In an era when women were supposed to be disciplined and obedient, Anna proved to be neither. Defying 16th-century social mores, she was the frequent subject of gossip because of her immodest dress and flirtatious behavior. When her wealthy father discovered that she was having secret, simultaneous affairs with a young nobleman and a cavalryman, he turned her out of the house in rage, but when she sued him for financial support, he had her captured, returned home and chained to a table as punishment. Anna eventually escaped and continued her suit against her father, her siblings and her home town in a bitter legal battle that was to last 30 years and end only upon her death.
Drawn from her surviving love letters and court records, The Burgermeister's Daughter is a fascinating examination of the politics of sexuality, gender and family in the 16th century, and a powerful testament to the courage and tenacity of a woman who defied the inequalities of this distant age.
In April 1945, the American 71st Infantry Division exacted the final vestiges of life from the Reich's 6th SS Mountain Division in central Germany. This analysis of the battle demonstrates that the Wehrmacht's last gasp on the Western Front was anything but a whimper as some historians charge. Instead, Stephen Rusiecki argues, the Nazis fought to exact every last bit of pain possible. The book follows the histories of both the German and American divisions from their inceptions until their fateful confrontation and serves as a testament to the human experience in war, from the perspective of the soldiers and the civilians who suffered the brunt of the fighting.
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the "New Germany," she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance--and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler's true character and ruthless ambition. Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre G ring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.
What is it like to be Jewish and to be born and raised in Germany after the Holocaust? Based on candid interviews with nearly 100 German Jews, this book offers an understanding of how the memory of the Holocaust shapes Jews' everyday lives. As their views of non-Jewish Germans and of themselves, their political integration into German society, and their friendships and relationships with Germans are uncovered, the obstacles to readjustment when sociocultural memory is still present are better understood. This is also a book about Jewish identity in the midst of modernity. It shows how the boundaries of ethnicity are not marked by how religious Jews are, or their absorption of traditional culture, but by the moral distinctions rooted in Holocaust memory that Jews draw between themselves and other Germans.
In this fresh and challenging study of the origins of the Cold War, Professor Eisenberg traces the American role in dividing postwar Germany. Drawing upon original documentary sources, she explores how U.S. policy makers chose partition and mobilized reluctant West Europeans behind that approach. The book casts new light on the Berlin blockade, demonstrating that the United States rejected United Nations mediation and relied on its nuclear monopoly as the means of protecting its German agenda.
This groundbreaking international bestseller lays to rest many myths about the Holocaust: that Germans were ignorant of the mass destruction of Jews, that the killers were all SS men, and that those who slaughtered Jews did so reluctantly. Hitler's Willing Executioners provides conclusive evidence that the extermination of European Jewry engaged the energies and enthusiasm of tens of thousands of ordinary Germans. Goldhagen reconstructs the climate of eliminationist anti-Semitism that made Hitler's pursuit of his genocidal goals possible and the radical persecution of the Jews during the 1930s popular. Drawing on a wealth of unused archival materials, principally the testimony of the killers themselves, Goldhagen takes us into the killing fields where Germans voluntarily hunted Jews like animals, tortured them wantonly, and then posed cheerfully for snapshots with their victims. From mobile killing units, to the camps, to the death marches, Goldhagen shows how ordinary Germans, nurtured in a society where Jews were seen as unalterable evil and dangerous, willingly followed their beliefs to their logical conclusion.
Hitler's Willing Executioner's is an original, indeed brilliant contribution to the...literature on the Holocaust.--New York Review of Books The most important book ever published about the Holocaust...Eloquently written, meticulously documented, impassioned...A model of moral and scholarly integrity.--Philadelphia Inquirer
As Berlin prepares to become a re-unified Germany's capital at the end of this century, as well as the European Union's leading city, its historical role at the heart of the nation and the continent has never been so crucial or less recognized. No other book before this has fully examined Berlin's inspiring achievements and catastrophic errors.
In this magisterial new work, Oxford historian Alexandra Ritchie recounts how Berlin forged itself into the Schicksal Stadt Deutschlands -- the City of German Destiny -- and the consequences. With an assured sense of narrative, Ritchie follows Berlin from its pre-Roman roots and Medieval foundation to the nation-building dreams of Frederick the Great and Bismarck. She also traces its surprisingly heterogeneous social forces, which belie the Prussian and Nazi myths of a single German yolk. Most important, she concentrates on the city's pivotal position in the twentieth century's upheavals: the Weimar Republics decadent capital, which rivaled New York and Paris for culture; Hitler and Goebbels's attempt to build a fascist metropolis and its destruction; and the city divided by the Cold War.
