Magazine article History Today

The Third Reich: Juliet Gardiner Presents a Selection of the Latest Offerings on This Much Visited Historical Theme

Magazine article History Today

The Third Reich: Juliet Gardiner Presents a Selection of the Latest Offerings on This Much Visited Historical Theme

Article excerpt

People never lose their interest in Hitler and the Third Reich if evidence from publishers is to be believed: from the scholarly to the sensational, from the recondite to the oft-told, new books pour off the presses every year.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

One of the first films of 2009 starred Tom Cruise playing Claus von Stauffenberg, the 'man who plotted to kill Hitler'. Valkyrie (the code name for the plot), soon to be released on DVD, received an underwhelming reception as little more than a suspense thriller. But, for those who wish to know more, there are plenty of choices: two 'insider' stories of the plot that have been reissued on the coat-tails of the film. Philipp von Boeselager, a German cavalry officer, took responsibility for acquiring the necessary explosives to construct the bomb. When the 1944 plot failed he was one of the few conspirators to evade execution.

His version of the story is now translated and republished as Valkyrie: The plot to kill Hitler (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 9.99 [pounds sterling]). Another 'insider' who participated in the plot was Hans Bernd Gisevius. To the Bitter End detailing both the plot and his resentment of von Stauffenberg was first published in 1946 and is now reissued in an abridged version as Valkyrie: An Insider's Account of the Plot to Kill Hitler (Da Capo Press, 9.99 [pounds sterling]). Two accounts that set the plot in a wider context are Nigel Jones's Countdown to Valkyrie: The July Plot to Assassinate Hitler (Frontline Press, 19.99 [pounds sterling]) and that of the distinguished German historian, Hans Mommsen. Germans Against Hitler: The Stauffenberg Plot and Resistance under the Third Reich (I.B. Tauris, 12.99 [pounds sterling]) traces the full spectrum of resistance, considering the often uncomfortable complexity of the opposition to Hitler.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Von Stauffenberg was an officer and an aristocrat and, while Hitler's appeal to the German people and his links with industry have been exhaustively studied, his relations with the aristocracy--both the old imperial elites and a new republican caste of government officials and wealthy business men--are now the subject of High Society in the Third Reich by Fabrice d'Almeida (translated by Steven Rendall. Polity, 14.99 [pounds sterling]).

Benjamin Carter Hett's Crossing Hitler. The Man Who Put the Nazis in the Witness Stand (OUP, 14.99 [pounds sterling]) tells of a little known early act of resistance. In 1931 Hans Litten, a prosecution lawyer, in calling Adolf Hitler as a witness in a case in which four Nazi stormtroopers were accused of attempted murder, revealed his deep complicity in SA violence, at a time when he was still trying to court moderate German opinion. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.