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Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis Paperback – September 17, 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Hitler's Forgotten Children: A True Story of the Lebensborn Program and One Woman's Search for Her Real Identity by Ingrid von Oelhafen
"Hitler's Forgotten Children" by Ingrid von Oelhafen
The Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. Hitler's Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

George VI thought him a "damnable villain," and Neville Chamberlain found him not quite a gentleman; but, to the rest of the world, Adolf Hitler has come to personify modern evil to such an extent that his biographers always have faced an unenviable task. The two more renowned biographies of Hitler--by Joachim C. Fest ( Hitler) and by Alan Bullock ( Hitler: A Study in Tyranny)--painted a picture of individual tyranny which, in the words of A.J.P. Taylor, left Hitler guilty and every other German innocent. Decades of scholarship on German society under the Nazis have made that verdict look dubious; so, the modern biographer of Hitler must account both for his terrible mindset and his charismatic appeal. In the second and final volume of his mammoth biography of Hitler--which covers the climax of Nazi power, the reclamation of German-speaking Europe, and the horrific unfolding of the final solution in Poland and Russia--Ian Kershaw manages to achieve both of these tasks. Continuing where Hitler: Hubris 1889-1936 left off, the epic Hitler: Nemesis 1937-1945 takes the reader from the adulation and hysteria of Hitler's electoral victory in 1936 to the obsessive and remote "bunker" mentality that enveloped the Führer as Operation Barbarossa (the attack on Russia in 1942) proved the beginning of the end. Chilling, yet objective. A definitive work. --Miles Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

At the conclusion of Kershaw's Hitler, 1889-1936: Hubris (1999), the Rhineland had been remilitarized, domestic opposition crushed, and Jews virtually outlawed. What the genuinely popular leader of Germany would do with his unchallenged power, the world knows and recoils from. The historian's duty, superbly discharged by Kershaw, is to analyze how and why Hitler was able to ignite a world war, commit the most heinous crime in history, and throw his country into the abyss of total destruction. He didn't do it alone. Although Hitler's twin goals of expelling Jews and acquiring "living space" for other Germans were hardly secret, "achieving" them did not proceed according to a blueprint, as near as Kershaw can ascertain. However long Hitler had cherished launching an all-out war against the Jews and against Soviet Russia, as he did in 1941, it was only conceivable as reality following a tortuous series of events of increasing radicality, in both foreign and domestic politics. At each point, whether haranguing a mass audience or a small meeting of military officers, the demagogue had to and did persuade his listeners that his course of action was the only one possible. Acquiescence to aggression and genocide was further abetted by the narcotic effect of the "Hitler myth," the propagandized image of the infallible leader as national savior, which produced a force for radicalization parallel to Hitler's personal murderous fanaticism; the motto of the time called it "working towards the Fuhrer." Underlings in competition with each other would do what they thought Hitler wanted, as occurred with aspects of organizing the Final Solution. Kershaw's narrative connecting this analysis gives outstanding evidence that he commands and understands the source material, producing this magisterial scholarship that will endure for decades. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1168 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393322521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393322521
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not surprisingly, this is a splendid follow up to Ian Kershaw's biography of the younger Hitler to 1936. The author has not set out to provide a new thesis, still less a revisionist stance, but provides a meticulously researched account of Hitler's successes followed by his slide into total defeat. He has used recently available source material, especially Goebbels, and livens up his narrative by pertinent statements of ordinary Germans who lived through the second world war. Kershaw's judgments are always sane. We learn that the British escape at Dunkirk was Hitler's military blunder, not some halfbaked attempt to encourage the peacemakers in London. The author is rightly suspicious that the Russians found and performed an autopsy on the Fuhrer's corpse. What comes across strongly in this book is Hitler's obsession with secrecy which probably explains why massacres and atrocities were rarely debated in Hitler's presence. At the end, Hitler was totally obsessed by treason and betrayal. Even Goebbels, it appears, tried to persuade him to make peace with Stalin. The index to the book is excellent and makes specific inquiries that much easier to track down. Some of the lesser known photographs appear to be stills from Die Deutsche Wochenshau. This volume is a thorough and up to date investigation of what made Hitler tick and how and why he ultimately failed to achieve his military goals.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most simply put, this, the second of two superb books by British historian Ian Kershaw on Hitler's life and times, quite successfully draws the reader closer to an understanding of this historically enigmatic and often bizarre human being who so changed the world of the 20th century. Although there are a myriad of such books that have appeared in the half-century since Hitler's demise in the dust and rubble of Berlin, this particular effort, which draws from hundreds of secondary sources, many of which have never before been cited, paints an authentic and masterful portrait of Hitler as an individual. This is an absolutely singular historical work; and it will almost come to occupy a central place on the shelves of serious World War Two historians. Most fascinating for me is the way in which Kershaw grows an incredibly fertile appreciation for Hitler's personal characteristics into a sophisticated appreciation for what unfolded historically. A good example is his fetish for secrecy, which left both Hitler himself and those around him incredibly poorly informed of many of the details of what their policies were doing to the society around them.
