Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  574 ratings  ·  43 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 January 1st 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers by J.R.R. TolkienThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
IMDB 250
66th out of 118 books — 32 voters
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. ShirerAngels Fallen by Francis SmithThe Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. EvansInside Hitler's Bunker by Joachim FestThe Cunning of History by Richard L. Rubenstein
Hitler, Nazism
4th out of 23 books — 15 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 961)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
Jul 20, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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
Alexis Ohanian
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...more
Ian Paganus
Mar 20, 2011 Ian Paganus 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...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...more
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
Chris Rose
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...more
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...more
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
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...more
Niran Pravithana
หนังสือเล่มนี้คือต้นฉบับของภาพยนตร์ Downfall (Der Untergang) ที่สำหรับผมถือว่าเป็น 1 ใน 3 หนังสงครามที่ดีที่สุดที่เคยดูมา

เรื่องราวในหนังสือเล่าถึงช่วงเวลาสุดท้ายในชีวิตของอดอล์ฟ ฮิตเลอร์ภายในบังเกอร์ซ่อนตัวกลางกรุงเบอร์ลิน ในช่วงปี 1945 ช่วงเวลาท้ายสุดของสงครามโลกครั้งที่ 2 ที่อาณาจักรไรซ์ที่สามกำลังจะพ่ายแพ้ให้แก่ฝ่ายพันธมิตรซึ่งนำโดยกองกำลังสหภาพโซเวียตเข้าล้อมกรุงเบอร์ลิน ข้างฝ่ายเยอรมันแทบไม่เหลือกองกำลังในการป้องกัน และทำได้เพียงแต่รอหายนะที่จะมาถึงอยู่ในบังเกอร์อย่างช้าๆ

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
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...more
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.
Reese Copeland
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
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
A feverish narrative brought to life with vivid, novelistic descriptions. Thoroughly enjoyed this book although enjoyed is hardly the right word. Gripping and terrifying.
Ok, I keep seeing countless reviews saying this, so let me just state once. THE MOVIE "Down Fall" IS NOT BASED ON THIS BOOK. I was actually in Germany when the movie came out (not to mention it actually says this on the DVD itself) and the movie is based on a book by Hitler's secretary Traudl Junge. The english title escapes me, but it is something like "Hitler's Last Secretary" or something like that. In German it is "Im Toten Winkel". If you type in her name the book will pop up.
This is the definitive history of Hitler's final days. It was written based on the eyewitness accounts of people that lived the events firsthand. Fest's book is an insightful and relevant study of this pivotal event in world history. He brings a human perspective to the insanity. A great stone has been overturned! Underneath, the death of National Socialism has finally been brought; haggard, blinking and bewildered, into the light of day.
Andrew Lord
It was very intriguing to get an insider's look at the panic and reactions of power-hungry people when they finally realize that the end is near. On a similar vein, it was very interesting to finally comprehend the thought processes that led many of the brilliant (yet, in some cases, evil) Nazi leaders to selfishly commit suicide to escape the consequences for their actions that had ruined millions of lives throughout Europe.
Very good for anyone who is new to the subject or just wants an engaging summary of the "final days" of the Third Reich. However, you will find most of the same information plus more in a number of other books (including Fest's own "Hitler") so I wouldn't recommend it for those who have a deeper interest in World War 2 or Nazi Germany. Try Cornelius Ryan or Max Hastings's books on the topic instead.
Simon Dobson
This is the book on which the film "Downfall"was largely based, and is I think the only treatment of these events by a German author. Fest exposes a lot of the research and interpretation that's happened since the other, classic histories were written, and gives a very insightful analysis of how the bunker doors into the context of Hitler's life and the end of the Third Reich. Well worth a read
An in-depth look at Hitler's final hours, including detailed descriptions of the bunker in which he committed suicide. Provides a lot of detail on his "final solution" as well, but only in clinical terms. It's chilling how blasé everyone involved was about the systematic extermination of so many millions of people. Still, an interesting read for those who enjoy historical war books.
Fest is goed, Fest is toonaangevend en kritisch, Fest is kwaliteit. Maar in 'De ondergang' is hij lui. Het gehele verhaal (of beter: de geschiedenis) steunt vooral op de verklaringen van Traudl Junge. Fest nam veel voor 'waar' aan. Dat is niet erg, alleen maakt het dit boekje zo wel zijn reputatie eentje met een paar kleine krassen. Fest had beter gekund.
Ricardo Perez
Con la garantía de ser considerado uno de los mejores biógrafos de Hitler, Joachim Fest nos lleva de la mano hasta las entrañas del legendario bunker del Führer, con todos los horrores de la guerra y peor, de la derrota. Al fin alguien nos relata con detalle qué pasó en los días finales del líder del 3er. Reich.
Ben Holmes
Fest conveys the claustrophobic atmosphere and detachment from reality in the Fuhrerbunker very well but he's no historian. His analysis is often cursory and he is quick to absolve the German people of any blame for the horrors of the third reich.
Interesting read detailing the last days of Hitler and his staff in the underground bunker in Berlin. I appreciated the pace of the book. The author, Joachim Fest, provides a good background and understanding of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
John Bullock
Very Very Poor - If you want an account of the last days in the bunker, don't choose or rely on this. Not only inaccurate but terribly demeaning, Fest cannot write a sentence without using at least three exclamation marks !!!!!!!!!!!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 32 33 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle
  • Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary
  • The Third Reich: A New History
  • The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia
  • Nuremberg Diary
  • Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth
  • The Nuremberg Interviews
  • Hitler, Vol 2: 1936-1945 Nemesis
  • The Last Days of Hitler
  • Spandau: The Secret Diaries
  • The Meaning of Hitler
  • The Third Reich In Power (The History of the Third Reich, #2)
  • Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944
  • A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge
  • The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942
  • My Father's Keeper: Children of Nazi Leaders-- An Intimate History of Damage and Denial
  • The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy
  • The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of Hitler's SS
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.
More about Joachim Fest...
Hitler The Face of the Third Reich: Portraits of the Nazi Leadership Speer: The Final Verdict Not I: Memoirs of a German Childhood Albert Speer: Conversations with Hitler's Architect

Share This Book