The History Place - Recommended Books

Hitler's Germany

Complete Histories - Hitler - Holocaust
Gestapo/SS - Biographies
Books by Germans - Military Topics

Hand selected, recommended books on Hitler's Germany chosen by The History Place and made available for instant purchase from!

Complete Histories

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer - This is still the best history of Hitler's Germany, written by an American journalist who witnessed many important events. CBS radio correspondent Shirer spent several years in close proximity to Hitler, witnessing the Nazi attempt to conquer Europe. After the war, Shirer spent over five years sifting through Nazi documents to write this definitive history. "One of the most important works of history of our time."-- The New York Times.

Also available Berlin Diary by William L. Shirer - The daily life of CBS radio correspondent Shirer in Hitler's Germany - includes witnessing the surrender of France. This is Shirer's private account as he watched Hitler take Germany down the road toward war in the last half of the 1930s. Shirer's reactions to the Nazi mentality he encountered provide unique insight. Highly recommended.

Encyclopedia of the Third Reich - Provides a wealth of information in a single volume that can quickly answer most commonly asked questions. "Open this extraordinary work anywhere - and you won't be able to stop reading..." - The New York Times. Highly recommended for students.

In the Name of the Volk: Political Justice in Hitler's Germany by H. W. Koch - The history and mentality behind the infamous Nazi People's Court, with special emphasis on the career of Roland Freisler, president of the court from 1942-1945. Under Freisler, the court defined treason, punishable by death, as all political actions or intentions it found distasteful - including the feeding of political prisoners and any criticism of Hitler. Also covers the trials resulting from the failed assassination attempt on Hitler, July 20, 1944.

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Adolf Hitler by John Toland - Based on previously unpublished documents, diaries, notes, photographs and interviews with Hitler's colleagues and associates. This is considered by many to be the definitive biography of the Nazi leader.

Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris by Ian Kershaw - This first installment of a two-part biography by the noted British historian covers the period from Hitler's birth in 1889 through Germany's reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936. Kershaw utilized historical documents which had not been available to previous biographers, including Russian archives, to create this important new biography of Hitler. 

Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis by Ian Kershaw - The second part covers Hitler's political and military ascension to the brink of world domination and eventual downfall, along with a campaign of persecution on a continental scale that led to the death camps.

Hitler's Table Talk by Adolf Hitler, Norman Cameron (Translator), R. H. Stevens (Translator), with an introduction by Hugh Trevor-Roper - From 1941-44 Hitler's private conversations were all recorded by a team of specially picked shorthand writers. In this book, Hitler talks freely about his enemies, his friends, his ambitions, his failures, and his secret dreams, voicing his thoughts to intimate Nazi associates.

The Hitler Book : The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin - A remarkable narrative originally complied by the Soviets in 1949, based on the four-year-long interrogations of Otto Guensche and Heinz Linge, Hitler's personal aides, during their postwar captivity in Russia.

The Night of Long Knives by Max Gallo - A step by step, hour by hour reconstruction of the events of June 29 to July 2, 1934, as Hitler conducted an orgy of arrests and assassinations against his former close comrades including storm trooper leader, Ernst Roehm.

Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives by Alan Bullock - The amazing similarities of the two most destructive personalities of this century, uncovering their origins, early careers, and methods of seizing and using power. Written by famed British historian Bullock.

The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor-Roper - The complete story of the last ten days of Hitler's life in his underground bunker in Berlin, as told by Trevor-Roper who was appointed by the British Intelligence to investigate the conflicting evidence surrounding Hitler's final days.

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Lest We Forget: A History of the Holocaust CD-ROM - 500 photographs, 30 minutes of video clips, 40 minutes of audio, interactive maps, extensive original text, narration, and more, all combine to provide powerful testimony and an incomparable study of Nazi persecution of the Jews. Highly recommended.

Dictionary of the Holocaust : Biographic, Geographic, and Terminology Reference by Eric Joseph Epstein, Philip Rosen - Covers all aspects of the Holocaust--people, places, and events. Designed as a quick reference for high-school and college students, providing brief factual or statistical information. 2,000 entries are arranged alphabetically. Biographies record birth and death dates, the person's connection to the Holocaust, and their fate.

Auschwitz : A New History by Laurence Rees - (Companion book to the BBC Documentary) A concise narrative history of Auschwitz utilizing insights from over 100 recent interviews with Nazi perpetrators and Auschwitz survivors, examining the camp's origins and gradual evolution into Nazi Germany's most notorious death camp.

The Buchenwald Report translated by David A. Hackett - A comprehensive collection of first-hand accounts compiled by U.S. Army intelligence from prisoners at Buchenwald, the first major concentration camp liberated by the Western Allies. This unique report is the only case in which liberated prisoners were interviewed while still inside the camp, thus providing a very clear picture of life and death in a Nazi concentration camp. Thought to be lost for years, a single copy of the Buchenwald Report was recently discovered and is presented in this book in its entirety for the first time.

