7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
They all knew.,
This review is from: Hitler: A Biography (Paperback)
Understandably, Ian Kershaw cannot find many positive things to say about Adolf Hitler. As I understood Kershaw's views, Hitler was at the right place, at the right time. His rise to power was due to exceptional circumstances, he was a lazy, single-minded ignorant who achieve power throught the ineptness of the German society. While I agree that, once in power, the Western Powers gave him a free pass over every trangression (therefore helping greatly to built the "Fuhrer Cult" inside Germany), I cannot agree with the conception that Hitler didn't "deserve" power, said power he work so hard to get. After all, he did enter the Reichstag legally.
Once in power, he did some good to the German people. Under Hitler, inflation dropped dramatically, so did unemployment.
Under his leadership, the great Autobahn system was built. However, Kershaw cannot admit, or see, that Hitler had anything to do with those achievements.
Where John Tolan's "Adolf Hilter" states facts and let the reader draw his own conlusion, Kershaw cannot help himself second-guessing and he renders is own interpretation of those facts. Those are highly interesting, but they remains the author's opinion...
That being said, Kershaw's work is a must read. If you were to ask me, what did you learn from Kershaw's "Hitler", I would say this: It is impossible that the German people did not knew what was in store for the Jews if Hitler ever took power. They knew full well that Hitler, time and time again, repeatly in all his speechs, stated that the Jews would be annihilated. From 1920 on, he was crystal clear about it.
No one had the right to say "I didn't know" or "We knew something awful was being done but didn't know what". Maybe they were not aware of the method used to "annihilate" the Jews, but they knew.
They all knew.
All of them.