PDF/EPUB William L. Shirer Ù The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich A History of Nazi Ù

Hitler boasted that The Third Reich would last a thousand years It lasted only 12 But those 12 years contained some of the most catastrophic events Western civilization has ever knownNo other powerful empire ever beueathed such mountains of evidence about its birth and destruction as the Third Reich When the bitter war was over and before the Nazis could destroy their files the Allied demand for unconditional surrender produced an almost hour by hour record of the nightmare empire built by Adolph Hitler This record included the testimony of Nazi leaders and of concentration camp inmates the diaries of officials transcripts of secret conferences army orders private letters—all the vast paperwork behind Hitler's drive to conuer the worldThe famed foreign correspondent and historian William L Shirer who had watched and reported on the Nazis since 1925 spent five and a half years sifting through this massive documentation The result is a monumental study that has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of one of the most frightening chapters in the history of mankindThis worldwide bestseller has been acclaimed as the definitive book on Nazi Germany; it is a classic workThe accounts of how the United States got involved and how Hitler used Mussolini and Japan are astonishing and the coverage of the war from Germany's early successes to her eventual defeat is must reading


10 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich A History of Nazi Germany

  1. says:

    Three years ago I implemented a personal tradition to read a Monster Classic each year This is my term referring to a piece of writing that is great in reputation and girth The how and when of it is to begin the Monster mid summer and read it in fits and starts over the course of several months with a goal of finishing before the end of the year The why of it isn't so simple Most avid readers I know have daunting lists of books they want to or feel they should read I'm no different but life is too short for shoulds I'm after something that will change the way I look at writing at storytelling at the world Without intention my Monster Classics have been built on the premise of or are greatly informed by war Two years ago I read Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain an allegorical tale shaped largely by Mann's reaction to World War I; last year Tolstoy brought me War and Peace that gorgeous and profound tale of Russia during the Napoleanic era This summer I turned from fiction to narrative non fiction World War II has long fascinated and disturbed me I've sought without success to reconcile the incongruous romance of this war the films music literature that conjure a sense of the heroic and of solidarity the Greatest Generation united as Allies with its human suffering so incomprehensible that the mind struggles against its limits to accept what the eyes witness in words and photos I selected The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich for perhaps the same reason that millions before me have to understand how one man created a machine of slaughter out of a country in shambles After 1264 pages in six weeks I am still bewildered Of course I knew the external conditions the carving up of Germany after WWI the political disaster that the Treaty of Versailles put into motion the desperate economic conditions in Germany as the Depression ground what little economy it had left into grist But this diminutive Austrian who so captured the imagination and bent the will of a once proud nation how did he do it? Why did he? And why did so many follow him into the hell of his creation?William Shirer a longtime foreign correspondent worked in the Third Reich from 1934 to 1940 leaving only when it became clear he and his family were no longer safe He returned to Germany in 1945 to report on the Nuremberg trials The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was published in 1960 barely a generation after the end of the war Because of Shirer's proximity and access to the majors players of the Third Reich and certainly because war was exploding all around him the book has an immediacy and intimacy that sets it apart from a traditional historical examination of events It also contains Shirer's interpretations suppositions and ruminations As an American of German Italian Norwegian descent I had a very hard time with Shirer's characterization of Germans as possessing a predilection for cruelty and war There are few nations that remain exempt from this pointed finger But it begs the uestion that even Shirer could not answer how did the atrocities of the war escape the outrage of the German people? Shirer presents clues and circumstances which serve as a caution to us all And many of which I recognize in today's socially and politically polarized America that feeds on propaganda and is increasingly indulgent of politicians' idiocy and rejection of facts The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is thick with military history this is a book about war That may seem obvious but do not expect a sociological narrative Shirer is a great journalist which assumes certain skill in telling a story that will appeal to a lay audience But this book after its introduction to Hitler and his early life uses the major events invasions and battles of World War II to show the creation of an empire It is a testament to Shirer's skill that I became so caught up in the details of Hitler's conuests and defeats Although I have read books about individual battles I have never followed a comprehensive history of the European theatre It was astonishing to read on the ground reports as nearly all of Europe fell at Germany's feet in a short period then to sit above it all and witness Hitler's increasing megalomania that spelled out his downfallIt is dense It is detailed It is exhausting exhaustive overwhelming and shattering To read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is to have your heart broken again and again Yet to hold history at arm's length is to guarantee that it will be repeated


