Swansong 1945 chronicles the end of Nazi Germany and World War II in Europe through hundreds of letters, diaries, and autobiographical accounts covering four days that fateful spring: Hitler's birthday on April 20, American and Soviet troops meeting at the Elbe on April 25, Hitler's suicide on April 30, and finally the German surrender on May 8. Side by side, we encounter vivid, first-person accounts of civilians fleeing Berlin, ordinary German soldiers determined to fight to the bitter end, American POWs dreaming of home, concentration-camp survivors' first descriptions of their horrific experiences, as well as the intimate thoughts of figures such as Eisenhower, Churchill, Stalin, Joseph Goebbels, and Hitler himself.
These firsthand accounts, painstakingly collected and organized by renowned German author Walter Kempowski, provide the raw material of history and present a panoramic view of those tumultuous days. The more than 1,000 extracts include a British soldier writing to his parents to tell them there are no baths but plenty of eggs and chocolate, an American soldier describing "the tremendous burst of lilacs" as he approaches the Elbe, Mussolini wishing Hitler a happy birthday, Eva Braun bragging to a girlfriend about what a "crack shot" she's become, and much more.
An extraordinary account of suffering and survival, Swansong 1945 brings to life the end of Nazi Germany and the war in Europe.
Growing up in the beautiful mountains of Berchtesgaden -- just steps from Adolf Hitler's alpine retreat -- Irmgard Hunt had a seemingly happy, simple childhood. In her powerful, illuminating, and sometimes frightening memoir, Hunt recounts a youth lived under an evil but persuasive leader. As she grew older, the harsh reality of war -- and a few brave adults who opposed the Nazi regime -- aroused in her skepticism of National Socialist ideology and the Nazi propaganda she was taught to believe in.
In May 1945, an eleven-year-old Hunt watched American troops occupy Hitler's mountain retreat, signaling the end of the Nazi dictatorship and World War II. As the Nazi crimes began to be accounted for, many Germans tried to deny the truth of what had occurred; Hunt, in contrast, was determined to know and face the facts of her country's criminal past.
On Hitler's Mountain is more than a memoir -- it is a portrait of a nation that lost its moral compass. It is a provocative story of a family and a community in a period and location in history that, though it is fast becoming remote to us, has important resonance for our own time.
"This volume is small but weighty and a solid addition for all modern Christianity collections." --Ray Olson, Booklist
With a foreword by James Martin, this classic reader on the Reformation by Martin Marty answers the question: Why is the Reformation relevant today?
Most importantly, this book is about how the Reformation impacts us devotionally as Christians of any denomination.
As we move toward the commemoration on October 31, 2017, this is the book you need. Accessible for church groups or personal reading, this is not a historical narrative of Reformation events, but an explanation of the issues that led to Luther's posting of the 95 Theses and their implications for the Church and the world.
As one of the world's preeminent Luther scholars, Martin Marty also explores the concept of repentance as a central theme of the Theses. In a foreword, James Martin, SJ, offers context and a shared vision.
This year began with the joint ecumenical commemoration in Lund, Sweden, on October 31, 2016, attended by Pope Francis and members of the Lutheran World Federation and other Christian churches. Martin Marty explains how this event, and indeed all ecumenical dialogue that has happened over the past few hundred years and will happen in this coming year, represents a change of heart.
"Valuable insight." - Kathleen Norris
Why are we drawn to certain cities? Perhaps because of a story read in childhood. Or a chance teenage meeting. Or maybe simply because the place touches us, embodying in its tribes, towers and history an aspect of our understanding of what it means to be human. Paris is about romantic love. Lourdes equates with devotion. New York means energy. London is forever trendy.
Berlin is all about volatility.
Berlin is a city of fragments and ghosts, a laboratory of ideas, the fount of both the brightest and darkest designs of history's most bloody century. The once arrogant capital of Europe was devastated by Allied bombs, divided by the Wall, then reunited and reborn as one of the creative centers of the world. Today it resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realized, and evils executed with shocking intensity. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low; few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations.
Berlin tells the volatile history of Europe's capital over five centuries through a series of intimate portraits of two dozen key residents: the medieval balladeer whose suffering explains the Nazis' rise to power; the demonic and charismatic dictators who schemed to dominate Europe; the genius Jewish chemist who invented poison gas for First World War battlefields and then the death camps; the iconic mythmakers like Christopher Isherwood, Leni Riefenstahl, and David Bowie, whose heated visions are now as real as the city's bricks and mortar. Alongside them are portrayed some of the countless ordinary Berliners who one has never heard of, whose lives can only be imagined: the Scottish mercenary who fought in the Thirty Years' War, the ambitious prostitute who refashioned herself as a baroness, the fearful Communist Party functionary who helped to build the Wall, and the American spy from the Midwest whose patriotism may have turned the course of the Cold War.
Berlin is a history book like no other, with an originality that reflects the nature of the city itself. In its architecture, through its literature, in its movies and songs, Berliners have conjured their hard capital into a place of fantastic human fantasy. No other city has so often surrendered itself to its own seductive myths. No other city has been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations. Berlin captures, portrays, and propagates the remarkable story of those myths and their makers.
