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Hitler: 1936-1945: Nemesis (1999)

by Ian Kershaw

Series: Kershaw's Hitler (2)

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1,2851811,146 (4.32)11
Drawing on many previously underutilized resources--including the diaries of Joseph Goebbels--a portrait of Hitler encompasses events preceding World War II as well as the war years
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This book is different to most books on World War II in that it focusses on Adolf Hitler, and how the lives of others intersected with his. The story is told from his perspective; only in a few instances isthere some information to tidy-up a story.
Two examples: The D-Day landings barely rate a mention; nothing is mentioned that they were to occur. And Erwin Rommel's final fall from grace is told from the perspective of what Hitler wanted to occur.
It's a terrible, terrible story. Once again we ponder on why those around him were paralysed such that they could not even influence what this 'madman' did. Heinz Guderian tried; the assassination plotters tried; the young students in Munich tried; and in the final days of the war Albert Speer disobeyed orders for German property to be destroyed when retreating. But for the rest it was a cabal of true-believers, thugs, and self-promoters.

This is a wonderful (and long) book; I have not read the first volume. ( )
  robeik | Oct 22, 2020 |
Samenvatting:
Het tweede deel van de omvangrijke, uitstekend gedocumenteerde Hitlerbiografie van de hand van de Britse historicus Kershaw behandelt de periode van 1936 (bezetting Rijnland) tot 1945 (ondergang Derde Rijk). Dit deel laat zien hoe Hitler in 1938 zonder oorlog veel bereikte (zoals de Anschluss van Oostenrijk en de annexatie van Sudetenland), maar streefde naar meer: wereldoverheersing en vernietiging van bolsjewisme en jodendom. Hij ontketende de Tweede Wereldoorlog, speelde alles-of-niets en sleepte het Duitse volk mee in de ondergang. Velen waren bereid de leider 'tegemoet te werken', zo laat Kershaw zien, zoals bij de uitvoering van de vernietigingsplannen met betrekking tot de joden. In 1945 moest het Duitse volk boeten, ten koste van onnoemelijke verwoestingen. Dit deel van de biografie is even meeslepend geschreven als het eerste; het geeft een geslaagde combinatie van persoonsbeschrijving en sociale geschiedenis.
Recensie(s):
Het tweede deel van de omvangrijke, uitstekend gedocumenteerde Hitlerbiografie van de hand van de Britse historicus Kershaw behandelt de periode van 1936 (bezetting Rijnland) tot 1945 (ondergang Derde Rijk). Dit deel laat zien hoe Hitler in 1938 zonder oorlog veel bereikte (zoals de Anschluss van Oostenrijk en de annexatie van Sudetenland), maar streefde naar meer: wereldoverheersing en vernietiging van bolsjewisme en jodendom. Hij ontketende de Tweede Wereldoorlog, speelde alles-of-niets en sleepte het Duitse volk mee in de ondergang. Velen waren bereid de leider 'tegemoet te werken', zo laat Kershaw zien, zoals bij de uitvoering van de vernietigingsplannen met betrekking tot de joden. In 1945 moest het Duitse volk boeten, ten koste van onnoemelijke verwoestingen. Dit deel van de biografie is even meeslepend geschreven als het eerste*; het geeft een geslaagde combinatie van persoonsbeschrijving en sociale geschiedenis. Het boek vormt ongetwijfeld een standaardwerk, een geslaagde synthese, die oudere werken van Bullock en Fest in de schaduw stelt.
(Biblion recensie, Dr. J.L.G. v. Oudheusden)
  Langshan | Dec 11, 2019 |
Sir Ian Kershaw has written the definitive biography of Adolf Hitler. Lord Kershaw is a Fellow of the British Academy. He is considered one of the foremost authorities on the history of Germany. He has written several other books about WWII and Hitler, but this work is absolutely the most thorough of any books on Hitler.

This book is actually two volumes. The first volume, "Hitler: Hubris," covers Hitler's life from birth to 1936. The second volume, "Hitler: Nemesis," covers 1936 to 1945.

Together the volumes make up over 1500 pages. Lord Kershaw himself abridged the two volumes into one book for those who don't want to take on such a long book.

What is so remarkable about this work is that it is so well documented without surmising, guessing or otherwise interpreting events to suit the author's preferences -- which so often happens with famous and infamous people.

An example of how meticulous is the research:

Other books about Hitler's early life and his joining the Democratic Socialist Party make claims about his being an early member of the party with a membership number in the single digits.

This claim is apparently untrue. His membership "card" was numbered in the 500s. It wasn't until he became a sought-after public speaker and leader of anti-Bolshevik sentiments that his card was changed to reflect an earlier membership number.

Many books about Hitler are really about WWII. This book, of course, covers the war, but it is an actual well-articulated biography.

I confess that I would never have gotten through these two volumes but for the availability of them in audiobook format. While it is faster to read, it is -- at least for me -- easier to listen while sometimes doing other things.

If you really want to know about Adolf Hitler and how he came to be the infamous -- but apparently charismatic -- person he was, read these two volumes. They are well worth your time. ( )
  ClassicMovieFan | May 24, 2017 |
This is the second volume of a very readable biography of Hitler. Although the two books are very long, they are a good investment since there is so much information to cover. ( )
  M_Clark | Apr 10, 2016 |
Marginally less gripping than colume 1, simply because the ale of Htler in piwer has a grinding, megaloaniacal sameness in some ways after a while. ( )
  steve.lane | Nov 28, 2015 |
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Drawing on many previously underutilized resources--including the diaries of Joseph Goebbels--a portrait of Hitler encompasses events preceding World War II as well as the war years

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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