The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany

The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany

The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany

The Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany

Excerpt

The ten years which have passed since Nazi Germany collapsed in ruin and defeat have brought Germany once more into the forefront as a vital factor in the international situation. The rise and fall of Nazi Germany is likely to remain one of the greatest dramas of history. The warnings and lessons of that drama must be appreciated, if the hopes placed in the new German Republic are to be realized. For when I re-read today the letters written during the Nazi period by German friends I can only reflect how plausible their arguments were, how pernicious, and how closely they echoed their master's voice. The story, dark and dire as so much of it is, must be understood by the Germans and their neighbours alike, if the peoples of Europe--and most of all the Germans themselves--are to live in peace and enjoy the fruits of a common civilization.

It was my lot to be in close touch with events in Germany during the Nazi period--and since. I learned to know the political tensions in Germany in the critical years 1931 and 1932 before Hitler came to power, and between that event in 1933 and the outbreak of war in 19391 was in Germany two or three times each year. Domestic circumstances brought me into intimate touch with the German people, and helped me to understand the German outlook and to assess the chances of peace or war. I was able also in those years to travel widely among the neighbouring countries of Germany, including Russia, Turkey, and the Balkan countries, and to mark their reactions to the growing might of Nazi Germany. Poignant memories haunt me of the last summer of peace, of those bright, hot days in July and August 1939 which I spent in Berlin and Warsaw, Bucharest, Istanbul, and Paris, while Europe still slept and Hitler was putting the final touches to his plans for the destruction of Poland. 'Since those days the Nuremberg trials have shed a brilliant light', as . . .

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