Book Review : The Rise and The Fall of The Third Reich

The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich

“Although Hitler was determined to become an artist, he was already obsessed with politics at the age of sixteen. By then he had developed a violent hatred for the Hapsburg monarchy and all the non-German races in the multinational Austro-Hungarian Empire over which it ruled, and an equally violent love for everything German. At sixteen he had become what he was to remain till his dying breath: a fanatical German nationalist.”  – Excerpt from the book 


A detailed historical documentation of the making of Hitler and his cronies. His journey from being a small town boy from Austria, to his days of penury in Vienna, to his rise as a symbol of nationalist right wing, to his becoming of chancellor of Germany and ultimately the dictator with absolute power over the Germans. The Author captures all of this and more in great detail be it his contempt and hatred for Jews and as a result of that genocide of epic proportion of the Jews, his madness for making Germany the greatest power on earth. In the process throwing German and the whole Europe in a World War, which ended in destruction of Europe and Germany.

If anyone wants to find out what happened in Germany between the period of 1930s and 1945, you get it all here in the most detailed way a book can capture. It takes you into the journey of how Hitler became Hitler and where this fanatic man led Germany and the world to. There are details of how this man used the democratic process to come to power after the failure of “Beer Hall Putsch” in November, 1923 and once he came to power he crushed the democracy. The initial days of his political career, his becoming of chancellor, making rules against the Jews, creating nationalist feeling among the fellow Germans and creating and environment and feeling that he is the one who can take Germany out of it sorrows and bring respect to this nation. The complete loyalty of the people of Germany towards Hitler made him the undisputed leader of Germany.

The writers dwells into details about the life in Nazi Germany starting from 1933, the complete Nazification of Germany starting with control of state over education and media. A feeling was created among the people of Germany that it has been wronged and only Hitler can help bring back the glory to Germany. And this was helped and fueled by propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who carefully created a myth around Hitler and made him a God like figure in Germany. It entails the details of the atrocities done on Jews and the systematic othering of them, because of which many Jews were killed and many fled from Germany.

Hitler’s greed and madness is captured in detail through the diaries and documents captured at the end of the war. It tells the reader about the eccentricity of Hitler and his ideology of “Lebensraum” meaning living space for German people in the east. The details about his initial aggression and capture of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland, his treaty with Russia, Italy and Japan. And then the final declaration of War by Britain against Germany. The six years of war starting in 1939 and ending in 1945. Every battle during this time is captured in such details that you can imagine it happening in front of you. Ultimately the reader will get to know how the madness of one man led the whole Europe and the world into war causing destruction of epic proportion leaving millions of dead.

History buff will enjoy reading this book, however as it has too much of details so at times one might feel overwhelmed with information and primarily too many names. It is written very well and despite being a lengthy book it is informative and interesting, the chapters are arranged very well and you get to understand it chronologically.

About the Author

William L. Shirer ranks as one of the greatest of all American foreign correspondents. He lived and worked in Paris, Belin, Vienna, and Rome. But it was above all as correspondent in Germany for the Chicago Tribune and later for the Columbia Broadcasting System in the late 1930s that his reputation was established. He subsequently wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which is hailed as a classic, and after World War Two he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur. In the post-war years he wrote in a variety of fields, and in his seventies he learned Russian, publishing a biography of Tolstoy at the age of 89. He died in 1994. His Berlin broadcasts were published posthumously by Hutchinson in 1999.

Our Verdict

A must read for everyone who is interested in history. Anyone who wants to read in details about the making of Hitler and WWII, this is the book.

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