Unique in its scope and scholarship, Faust's Metropolis is history at its most enthralling. It presents an encyclopedic history of this ever-changing city, a vivid social portrait of its citizens, and a thorough evaluation of its political and cultural legacy. Wresting Berlins actual past from its myths, Ritchie arrives as brilliant, authoritative new historian formidably in command of her fascinating subject.
"Compelling . . . Lower brings to the forefront an unexplored aspect of the Holocaust." --Washington PostIn a surprising account that powerfully revises history, Wendy Lower uncovers the role of German women on the Nazi eastern front--not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival research and fieldwork, presents startling evidence that these women were more than "desk murderers" or comforters of murderous German men: they went on "shopping sprees" and romantic outings to the Jewish ghettos; they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also shooting Jews. And Lower uncovers the stories of SS wives with children of their own whose brutality is as chilling as any in history. Hitler's Furies challenges our deepest beliefs: women can be as brutal as men, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years. "Disquieting . . . Earlier books about the Holocaust have offered up poster girls of brutality and atrocity . . . Lower's] insight is to track more mundane lives, and to argue for a vastly wider complicity." --New York Times "An unsettling but significant contribution to our understanding of how nationalism, and specifically conceptions of loyalty, are normalized, reinforced, and regulated." --Los Angeles Review of Books
Drawing on an unprecedented variety of sources, Mark Mazower reveals how the Nazis designed, maintained, and ultimately lost their European empire and offers a chilling vision of the world Hitler would have made had he won the war. Germanyas forces achieved, in just a few years, the astounding domination of a landmass and population larger than that of the United States. Control of this vast territory was meant to provide the basis for Germanyas rise to unquestioned world power. Eastern Europe was to be the Reichas Wild West, transformed by massacre and colonial settlement. Western Europe was to provide the economic resources that would knit an authoritarian and racially cleansed continent together. But the brutality and short-sightedness of Nazi politics lost what German arms had won and brought their equally rapid downfall. Time and again, the speed of the Germansa victories caught them unprepared for the economic or psychological intricacies of running such a far-flung dominion. Politically impoverished, they had no idea how to rule the millions of people they suddenly controlled, except by bludgeon. Mazower forces us to set aside the timeworn notion that the Nazisa worldview was their own invention. Their desire for land and their racist attitudes toward Slavs and other nationalities emerged from ideas that had driven their Prussian forebears into Poland and beyond. They also drew inspiration on imperial expansion from the Americans and especially the British, whose empire they idolized. Their signal innovation was to exploit Europeas peoples and resources much as the British or French had done in India and Africa. Crushed and disheartened, many of the peoples theyconquered collaborated with them to a degree that we have largely forgotten. Ultimately, the Third Reich would be beaten as much by its own hand as by the enemy. Throughout this book are fascinating, chilling glimpses of the world that might have been. Russians, Poles, and other ethnic groups would have been slaughtered or enslaved. Germans would have been settled upon now empty lands as far east as the Black Seaathe new aGreater Germany.a Europeas treasuries would have been sacked, its great cities impoverished and recast as dormitories for forced laborers when they were not deliberately demolished. As dire as all this sounds, it was merely the planned extension of what actually happened in Europe under Nazi rule as recounted in this authoritative, absorbing book.
Using new archival sources--including previously secret documents of the East German secret police and Communist Party--M. E. Sarotte goes behind the scenes of Cold War Germany during the era of detente, as East and West tried negotiation instead of confrontation to settle their differences. In Dealing with the Devil, she explores the motives of the German Democratic Republic and its Soviet backers in responding to both the detente initiatives, or Ostpolitik, of West Germany and the foreign policy of the United States under President Nixon.
Sarotte focuses on both public and secret contacts between the two halves of the German nation during Brandt's chancellorship, exposing the cynical artifices constructed by negotiators on both sides. Her analysis also details much of the superpower maneuvering in the era of detente, since German concerns were ever present in the minds of leaders in Washington and Moscow, and reveals the startling degree to which concern over China shaped European politics during this time. More generally, Dealing with the Devil presents an illuminating case study of how the relationship between center and periphery functioned in the Cold War Soviet empire.