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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

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There are a few eyewitness accounts which fill those memories in but there is a tendancy for it to be a little dry in places. It traces the rise of Hitler in the aftermath of WWl and the impact it had on a quiet skiing village in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps.

Also included are the eyewitness accounts of the 99th mountain troops divisions - young, experienced climbers and skiers from Oberstdorf, - men used to harsh outdoor activities.At the same time, the authors made the readers aware that their writings presented a generic historical presentation of ordinary village life during these times. It is clear that Fink and some even higher-ranking colleagues didn’t think that this sort of policy held any benefits at all. The final blow for the local fascists was not the defeat of their cause with the arrival of the Allies in the village, but rather that soon after, the victorious forces billeted black Moroccan troops in Oberstdorf.

Self-interest clearly featured in Fink’s rescue of his son, but many of his other actions were remarkably selfless. A brilliant propaganda idea, the idea was that on selected Sundays (usually once a month) every person in Germany would eat stew instead of his regular meal and then contribute the difference in cost to the Nazi Volk-Welfare Society (NSV). Even technical education, something which Germany had once been very good at, was massively dumbed down in favour of tighter control. We meet a plethora of inhabitants, including foresters, a Protestant minister, a converted Jewish opera singer, a Catholic priest, nuns, famous mountaineers, members of the Hitler Jugend, schoolchildren, farmers, and many more. Of course the Third Reich is most infamous for its discrimination against the Jews, which ultimately led to mass murder and genocide on an industrial scale.If we agree that some Nazis were worse than average - the sadistic Oskar Dirlewanger and his SS Brigade of rapists and murderers come to mind - it stands to reason that others might have been less evil. It certainly has a cast of villagers who could populate a great story: a Dutch aristocrat who smuggles Jewish children out of Germany; the daughter of one of the conspirators who plotted to assassinate Hitler; ‘good’ Nazis; members of the German resistance, to name but a few and, oh, not forgetting the man who made the largest shoe in the world! esmemoria on “What the stories never said: at the end of the day, if a man wants to kill you, he kills you. DuBois—who should have been particularly attuned to race-baiting and prejudice—stopped short of demonizing the regime. She is the author of Ein Dorf im Spiegel seiner Zeit (A Village in the Mirror of its Time): Oberstdorf 1918–1952.

It looked in detail at Germany between the wars, particularly as a place many Britons enjoyed visiting regularly. This non-fiction book tells us the story of how fascism affected the simple lives of these people even in a far corner of Germany before, during, and after World War II. One perhaps expected this chapter to reveal more about Oberstdorfers response to the atrocity stories against Jews and Slavs told by soldiers on leave. An enjoyable read to learn the other side of the story of a small community in Germany during that period. Yet even this remote idyll could not escape the brutal iron grip of the Nazi regime… From the author of the bestselling Travellers in the Third Reich comes A Village in the Third Reich, an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Germany under Hitler which shines a light on the lives of ordinary people.

I enjoyed this book since it gives a panorama of those days, desciribing attitudes, hardships and tragedies which affected the small village. Given the almost universal support of the Nazi regime, and its concomitant rapid collapse, it’s understandable that the German people were conflicted and confused about their loyalties and morals. A fascinating yet disturbing account of the ‘ordinary’ citizens of this unassuming mountain village in a distant corner of southern Germany. The study of Julia Boyd, based on earlier work of Angelika Patel, questions how far Nazism and World War II influenced village life. Other villagers - many of them social outcasts who leapt at the chance to lord it over their colleagues - went all in on supporting the Nazis, some actively resisted, but most just kept their heads down and tried to carry on as usual, without attracting too much attention.

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