi crimes. Fritz Arlt, a ranking German official in occupied Poland, when asked whether he knew what went on in the concentration camps to which his orders consigned thousands of Poles, conceded only, "They were places where people were concentrated." The inhuman face of the Nazi enterprise is exposed here as a significantly grass-roots construction. Throughout, graphic photos highlight Nazi crimes. (May) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The companion volume to a highly acclaimed BBC series due to be broadcast on the A&E cable-TV network presents a wealth of previously unpublished archival material, photographs, and eyewitness testimony from the Holocaust. TV tie-in.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Previously unpublished archival material, photographs, and eyewitness testimony offer a look at Nazi Germany from Hitler's rise to power to the end of World War II

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Reed, writer and producer of the BBC television series The Nazis , presents previously unpublished archival material and photographs documenting how the Nazis came to power and chronicling daily life in Nazi Germany. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Published in conjunction with the History Channel and the BBC, this prizewinning volume, now back in print, contains previously unpublished material and photographs documenting the reality of life under Nazi rule and the evolution of the ruthless slaughter of millions of people in Germany.In this handsome edition, BBC producer and renowned historian Laurence Rees has collected the testimonies of more than fifty eyewitnesses, many of whom were committed Nazis, free to tell their stories only after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Rees offers us the compelling voices of soldiers and civilians rarely heard from—including a remorseless Lithuanian soldier who shot five hundred people and then went out to lunch, and the anguished older sister of a ten-year-old developmentally disabled boy selected for “immunization injection” (a fatal dose of morphine) at a children’s hospital. These materials cast a harsh new light on the rise and fall of the Third Reich.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Published in conjunction with the History Channel and the BBC, this prizewinning volume, now back in print, contains previously unpublished material and photographs documenting the reality of life under Nazi rule and the evolution of the ruthless slaughter of millions of people in Germany.

In this handsome edition, BBC producer and renowned historian Laurence Rees has collected the testimonies of more than fifty eyewitnesses, many of whom were committed Nazis, free to tell their stories only after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Rees offers us the compelling voices of soldiers and civilians rarely heard from—including a remorseless Lithuanian soldier who shot five hundred people and then went out to lunch, and the anguished older sister of a ten-year-old developmentally disabled boy selected for "immunization injection" (a fatal dose of morphine) at a children's hospital. These materials cast a harsh new light on the rise and fall of the Third Reich.