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Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  866 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Fest describes in riveting detail the final weeks of the war, from the desperate battles that raged night and day in the ruins of Berlin, fought by boys and old men, to the growing paranoia that marked Hitler's mental state, to his suicide and the efforts of his loyal aides to destroy his body before the advancing Russian armies reached Berlin. Inside Hitler's Bunker combi ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by Picador (first published 2002)
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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. ShirerThe Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. EvansInside Hitler's Bunker by Joachim FestExplaining Hitler by Ron RosenbaumThe Third Reich in Power by Richard J. Evans
Hitler, Nazism
3rd out of 27 books — 19 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank BaumThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
IMDB 250
74th out of 129 books — 48 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,573)
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Mar 05, 2011 Conrad rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Reading too many books about Hitler threatens to plant one in the demographic of middle aged American white guys who go to Pennsylvania wargame cons in full Waffen gear, then go home to have their wives put on dirndls and spank them. I am not a part of that demographic (...though I've played more rounds of Europe Engulfed than is probably healthy). This is for work. This. Is. For. Work.

So there are a few brands of German writing about the war. There's the Sebald-style, revisionist, it's-time-to
Alexis Ohanian
Feb 28, 2010 Alexis Ohanian rated it it was ok
I get a little nervous when a "history" book (at least, that was the section it was in) doesn't have any endnotes or footnotes. I get more than a little nervous when the explanation given by the author is essentially "lots of the accounts contradicted one another, so I didn't want to confuse you, the reader, by including citations".

Granted, the scene in Hitler's bunker in those final months of the war were confusing to say the least. But throw us history majors a bone here, Herr Fest. Much of t
Jul 20, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adrian Zmed
Shelves: european-history

It's somewhat surprising that the precise events and situations inside Hitler's bunker in April 1945 are so hard to pin down with complete accuracy. Eyewitnesses who walked in on the bodies minutes later couldn't even agree on whether Adolf and Eva Hitler were found together on the same sofa after committing suicide, or Eva was in a separate chair. Fest does a good job reconciling multiple accounts, and specifies where he isn't certain. This book certainly puts to rest the notion that the Soviet
Nov 14, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was ok
I thought the movie "The Downfall" was excellent, so thought this book might be also, since the movie was partly based on this book. But the book was disappointing. For one thing, I felt like I had walked into a discussion already underway, with no one explaining the things you had missed. It assumed you already knew all the players involved, and the basic plot. Sometimes captions to pictures explained who some of the people were, but not others, and left you to guess which was which. For anothe ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Charlie rated it liked it
Shelves: ww11
Not sure if I should rate this book as a 2 or 3 or 4. So, I hit the middle -- a 3. It's my first real honest to goodness read on the Last few days of Hitler and that's why a 3.

The author, Fest, seems to put together a good account of what MAY have happened inside the Bunker. Who is really telling the TRUTH when it comes to these Nazis trying to make account of what REALLY HAPPENED?? There apparently was extreme tension the last few weeks in the Bunker, UNDERSTANDABLY since the Russians were pra
Ian Vinogradus
Mar 20, 2011 Ian Vinogradus marked it as to-read
I find Impossible Germany to understand.
Unlikely Japan, more too.

"Impossible Germany
Unlikely Japan
Wherever you go
Wherever you land

I'll say what this means to me
I'll do what I can
Impossible Germany
Unlikely Japan

The fundamental problem
We all need to face
This is important
But I know you're not listening
No I know you're not listening

If this was still new to me
I wouldn't understand
Impossible Germany
Unlikely Japan

But this is what love is for
To be out of place
Gorgeous and alone
Face to face

With no large
Sep 03, 2014 Semnebune rated it it was amazing
Joachim Fest este cunoscut ca fiind un jurnalist fascinat de Hitler și umbrele sale. Spre deosebire de alți istorici, Fest tratează perioada celui de-al Treilea Reich nu ca un subiect de tratat istoric, ci ca pe o mică frescă care cuprinde atât de multe esențe ce duc către buncărul în care Hitler s-a ascuns, dictând mișcările unei armate care mai mărșăluia doar în imaginația sa. Chiar dacă au apărut nenumărate studii care au tratat latura nazismului, decăderii lui Hitler și impactul pe care aces ...more
Razvan Zamfirescu
Spicuiri din recenzia finala care se poate gasi pe blogul meu

