A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism – from the author of Sunday Times bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich

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A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism – from the author of Sunday Times bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich

A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism – from the author of Sunday Times bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich

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The life of an individual or a village under Nazi rule was first explored in Milton Mayer’s 1955 classic They Thought They Were Free. This is a piece of history while that was part political investigation and part discussion of a (now past) future. This has advantages but I found that it made for a disjointed narrative and it prevented me from building any rapport with the villagers. Carl Zuckmayer described him as the ‘unknown man wearing the mask of evil’ who had protected his Jewish mother.

Nestled in the Alps, Oberstdorf was a burgeoning tourist town, relatively cosmopolitan and affluent enough, and yet like all of German slowly got swamped by the rise of National Socialism. she was the namesake of the Henriëtte de Beaufort Prize, is a triennial prize that was established in 1985 by the Society of Dutch Literature. This richly textured chronicle offers valuable insights into 'the most far-reaching tragedy in human history. Yet even this remote idyll could not escape the brutal iron grip of the Nazi regime… From the author of the bestselling Travellers in the Third Reich comes A Village in the Third Reich, an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Germany under Hitler which shines a light on the lives of ordinary people.The authors have sought out and found an awful lot of good primary source material and their work is the sum of this, rather than any particular agenda. Finally, there were Prisoners of War and SS men not willing to surrender but determined to continue the fighting from the Alps. In Boyd and Patel’s book the idyllic Alpine Bavarian village of Oberstdorf goes under the microscope.

I loved every minute, it was the best way to learn what it was like to be oppressed by hitlers German rule.This is a tale of conflicting loyalties and desires, of shattered dreams - but one in which, ultimately, human resilience triumphs. Chapter 12 begins thusly: “Between 20 January and 13 December 1940, the Nazis gassed 9,839 people at the Grafeneck euthanasia center. The old cliche is that authoritarianism engulfs society gradually, like the (false) analogy of the frog in a pot of water slowly brought to a boil.

In the Village in the Third Reich What author succeeds in depicting normal daily live in Germany before and during the Second World War. As I’ve long said, I don’t think religion makes people do bad things so much as people make religion do bad things. As Hitler consolidated his power, the regime's impact on the lives of ordinary people was pervasive and corrupting, imposing strict control over daily life, and marginalising and persecuting minority groups. Important figures however, such as the Mayor and local Nazi party administrators reoccur, and they do their best to give everyone with a story justice. But there’s little balance; we weren’t told that Allied bombers killed some 55000 in Hamburg in a single night.However, despite these noble intentions, Boyd is good at showing how much of life is not black or white, but shades of grey. It explained in detail the chain of events that led to the rise of Fascism and the consequences that followed. We have already seen how Fink helped Sister Biunda and her nuns and how he protected the Jews and other persecuted individuals under his jurisdiction; how he not only helped to ensure that the elderly Emil Schnell was adequately provisioned, but had also warned him of his imminent deportation. Boyd’s book does not seek to whitewash the responsibility of those who supported the Nazis or who might have disagreed with them while remaining silent.

Then we learn that this Oberstdorf “resistance” movement only became active in February 1945 as Germany was near its final collapse. Oberstdorf’s first Nazi mayor caused deep resentment among the population and a lot of internal party skirmishing. The extent to which most of those Oberstorfers who voted Hitler in in 1932 remained loyal as his promised Third Reich failed to materialise remains elusive.We need to raise over a quarter of a million pounds each year for our work to continue and this is only possible with your help. While there have been countless books written about the rise of Hitler, Travelers in the Third Reich relies on firsthand accounts by foreigners to convey what it was really like to visit, study or vacation in Germany during the 1920s and ’30s. It certainly has a cast of villagers who could populate a great story: a Dutch aristocrat who smuggles Jewish children out of Germany; the daughter of one of the conspirators who plotted to assassinate Hitler; ‘good’ Nazis; members of the German resistance, to name but a few and, oh, not forgetting the man who made the largest shoe in the world!

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