The rise and fall of the Third Reich

The rise and fall of the Third Reich

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William L Shirer

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The rise and fall of the Third Reich. Author: William L Shirer. English language. 1435 pages. See last scan for a summary.

Content and themes

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany is a comprehensive historical synthesis of the Nazi era, positing that German history logically proceeded from Martin Luther to Adolf Hitler;[2][3] that Hitler’s ascension to power was an expression of German national character, not an expression of the totalitarianism in ideologic vogue during the 1930s.[4][5][6] Author William L. Shirer summarised his perspective thus: “. . . the course of German history . . . made blind obedience to temporal rulers the highest virtue of Germanic man, and put a premium on servility.”[7] This reportorial perspective, the Sonderweg (Special path) thesis of German history, was then common to American scholarship, yet, despite extensive footnotes and references, some academic critics consider its interpretation of Nazism flawed.[8] Moreover, the history also includes (identified) speculation, such as a the theory that SS Chief Heinrich Müller, afterwards joined the NKVD of the USSR.