Joachim Fest strânge informaţii, strânge declaraţii, pune cap la cap jurnalele celor care au supravieţuit şi care au fost alături de Hitler până la sfîrşit, face ordine în haosul hârţogăraiei comuniste şi reuşeşte, cât îi permit informaţiile existente, să recreeze minuţios ultimele zile din viaţa Führer-ului. Simpla trecere în revistă a unor informaţii, pe care, în mod normal, le deţineam deja, nu fac din volum unul bun. Analiza istori
Jun 10, 2014 John rated it it was ok
Hitler in the fuhrer bunker remains one of my all time favorite subjects, and that is probably the only reason i made it through this book. The book claims to be necessary because it corrects several mistakes made in previous works on the subject. It doesn't do that, it just says we can't really be sure what happened in a few instances. Also, if you are not thoroughly educated on the third reich, you may become confused, that's not really in my opinion the author's fault, he is not trying to wri ...more
Nov 09, 2014 Daphne rated it liked it
Still slightly in shock after reading this. Does anyone else see the ironic parallels betqween the isolation of the leaders of the 3rd Reich in their ghastly bunker with Anne Frank’s isolation in the annex? Creepy. I think the book suffered from a lack of organization. It seems to me as if the author was skipping around rather mindlessly rather than reinforcing the threads he was revealing. I found the portions imbued with comic relief to be the most powerful simply because of the contrast they ...more
Foi interessante ver um lado depressivo de Hitler, mais uma faceta de uma mente doentia.
Jul 11, 2015 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-fact
The reconstruction of events that played out in the dying days of the Nazi Regime is gripping to say the least. Joachim Fest was born in 1926 and grew up in the family of an anti-Nazi father. He would have witnessed Hitler’s rise to power through the eyes of a child; the transition into war when he was a young adolescent and finally, he was a young adult when it all ended in an inglorious defeat.

At the end he was a prisoner of war in France, having enlisted in the Wehrmacht in December 1944, at
Chris Rose
May 31, 2014 Chris Rose rated it it was amazing
Joachim Fest introduces us to this truly exceptional study in his foreword by the opening line: ‘No catastrophe in recent history is comparable to the collapse of Germany in 1945.’

What I would add is that there can be few books on the subject comparable to Joachim Fest’s ‘Inside Hitler’s Bunker’. And however clichéd my following line may sound, it IS plain to read that Fest did his homework, for the results are outstanding.

Humbly enough, toward the end of the foreward, he states that the authors
Jan 27, 2013 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poucos eventos da história do século XX terão tido um impacto dramático equivalente ao dos últimos dias do Terceiro Reich, na Primavera de 1945. Esta é uma vibrante reconstrução do período que antecedeu a queda de um dos mais infames regimes políticos da história recente, dando particular atenção à terrível Batalha de Berlim e à vida no bunker de Adolf Hitler, situado por baixo da Chancelaria do Reich.
Com uma prosa cativante, este livro narra como, totalmente indiferente ao destino dos seus sol
Jan 03, 2010 Mag rated it really liked it
It’s a very well written book which details the last days of Hitler’s life and the surrender of Berlin and the Third Reich. It was April 1945 when the Soviet forces launched an offensive against Berlin, and it became apparent very quickly that the city had no means to repel it. The city and the Third Reich surrendered at the beginning of May 1945. Hitler was dead by then. He spent this time inside his bunker beneath the Reich Chancellery in Berlin where he tried to conduct a defensive and declin ...more
Feb 17, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it
Fascinating little read about the last days of Hitler's life. The book is smartly divided into four chronologically organized sections, each with a narrative detailing the "what" and a reflective summary trying to explain the "why." Fest presents an illuminating look at a man that morally doesn't deserve one's attention, but historically makes for fascinating content.

The book centers on the almost unbelievable turn of events in the last few weeks of the Third Reich: despite an absolutely epic c
Niran Pravithana
Aug 16, 2011 Niran Pravithana rated it really liked it
หนังสือเลมนีคือตนฉบับของภาพยนตร Downfall (Der Untergang) ทีสำหรับผมถือวาเปน 1 ใน 3 หนังสงครามทีดีทีสุดทีเคยดูมา

เรืองราวในหนังสือเลาถึงชวงเวลาสุดทายในชีวิตของอดอลฟ ฮิตเลอรภายในบังเกอรซอนตัวกลางกรุงเบอรลิน ในชวงปี 1945 ชวงเวลาทายสุดของสงครามโลกครังที 2 ทีอาณาจักรไรซทีสามกำลังจะพายแพใหแกฝายพันธมิตรซึงนำโดยกองกำลังสหภาพโซเวียตเขาลอมกรุงเบอรลิน ขางฝายเยอรมันแทบไมเหลือกองกำลังในการปองกัน และทำไดเพียงแตรอหายนะทีจะมาถึงอยูในบังเกอรอยางชาๆ

อานจบทำใหเขาใจมากขึนวา ทำไมคนจำนวนมากมายถึงยอมรอความตายเคียงขางผูน
Mark Maguire
Aug 23, 2014 Mark Maguire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-wehrmacht
This was a captivating, and thoroughly-researched account of the subterannean, dying days of the Third Reich, and the apocalyptic end-game endured by those living within the Berlin 'citadel'.

