The Nazis: A Warning from History
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The Nazis: A Warning from History

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by Laurence Rees
     
 

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, previously unpublished archival material and photographs documenting the reality of daily life in Nazi Germany were made available for the first time. These materials have been collected by BBC producer Laurence Rees and used in the making of a Peabody Award-winning documentary as well as the fully illustrated book of the same name,…  See more details below

Overview

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, previously unpublished archival material and photographs documenting the reality of daily life in Nazi Germany were made available for the first time. These materials have been collected by BBC producer Laurence Rees and used in the making of a Peabody Award-winning documentary as well as the fully illustrated book of the same name, The Nazis: A Warning from History.

Rees offers a description of the entire evolution of the ruthless slaughter of the Jews in Germany, contrasting the more simplistic view of the final years that so often is depicted. He presents this history through extensive use of interviews with those participating in the Holocaust as both villains and victims.

Some individual stories included in this epic historical book include those of a Lithuanian soldier who shot 500 people and then went to lunch; the horrified sister of a ten-year-old retarded boy "selected for immunization injection" (a fatal dose of morphine) at a hospital specializing in the "treatment" of disabled children; and a 21-year-old woman who signed a denunciation, which ultimately sent her neighbor to a concentration camp, claiming that her neighbor was "visited by a woman of Jewish appearance" and stating that her neighbor was "behaving suspiciously."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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 Fhrer'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 Wrzburg indicates that the secret policefar from randomly unleashing terrorspent 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)
Booknews
Reed, writer and producer of the BBC television series , 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.
From the Publisher

"A chilling crash course on the Nazi’s chaotic rule." —Publishers Weekly

"An outstandingly crisp, coherent account of Hitler’s rise to power." —Sunday Telegraph

"Brilliant oral history." —The Daily Telegraph

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781567319132
Publisher:
MJF Books
Publication date:
03/30/2008
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 9.70(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

A. J. Kers
May 1998

"'A Warning from History,' the subtitle of Laurence Rees's book, is a fitting one. It may be that in the eyes of God all historical epochs are of equal importance, but in the eyes of mortals, the Nazi era has a unique place. Nazism cannot be regarded with detachment or seen as simply the arena for scholarly debates. Its history belongs to all of us. Its lessons should be heeded by all of us."--Professor Ian Kershaw

Meet the Author


Laurence Rees, writer and producer of the BBC television series The Nazis, is the creative director of history programs for BBC Television. He lives in London.

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