The Prussian king Frederick II is today best remembered for successfully defending his tiny country against the three great European powers of France, Austria, and Russia during the Seven Years' War. But in his youth, tormented by a spectacularly cruel and dyspeptic father, the future military genius was drawn to the flute and French poetry, and throughout his long life counted nothing more important than the company of good friends and great wits. This was especially evident in his longstanding, loving, and vexing relationship with Voltaire. An absolute ruler who was allergic to pomp, a non-hunter who wore no spurs, a reformer of great zeal who maintained complete freedom of the press and religion and cleaned up his country's courts, a fiscal conservative and patron of the arts, the builder of the rococo palace Sans Souci and improver of the farmers' lot, maddening to his rivals but beloved by nearly everyone he met, Frederick was--notwithstanding a penchant for merciless teasing--arguably the most humane of enlightened despots.In Frederick the Great, a richly entertaining biography of one of the eighteenth century's most fascinating figures, the trademark wit of the author of Love in a Cold Climate finds its ideal subject.
Never feel like a stranger in Germany again
On entering a restaurant, should you find your own table or wait to be seated? What is a suitable topic for small-talk with a stranger? In what circumstances might you ask to borrow ein Handy? All these answers and more can be found in When in Germany, Do As the Germans Do, a fun and intriguing book that teaches you about Germany's culture, language, and people.
It features 120 intriguing multiple-choice questions that are cross-referenced to fascinating articles on pop culture, customs, behavior, history, consumer trends, literature, tourist sights, business, language, and more. Also included are key terms and useful expressions, informative charts, and websites for further reference.
Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1945 is an abridged edition of Saul Friedl nder's definitive Pulitzer Prize-winning two-volume history of the Holocaust: Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939 and The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945.
The book's first part, dealing with the National Socialist campaign of oppression, restores the voices of Jews who were engulfed in an increasingly horrifying reality following the Nazi accession to power. Friedl nder also provides the accounts of the persecutors themselves--and, perhaps most telling of all, the testimonies of ordinary German citizens who, in general, stood silent and unmoved by the increasing waves of segregation, humiliation, impoverishment, and violence.
The second part covers the German extermination policies that resulted in the murder of six million European Jews--an official program that depended upon the cooperation of local authorities and police departments, the passivity of the populations, and the willingness of the victims to submit in desperate hope of surviving long enough to escape the German vise.
A monumental, multifaceted study now contained in a single volume, Saul Friedl nder's Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1933-1945 is an essential study of a dark and complex history.
In this compelling work, Brian Ladd examines the ongoing conflicts radiating from the remarkable fusion of architecture, history, and national identity in Berlin. Ladd surveys the urban landscape, excavating its ruins, contemplating its buildings and memorials, and carefully deconstructing the public debates and political controversies emerging from its past."Written in a clear and elegant style, The Ghosts of Berlin is not just another colorless architectural history of the German capital. . . . Mr. Ladd's book is a superb guide to this process of urban self-definition, both past and present."--Katharina Thote, Wall Street Journal "If a book can have the power to change a public debate, then The Ghosts of Berlin is such a book. Among the many new books about Berlin that I have read, Brian Ladd's is certainly the most impressive. . . . Ladd's approach also owes its success to the fact that he is a good storyteller. His history of Berlin's architectural successes and failures reads entertainingly like a detective novel."--Peter Schneider, New Republic " Ladd's] well-written and well-illustrated book amounts to a brief history of the city as well as a guide to its landscape."--Anthony Grafton, New York Review of Books
A family of German nobles have been forced from their home on the left bank of the Rhine by the French Revolution. Their peace is further disrupted by the arguments between the young Karl, a supporter of the ideals of the revolution, and the other men. The Baroness saves the day by suggesting they amuse each other by telling stories.
In the summer of 1962, the year after the rise of the Berlin Wall, a group of young West Germans risked prison, Stasi torture, and even death to liberate friends, lovers, and strangers in East Berlin by digging tunnels under the Wall. Then two U.S. television networks heard about the secret projects and raced to be first to document them from the inside. NBC and CBS funded two separate tunnels in return for the right to film the escapes, planning spectacular prime-time specials. President John F. Kennedy, however, was wary of anything that might spark a confrontation with the Soviets, having said, "A wall is better than a war," and even confessing to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, "We don't care about East Berlin." JFK approved unprecedented maneuvers to quash both documentaries, testing the limits of a free press in an era of escalating nuclear tensions. As Greg Mitchell's riveting narrative unfolds, we meet extraordinary characters: the legendary cyclist who became East Germany's top target for arrest; the Stasi informer who betrays the "CBS tunnel"; the American student who aided the escapes; an engineer who would later help build the tunnel under the English channel; and the young East Berliner who fled with her baby, then married one of the tunnelers. The Tunnels captures the chilling reach of the Stasi secret police as U.S. networks prepared to "pay for play" but were willing to cave to official pressure, the White House was eager to suppress historic coverage, and ordinary people in dire circumstances became subversive. The Tunnels is breaking history, a propulsive read whose themes still reverberate.