  2. says:

    Well I did it After two years I have finally finished this beast The first 600 or so pages are pretty slow but it flies after thatWe all know the story a misanthropic racist vegetarian megalomaniac failed artist writes a book that taps into age old German prejudices seizes power and embarks on a uest for European domination In the process he starts the biggest war in history leading to the deaths of tens of millions of people subjugates about a dozen other countries and systematically exterminates the majority of European Jewry The Thousand Year Reich only lasted a total of 12 years 4 months and 8 days but during that brief span it wrought havoc and destruction on scale never witnessed before or sinceWilliam Shirer was a journalist not a historian but his narrative style coupled with the fact that he lived in Germany during the majority of the time Hitler was in power lends this book both readability and a level of believability that no historian could possibly achieve Several parts are indeed personal narrative in which Shirer lends his own perspective on what he saw happening though he is careful to point out which sections are taken from historical records and which are colored by his own experience The book is thoroughly footnoted to the tune of about a footnote per page it takes almost as long to read the notes as it does the main text indexed and overflowing with I didn't know that moments It doesn't dwell on minutiae nor does it give a blow by blow account of the war but nevertheless it attempts to tell a huge story and the result is a huge 1300 pages in the printing I own bookThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was published in 1957 a bare 12 years after the Fall that occurs at the end of the story However it is very easy to see why it remains today 50 years after its release the definitive work on the Nazi regime I highly recommend it to anyone who shares a passion for history or who is fascinated by the factors that lead to societies devolving into statist forms of government I also recommend it to anyone who believes that appeasement and negotiation is an acceptable means for handling such regimes that means you Barack Obama Sections of it if not the entire book should be reuired reading for all high school students Only by understanding the past may we secure our future


  3. says:

    Darkness You boil this book down strip it to the foundations and what the reader finds is darkness of the human soul Bred in the alleyways and gutters of Vienna before the first World War this was the angry and hateful opposite of God’s shining light the ancient shadows that live in the basement of our souls given life and expression on the palette of a failed artist Shirer’s scholarly exhaustive masterpiece paints the portrait of the Third Reich from its beginnings in the back rooms and beer halls of Munich to the terrible gruesome end in all its grisly dark detail The author a journalist in Germany before and during the early years of the Nazi regime describes how this political movement began and how it came to power on the backs and in the bloodied fists of brown shirted ruffians To draw a modern parallel it would be as if our country was taken over by a street gang as if the Bloods and Crips gained political power and ascended the White House and took over From the September 1938 Sudetenland grab and the failings of Neville Chamberlain to the horrid crimes that went on behind the lines to the final days that saw a once proud Europe reduced to rubble Shirer also details World War II from the Nazi perspectiveLike Milton’s Paradise Lost and Shakespeare’s Richard III the central figure in this epic tragedy the most intriguing character is a villain But unlike Satan and the House of York English King Hitler rose from the depths of poverty and mediocrity Shirer reveals Hitler as intelligent and deterministic but pathologically sociopathically twisted to evil The author also shows the German leader to be hopelessly and in the end pathetically delusional Perhaps Shirer’s most compelling observation though is his uncompromising portrait of the German people who allowed the monstrosity of National Socialism to come to power and to become accomplices with the Nazis in horrors on a scale previously unimagined Finally Shirer begs the uestion of whether we owe a higher duty than to our country and his answer is an affirmative and decisive “yes”


  4. says:

