Patrick's Reviews > The Third Reich at War: 1939-1945

The Third Reich at War by Richard J. Evans
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Feb 25, 14

It took me years to read this, largely because after finishing a volume I wanted to spend some time away from the Third Reich. Evans covers them in exhausting detail, and does something very important: he makes them human. It's far too easy to demonize these men, to turn them into the evil empire. But when we do that, we forget that these men were human. They were cowards, fools, drunks, deviants, monsters, and perhaps most frighteningly of all, normal. They had normal, human motivations. What animated them animates many people in this world. No one should ever forget that for all of their crimes, for all of their offenses against basic human nature, it does not make them any less human than us. Evans never forgets that, making this long portrait of their rise and rule especially tragic. His writing on The Holocaust left me in a deep depression. He also never forgets that the Nazis had mass support, and that support took a long time to die. At the end of most long series, I would usually have a deeply emotional reaction. At the end of the Third Reich trilogy, I felt empty. It seems almost impossible to believe that their crimes were a scant 70 years ago. This book, and this series, should be read. It explains one of the most momentous crimes in human history, and why it happened.
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08/26/2013 marked as: read

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