Books on the history of Germany and Central Europe

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August 1, 2022

943. Books on the history of Germany & Central Europe

Further Reading:

Carmen Callil Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland and Vichy France, 2006.

Nazi sympathizers existed all across Europe as World War II raged on. This is the story of French conman and Nazi collaborator Darquier de Pellepoix, the aristocratic “de Pellepoix” was added by Darquier for effect. De Pellepois led the Vel’d’Hiv roundup in Paris, which sent close to 13,000 Jews to the concentration camps. In total, he was responsible for 75,000 French deliveries to the Nazis. Yet, he was never brought to justice. This book seeks to answer how a small-time gambler and cheat rose to power with such disastrous consequences.

Norman Eisen The Last Palace: Europe’s Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House, 2018.

Europe, like much of the world, has been completely restructured in the past century. Ambassador Norman Eisen moved into his official residence in Prague and discovered swastikas beneath the furniture. This finding led him to research the mansion’s past occupants, and he tells the story of four of them, which represent perfectly the period in which they lived, from a Jewish financial baron to Shirley Temple Black, who witnessed the 1968 Prague Spring and later returned as the U.S. Ambassador in 1989.

Albert Speer Inside the Third Reich: Memoirs, 1969.

Adolph Hitler’s Minister of Armaments and War Production, Albert Speer, was responsible for arming the Nazi army. While he accepted responsibility for his part in the atrocities during the Nuremberg trials, his involvement with the Holocaust is a matter of dispute. Nevertheless, his memoir provides the only known look inside the Nazi war machine.

Fritz Stern Gold and Iron: Bismarck, Bleichröder, and the Building of the German Empire, 1979.

Fitz Stern examines the collaboration between Otto Von Bismarck and Gerson Bleichrőder, a Jewish banker. For over thirty years, the two worked together in a relationship representing the transition of Germany from its ancient feudal economy to that of capitalism.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.

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