This book should be viewed as essential reading for all those with an interest in both the psychology of Adolf Hitler, and the motivations of key personalities within his entourage. The book also provides a compelling, and detailed account of the final excesses and human tragedies which formed the basis for
Dec 25, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The war theme continues with this non-fictional account of the last days of Hitler. According to this book, Hitler merely revelled in destruction, and took more satisfaction from carnage, chaos and ultimate defeat than from any victory he managed to attain. Thus he chose death in the ruins of Berlin as a fitting end to his Wagnerian tragedy as opposed to death or capture in some foreign clime. It seems he could have escaped, but hung on to be the architect of his own destruction, in the way that ...more
Sarah's Book Nook
Sep 27, 2014 Sarah's Book Nook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
I find it difficult to write a sufficient review of this book when I can't get the photograph of the Goebbels family out of my head. These smiling, happy children were innocent, murdered by a lunatic who worshipped a lunatic, just as countless others had been murdered throughout the Nazi state. It's hard to find Hitler's death very satisfying when one is reminded of the deaths that continued even after he killed himself.
Jul 19, 2014 Tomi rated it really liked it
In this short book, Fest proves what I have thought all along...Hitler cared about nothing but destruction. Fest recreates the scene in the bunker as the Russian army closed in on Berlin and gives a frightening account of a madman trying to bring Germany down along with him. I still wonder why so many stayed with Hitler to the very end, but Fest gives examples of Hitler's hypnotic power over others. A very good read.
Dec 10, 2013 Chris rated it liked it
Although good as a review or for people that want to understand what is really happening in the movie "Downfall", the book fell short when it came to detail and was completely devoid of footnotes. If someone I knew asked me for an easy book to read so that they could get what was going on, this book would probably be one I'd recommend. But after having read The Bunker, this felt like it was missing so much.

Instead of that detail (which made "The Bunker" so compelling), the author adds a few chap
Susanne Johannimloh
Joachim Fest versteht es, die Atmosphäre der letzten Tage vor dem Ende des Nationalsozialismus und der Befreiung Deutschlands zu schildern. Nach wie vor unfassbar, dass so viele Menschen noch sterben mussten. Nicht ein Mensch alleine konnte soviel Leid zufügen. Viele begleiteten ihn auf diesem Weg. Schritt für Schritt. Das war nicht Schicksal sondern grausame Brutalität.
Feb 02, 2015 Arielle rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating read. My only difficulty was that the author wrote as if I should know the individuals in the Third Reich by name and since I didn't I was lost on the significance of their actions as the book progressed. This sparked some additional research, which helped, but it slowed down my reading and took away from the experience of getting immersed in the book.
Mar 04, 2014 Shibi rated it it was amazing
Feverish and nightmarish. The final days of the Third Reich are brought to life in fascinating and horrifying detail. The book has a novelistic quality to it; it is highly readable. The book's greatest flaw and most obvious is the exclusion of foot notes. Other than this it comes highly recommended.
Gustavo Nascimento
Um bom resumo dos últimos dias do terceiro Reich, um livro que pode ser lido numa viagem longa de avião ou ônibus. Não acrescenta muito para quem já leu alguma biografia completa de Hitler como a de Ian Kershaw, por exemplo, exceto por contar um pouco mais sobre outras pessoas que viviam em Berlim nessa época.
Reese Copeland
Jan 14, 2011 Reese Copeland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a movie companion that follows it (movie version of the book) called "Down Fall" which is a German movie with English subtitles. Both the book and movie are quite good. The book, of course, has much more detail. It chronicles the frustrations of some of Hitler's generals and military staff as decisions that seemed to make little sense to them, while others followed couragiously despite what their military experience screamed at them. It gives you a good sense of how serious things ...more
Das Buch zum Film. Ich muss gestehen, das allermeiste wusste ich noch nicht und jetzt weiss ich so viel, dass mir tagelang schlecht war. Kein Scherz. Trotzdem bin ich der Meinung dass gewisse Strukturen und Denkmuster immer nich vorherrschen und absolut sicher bin ich, dass die Nazis die ja immer noch herumrennen, einen großen Mangel an historischem Wissen aufweisen.

Sehr schwere Kost.
Laura Gurrin
Apr 18, 2010 Laura Gurrin rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
A comprehensive historical account of the last days of Hitler, informed by eyewitness testimony as well as documentation which became available in the years after the war. Creepy to read, but gives a good snapshot of the madness that took hold at the very end of the reich, and specifically how it unfolded in Hitler's bunker under the Reichschancellery. Good to read in parallel with The Last Days of Hitler (a 1946 book written close to the events, specifically dedicated to explaining what happene ...more
Muyiwa Gbenga-Oluwatoye
Jun 20, 2016 Muyiwa Gbenga-Oluwatoye rated it it was amazing
Read this book when it was first published in 2002 and for WW2 aficionado's, it was an interesting peek into the last days of Hitler according to these accounts. good historical anecdotes also.......
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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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