Katie's Reviews > Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich

Inside Hitler's Bunker by Joachim Fest
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's review
Feb 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: war, history, human-behavior
Read in February, 2010

Fascinating little read about the last days of Hitler's life. The book is smartly divided into four chronologically organized sections, each with a narrative detailing the "what" and a reflective summary trying to explain the "why." Fest presents an illuminating look at a man that morally doesn't deserve one's attention, but historically makes for fascinating content.

The book centers on the almost unbelievable turn of events in the last few weeks of the Third Reich: despite an absolutely epic collapse militarily, psychologically and economically, Hitler tried to press on...not because he was a valiant, courageous leader, but because he didn't care what the costs of moving forward were.

What can be said about Hitler that hasn't already been said? That he was evil personified? That he was a maniacal, power-hungry war-monger? Sure he was, and more, but Fest isn't here to expound on Hitler's lack of righteousness---his downward spiral at the end of his life is far more interesting book fodder.

The most remarkable takeaway from the book for me was that once Hitler admitted to himself that success was impossible and his vision for world dominance was doomed, he had no interest in salvaging what was left of the German people or culture. He wanted everything and everyone annihilated: If he must end, then the world as he knew it must end, too. He ordered the destruction of bridges, hospitals, art...he wanted it all gone.


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