Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tot de laatste man” as Want to Read:
Tot de laatste man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tot de laatste man

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  3,253 ratings  ·  249 reviews
Terwijl de rampzalige nederlaag begin 1945 zich in alle hevigheid aandiende, werd er door de Duitsers wel gezegd dat ze liever kozen voor 'een einde vol leed, dan leed zonder einde'. Het 'einde vol leed' vond dan ook op grote schaal plaats, zoals nog nooit eerder in de geschiedenis is voorgekomen. Enkele bloedstollende cijfers van de laatste maanden zijn de half miljoen ...more
ebook, 608 pages
Published September 7th 2011 by Spectrum (first published August 25th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tot de laatste man, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Daniel Rozmiarek I just finished reading The End, but I have not read his biography of Hitler. However, I've read countless other books on WWII.
I can't say that this…more
I just finished reading The End, but I have not read his biography of Hitler. However, I've read countless other books on WWII.
I can't say that this book is worth the investment of time, but Kershaw does a good job of helping me understand the ideas and attitudes of many Germans who were there at the time. The political and military reasons and explanations are not new in this book, but I now have a better understanding of the personal reasons. I match it with "Iron Curtain," by Anne Applebaum, for giving me valuable personal context for historical events that seem so extreme when looking at them in hindsight from a 21st century western view.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,253 ratings  ·  249 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Tot de laatste man
Paul Bryant
Aug 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worldwar2
These 400 pages are like a single chord with six notes, horror, terror, death, pain, ruin and obedience. You will have observed the absence of pity and mercy. I wonder whether we – I – read this account of the last year of the Third Reich in the spirit of revenge, in some distant vicarious sense, because this is where the Nazis finally got what was coming to them. So it could be the one to read straight after Hitler's Willing Executioners or a viewing of Claude Lanzmann's documentary Shoah. And ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, world-war-2
In this excellent book Ian Kershaw scrutinises the fall of Nazi Germany from the Assassination attempt on Hitler in July 44 through to the final unconditional surrender.

Fascinating analysis is given throughout each chapter. Brilliant footnotes through to works cited (bibliography) that should have anyone interested in the subject of the last year of Nazi Germany’s demise salivating. For those who may wonder why Nazi Germany fought to the very limits of their capabilities this book covers many
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww-ii

A man cuts some telephone lines he thinks connect the military bases one to another. He's seen by two members of the Hitler Jugend who report his actions. He's summarily arrested by the local police. The regional commander is summoned and a summary trial is conducted and the man executed. This scenario occurs just four hours from the town being overrun by the Allies in Germany. The question Kershaw asks and answers is why did local bureaucracies and systems continue to function so well as
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Disaster. Catastrophe. Chaos.

In mid 1944 it is clear that Germany has lost the war. The Allies are encroaching on all sides - Russia is slicing up the Wehrmacht on the Eastern front, the Americans and Brits have landed in Normandy, and the slow crawl up the Italian peninsular continues.

So how did Germany take the war into 1945? This book seeks to provide an answer.

As is often the case there is no one answer.

In part it was due to the fanatical determination of Hitler to succeed against the odds
Jill Hutchinson
The author looks at the question that we often don't ask.....what made Germany fight on in the last year of WWII, when their country was in total ruin, the social and economic system no longer existed, the military had to depend on old men and children, and the Red Army was at the gates of Berlin? He relates tales of unbelievable events that occurred when the horror that the Nazis wrought came home to the Reich.........the continuing wholesale murder of political/racial "enemies of the State" ...more
Kevin Cole
When I was 16, I spent the summer with my father and his family in what was then called West Germany. He was in the U.S. Army, which had been stationed in Europe for over forty years in order to dissuade Soviet incursion into Western Europe. (The Army's still there, in fact, even if the Soviets are not.) There wasn't enough housing on base to live in, so my father ended up renting the top floor of a house from a German family. There was a woman, her son, and her father. I remember the father as ...more
phew. this has been e legitimate "tour de force" in order to finish it, but i'm actually convinced that reading it in a very frenetic way helped with the atmosphere that this book was supposed to touch on.

"The End" is the collection of all informations regarding Germany's situation between the 20th of July 1944 (the day of the biggest attack on Hitler, the bomb placed in his wolf nest at the feet of the conference table that managed only to scratch him a bit and affect his prestige, more than
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chocolatiers
Shelves: european-history

Kershaw's question - why did Germany continue to fight to the absolute bitter end, at which point most of it was in ruins and occupied by Allies - is much less mysterious to me than the question of why the German people, from the thirties on, allowed this monster to have complete control over them. But that's obviously a different book. In this story, they fight because Hitler commanded them to. He did not want a repeat of 1918. The soldiers on the eastern front fought longer than those on the
Tim Pendry

This is what good history should be about - an evidence-based narrative exploration offering the best working explanation of a particular problem of possible concern to us today.

