My Thoughts On Rise & Fall of the Third Reich


The other day I completed my reading of William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third ReichThe Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is full of tons of facts about the conditions that led to Hitler’s ultimate rise and fall, and how he transformed the Weimar Republic into the mighty Nazi Third Reich.

Shirer’s format is more like a timeline of facts, a rather basic history text of a tumultuous time of German history.  While it is detailed, it’s a broad study, and serves as a foundation for reading other books about the Third Reich, such as Richard Evans’ set of books on the Third Reich.

Holding a major in history from George Washington University, I found the book to be more of a refresher of material I learned in college.  Which is definitely good, some of the information, since I hadn’t thought of it in quite some time, I had not necessarily forgotten, but was rusty with.  The ultimate goal of me tackling this book this year was for me to become more familiar again with Nazi Germany so I could tackle other books of the time period that I’m looking at reading.  I’m not quite sure when I’m going to read those books, but I’m sure it will be sooner than later.

I feel learning about Nazi Germany is so terribly important.  And nothing drives that belief home more than the chapter on The New Order.  In this chapter, Shirer details the Nazi plans to mold, not only Germany, but those countries they invaded and took over, into the “master” race that Hitler believed in, and spoke heavily about in his many writings, speeches, and in his manifesto Mein Kampf.  Not only did Shirer speak to cleansing countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, and others of Slavs and Poles, but he also addressed the Nazi approach to the Holocaust.

From the scientific experiments to the killing of Jews, I was thoroughly disgusted with Nazi genocide of so many people of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds simply because they didn’t match up with Hitler’s vision of a “pure” German race.  After reading this particular chapter in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, it was very difficult for me to grasp how there is anyone out there that could be a Holocaust denier.  I was purely disgusted during the entire reading of this chapter.  But I feel it’s important information to be aware of so we definitely won’t repeat any of those actions.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is definitely a good read for anyone who’s wanting to learn more about how Nazi Germany came to be, how Nazi Germany was built and governed, and how the Hitler began the second world war.  It’s definitely a long read because of its length, but it’s worth every page.  If you’ve read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

2 Responses to “My Thoughts On Rise & Fall of the Third Reich”

  1. Like you I also majored in history, although here in the UK. The book is a good grounding if you know little of the basics or as a refresher. There was much of this period of history in struggled with, & over the last few years I have read various book from those in the camps and who thankfully survived. What is so tragic, is that across the world there are other dictators who have committed genocide. Have we as a race learn’t nothing?

    During the summer we spent a week in the island of Jersey, part of the Channel Islands and one of the islands in the British seas,it is not part of the UK. It was though occupied by Germany in 1940 for 5 years. There are various write ups & pictures on my blog if you are interested. There is a lengthy post on the German War Tunnels, built by slave & enforced labour. As someone has seen the results & historical facts from Jersey & someone who
    Lives 80 miles across the Channel, things could have been very,very different.

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  1. A Productive Week & Day | Beltwayliterature - October 9, 2011

    […] War of the Worlds on my Kindle.  You can find my thoughts on The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich here.  I truly enjoyed my read of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and encourage anyone interested […]

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