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Plotting Hitler's Death: The Story of German Resistance

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  64 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Fest recounts in vivid detail the events leading up to the July 20, 1944 attempt by German anti-Nazi conspirators to kill Hitler with a bomb, and for the first time, brings to a popular audience the full story of the German resistance.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 15th 1997 by Holt Paperbacks (first published 1994)
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Erik Graff
May 19, 2014 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
I've read three books about attempts to assassinate Hitler during the last year. Although not exhaustive, this is by far the best of the lot both for its content and for the quality of its prose.

While a number of assassination plots are mentioned, the focus of this book is on Stauffenberg's attempt in 1944, an event recently portrayed in the Film Valkyrie. But this is more than a year-by-year, day-by-day, hour-by-hour detailing of events. It is also a serious attempt to get at the true motives--
Heather Tomlinson
Aug 31, 2014 Heather Tomlinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history

This is a fast paced and interesting history of the group of men who plotted to kill Hitler and attempt to prevent war. The title is a little bit misleading, as it is only focused on this fairly small group, not on the wider German resistance against the Nazis.

It's not that well known that there were high level people in the Nazis who were unhappy with the regime. They didn't actually act for some time, it seems a list of unfortunate events happened to prevent this. And obviously, they were not
As a teenager, Joachim Fest spent two years as an American POW. No doubt during those two years he asked himself How could this happen? How could his country and his people follow a madman into the abyss? Did no one see the path they were on? Why didn't someone do something?

Years later, Fest wrote this book to answer that very question. The reality that I had been unaware was was that yes, many Germans in all levels of government, military, and society DID see the path they were on. And they plo
Bob Koelle
Sep 26, 2013 Bob Koelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Late in the book appears this passage: "The conspiracy of July 20 was plainly not the work of a few disgruntled, resentful or exhausted officers...quite the contrary, the roots of the conspiracy reached as far back as 1938, the highest echelons of the Wehrmacht were involved, and the motives of the conspirators were far more complex than anyone had expected."

That's a decent summary of the book, which gives you the story known as Valkyrie today, but much more. All conspirators hated the Weimar go
Sep 26, 2014 Jur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii, own
Very good. Details Hitler's actions to gain control of the armed forces, and the resistance that developed in opposition to his actions in the late 1930s.

Early thoughts of a coup in 1938 and 1939 all come to naught and by 1942 some come to the conclusion that only assassinating Hitler will do. However, none of these guys has the guts to actually pull it off.

Enter Stauffenberg, man of action. In Fest's account, Stauffenberg almost forces the whole thing through singlehandedly. Sadly, it fails, a
Apr 25, 2013 Zechy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, war, politics
Fantastic book. Apparently well researched, definitely well annotated. Before reading this I didn't know that German resistance to the Nazis was so widespread or so nearly successful. Depressing, but well worth the read. Brought home like nothing else has how pre-Nazi Germany really wasn't all that special, how the same thing can happen again. The parallels between the Weimar Republic and the how the US is right now are truly terrifying. Just goes to show that the study of history is never obsol ...more
Dec 08, 2007 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
They almost did it!
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Joachim Fest was a German historian, journalist, critic and editor, best known for his writings and public commentary on Nazi Germany, including an important biography of Adolf Hitler and books about Albert Speer and the German Resistance to Nazism. He was a leading figure in the debate among German historians about the Nazi period.
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