Ian Kershaw asks a simple question of why Germany continued to fight on, far beyond reason, against the overwhelming force of Russian manpower and of Anglo-American air and technical superiority.

The book takes us from the failed Operation Valkyrie (the only serious revolt by conservative nationalists against national
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is hardly controversial to say that the creation of the Nazi party under Adolf Hitler was one of the most destructive, despicable, and transformative events of the 20th century. In addition to the death of millions of Jews, the countless murders of civilians in occupied territories, forced labor, and the horrors inflicted on the German populace itself, the rise and fall of Germany under the Nazis has been the subject of countless studies and books.
What Ian Kershaw does here however is look
Kershaw's reputation as one of the most important & insightful historians of the Third Reich is both reinforced and enhanced in 'The End'. Replete with appropriate and well integrated source materials that illustrate and inform his historical arguments, 'The End' should be read by anyone wanting to explore both the Gotterdammerung of Nazi Germany in the last eleven months of the European theatre of WW2, as well as how a totalitarian system can pervert a state into its own suicide.

Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The End, Kershaw attempts to explain why the German people fought on to the brutal end of WWII. He starts off by discussing the pervasiveness and effectiveness of terror in the last days of the war, but rejects that as being insufficient. He then reviews more recent research, which has demonstrated the willingness of the German people to go down with the regime. Kershaw also finds this to be insufficient. Kershaw also examines the Allied demand for unconditional surrender, and determines ...more
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Review to come.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Brilliant.You can fell the horrors of German people as the walls of Alied forces closed around them.It's hard to fell much sympathy for them because Hitler didn't fall from the sky.They elected him and his band of psychopats to lead them into ruin.They got nobody else to blaim but themselves.
Knowing how much of a history geek I am, my parents bought me a copy of Ian Kershaw's The End: Germany, 1944-45. I read it over the course of a week, and cannot recommend it enough. As with his biographies of Hitler, which are both scholarly and fascinating, Kershaw writes with an authoritative and rather commanding voice. His research is impeccable.

The End is an admirable and far-reaching study indeed; in his preface, Kershaw writes: 'I have tried to take into account the mentalities of rulers
Alan Draycott
A great disappointment. Two interesting questions made me buy the book- Why did the Germans carry on fighting when all was lost? Why did civillian life continue until the end? But Kershaw seemed to have found the answers almost immediatly and so told the story of the final year of the war instead- which he said he wouldn't. In itself that is a fine read but most will have already read it. So why did the Germans fight on?- simply Germans were afraid of the Bolsheviks either because they were in ...more
Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
I love Ian Kershaw's writing because he takes what could be a very boring subject (military battles) and makes it readable for the layman. Most of you that know me, know that I lost a grandfather at the end of World War II (six weeks before it ended) and that our family doesn't exactly know what happened to him, although we have an idea that he may be buried in what is now Russia. He was in the German army, which is a sensitive subject for many, including myself. After reading this book, I have ...more
Nov 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
He says in the preface that he's going to repeat himself often in this book, and he keeps his word! It's almost as though he doesn't expect us to read the whole thing and so uses this repetition to make certain that anyone choosing to read just a few of the chapters will still get a good grasp of his ideas as to why and how Germany was willing and able to maintain it's trajectory to total destruction right up to the end. But for this fault, I would have given it four stars. Read, by all means, ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Westerners
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Scott Magis had given me Kershaw's previously published book, 'Making Friends with Hitler', and I'd just read two other books about the last months of WWII in Europe, so this attempt to get at the reasons behind Germany's self destruction after the war was clearly lost caught my attention.

Kershaw begins his account with the assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944 and ends it with the final dissolution of the Reich government in late May, 1945--weeks after their capitulation. As might be
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tony Taylor
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ian Kershaw has done a masterful job in analyzing and detailing the events of the last days of WWII in Europe... that last year from the bomb plot against Hitler in July of 1944 until the surrender of the Third Reich in May of 1945. This book is designed to help satisfy those questions that historians and readers of history may have pondered... what was happening at the highest levels within the Nazi Party, within the leadership of the military, and in the minds of the people of Germany who ...more
Bon Tom
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the beginning of this book, I thought, wow, this is good, but way too detailed for my needs. I'm not historian. Now that I'm finished and the last puzzle is in the picture, I see I could still use more.

Because, I get it (this book really helps), but I still don't.

