Ron's Reviews > Exorcising Hitler

Exorcising Hitler by Frederick Taylor
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's review
Jan 02, 2012

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Read from January 02 to 17, 2012

This was a terrific read (listen), very engaging. I learned a lot about those precarious few years in which Germany went from a conquered land to a divided land more or less in control of its own destiny. Very interesting to see how attitudes of at least the Western occupiers softened over time. Taylor has loads of anecdotes which make the history vivid.

That said, I felt the story was incomplete. Taylor gives short shrift to the denazification story. He is correct instating that the effort was heavy-handed, but he leaves out the important aspect of the direct impact on ordinary Germans. For instance, many Germans, if not all, were subject to angry propaganda blaming them for the camps. Posters in German saying "This was your fault!" were common, as were obligatory visits to the camps. What was interesting was that none of this worked to cause Germans to self-reflect over their role in the massacre of millions of innocents. (Perhaps the incessant bombing of cities, causing the deaths of a 1/2 million German civilians, was a factor in their cynicism.)

Taylor has nothing to say about this. Perhaps this was edited out to keep the book at a certain length. Who knows. But it makes the history feels incomplete in an otherwise gripping book.

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