    Whew After six months of exhilarating yet exhausting reading I have finally managed to finish this massive tome William L Shirer's definitive account of the rise and fall of the Third Reich under the evil and mad genius the warlord Hitler Hitler expected that the Reich will last for a thousand years in reality it lasted just over 12 years In those twelve the Fuehrer managed to create hell on earth for the people whom he ruled over as well as in those areas which he conuered; the war he initiated managed to destroy 50 to 80 million people all over the worldI am not going to summarise the book here the story is well known to most and anyway to do that would mean writing a small book itself Rather let me lay down what I took away from the book the pluses as well as the minusesThe book is incredibly detailed Shirer being privy to most of the secret correspondence in the Reich archives the majority of which survived destruction at the hands of the Nazis by a uirk of fate puts his journalistic skills to excellent use as he tells the story of the meteoric rise and even faster demise of Hitler with consummate storytelling skill The pace never flags and the story never fails to grip and hardly a facet of this distressing yet fascinating era is ignored This is the first book you should read if you want a front seat at the Hitler dramaI found two major drawbacks to the book One a lack of maps in the absence of which following the war spatially was impossible unless you have an eidetic memory of European geography that is Two the long list of dramatis personnae among whom I got lost than onceShirer's book does not have any historical analysis it's history from a journalistic point of view However for a layman such as me it does not matter because what matters is the story after all How Hitler moved in from the lunatic fringe to the mainstream of German politics how he used all dirty tricks in the political book to backstab his colleagues and steam roll his opponents how the great colonial powers played hopscotch across the world stage protecting their interests and cheerfully sacrificing those of others and how man can be so unbelievably cruel to his fellow human being these are some of the takeaways I have And I believe that these are important in today's world when once again the fringe is becoming the new normal As Shirer saysIn our new age of terrifying lethal gadgets which supplanted so swiftly the old one the first great aggressive war if it should come will be launched by suicidal little madmen pressing an electronic button Such a war will not last long and none will ever follow it There will be no conuerors and no conuests but only the charred bones of the dead on an uninhabited planet


  5. says:

    The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich A History of Nazi Germany William L Shirer The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich A History of Nazi Germany is a book by William L Shirer chronicling the rise and fall of Nazi Germany from the birth of Adolf Hitler in 1889 to the end of World War II in 1945 It was first published in 1960 by Simon Schuster in the United States where it won a National Book Award It was a bestseller in both the United States and Europe and a critical success outside Germany; in Germany criticism of the book stimulated sales The book was feted by journalists as reflected by its receipt of the National Book Award for non fiction But the reception from academic historians was mixedعنوانها ظهور و سقوط آدولف هیتلر؛ جهان پرفراز و نشیب آدولف هیتلر؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز نهم ماه فوریه سال 1994 میلادیعنوان گردونه تاریخ جلد 39 ظهور و سقوط آدولف هیتلر؛ نویسنده ویلیام شایرر؛ مترجم کاوه دهگان؛ تهران، فرانکلین، 1341؛ در 182 ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1372؛ در 231 ص؛ موضوع ادبیات نوجوانان داستان آدولف هیتلر از سال 1889 تا سال 1945 میلادی سده 20 معنوان جهان پرفراز و نشیب آدولف هیتلر؛ مترجم هرمز همایون پور؛ تهران، کتاب روشن، 1389، در 248 ص؛ شابک 9789649681290؛ کتاب در چهار بخش است ظهور آدولف هیتلر؛ هیتلر آلمان را فتح میکند؛ هیتلر اروپا فتح میکند؛ سقوط آدولف هیتلرآدولف هیتلر در روز بیستم ماه آوریل سال 1889 میلادی، در شهر اتریشی «برانائو آن ده این» واقع در مرز اتریش با آلمان، زاده شد آدولف نخست میخواست به سلک هنرمندان درآید، اما پدرش سرش داد کشیده، و گفته بود «هنرمند»؛ «نه نه تا وقتی من زنده ام هرگز»؛ او هرگز نقاش نشد گرچه هیتلر تا آخر عمر، هماره خویش را از جرگه ی هنرمندان میدانست همین سرسختی پسر در برابر پدر، هنگامی که او هنوز پسرکی کلاس ششمی بود، نشانگر اراده ی استوار او، تا پایان عمرش نیز با او همراه بود؛ سپس وارد سیاست شدن؛ توطئه آبجو فروشی؛ کتابی که نوشت؛ عشق و عاشقی، حرکت به سوی قدرت سیاسی، پیشوا و دیکتاتور؛ پیروزیهای بی خونریزی، راه اندازی جنگ جهانگیر دوم، پیروزیهای شگفت انگیز نخست، نقظه عطف؛ نظم جدید هیتلر، توطئه برای کشتننش؛ فروپاشی آلمان، مرگ آدولف؛ اینها هرچند عنوانهای واقعی بخشهایی از کتاب نیستند برای جستجوگران شاید راهنمایی باشند از اینکه چه رخدادهایی را خواهد خواند ا شربیانی


