Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
It is impossible to offer an adequate parallel to Hitler's situation in 1936. With the peaceful resolution of the Rhineland crisis, Hitler became both the adored object of the vast majority of Germans and an international symbol of modernity and dynamism. He managed this while in reality being the dictator of a system of single-minded viciousness new to human experience. In this book, drawing on a vast range of material, Ian Kershaw allows us to understand both the dictator himself and the society that made him. Perhaps this book's greatest achievement is to make clear the often conflicting dynamics that led from the seemingly stable, successful Germany of 1937 to the brutalised military state of the 1940s. By concentrating on the figure of Hitler, Kershaw both gives an immediate texture to these terrible events and shows the options available to Germany and its ruler at each point in the unfolding disaster. At the heart of the book lies Hitler's decision to unleash annihilatory war in the East and the terrifying new moral universe this brought into being: the degradation of enemies into “beasts” and the hatching of the “Final Solution”.This is the story of a poisoned world and of a man who was both shaped by that world and - to a catastrophic degree - created it.
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