Anne Frank: The Biography by Melissa Muller - The first biography of the vivacious, intelligent Jewish girl with a crooked smile and huge dark eyes who has become the "human face of the Holocaust." Utilizes exclusive interviews with family and friends, previously unavailable correspondence, and documents long kept secret, providing a deeper, richer understanding of Anne and the Nazi era.
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Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - The extraordinary diary of a young German-Jewish girl forced into hiding for 25 months with her family in a small attic during World War II. Unable to go outside for any reason, she must cope with the boredom, fear, annoyances, and loneliness of captivity, but through it all manages to remain hopeful.

I Never Saw Another Butterfly : Children's Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp, 1942-1944 - 15,000 young children passed through the Terezin Concentration Camp. Fewer than 100 survived. In these poems and pictures drawn by the young inmates, we see the daily misery of these uprooted children, as well as their hopes and fears, their courage and optimism. 60 color illustrations.

The Nazi Doctors : Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert Jay Lifton - Renowned psychiatrist Lifton examines the role of German doctors in Nazi euthanasia and genocide. This powerful study, the result of ten years of painstaking research and extensive interviews, sheds light not only on the origins of the Holocaust, but explains how physicians, sworn by oath and conviction to ease suffering, were transformed from healers to systematic killers.

Night by Elie Wiesel - The 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner gives a terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror he experienced as a young boy. This is a small book at 109 pages but is also one of the most powerful documents ever written concerning the Nazis. Recommended for middle school and high school aged students learning about the Holocaust.

Rena's Promise : A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz by Rene Kornreich Gelissen, Heather Dune Macadam - Among the first 999 Jewish girls on the first transport brought into Auschwitz on March 26, 1942, was twenty-one year old Rena Kornreich who would endure the Nazi death camp for the next three and a half years. This remarkable story of Rena's survival reveals at its core not a lone heroic struggle, but the power of an unusual relationship between Rena and her younger sister, Danka, who gave her the will to go on under unimaginable circumstances.
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Children of a Vanished World - Features 70 extraordinary B&W photos of children taken by Roman Vishniac in traditional Jewish Eastern European villages between 1935-1938 on the eve of the Holocaust. The high quality images are accompanied by songs and rhymes the children spoke and sang that made them smile, presented in the original Yiddish with English translations.

Divided Lives : The Untold Stories of Jewish-Christian Women in Nazi Germany by Cynthia A. Crane - Uncovers the hidden life stories of ten ("half-breed") women, children of Jewish-Christian marriages, whose families were persecuted during Hitler's Third Reich. These women suffered the onslaught of anti-Jewish laws that divided spouses, families, and friends. From the early Nazi years through post-war Germany, this compelling, personal chronicle reveals the secret horrors these women endured as they struggled to survive in a nation that had betrayed them.
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The SS : Hitler's Instrument of Terror The Full Story from Street Fighters to the Waffen-SS by Gordon Williamson - From its origins in 1925 as Hitler's private protection squad to its eventual role in the Holocaust and military conquests, every aspect of the SS is examined in this authoritative account of Nazi Germany's most notorious organization. 220 color and b&w photos including 25 color art works.

SS Uniforms, Insignia & Accoutrements : A Study in Photographs compiled by A. Hayes - The ultimate guide for military buffs and historians, this book has hundreds of high quality color photos of authentic items from the General SS and Waffen SS and also contains never before published photos from private albums.

Himmler: Reichsfuehrer-SS by Peter Padfield - A full scale biography exposing the strangely ordinary man who became Hitler's most powerful subordinate and one of history's most ruthless executioners. Includes details from diaries, letters, and speeches captured from Nazi archives.

Death Dealer : The Memoirs of the SS Kommandant at Auschwitz by Rudolf Hoess, Steven Paskuly - Perhaps the most important single book concerning the Holocaust. Rudolf Hoess admits to being history's worst mass murderer, personally supervising the extermination of over two million persons, mostly Jews, at Auschwitz. This is the first complete translation of his memoirs into English, providing a revealing look into the mentality of this genocidal man and inside information about the SS and Nazi hierarchy.

SS Hell on the Eastern Front : The Waffen-SS War in Russia 1941-1945 by Christopher Ailsby - From the opening assaults of Operation Barbarossa through the fall of Berlin, every aspect of the Waffen SS in battle is covered including recruitment, organization and atrocities. Includes over 100 photos.

Gestapo: An Illustrated History by Rupert Butler - Exposes the tactics and utter ruthlessness of Hitler's secret police revealing how Himmler and Heydrich built this once small organization into a force that terrorized an entire continent.

The Killing of Reinhard Heydrich : The SS 'Butcher of Prague' by Callum MacDonald - On May 27, 1942, as Heydrich's car slowed to round a sharp turn in the roadway near Prague it came under attack from Czech agents who had been trained in England to kill him. This is a detailed look at the extraordinary events surrounding the assassination of the man who was second in command of the SS organization.

Massacre at Malmedy by Charles Whiting - A complete examination of the SS massacre of U.S. troops during the Battle of the Bulge, the bloodiest single atrocity against American soldiers during the European War. Also examines the subsequent bungled trial and political events that resulted in the release of the SS men involved, including the SS Commander, Jochen Peiper.

