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  WWII-Era German History ..Non-Reference Literature

..German Authors ..Videos

WWII-Era German History

military & political history, biographies, actual accounts, etc.

  Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer (paperback) $16.00

This is pretty much the book on the history of the Third Reich. It is as far as I know the most comprehensive single book on the subject. This book comes in various versions (hardcover, mass-market paperback, etc.) and the version here is the medium-priced larger paperback. The mass-market paperback version is a bit cheaper, but in order to fit the entire book into the small paperback size, it ends up being extremely thick, which makes it somewhat awkward to read at times. This larger (in height & length) version is more convenient.

  Adolf Hitler by John Toland (paperback) 1035 p. $17.56

  Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs by Albert Speer (yes, that Albert Speer) (paperback) $13.60

  The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh R. Trevor-Roper (paperback) 288 p. $11.96

  Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, Ralph Manheim (translator) (p. back) 720 p. $14.40

This is the infamous book written by Hitler while he was in prison, which basically outlines his ideas and plans. It is a powerful, disturbing book that offers a unique look into the mind of the führer himself.

  Hitler and Geli by Ronald Hayman (hardcover) 256 p. $17.46

This book tells about lesser known aspects of Hitler's earlier life and his relationship with his half-niece Geli Raubal, who was found fatally wounded from a gunshot (from Hitler's own pistol) one night. It is suspected to have been a suicide, but some people have speculated other possibilities.

  Memoirs by Karl Dönitz (paperback) 554 p. $13.56

After his release from prison, Kriegsmarine leader Karl Dönitz wrote his story, which has been published as this book, Memoirs.

  On the Road to the Wolf's Lair: German Resistance to Hitler by Theodore S. Hamerow (hardcover) 464 p. $20.97

  Rommel: the Desert Fox by Desmond Young (paperback) 264 p. $9.60

This is the classic book about Erwin Rommel, the brilliant general who led the German forces in North Africa during World War II.

  Stopped at Stalingrad: The Luftwaffe and Hitler's Defeat in the East, 1942-1943 (Modern War Studies) by Joel Hayward (hardcover) 398 p. $27.97

  The Nazis: A Warning From History by Laurence Rees (hardcover) 256 p. $17.50

This book is wonderful for anyone who wants a good general introduction to this aspect of history. It is clearly understandable even for someone with little or no knowledge on the topic, but it is also interesting as a review for those familiar with WWII-era Germany. There are a large number of pictures in this book, too, which break up the text to keep the reading interesting, and which help to remind one that the people being read about were living human beings.

Atlas of Nazi Germany: A Political, Economic, and Social Anatomy of the Third Reich by Michael J. Freeman (paperback) 232 p. $22.50

Inside Hitler's Headquarters 1939-45 by Walter Warlimont (paperback) $15.96

The Penguin Dictionary of the Third Reich (Penguin Reference Books) by Warren Shaw (paperback) 341 p. $11.96

This book is interesting and has tons of general information about all aspects of the Third Reich. Some of the information from my page comes from this book.

Campaign in Russia by L. Degrelle (hardcover)

Campaign in Russia is an interesting book. Degrelle, a Belgian in the Waffen SS, tells his story of serving on the Eastern front during the war.

The Waffen SS: Hitler's Elite Guard at War, 1939-45 by George H. Stein (paperback) $15.95

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Non-Reference Literature

fiction and nonfiction stories that are in some way connected to Nazi Germany

. . Maus: A Survivor's Tale (this boxed set includes both Part I, My Father Bleeds History and Part II, Here My Troubles Began) by Art Spiegelman (paperback) $22.40

I can not recommend this book enough. I loved both parts of Maus, which is in the format of a comic book (in black and white). Spiegelman's father was a prisoner at Auschwitz, and the author/illustrator used the medium he was most familiar with to tell the man's story: comic book. It sounds strange, but Spiegelman does a wonderful job of mixing historical facts with personal comments that make the characters very vivid to the reader. I think what makes the comic book format work so well with the subject is the way the author has drawn the characters as animals: Jews are mice, the Nazis are cats, Polish citizens pigs (not in a negative way), Americans are represented by dogs, and so forth. This causes some interesting looking situations: at one point, for example, when the Jewish characters are hiding out and pretending to be regular Polish citizens, they are mice wearing little pig masks. Part I tells of the initial situation during the first part of the Nazi regime, such as the ghettos, etc., and Part II tells of when Spiegelman's father is actually in Auschwitz. I really, really recommend this.

  Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut (paperback) $5.59

This is the story of (fictional) Howard Campbell Jr., a man who worked as an American spy in Germany during WWII. He ends up being tried as a war criminal because he worked so well as a Nazi, writing propaganda for them and such that after the war, no one believed that he was not truly a Nazi. Don't let that description fool you, though- it is true, but it does not even begin to describe Mother Night. It is typical Vonnegut (if you haven't already read a number of things by him, you seriously need to [just my little opinion]): the back of my copy says, "In Mother Night Vonnegut makes fun of sex, sin, and motherhood; of war and peace, of the FBI and Comminists; and the Nazis, too. . .Howard Campbell, Jr., the American who became a notorious Nazi and survived the war to mock all decent people. . ." I really liked this book.

  Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut (paperback) $5.59

I love this book. Even more than Mother Night. This book has become a modern classic, and tells a true story mixed in with some. . . other stuff. Vonnegut was actually in WWII, and he was captured and became a prisoner of the Germans. He ended up with some other prisoners in Dresden and happened to be there to witness the terrible firebombing of the city, which was the largest massacre of European history. 135,000 people died, virtually all civilians, and Vonnegut was one of the very few who happened to be sheltered underground, and therefore able to survive the bombing. This book relates that important piece of history through the eyes of the anti-heroic soldier Billy Pilgrim, who, by the way, becomes unstuck in time, travels to the planet Tralfamadore, and is a good optometrist, along with being a witness of the firebombing of Dresden. buy it! Aw heck, rent it from the library, I don't care, just read it somehow.

  1984 by George Orwell (paperback) $4.76

1984 is set in a future totalitarian society, where "Big Brother" sees everything you do. This could perhaps be seen as an example of a society where a Nazi sort of mentality is the norm - maybe an example of everyday life if the Nazis had been able to be successful. Maybe not, but hey, it's a good book.

  Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited by Aldous Huxley (paperback) $12.80

The same sort of thing as above, only completely different. I liked this book better than 1984, although they are both set in totalitarian-type societies. I really recommend this if you've never read it.

  Lord of the Flies by William Golding (paperback) $5.56

Lord of the Flies is an amazing book that clearly illustrates how easily "human nature" can be changed by one's situation. Following the change of the boys in the novel from playful innocents to ruthless hunters helps one to also see how this idea can be applied to any human situation, including that of the men who lived in Nazi Germany.

  The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide (Contains the entire Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series) by Douglas Adams (hardcover) 968 p. $14.99

Umm. . .Ford Prefect was a Nazi. What? Uh, of course. ..see, it's obvious from. . .like, that one part. .where, uh, on the ship. . .and yeah.

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German Authors

There is a great deal more to Germany than just the Nazi-era, and literature is one of those things. Many authors were, of course, influenced by their experiences during the Third Reich, and a number of novels are set in the war and postwar periods, but there are many wonderful books that have nothing at all to do with WWII. I have included some of both below. These are only a few of the many excellent German authors, but I chose these specific books because I personally have read them. I'm not including Mein Kampf or any memoir-type books in this section.

books relating to WWII or the postwar period in some way

  The Tin Drum by Günter Grass (paperback) 591 p. $12.00

 Cat and Mouse by Günter Grass (paperback) 189 p. $9.60

  Dog Years by Günter Grass (paperback) 570 p. $12.95

  The Casualty by Heinrich Böll (paperback) 189 p. $8.95

'The short stories in this collection, written between 1946 and 1952, are stunning accounts of German soldiers in a war they did not want and the bleak aftermath of Germany in ruins.'

  Billiards at Half-Past Nine by Heinrich Böll (paperback) $11.16

First published in 1959, this book examines the lives of three generations of architects and their responses to the Nazi regime and its aftermath.

books by German (speaking) authors that are not at all related to WWII

  The Metamorphosis, in the Penal Colony, and Other Stories by Franz Kafka (paperback) 317 p. $9.60

Ye gods, I love this book too much to even start talking about it.

  The Castle by Frank Kafka (paperback) 451 p. $12.00

One of Kafka's full-length novels, The Castle is about a man who continuously struggles in vain to reach a destination. Once again, there is simply too much to say. Read some of the reviews on the more detailed order page.

  The Trial by Franz Kafka (paperback) 281 p. $9.60

According to the back of my copy of The Trial, it is "one of the great novels of the twentieth century. It is the terrifying- and terrifyingly relevant- story of Joseph K., a respectable functionary in a bank who is suddenly arrested and must spend the rest of his life fighting a charge against him about which he can get no information." Yeah. I like it, for whatever that's worth.

  Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (paperback) $3.99

One of my favorite books, this is the story of a guy in ancient India and his travels searching for meaning and satisfaction in life. No, he's not Buddha, although he does meet him.

  Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth by Hermann Hesse (paperback) $9.60

Demian is about the "turmoil of Emil Sinclair, a docile young man who is drawn by his schoolmates into a secret and dangerous world of petty crime and revolt against convention."

  The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann $13.60

Published in 1924, The Magic Mountain has been described as follows: "In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps--a community devoted exclusively to sickness--as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality."

. . . more to come . . .


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documentaries, biographies, films related to WWII-era Germany

(note: all videos are VHS and formatted only for use in the U.S. or Canada)

  Rise and Fall of the Nazi Empire 10 videotapes released in 1998 $42.49

  The Nazis: Hitler 1 videotape $20.99

  Judgement at Nuremberg 2 videotapes $20.99

  The Nazis: Rommel, the Desert Fox 1 videotape $20.99

  The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler 6 videotapes $84.96

  The Nazis: Nazi War Crimes 1 videotape $20.99


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