Author Ian Kershaw takes a quite different and novel approach, and it is one I enjoyed. Here, by carefully locating and fixing the individual in the context and welter of his times, it yields a much more enlightening approach toward painting a meaningful comprehensive picture of how this criminally twisted psychopath became such a fatefully placed politician and leader of post-World War One Germany. Thus, in Volume One we saw the boy grow and change in whatever fashion into a man, tracing the rise of this troubled malcontent from the anonymity of Viennese shelters to a fiery and meteoric rise into politics, culminating in his ascent to rule Germany.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the second and concluding volume of Ian Kershaw's biography of Hitler. It takes up the story in 1936 when Hitler started a policy of rearmament followed by territorial expansion.
The major problem in reading this book is nothing to do with the author who writes with considerable skill. It has nothing to do with the material in the book that includes updated material and a perspective, which is more in line with reality than earlier books. The problem is that Hitler was such a boring self centered and self-pitying person. After 1943 when Germany started to suffer defeat after defeat he withdrew from most social intercourse with other people. He suffered paranoid delusions that he was being continually betrayed and would eat by himself and bore anyone senseless about what a raw deal he was getting.
By this time Hitler spent most of his time directing the German military. He was not involved as was Stalin with day to day control of his part or directing industrial production. The others dealt with in the book are generally military commanders. Most of them have the moral depth of a dried out puddle and their main complaint with Hitler was that he seemed a bit common and low class.
Early biographies of Hitler were influenced by the memoirs of German Generals. In addition early histories of Nazism were influenced by the times. After Hitler had gone the west faced a far more serious opponent in Joseph Stalin. There was an urgent need to incorporate West Germany into European Defence. It thus became convenient to shelve off responsibilities for what had happened in the war to Hitler and the SS. Books written by German Generals had the aim of white washing thier reputations and placing the blame on Hitler for the defeat of Germany and its racist policies.
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Format: Hardcover
The two part Ian Kershaw's biography of Adolph Hitler are separate but equal portions of the life of Adolph Hitler, not the most popular, attractive or marketable of personages to dedicate a two volume biography. Though each volume is capable of standing on its own, both should be read in sequence.
The first volume, Hubris 1889-1936, deals with Hitler's origins, various incarnations, and initial rise to power in 1936. This volume ends with Hitler's controversial invasion of the Rhineland. The second volume, Nemesis: 1936-1945, immediately picks up where the first leaves off, and takes us through the escalating war to its inevitable conclusion just outside a bunker in Berlin within range of the Soviet's artillery. Throughout both, we walk uncomfortably close to Adolph Hitler, and his minions.
The overall work takes us through Hitler's full life in astonishing and carefully researched detail, clarifying and confirming what we knew, but more importantly debunking myths and leaving open to speculation events still without a definitive resolution. Where the author doesn't know and is forced to guess based upon what he does know, the reader is clearly informed. This is not often the case in many biographies and is a credit to this work.
Throughout, the reader will come away with a sense of the "history as close-call," as Hitler approaches total failure and obscurity several times only to move on to what will become his fateful destiny for both himself and the world. Like a good novel the author allows us to speculate on our own on what might have been if for example, Hitler had been admitted to the school of architecture in Vienna. The author builds suspense and drama throughout.
The second longer volume is a quicker and easier read, despite the occasionally gruesome subject matter.
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