  6. says:

    This is uite a dry book full of technical detail about the state of Germany of its politics and as promised the rise of the NazisBuried deep inside is a brief section copied below that looks up from the statistics of the holocaust to give this harrowing eye witness account which has stayed with me for the 30 odd years since I read it Particularly the part where the girl points to herself and says her age probably because I was around that age when I read itIt is difficult to believe these things happened But they did Even difficult to understand that on a smaller scale things like this still happen time and again“Without screaming or weeping these people undressed stood around in family groups kissed each other said farewells and waited for a sign from another SS man who stood near the pit also with a whip in his hand During the fifteen minutes that I stood near the pit I heard no complaint or plea for mercy An old woman with snow white hair was holding a one year old child in her arms and singing to it and tickling it The child was cooing with delight The parents were looking on with tears in their eyes The father was holding the hand of a boy about 10 years old and speaking to him softly; the boy was fighting his tears The father pointed to the sky stroked his head and seemed to explain something to him At that moment the SS man at the pit shouted something to his comrade The latter counted off about twenty persons and instructed them to go behind the earth mound I well remember a girl slim and with black hair who as she passed close to me pointed to herself and said “twenty three years old” I walked around the mound and found myself confronted by a tremendous grave People were closely wedged together and lying on top of each other so that only their heads were visible Nearly all had blood running over their shoulders from their heads Some of the people were still moving Some were lifting their arms and turning their heads to show that they were still alive The pit was already two thirds full I estimated that it contained about a thousand people I looked for the man who did the shooting He was an SS man who sat at the edge of the narrow end of the pit his feet dangling into the pit He had a tommy gun on his knees and was smoking a cigarette The people completely naked went down some steps and clambered over the heads of the people lying there to the place to which the SS man directed them They lay down in front of the dead or wounded people; some caressed those who were still alive and spoke to them in a low voice Then I heard a series of shots I looked into the pit and saw that the bodies were twitching or the heads lying already motionless on top of the bodies that lay beneath them Blood was running from their necks The next batch was approaching already They went down into the pit lined themselves up against the previous victims and were shot And so it went batch after batch The next morning the German engineer returned to the site I saw about thirty naked people lying near the pit Some of them were still alive Later the Jews still alive were ordered to throw the corpses into the pit Then they themselves had to lie down in this to be shot in the neck I swear before God that this is the absolute truth”


  7. says:

    This was the first really serious grownup book I ever readMy sole brother being almost eight years younger and no cousins being in the States I was virtually an only child condemned to the weekly dinner parties of my parents and paternal grandparents and their friends most of them held elsewhere than our own home At one particularly excruciatingly boring party held at Great Aunt Synnove's I was scanning the magazines and bookshelves for something to occupy the time Being ten the great swastika on the cover of one otherwise unknown book caught my eye Nazis I picked it up checked out the maps on the inside covers and started to read When finally they the Old Ones were ready to go I was far enough into it to not want to stop Aunt Synnove was kind enough to loan it outThe reading went on for probably a couple of weeks I recall reading about the Lutheran pastor Niedemeyer not looking it up it may be misspelled but I remember this in detail after all these years who almost alone amongst German churchmen stood up publicly against the Nazis and this in the backyard at the juncture of our rickety garage and decaying white picket fence amidst the early flowers of springtime I recall days later now on my sun warmed bed downstairs at grandmother's cottage in Michigan reading with fascinated horror about the death camps and the scientific experiments conducted in themNow a thirteen year old friend of mine has picked up Shirer buying it in hardcover himself at a local used bookstore He not normally a big reader he has a sister two brothers and lots of cousins and friends says he likes it because Shirer writes so clearly Now while all of us are as citizens in moral positions uncomfortably similar to those occupied by Germans sixty years or so ago it is good to see that a book like this and the story it tells can still be read with interest by the young


