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Hitler's Berlin: Abused City Hardcover – July 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Fascinating.”—World War II
(World War II)

“A fascinating study of the politics, culture and architecture of Berlin.”—Washington Times 
(Washington Times)

About the Author

The late Thomas Friedrich grew up in Berlin and spent his adult life there. He was a museum curator and for many years was project leader for history at the Museum Education Service in Berlin.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300166702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300166705
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By F. Henderson on July 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thomas Friedrich's book deals, primarily, with the story of the NSDAP in Berlin during the Kampfzeit ("Time of Struggle"). It is clear that considerable research went into this book and the author has produced a highly-readable narrative of this fascinating time.

The book covers a wide range of topics: Hitler's first visit's as a soldier during the Great War, the Kapp Putsch, the rise from mediocrity of the NSDAP in the city, the Stennes Mutiny, etc. A large portion of the story involves Goebbels as he was the Gauleiter of Berlin starting in 1926. The author relies not only on the diary entries of Goebbels but also, and more importantly, the newspapers of the time - at one point there were over 40 in Berlin! It's fascinating to read how some journalists recognized the dangers of the NSDAP yet others completely dismissed it as a political power.

A personal highlight was the telling of the Eden Dance Palace trial in 1931. Four members of the SA were standing trial for an attack on Communist rally that involved the shooting of 3 members of the Communist Party. Hitler was ordered to appear as witness and took the opportunity to launch into long political explanations to any question he was asked. Hans Litten, a young lawyer, proceeded to ask Hitler more concrete questions which led to Hitler becoming flustered on the stand. Unfortunately this episode led to the downfall of Litten, who was arrested after the Reichstag Fire. He eventually committed suicide in Dachau.

The book ran out of steam following the Machtergreifung ("Seizure of Power"). The discussion of the planned redevelopment of Berlin was interesting but seemed out of place given the contents of the rest of the book.

All in all, this was a very good book. I would have liked to have seen more detail in some areas but it works as a general overview of the time
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ronald H. Clark VINE VOICE on July 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book turned out to be somewhat different than I had expected from the title. I assumed it would focus on Hitler's views of Berlin, its architecture and urban design, and his plans to scrap a lot of it and create the new world capital of "Germania." Only in the last chapter, pp. 343-372, does the author address Hitler's grand design for Germania and the remaking of Berlin's architecture.

The real focus of this 482 page volume (including notes and index) is how the Nazi party in Berlin in the 1920's, of a few dozen, grew into a force of many thousands with sufficient power to facilitate Hitler's Reichstag victories and eventual appointment by Hindenberg as Chancellor. This is one of the most complete studies I have seen of how the party grew and eventually triumphed.

The surprising central character of the book is Joseph Goebbels, who came to Berlin in 1926 to try and save the infant Berlin party outpost. For the most part, until he becomes Chancellor in 1933, Hitler spent for more time at the party's central headquarters in Munich. Goebbels turns out to have been a master organizer and propagandist, not to mention a skilled public speaker. He utilized both propaganda and mass meetings, and the threat of violence, to raise dramatically the party's public visibility. During the late 20's, there were dozens of right-wing groups, many paramilitary in design, who were plotting to overthrow the Weimar government. Goebbels' task was to get the party to stand out in this confusing mishmash. Large public meetings and the publication of his newspaper "Der Angriff" were especially effective, as was the start of the "cult" of Hitler which fascinated the working classes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill Stevenson on July 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of this book is deceiving as it really is a well researched analysis of Hitler's political maneuverings during the struggle for power. In fact it might the the best overall of any book I have read in the English language on this subject. Heavily footnoted, it is a dense read and well worth the effort. Highly recommended.
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