Life After the Third Reich

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

There are countless books about World War II yet I can’t get enough of them. This was well researched and completely compulsive to read. Fascinating look at the Third Reich
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I found this really interesting. The writing was engaging and not at all dry, and it covered from the end of WWII up until the fall of the Berlin wall without feeling overlong. In fact, there could have been a touch more detail, but all in all it was pretty awesome :)
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Absolutely fascinating insight into just what it was like in Germany towards the end of WW2, and afterwards. This book highlights the truth of the situation; the devestation, the hunger and the desperate scrabble to survive. I was surprised and interested to read about the forced march of German settlers back to Germany- not too dissimilar to the death marches of the Nazis but not as wellknown. A fascinating read for those interested in the social history of WW2.
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I had difficulty reading this book  ..in fact, I put it down to read something else, only to come back and finish it!  There is little known about the life of the German people after the war ended, so reading this book really opened my eyes to the continued atrocities these people felt.  But ...I felt that it was the woman and children who paid the ultimate price of war  ...and of peace!  

I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this novel
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Paul Roland’s Life after the Third Reich is a brisk overview of life in Germany in the aftermath of World War II - and to a lesser extent throughout Europe, as it’s impossible to discuss the situation in Germany without reference to wider events. It’s a workmanlike book that does what it says it will do, but it never goes beyond that, which makes it oddly unsatisfying. 

I think the trouble is that, going by the facts presented here, you come away with the impression that denazification was basically a failure, and I suppose depending on your standards in some ways it was. It didn’t manage to expel all former Nazis from public life or even put everyone personally involved in atrocities on trial, because there were simply too many of them, because it’s the nature of a totalitarian regime to demand active complicity from as many people as possible. The Allies could neither process that many people through the legal system, nor staff the schools and hospitals and industrial plants without them. 

(Having said this, the industrialists still got off infuriatingly lightly. Maybe they couldn’t get every single floor manager, but you’d think they could at least snag the top bosses at the companies that used slave labor.) 

But by the standard of “Did Germany go on yet another rampage twenty years later?” then denazification was a resounding success. In fact, it’s been nearly eighty years and Germany still hasn’t tried to conquer anyone! And if your only source of information was this book, it would be a total mystery as to why, because the Germans sound just about as sullen and unrepentant as they at the end of World War I.
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Life After the Third Reich covers the period after the conclusion of WWII and whilst it is interesting enough it did not go into sufficient depth about the issues raised which I felt was a disappointment 

So a decent introduction to the subject but not an in depth analysis would be my summary
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Usually books about WW2, both fiction and non-fiction, are about the years before and during the war, so I was really interested to read about the direct aftermath. Overall, this book was really interesting and discussed some of the atrocities that occurred directly after the end of the war, which are rarely mentioned in history class or general discussions of the war.

I didn't like how "Life After the Third Reich" tended to jump from subject to subject at times, even if those topics weren't directly related. Also, this novel only gives a short overview, so it isn't really meant for anyone who wants a more in depth discussion of the after war years. 

Still, this was a really interesting non-fiction book and I was interested to read about the aftermath of the war, especially since some of the information gave a new perspective of what is generally taught in history class, e.g. Trümmerfrauen and the first elections in the Soviet zone.
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This is the first WWII book that has really detailed life i Nazi Germany after the war. It is very i formative and answers many questions about the civilian population and how they justified and survived that infamous war. A must read for everyone interested in that particular o in history.
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