A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism – from the author of Sunday Times bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich

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A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism – from the author of Sunday Times bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich

A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism – from the author of Sunday Times bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich

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Price: £12.5
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Chapter 13 is devoted to the invasion of Russia in 1941, Operation Barbarossa, interspersed with entries from the diary of a soldier, Gerd Aurich, from a town near Oberstdorf, who is dead from his wounds by the end of the year. Indirectly, the book also reveals the social change brought about not only by Nazism and war, but also by other factors.

The village has always deeply cared about its history and it kept a particularly well-maintained archive, that the author used to describe almost every feature of village life under the Nazis. The author doesn’t say, but, surrounded by mountains, that may well have been the easiest station both to receive and to understand. We rarely think or hear about the resistance in Germany, except perhaps with regards to the protection of Jewish families.Many of the villagers viewed Hitler with distrust and Bolshevism with fear, but the villages new mayor, Ernst Zeitler, was unpopular as he expected the villagers to conform to Nazi ideology and policy. She has now followed this with A Village in the Third Reich, a book which describes the impact of Hitler, Nazism and World War II on everyday life through the eyes of the inhabitants of the Bavarian mountain village of Oberstdorf. Her previous books include A Dance with the Dragon: T he Vanished World of Peking’s Foreign Colony, The Excellent Doctor Blackwell: The Life of the First Woman Physician and Hannah Riddell: A n Englishwoman in Japan. The mayor, who may have had prior knowledge of Aktion T-4, managed to get his beloved epileptic son home in time, but for little Theodor it was already too late. Yet, there was black humour about being sent to Dachau for a smallest infringement – some of its many camps were quite close, ever younger local men and boys died fighting in the elite mountain divisions in the Eastern Front and the Balkans while others, emaciated foreigners were often seen doing forced labour.

The authors have used a multiplicity of facts, historical documents, including letters and newspapers, and eye-witness accounts from during the period covered by the book and in hindsight, to tell the reader a plethora of interesting stories about the lives and adventures of the village’s many inhabitants: committed Nazis, members of the Resistance, and the large number of those in-between, who, perhaps fearing the oppressive power and many cruelties of the Nazi regime and brainwashed by propaganda, enabled, though their silence and inaction, the many atrocities committed by those in positions of power and influence at that time. While historians may have been familiar with such detail, the book provides a doorway through which the rest of us can enter. Boyd's prose is clear, confident and measured, connecting national events to Oberstdorf as often as possible, a device that never feels forced — only human.This is a book full of interesting insights, but it is not a book which sets out to reinforce the received “wisdom” about the NAZIs or anything else and it may well prove controversial because of this. A traditional Catholic community of farmers, workers and middle-class entrepreneurs, which became popular among tourists at the turn of the twentieth century. The German people struggled to get even the basic things or couldn’t afford them at all because of hyperinflation. Please try and join 5 minutes before the event start time and we will let you into the room (do try and bear with us if this takes a few minutes). Reading about the good, the bad, and seeing the total humanity (or lack thereof) in the individuals within Obertsdorf and the surrounding area was enlightening.



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