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Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth by Gitta Sereny - Speer's story is an unforgettable study of how good exists with evil. This brilliant biography illuminates the forces and psychological processes that turned an intelligent, perhaps even decent man, into an instrument of evil. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with Speer and his close associates.

Heroes of WW II by Edward F. Murphy - The fascinating, true stories of 190 men who earned America's highest award, the Medal of Honor. The superhuman feats and selfless courage of ordinary men, vividly told.

Europa, Europa by Solomon Perel - The amazing true story of a Jewish youth who survived the Holocaust by disguising himself as an ethnic German and even became a member of the Hitler Youth. This is the book that inspired the acclaimed film of the same name.

Who's Who in Nazi Germany by Robert S. Wistrich - A very useful book with short biographies of nearly 350 persons that influenced every aspect of life in Nazi Germany, from Hitler to obscure Nazi bureaucrats. This is a book you will find yourself using again and again.

Goebbels by Ralf Georg Reuth - A comprehensive profile of Hitler's master of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. Read how this small, highly intelligent man with an inferiority complex, created and controlled Hitler's image and became one of the biggest Nazi advocates for the extermination of the Jews.

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Books by Germans

A Hitler Youth in Poland : The Nazis' Program for Evacuating Children During World War II by Jost Hermand - As a ten year old boy, Hermand was sent away from his family to the first of several Hitler Youth paramilitary camps in order to escape Allied bombing and to be dehumanized for future service in Hitler's Reich. This intimate memoir exposes the dreary routine, brutalization and sadism inflicted on the boys - and inflicted by the boys on each other.

Panzer Commander : The Memoirs of Colonel Hans Von Luck by Hans Von Luck - The life of Rommel's 7th and then 21st Panzer division commander with vivid descriptions of battles and campaigns including; El Alamein, Kasserine Pass, Poland, Belgium, Normandy on D-Day and the Russian Front.

Skorzeny's Special Missions : The Memoirs of the Most Dangerous Man in Europe by Otto Skorzeny - A fascinating, straight forward account of the daring exploits and reckless courage of Germany's infamous secret operative who, among other things, led the mission to rescue Mussolini from captivity in 1943.

Rommel: In His Own Words - Edited by John Pimlott - A true 'must have' book for anyone interested in the career of German military genius Erwin Rommel. Using Rommel's letters, orders and narratives of daily action, a complete picture is presented of how he dealt with the realities of war. Also included, Rommel in World War One. 120 photos - many taken by Rommel himself.

Soldat by Ted Brusaw, Siegfried Knappe - This chronicle of young, ambitious German Army Officer Siegfried Knappe offers a look inside the Nazi war machine and the culture that was the German General Staff. From the Russian Front to Hitler's bunker during the final Battle of Berlin, this first-hand memoir offers great insight into the life of a soldier in Hitler's Army.

Inside Hitler's Headquarters 1939-45 by Walther Warlimont - A personal history by one of the highest ranking generals to survive the war, exposing the daily workings of the German High Command, its stormy relationship with Hitler and events surrounding the assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944.

Leni Riefenstahl: A Memoir by Leni Riefenstahl - The autobiography of the woman behind the extraordinary Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will who went on to live a long, adventurous life after the collapse of the Third Reich.

I Flew for the Fuehrer by Heinz Knoke - The diary of a Luftwaffe fighter wing commander who logged over 2000 flights and tallied 52 kills. Also includes his attempt to build a new life after the war.

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Military Topics   

Wehrmacht : The Illustrated History of the German Army in WWII by John Pimlot - 250 illustrations including 200 previously unpublished photos provide a detailed history showing the training, tactics and equipment used by the German Army against Poland, France, the Soviet Union and others.

German Uniforms of the Third Reich 1933-1945 - Features 240 informative color drawings showing the huge array of uniforms worn by everyone from bus conductors to Hitler. Includes fighting and security forces, Nazi Party members, governing and supervisory officials, Hitler Youth and the SS.

Barbarossa : The Russian-German Conflict, 1941-45 by Alan Clark - On June 22, 1941, one of the most brutal campaigns in military history began as the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. Famed British historian Clark tells a vivid history of the campaign including the failed German attack on Moscow, the Siege of Leningrad, the greatest tank battle in history, and the great Russian offensive in 1944 that led the Red Army on to victory in Berlin.

Nuremberg Diary by G.M. Gilbert - Provides an extraordinary look into the events surrounding the trial of Nazi Germany's surviving leaders at Nuremberg in 1945-46. Gilbert was the prison psychologist who had unlimited access to Goering, Hess, Speer, Frank, Jodl, Keitel, Streicher and the others, all of whom revealed their innermost thoughts to him, including their day to day reactions to the trial, off the record opinions of Hitler, and views on the revelations concerning Nazi atrocities.

The French Resistance by Raymond Aubrac - A small Pocket Archives book packed with nearly 200 pages of quality rare photos telling the story of the Resistance 1940-1944. Assembled by Raymond Aubrac, a surviving Resistance member who served as deputy leader of the secret army.

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