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Life in the Third Reich

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Even today, the Third Reich--the regime that instigated the most destructive war in modern history--evokes powerful images of fascination and horror. Yet how were the lives of the ordinary German people of the 1930s and '40s affected by the politics of Hitler and his followers? Looking beyond the catalog of events, this intriguing book reveals that daily German life involv ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published December 20th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1987)
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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. ShirerIron Kingdom by Christopher   ClarkThe Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. EvansThe German Genius by Peter Watson
German History
582 books — 162 voters
The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. EvansThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. ShirerThe Third Reich in Power by Richard J. EvansThe Third Reich at War by Richard J. EvansInside Hitler's Bunker by Joachim Fest
Hitler, Nazism
66 books — 33 voters

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Nov 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A collection of essays on Nazi Germany, edited and with an intro by Richard Bessel. As a whole, the collection is concerned with refuting some myths about the Third Reich: its emphasis on law and order and its bureaucratic nature, for example. In general, the essays lack direction and cohesion, often fail to give specific examples to their points and --- maddeningly --- fail to cite their quotes. The essays are:

"Political Violence And the Nazi Seizure Of Power," Richard Bessel. This essay attack
Erik Graff
Feb 23, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The Introduction by editor Bessell is followed by eight essays by a number of German and English academics as regards aspects of Nazi rule. All of the essays, except the last by Herbert, interested me, particularly that about youth culture outside of the Nazi ambit.
Liz Estrada
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Would have given this book, a compilation of essays about life in Nazi Germany, a two star review (for most of it was already known to me) were it not for the chapter on the youth in the 3rd Reich. I did not realize to what degree the young people who lived under this regime actually rebelled. I had never heard of the "Edelweiss Pirates" or the "Swing" movement, both rebelling against the compulsory Hitler Youth conscription. The former of the two, was mainly a group formed by young kids from wo ...more
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really Enjoyed Learning About Wartime

Having lived in Germany for 8 years of my life I never thought of what it was like to be a German during WWII. This book gives you a taste of that. It reminded me of Volksmarching and the simple pleasures of German rural living. I imagine the small villages of Germany are still quite that way today. If you like documentaries on WWII I think you will really enjoy it. Just don’t expect accounts of great battles that’s not what this is about at all. Not sure how
B.W. Johnson
Jul 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be an extremely useful book.

I was teaching history in British schools, but our textbooks all gave the same rather limited view of what it was like to live in Nazi Germany. This book opened up new vistas, with studies, (for example) of the young people who rebelled against the nazis and formed gangs to fight the Hitler youth. It also gave new, less dramatic, explanations of the work of the Gestapo.

It really is useful to get new perspectives on things. Now 20 years later the new id
Sami Eerola
Not as detailed as i was expecting. This was just a very short introduction on the main facts about life in the Nazi Germany. Nothing new for me than some nuggets of facts and details. But as a introduction this is pretty good
Dec 01, 2012 added it
Shelves: history
my history professor in college told me to "know the story from every angle- including the ones no one wants you to ever read/see/hear/know/etc.. It really takes you somewhere when you read how someone manages to go from "ordinariness" to things being turned upside down. If you read nothing else in this book, you should read the essay "Youth in the Third Reich" by Detlev Peukert. The book is only about about 100 pages long. ...more
Ronan Mcdonnell
I picked this up, expecting an everyperson, man-in-street, rank and file perspective of Nazi Germany. What I got were a collection of broadly scoped essays containing little new info, some generalisations, no references and from very elevated panoramas. The piece by Detlev Peukert on youth movements was a revelation, one abive the other essays.

There's an error in Professor William Carr's essay, "Nazi Policy Against the Jews." He writes that "Franklin Roosevelt withdrew Ambassador Dodds from Berlin" after Kristallnacht (as a protest). First, it's Dodd, not Dodds; second, William Dodd resigned as ambassador in 1937. FDR withdrew his replacement Hugh Wilson.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wwii-holocaust
The further from V-E day we get, the more striated and detailed the analyses become. Bessel's compendium of essays furthers our understanding of the rise and reign of the Third Reich -- society, the persona of Hitler to the German people, the use of political violence, the campaign against the Jews. Lucid writing throughout. ...more
Melissa Kelly
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Provides interesting information to answer the question "How did the German population let the holocaust occur?" However, it also presents more questions that leave me wanting to read more on this topic. ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: history-military
A very interesting collection of essays discussing some of the less-considered areas of Third Reich history.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Read for HIST 3528
A fascinating subject, but the presentation of a collection of essays was just too academic (and I tend toward the academic as it is) to get into.
Shakira Rivera
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Dec 13, 2016
Paul Childs
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Jul 30, 2011
Ricardo Motti
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Jan 04, 2016
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Jun 30, 2022
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Feb 27, 2009
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
An interesting look at the Third Reich, a bit old, but otherwise not bad :)
Allison Lynn
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Oct 31, 2011
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Richard Bessel is Professor of Twentieth Century History. He works on the social and political history of modern Germany, the aftermath of the two world wars and the history of policing. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of German History and History Today.

He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies.

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