Jill Hutchinson's Reviews > The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany 1944-45

The End by Ian Kershaw
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May 06, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: military-history, wwi-wwii, my-classics
Read from June 12 to 19, 2012

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" and the traveling military "courts" which condemned to death anyone considered a slacker/deserter. The killings and suicides escalated the closer the Allies came to bringing the war to an end and the country, for the most part, continued to follow Hitler's edict of "death before capitulation". The author posits several reasons for this blind obedience which I will not reveal here; but they seem credible since the post-war testimony from many Germans is not particularly reliable. I was fascinated and chilled by this book which illustrates the continuing inhumanity that existed even after the cause was lost.
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