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The end the defiance and destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Ian Kershaw

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1,0612319,698 (4.04)23
"From the preeminent Hitler biographer, a fascinating and original exploration of how the Third Reich was willing and able to fight to the bitter end of World War II. Countless books have been written about why Nazi Germany lost World War II, yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the equally vital question of how and why it was able to hold out as long as it did. The Third Reich did not surrender until Germany had been left in ruins and almost completely occupied. Even in the near-apocalyptic final months, when the war was plainly lost, the Nazis refused to sue for peace. Historically, this is extremely rare. Drawing on original testimony from ordinary Germans and arch-Nazis alike, award-winning historian Ian Kershaw explores this fascinating question in a gripping and focused narrative that begins with the failed bomb plot in July 1944 and ends with the German capitulation in May 1945. Hitler, desperate to avoid a repeat of the "disgraceful" German surrender in 1918, was of course critical to the Third Reich's fanatical determination, but his power was sustained only because those below him were unable, or unwilling, to challenge it. Even as the military situation grew increasingly hopeless, Wehrmacht generals fought on, their orders largely obeyed, and the regime continued its ruthless persecution of Jews, prisoners, and foreign workers. Beneath the hail of allied bombing, German society maintained some semblance of normalcy in the very last months of the war. The Berlin Philharmonic even performed on April 12, 1945, less than three weeks before Hitler's suicide. As Kershaw shows, the structure of Hitler's "charismatic rule" created a powerful negative bond between him and the Nazi leadership- they had no future without him, and so their fates were inextricably tied. Terror also helped the Third Reich maintain its grip on power as the regime began to wage war not only on its ideologically defined enemies but also on the German people themselves. Yet even as each month brought fresh horrors for civilians, popular support for the regime remained linked to a patriotic support of Germany and a terrible fear of the enemy closing in. Based on prodigious new research, Kershaw's The End is a harrowing yet enthralling portrait of the Third Reich in its last desperate gasps. "--… (more)
Member:jd1000
Title:The end the defiance and destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945
Authors:Ian Kershaw
Info:New York : Penguin Press, 2011.
Collections:Your library
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Tags:calibre

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The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 by Ian Kershaw (Author) (2011)

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English (20)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
After the recent 80th D-Day commemorations I began to wonder why Nazi Germany had neither surrendered nor disintegrated under its 1944-45 two front onslaught. It turns out this book was written precisely to answer this question - and it did. There were multiple reasons, but that answer was not a dodge - Kershaw explores each one of them and explains how they were mutually reinforcing. Hitler and Nazism were steadily losing crediibility and popularity throughout the period, but people kept on behaving as though that were not the case. Hitler had already removed every check and balance to his power, but that also meant that he was the only linchpin - and the regime, the whole organization, ended almost immediately upon his death.

The book begins with the failure of the assassination attempt on Hitler in July 1944 and ends with the dissolution of the Nazi regime in May 1945. It is an academic book, rather dense, but with a number of aids such as a list of main actors, a detailed index, source descriptions, and beginning and ending summaries. It relies on an incredible variety of sources, and is heavily footnoted.

I learned a lot specifically about the period and more generally about how regimes collapse. I may read it again. ( )
  Waterthrush | Jun 30, 2024 |
Germany was fighting on two fronts and out numbered by men and arsenals. Why did they keep fighting to complete destruction. Kershaw examines the mentality that kept the fighting going beyond all reason.
( )
  kropferama | Jan 1, 2023 |
The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1944-45, is the first book that I have read by the author Ian Kershaw, and I was glad I had purchased it. The book, through various sources, gives the reader an overall picture of the state of Nazi Germany from July 1944 to the final days in May 1945. He paints a good picture of the complete chaos, that was punctuated by bombings, fanatascism, sensless murder and the deteriation of German society. To reiterate what I had told a friend, “It’s a 400 page story of a train wreck that you cannot put down once you have started reading it.”

Ian Kershaw presents a portrait at various levels of the regime as the noose of the allied forces was closing in on Germany. While offering an overall view of the events of the time, he intertwines the narrative with personal accounts gleaned from his sources. This is not a book on the Wehrmacht, the Nazis, nor the Grerman population. It is a collection of several snapshots in time, detailing the unfolding chaos that was happening with these groups, their actions and reactions to their surroundings and their eventual fate.