  8. says:

    I have a very strong feeling of enthusiasm and at the same time of aversion for this book which I read when I was 16 William Shirer wrote a no holds barred account of the rise of Adolf Hitler from the perspective of a fanatical in the full sense of the word opponent of everything Hitler stood for Shirer was also a journalist writing as though he were a historian so his writing reads easily and persuasively but is not necessarily a font of historical accuracy Whatever one's own position this is far and away a honest book than many of the cold cynical assessments made after the events by historians who also have a private agenda but who unlike Shirer do not make it obvious or claim to be objective when they are no such thing Shirer is however in my opinionright to stress than is often stressed the novelty of the Nuremburg Laws which essentially disenfranchised a large section of the population on the basis of a postulated alien ethnicity These laws undermined the fundamental principles of citizenship as understood in Europe since the American and French revolutions and were profound and potentially murderous in their implications Shirer also laid stress on medical experimentation on human subjects which in my humble opinion is as close to Hell as human beings are likely to get on earth I do not think there are any medical experiment deniers of course medical experimentation on human beings is in no way something uniue to the Hitler dictatorship but Shirer is right to highlight it as a particularly pernicious abuse of power by politicians and doctors one which should serve as a reminder to us if we really need a reminder of the arrogance and ever lethal potential of the notions of so many representatives of both It is all very well talking about controlling decadence crime or whatever but who controls the controllers is a uestion that should never be for a moment forgottenI give this two stars but the two stars award is misleading in the sense that I would give his work 4 or 5 stars for readability as a breathtaking introduction to the history of the Third Reich and 4 or 5 stars for highlighting certain aspects of that history so full of suffering and desolation but 1 star for reliability balanced view veracity objectivity Shirer will have no track with the notion that Polish fears of Russia could have been justified that Churchill wanted war that in a sense whatever one thinks of him Hitler was right in claiming that the war was between a Jewish and anti Jewish world view that Roosevelt was deeply anti German and pro Jewish that the Soviet Union was planning a preemptive strike on Germany that the Poles had been put up to provoking Germany and did provoke Germany and that Hitler in this case as later with the British bombing of civilian targets fell into a trap and allowed himself to be provoked just in the way his enemies planned he should be provoked; Shirer says nothing as I recall about the appalling condiitons which induced many to vote for the NSDAP and there are plenty imbalances in this work and half truths and untruths besides for there is plenty of history that Shirer does not mention but I do not have the book any and I read it 40 years ago Shirer's is a book to be read by anyone interested in the time but to be read with rather than the proverbial pinch of salt I was going to award this book three stars but I'll put that down to 2 to counter balance the wave of uasi psychophantic enthusiasm with which so many Goodreads readers have greeted it It is a deeply flawed book after all for readibility it is up there in the top rank for historical balance down far below


  9. says:

    Shirer's masterpiece has long sat untouched on my shelves—it's ominous block swastika unsettling all guest who entered my home not always fun to explain to people that you're not a Nazi That said I decided to read this book in tiny increments alongside other books for the past few months and at over 1000 pages it took a bit to finally knock this one out but wow what a book I truly find it surprising that authors and journalists would bother to continue to write about the Third Reich after such a complete and comprehensive book was written about that disastrous time almost a century ago uite simply we all know the basics of the story Hitler rises to power does some horrible things starts a world war and eventually falls ignominiously—but the secret to this incredible book is the amount of detail and sheer breadth of knowledge within concerning life war and the troublesome arch of human historyA MUST READ especially in these modern times


  10. says:

    I went into this believing I had a well grounded understanding of Prussian history and a basis of the Hitler regime Ummm this book is everything I don't knowI feel way over my head There are so many layers to peel like some history containing onion Shirer wrote an entire college course worth of information I regret that I will not retain it all An impressive collection of memories and experience we should feel so privileged to have this thorough documentation of one of the most horrific eras in modern history to remind us how easily a society can fall prey to manipulation when it believes all hope is lost and all value is expendedI was startled to find that the experiments discussed in a previous read Doctors in Hell were spot on All of them are delved into deeply on this book The horror takes on greater proportion when one hears it in audiobook format