Except trying to explain the reasons why Germans went full retard following Hitler and the most evil doctrine in human history, it also offers insight into the fact that they themselves were the victims of it, although, it can be
Andrew Dale
I will begin by noting that this is not a book for the casual reader. It is heavily focused on primary source explication and does not really contain any new material. And neither does the book really attempt to create a grand narrative of the war itself or the strategic environment. Rather, all those things are backdrop for an examination of how exactly the Nazi regime and by extension the Third Reich as Germany managed to perpetuate its existence for so long: long after the war was obviously ...more
Robert Dooner
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Ian Kershaw’s “The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany 1944-1945,” is a brutal experience. It is a story of human slaughter engaged on a scale that is beyond comprehension. Kershaw examines the final year of the Second World War and its disastrous impact on Germany. By the summer of 1944, victory for Germany on the Eastern and Western Fronts against the Allies was militarily impossible. Many high ranking German generals clearly saw the reality of Germany’s situation, ...more
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is a difficult subject to write about not least because the last few months of World War 2 were chaotic in the extreme. Mr Kershaw has done an admirable job.

It is also a difficult subject due to the appalling levels of violence and cruelty that was meted out by all combatants (with the Eastern Front taking the top prize in depravity). Again, Kershaw goes into detail to explain what happened and why.

And finally, it is a difficult subject because, for me at least, I came away with a
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his book "The End", Ian Kershaw answers a question he asked himself. The question was why Nazi Germany continued to fight after June 1944, even though it was obvious to all that Germany was going to lose the war.

The question of why continue to fight has not, to my knowledge, been deeply explored. And it is a question that has application well beyond the narrow confines of 1944-1945. To me, this is the kind of question is an extra-ordinary and fascinating one. And, I believe, shows Mr Kershaw
Steve Switzer
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
Just finished this amazing book.
Anyone like me who read a lot of books which inferred that only the ss were the bad guys and that a lot of german generals fought on at the end only to save the evacuees are going to be sadly disabused.
Its the story of the 3rd reich final chaotic months and contrary to popular myths most of the german generals were pro hitler .
During the prisoner death marches nobody really helped the assorted victims ... the entire nation seems to have marched into oblivion of
Robert Kiehn
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, books
Ian Kershaw has written a marvelous, interesting and fact filled account
of the last and final days of Hitler's regime on Nazi Germany during the
years of 1944-45.

Ian goes into detail about how Hitler and his henchmen - Namely
Speer, Donitz, Bormann, Himmler and other top ranking Nazi's
prolonged the war in Germany, costing millions of lives in
not only the military population (Soldiers, Volksturm, Wehrmacht,
SS, etc) of Germany but also on the Allied side, Soviet Side and
Civilian population as well.

I find Kershaw's other books to be among the very best I've ever read. This one, however, is not as good.

The book purports to show the how and why Germans continued fighting till the end. Although researched pretty extensively (as evidenced by the notes/references section which takes up a full third of the book) there are two major drawbacks:

One, it lacks focus. Instead of staying on the topic of the book, extensive sections of it deal with the progress of the war itself, detailing battles and
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Extremely disappointed with the absence of analysis in this one. Yes, it describes "the end" in thorough detail, but it's just a retelling of events and I didn't learn anything new. I was hoping for more insight into the "WHY" that Kershaw promised from the outset of the book, and I suppose it's fair to say he did provide enough information for readers to answer that question for themselves, but it was nevertheless a narrative tour through the last months of the Nazi regime, with many facts ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN/Edition Conflict 3 23 Jan 17, 2019 06:13PM  
Ian Kershaw "The End" 1 27 Oct 30, 2011 02:50PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe
  • The Third Reich at War (The History of the Third Reich, #3)
  • Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941-1945
  • The Fall of Berlin 1945
  • The Third Reich in Power (The History of the Third Reich, #2)
  • Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945
  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
  • Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust
  • Berlin at War: Life and Death in Hitler's Capital, 1939-45
  • Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945
  • The German War: A Nation Under Arms
  • Leningrad: The Epic Siege of World War II, 1941-1944
  • The Coming of the Third Reich (The History of the Third Reich, #1)
  • Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege, 1942–1943
  • After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation
  • The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #2)
  • Inside the Third Reich
  • Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
See similar books…
Professor Sir Ian Kershaw is a British historian, noted for his biographies of Adolf Hitler.
Ian Kershaw studied at Liverpool (BA) and Oxford (D. Phil). He was a lecturer first in medieval, then in modern, history at the University of Manchester. In 1983-4 he was Visiting Professor of Modern History at the Ruhr University in Bochum, West Germany. From 1987 to 1989 he was Professor of Modern
“In Würzburg, Gauleiter Otto Hellmuth, generally seen as one of the more moderate Party bosses, was all set to go ahead with implementing the ‘Nero Order’. It would, indeed, be pointless though, he admitted, if there were no chance of a change in the situation at the last minute. He asked Speer when the decisive ‘miracle weapons’ were going to be deployed. Only when Speer told him bluntly: ‘They’re not coming’, did he agree not to destroy the Schweinfurt ballbearing factories.143” 0 likes
More quotes…