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Tapping Hitler's Generals: Transcripts of Secret Conversations, 1942-1945 Hardcover – November, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Frontline Books; First English Language Edition edition (November 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844157059
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844157051
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Robert Walker on April 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sonke Neitzel's "Tapping Hitler's Generals" presents an unusual glimpse into history. German generals who had been captured during WWII and interned in British camps talked with each other in captivity without realizing they were being recorded. While some of the conversations may be interpreted as perhaps cautiously feeding a line to the British, the unvarnished statements suggest that on the whole, the generals were speaking their version of truth. What is amazing about the statements is the range of moral thinking about the goals and implementation of Nazism. We hear generals who are still advocates of the Nazi view and were hear others who are strongly critical. However, all of them caved in to a higher respect for honor and obedience - regardless of their incipient moral disgust with certain actions. One also hears rationalizations for brutality expressed with little evidence of discomfort over the crimes. For Americans, these testimonies should have an eerie resonance with the likes of Rumsfeld who dismisses the civilian casualties and economic disasters of the Iraq war as part of the messiness of democracy. What is so striking about the generals is how civil they are and how conscious they are of the evils of the Nazi regime, in spite of some protestations about "not knowing." Several of the generals also voice the shame to fall on Germany and perhaps there is some redemption to follow from that. It would be fascinating to see more biographical information on the lives of these men after the war. Neitzel supplies some brief notes, but one wonders about how these men re-integrated into life and their families.

Sonke Neitzel has also supplied a wealth of footnotes (very easily accessed, by the way)to either confirm or refute the statements made by the generals.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By XIII Warrior on May 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Outstanding scholarship creates vivid portraits through the secretly recorded conversations of captive German generals; a powerful insight not only into World War Two history in the uncensored words of those who made it but also of how those minds reacted to captivity. The two factions which formed around the anti nazi General Von Thoma & the very pro nazi General Cruwell illustrate better than any example I can recall the inate hypocrisy of the Third Reich & those that served it so slavishly.Biographies & detailed notes make this book a feast. I would recommend this book not only to those interested in history but also psychology.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer VINE VOICE on September 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The editor obviously had to choose which conversation to reproduce in the book. In this case he concentrates mainly on political conversations about the officers various attitudes towards National Socialism as well as their views regarding the 20 July attempt on Hitler's life. Another area of concentration was the captured officers' private conversations about the warcrimes they and their units had committed during their active service. Even the briefest of perusals of this section will explode any lingering myths that the Wehrmacht fought a "clean" war.

The book is good, and I'm glad I read it, but I an very glad I didn't buy it. The book is loaded with seemingly unending conversations about the requirements of the "military honor" of the prisoners, detailed apologies for the excesses of National Socialism and whingeing about why it was all Hitler's (or his henchmen) fault. For a Masters or Doctoral student these conversations would be an invaluable source, for the general reader, not so much.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By James E. Girzone on August 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If it be true that comfort combined with familiarity brings contempt, we get ample doses of such from serious reading of this book: "TAPPING HITLER'S GENERALS".

While on 1st blush, such an obvious scheme (of 'bugging' the entire prison-complex) seems untenable and doomed to constant suspicion of the detainees, via convenient 'choreography' of behavior by the imprisoned Generals, it quickly is dispelled by the pervasive sense of complacency, not just a little induced, by the seeming unbelievable freedom and gracious treatment accorded their rank, while in years of 'plush' surroundings of their captivity, both in England and the US.

It must be remembered that these tapped conversations of these prisoners were NOT of lower or mid-rank officers but rather, they were those of Command-Rank Officers who led German, NAZI armies in combat across EUROPE and Eastern Europe.

The entire atmosphere of their accommodations and the respectful treatment afforded to these high-ranking POW'S inevitably induced them to a comfort level where the 'surroundings', convincingly brought them to a state of informality and open, candid discussions of THE what, who, when, how 'working' of HITLER'S inner circle of leaders and the NAZI mentality and goals from the very beginnings of their Rise to Power.

If anyone formerly held many, if any, doubts as to WHAT was Known and When it was Known and by Whom it was Known of the what and when the NAZI goals and deeds were initiated, DESPITE THE DISCLAIMERS OF THOSE CRIMINALS at the WAR CRIME TRIALS were on-going, this book should go far in resolving such doubts.
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Tapping Hitler's Generals: Transcripts of Secret Conversations, 1942-1945
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