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An interesting picture of early Nazi Germany,
This review is from: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin (Hardcover)
William Dodd was not destined for the diplomatic corps. He was an obscure professor of very modest background who was a devoted follower of Franklin Roosevelt. When Roosevelt had difficulty in finding the typical political figures interested in an appointment, he finally turned to Dodd. Dodd was a figure of mild ridicule among the State Department dilettantes who saw foreign service as an opportunity to party. Some, such as Britain's Neville Henderson, were in sympathy with the odious regime they were accredited to. Dodd arrived with mild sympathy for Germany and an instinctive distaste for Jews, not too unusual in the US at the time. He tried very hard to be fair to Hitler, although like so many others, he found him faintly clownish and did not believe his government would survive. The Nazis were so crude and inept that surely the great German people would not put up with this crowd for long.
In fact, Hitler filled a need for postwar Germany and became a talented manipulator of public opinion. There was no doubt that the German people resented the Carthaginian peace imposed on them by the Treaty of Versailles. Anti-Semitism had always existed but had been weak as the presence of so many Jews in German life showed. The fact that the hated treaty had been signed by a government largely made up of Jews, at least in the telling, created resentment. The German Army resented their loss although they were lying about the "stab in the back" by the Socialists.
All of this was simmering as the new ambassador arrived with his wife and two adult children. His daughter, being a liberated woman for the time, created quite a bit of scandal with her affairs with Gestapo chiefs (Diehls) and Soviet agents (Boris). The NKVD tried to recruit her but she was too flighty to ever be an agent. She became a sort of sympathizer in her revulsion at Nazism. The story is well told and the novel-like format is reminiscent of a WEB Griffin novel. It is well worth the time. The bigger story is in Schirer's book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which should be read if the reader is interested in the period. Churchill's The Second World War, Volume 1: The Gathering Storm is another source from a different point of view. The coming biography of Harding and Coolidge by Amity Schlaes may explain the financial consequences of the Versailles Treaty better than has been done to date There are too many Roosevelt apologists writing history but that is slowly changing 80 years later