The book offers 108 pages of notes supporting the text, 22 pages of sources and index to reference events, people and things within the book. Also included are 16 pages of 41 black and white photographs presented to represent the leadership, locations and incidents covered in the book. The book has nine maps for reference. I sailed through this book when I read it, as it is a fascinating time and place in history, well presented by Mr. Kershaw.
1 vote Armchair-Blitzkrieg | Jul 23, 2022 |
Samenvatting:
Terwijl de rampzalige nederlaag begin 1945 zich in alle hevigheid aandiende, werd er door de Duitsers wel gezegd dat ze liever kozen voor een einde vol leed, dan leed zonder einde. Het einde vol leed vond dan ook op grote schaal plaats, zoals nog nooit eerder in de geschiedenis is voorgekomen. Enkele bloedstollende cijfers van de laatste maanden zijn de half miljoen burgerslachtoffers en de 350.000 slachtoffers per maand bij alleen al de Wehrmacht. Veel van dit alles had voorkomen kunnen worden als Duitsland had willen buigen voor de geallieerde voorwaarden. Waarom vocht het Duitse volk, tegen beter weten in, door tot het bittere einde? Ian Kershaw stelt in zijn nieuwe boek Tot de laatste man deze vraag centraal. In een onovertroffen stijl vertelt hij over de gebeurtenissen tussen juli 1944, vanaf de mislukte aanslag op Hitler, en de geallieerde overwinning in mei 1945. De focus ligt bij de Duitse bevolking, die het zwaar te verduren had met luchtaanvallen, op de vlucht moest voor het oprukkende Rode Leger en getuige was van de verschrikkelijke dodenmarsen van concentratiekampgevangenen.
Recensie(s):
De Britse historicus Sir Ian Kershaw is bijna zijn hele leven verbonden geweest als hoogleraar hedendaagse geschiedenis aan de universiteit van Sheffield. In Nederland kreeg hij vooral bekendheid door boeken als 'Heulen met Hitler' en zijn biografisch tweeluik over Adolf Hitler 'Hoogmoed en Vergelding'. In dit boek analyseert hij diepgaand het antwoord op de vraag waarom nazi-Duitsland niet bereid was zich neer te leggen bij de geallieerde voorwaarden tot capitulatie. Het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog bracht Duitsland immers verwoesting en verlies van menselijk leven op een ongekende schaal. In plaats van het zoeken naar vredesvoorwaarden vocht Duitsland door tot een bijna totale verwoesting en volledige vijandelijke bezetting. Waarom werden Hitlers orders nog steeds gehoorzaamd? Deze goed gedocumenteerde studie beschrijft geen militaire geschiedenis, maar gaat in op aspecten als de bestuursstructuren van de nazipartij en haar onderorganisaties, de denkwijze van de bestuurders en zij die bestuurd werden. Van nazileiders tot eenvoudige burgers en van generaals tot soldaten, zowel aan de oostelijke als westelijke fronten. De auteur is er uitstekend in geslaagd om dit moeilijke onderwerp voor een groot publiek begrijpelijk te maken. Met kaarten en een fotokatern.

E. Westerhuis
  Langshan | Dec 21, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kershaw, IanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Binder, KlausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dauzat, Pierre-EmmanuelTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engström, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuil, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leineweber, BerndÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mulder, TinyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pfeiffer, MartinÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"From the preeminent Hitler biographer, a fascinating and original exploration of how the Third Reich was willing and able to fight to the bitter end of World War II. Countless books have been written about why Nazi Germany lost World War II, yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the equally vital question of how and why it was able to hold out as long as it did. The Third Reich did not surrender until Germany had been left in ruins and almost completely occupied. Even in the near-apocalyptic final months, when the war was plainly lost, the Nazis refused to sue for peace. Historically, this is extremely rare. Drawing on original testimony from ordinary Germans and arch-Nazis alike, award-winning historian Ian Kershaw explores this fascinating question in a gripping and focused narrative that begins with the failed bomb plot in July 1944 and ends with the German capitulation in May 1945. Hitler, desperate to avoid a repeat of the "disgraceful" German surrender in 1918, was of course critical to the Third Reich's fanatical determination, but his power was sustained only because those below him were unable, or unwilling, to challenge it. Even as the military situation grew increasingly hopeless, Wehrmacht generals fought on, their orders largely obeyed, and the regime continued its ruthless persecution of Jews, prisoners, and foreign workers. Beneath the hail of allied bombing, German society maintained some semblance of normalcy in the very last months of the war. The Berlin Philharmonic even performed on April 12, 1945, less than three weeks before Hitler's suicide. As Kershaw shows, the structure of Hitler's "charismatic rule" created a powerful negative bond between him and the Nazi leadership- they had no future without him, and so their fates were inextricably tied. Terror also helped the Third Reich maintain its grip on power as the regime began to wage war not only on its ideologically defined enemies but also on the German people themselves. Yet even as each month brought fresh horrors for civilians, popular support for the regime remained linked to a patriotic support of Germany and a terrible fear of the enemy closing in. Based on prodigious new research, Kershaw's The End is a harrowing yet enthralling portrait of the Third Reich in its last desperate gasps. "--

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