Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany

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9781608195039: Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany

The collapse of the Third Reich in 1945 was an event nearly unprecedented in history. Only the fall of the Roman Empire fifteen hundred years earlier compares to the destruction visited on Germany. The country's cities lay in ruins, its economic base devastated. The German people stood at the brink of starvation, millions of them still in POW camps. This was the starting point as the Allies set out to build a humane, democratic nation on the ruins of the vanquished Nazi state-arguably the most monstrous regime the world has ever seen.
In Exorcising Hitler, master historian Frederick Taylor tells the story of Germany's Year Zero and what came next. He describes the bitter endgame of war, the murderous Nazi resistance, the vast displacement of people in Central and Eastern Europe, and the nascent cold war struggle between Soviet and Western occupiers. The occupation was a tale of rivalries, cynical realpolitik, and blunders, but also of heroism, ingenuity, and determination-not least that of the German people, who shook off the nightmare of Nazism and rebuilt their battered country.
Weaving together accounts of occupiers and Germans, high and low alike Exorcising Hitler is a tour de force of both scholarship and storytelling, the first comprehensive account of this critical episode in modern history.

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About the Author:

Frederick Taylor studied history and modern languages at Oxford and did postgraduate work at Sussex University. He edited and translated The Goebbels Diaries,and is the author of the bestsellers Dresden and The Berlin Wall.

Review:

“Frederick Taylor is one of the brightest historians writing today. His book on the Berlin Wall is truly fascinating and will never be equaled, and deserves to be ready by everyone who lived through the Cold War. No less fascinating is his new book, Exorcising Hitler, about the de-Nazification of Germany that started in 1945.” ―Newsweek

“Important ... very commendable ... fills an important gap in German history in English” ―Wall Street Journal

“In two earlier works, Frederick Taylor honed an effective and fast-paced approach to the telling of modern German history...Exorcising Hitler has all the same ingredients--colorful anecdotes and harrowing recollections, an omnivorous intelligence and wide reading in the scholarly literature” ―New York Times Book Review

“Taylor has a real gift for recounting his story in a vivid way, illustrated with all manner of telling incidents and detail....an informative and enlightening account.” ―Los Angeles Times

“[Taylor] employs a combination of sweeping narrative, illuminating anecdotes, and thoughtful perspectives in spinning a fascinating tale.” ―World War II magazine

“Taylor carefully weighs the evidence on both sides, Allied and German, for a portrait of a terrible time and utterly traumatized populations ... Hard-hitting yet evenhanded, Taylor's work holds tremendous relevance for our time.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Lucid and harrowing ... a nuanced yet readable account of perpetrators and victims alike.” ―Sunday Express (UK)

“...this is a great book. Filled with quotable quotes and memorable anecdotes, it presents a vivid portrait of life in Germany at and just after the end of the war. ... popular history at its best, essential reading.” ―New Statesman (UK)

“...engrossing account of the occupation and denazification of Germany tries to navigate the ruins of the deadliest conflict in human history, and discover the extent to which its perpetrators became victims ... balanced and thought-provoking.” ―Scotland on Sunday (UK)

“[Taylor's] lucid narrative shows a variegated picture... Taylor makes excellent use of original sources to convey the occupation's psychological dimensions ...” ―Publishers Weekly

“...a smoothly written and well-researched history of this tumultuous period in the middle of the 20th-century. Recommended for all 20th-century history collections” ―Library Journal

“Mr. Taylor, a British novelist and historian of previous works of German history, has produced for the general reader one of the most useful recent works in the crowded field of postwar German studies.” ―Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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Frederick Taylor
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