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The End: The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler's Germany, 1944-1945 (2011)

af Ian Kershaw

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
8091920,265 (4.05)12
"From the preeminent Hitler biographer, a fascinating and original exploration of how the Third Reich was willing and able to fight to the bitter end of World War II. Countless books have been written about why Nazi Germany lost World War II, yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the equally vital question of how and why it was able to hold out as long as it did. The Third Reich did not surrender until Germany had been left in ruins and almost completely occupied. Even in the near-apocalyptic final months, when the war was plainly lost, the Nazis refused to sue for peace. Historically, this is extremely rare. Drawing on original testimony from ordinary Germans and arch-Nazis alike, award-winning historian Ian Kershaw explores this fascinating question in a gripping and focused narrative that begins with the failed bomb plot in July 1944 and ends with the German capitulation in May 1945. Hitler, desperate to avoid a repeat of the "disgraceful" German surrender in 1918, was of course critical to the Third Reich's fanatical determination, but his power was sustained only because those below him were unable, or unwilling, to challenge it. Even as the military situation grew increasingly hopeless, Wehrmacht generals fought on, their orders largely obeyed, and the regime continued its ruthless persecution of Jews, prisoners, and foreign workers. Beneath the hail of allied bombing, German society maintained some semblance of normalcy in the very last months of the war. The Berlin Philharmonic even performed on April 12, 1945, less than three weeks before Hitler's suicide. As Kershaw shows, the structure of Hitler's "charismatic rule" created a powerful negative bond between him and the Nazi leadership- they had no future without him, and so their fates were inextricably tied. Terror also helped the Third Reich maintain its grip on power as the regime began to wage war not only on its ideologically defined enemies but also on the German people themselves. Yet even as each month brought fresh horrors for civilians, popular support for the regime remained linked to a patriotic support of Germany and a terrible fear of the enemy closing in. Based on prodigious new research, Kershaw's The End is a harrowing yet enthralling portrait of the Third Reich in its last desperate gasps. "--… (mere)
Nyligt tilføjet afprivat bibliotek, midwifejen, JonTelfer, rtalcott, Javi_er, ejmw, chudson, ih8libs
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''Mentre, all'inizio del 1945, si profilava la disastrosa sconfitta, si sentivano qualche volta i tedeschi dire che 'avrebbero preferito una fine con orrore a un orrore senza fine'. E una 'fine con orrore' fu senza dubbio ciò che sperimentarono. (...) L'autodistruzione provocata dal perseverare nella lotta fino al limite estremo, fino a subire una quasi totale devastazione e una completa occupazione da parte dei nemici, è estremamente rara. Eppure è questo che la Germania fece nel 1945. Perché? Si è tentati di dare una risposta semplice: Hitler rifiutò in maniera irremovibile di prendere in esame qualsiasi ipotesi di resa, per cui non c'era alternativa al continuare a combattere. Questa risposta suscita però altri interrogativi. E affrontarli non si può se non esaminando le strutture del potere e i modi di pensare imperanti nella Germania, mentre la catastrofe stava inghiottendo il paese nel 1944-45. Quello che questo libro cerca di fare.'' (Ian Kershaw)
  MemorialeSardoShoah | May 4, 2020 |
Samenvatting:
Terwijl de rampzalige nederlaag begin 1945 zich in alle hevigheid aandiende, werd er door de Duitsers wel gezegd dat ze liever kozen voor een einde vol leed, dan leed zonder einde. Het einde vol leed vond dan ook op grote schaal plaats, zoals nog nooit eerder in de geschiedenis is voorgekomen. Enkele bloedstollende cijfers van de laatste maanden zijn de half miljoen burgerslachtoffers en de 350.000 slachtoffers per maand bij alleen al de Wehrmacht. Veel van dit alles had voorkomen kunnen worden als Duitsland had willen buigen voor de geallieerde voorwaarden. Waarom vocht het Duitse volk, tegen beter weten in, door tot het bittere einde? Ian Kershaw stelt in zijn nieuwe boek Tot de laatste man deze vraag centraal. In een onovertroffen stijl vertelt hij over de gebeurtenissen tussen juli 1944, vanaf de mislukte aanslag op Hitler, en de geallieerde overwinning in mei 1945. De focus ligt bij de Duitse bevolking, die het zwaar te verduren had met luchtaanvallen, op de vlucht moest voor het oprukkende Rode Leger en getuige was van de verschrikkelijke dodenmarsen van concentratiekampgevangenen.
Recensie(s):
De Britse historicus Sir Ian Kershaw is bijna zijn hele leven verbonden geweest als hoogleraar hedendaagse geschiedenis aan de universiteit van Sheffield. In Nederland kreeg hij vooral bekendheid door boeken als 'Heulen met Hitler' en zijn biografisch tweeluik over Adolf Hitler 'Hoogmoed en Vergelding'. In dit boek analyseert hij diepgaand het antwoord op de vraag waarom nazi-Duitsland niet bereid was zich neer te leggen bij de geallieerde voorwaarden tot capitulatie. Het einde van de Tweede Wereldoorlog bracht Duitsland immers verwoesting en verlies van menselijk leven op een ongekende schaal. In plaats van het zoeken naar vredesvoorwaarden vocht Duitsland door tot een bijna totale verwoesting en volledige vijandelijke bezetting. Waarom werden Hitlers orders nog steeds gehoorzaamd? Deze goed gedocumenteerde studie beschrijft geen militaire geschiedenis, maar gaat in op aspecten als de bestuursstructuren van de nazipartij en haar onderorganisaties, de denkwijze van de bestuurders en zij die bestuurd werden. Van nazileiders tot eenvoudige burgers en van generaals tot soldaten, zowel aan de oostelijke als westelijke fronten. De auteur is er uitstekend in geslaagd om dit moeilijke onderwerp voor een groot publiek begrijpelijk te maken. Met kaarten en een fotokatern.

E. Westerhuis
  Langshan | Dec 21, 2019 |
Ian Kershaw's book aims to answer just one question: why did the Germans continue to fight even after the second world war was clearly lost? He reviews a number of explanations given, ranging from the reasonable to the ludicrous, and settles on an interpretation of how the Nazi state had been established and how it was still running in 1944-5 that prevented popular rebellion or a military coup, even when almost no one believed the war could still be won. Hitler's dreaded a 1918-style end to the war, with soldiers' mutinies and workers' strikes. He and his regime managed to make these impossible. A beautifully-written, well-researched investigation into a historical nightmare. ( )
  ericlee | May 21, 2018 |
Extremely disappointed with the absence of analysis in this one. Yes, it describes "the end" in thorough detail, but it's just a retelling of events and I didn't learn anything new. I was hoping for more insight into the "WHY" that Kershaw promised from the outset of the book, and I suppose it's fair to say he did provide enough information for readers to answer that question for themselves, but it was nevertheless a narrative tour through the last months of the Nazi regime, with many facts repeated over and over again, and sometimes also with extraneous information that took away from the main focus of the book (the power the central command was able to maintain), such as by describing the death marches and lives of concentration camp POWs. I really wanted more of a personal reflection into why/how Hitler was able to maintain such intense power and loyalty, particularly since those in high command had such power in their own rights; instead, not much about Hitler was said, except for the fact that everyone greatly feared him. A lot of details about the efforts of top Nazi officials (all those you'd expect, Bormann, Goebbels, Speer, and so on) to keep the war going, but without truly answering why... except that they were blindly fanatic and scared of Hitler. ( )
1 stem peapea | May 6, 2017 |
Zelfvernietiging door tot op het laatst te vechten, tot een bijna totale verwoesting en volledige vijandelijke bezetting, komt zeer zelden voor. Toch is dit wat de Duitsers in 1945 deden. Waarom?
Waarom werden Hitlers zelfvernietigende orders tot het einde toe door zijn officieren gehoorzaamd? Welke bestuursmechanismen stelden hem in staat Duitslands lot te bepalen toen het voor iedereen duidelijk was dat de oorlog verloren was en het land volstrekt werd verwoest?
Welke alternatieven bezaten de Duitsers, burgers en soldaten, in de laatste fase van de oorlog? Op deze en andere vragen geeft Ian Kershaw in zijn onovertroffen stijl antwoord.
  Johan.daniels1965 | Aug 2, 2016 |
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As disastrous defeat loomed in early 1945, Germans were sometimes heard to say they would prefer 'an end with horror, to a horror without end'.
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"From the preeminent Hitler biographer, a fascinating and original exploration of how the Third Reich was willing and able to fight to the bitter end of World War II. Countless books have been written about why Nazi Germany lost World War II, yet remarkably little attention has been paid to the equally vital question of how and why it was able to hold out as long as it did. The Third Reich did not surrender until Germany had been left in ruins and almost completely occupied. Even in the near-apocalyptic final months, when the war was plainly lost, the Nazis refused to sue for peace. Historically, this is extremely rare. Drawing on original testimony from ordinary Germans and arch-Nazis alike, award-winning historian Ian Kershaw explores this fascinating question in a gripping and focused narrative that begins with the failed bomb plot in July 1944 and ends with the German capitulation in May 1945. Hitler, desperate to avoid a repeat of the "disgraceful" German surrender in 1918, was of course critical to the Third Reich's fanatical determination, but his power was sustained only because those below him were unable, or unwilling, to challenge it. Even as the military situation grew increasingly hopeless, Wehrmacht generals fought on, their orders largely obeyed, and the regime continued its ruthless persecution of Jews, prisoners, and foreign workers. Beneath the hail of allied bombing, German society maintained some semblance of normalcy in the very last months of the war. The Berlin Philharmonic even performed on April 12, 1945, less than three weeks before Hitler's suicide. As Kershaw shows, the structure of Hitler's "charismatic rule" created a powerful negative bond between him and the Nazi leadership- they had no future without him, and so their fates were inextricably tied. Terror also helped the Third Reich maintain its grip on power as the regime began to wage war not only on its ideologically defined enemies but also on the German people themselves. Yet even as each month brought fresh horrors for civilians, popular support for the regime remained linked to a patriotic support of Germany and a terrible fear of the enemy closing in. Based on prodigious new research, Kershaw's The End is a harrowing yet enthralling portrait of the Third Reich in its last desperate gasps. "--

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