American Eyewitnesses to the Nazis Rise to Power

Book - 2012
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Documents the experiences of Americans living in Germany at the time of Hitler's rise to power, describing their growing realization of the horrors that were unfolding and how they helped both Germans and Americans to understand what was happening.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2012.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781439191002
Characteristics: 385 p. :,ill. ;,25 cm.


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Jul 31, 2019

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May 24, 2019

Racist author Nagorski contrasts innate German wickedness with American virtue during 1933-41. The book tells more about American presumption than about the Germans.
--- Says Germans' "barbarous impulses that always lurked below the surface" led them to Hitler. (Did Anglo-Saxons have same bad Germanic nature? Did Indian-extermination and plantation slavery show barbarous impulses of Americans?)
--- The Allies had started WW1 by murdering Franz Ferdinand and shielding those who ordered it. Yet Versailles made Germans pretend it was their fault. Germans gave up their weapons per Allied call for peace without reprisals. Yet Versailles dismembered Germany and suppressed armed forces. Hitler promised to reverse all this.
--- 1936 American visitors found Germany freshly repaired and painted, the streets clean and safe, cleared of bums and homosexuals (male prostitutes?), the people employed, the youth strong and enthusiastic. Hitler was surely revitalizing the country. Germanophobes thought this all very sinister. They had enjoyed weak, debauched Weimar, but resented the new purposeful Germany. (If Allies had allowed Weimar any relief from Versailles restrictions, Hitler would not have been chancellor.)
--- Nagorski praises German-haters like William Shirer; omits Shirer's hysterical warning that Nazis would invade Mexico and thence US. Ridicules Americans who doubted German sadism. Disparages Charles Lindbergh for holding Stalin more dangerous than Hitler (a fact that was re-confirmed by Cold War).
--- Israeli writer Sever Plocker says Stalin's terror-force killed at least 20 million, years before Hitler's genocidal rampage. Plocker blames Jewish NKVD chief Genrikh Yagoda and Jewish deputies for at least 10 million deaths. (Article "Stalin's Jews," YNetnews.com, Dec 21, 2006)
--- The sight of Jews being arrested drove some Americans to scold German officials, quoting Jefferson on freedom -- forgetting that he and other presidents owned slaves, and that Blacks were still excluded. 15 Blacks were lynched in 1934, 21 in 1935; Democrats blocked anti-lynching bills in Congress. Unlike influential Jews, Blacks and Indians were unimportant. American racism ran so deep, it went unnoticed.
--- We could have solved the problem by admitting Jews to the US. Hitler would have gladly agreed. Instead we took only a few, blaming him for mistreating those whom we rejected completely. (Later we backed Zionism to deflect post-War refugees.)
--- Nagorski upholds ambassador Dodd and praises US intelligence, though Dodd's own daughter was spying on him for the Soviets. French ambassador François-Poncet was on easy personal terms with Hitler; Dodd pointlessly avoided Hitler. (In 1956 Dodd's daughter fled to Prague, and remained a Communist till her death in 1990. The FBI eventually compiled 10,400 pages on her.)
--- Vilifies von Papen without mentioning his Marburg speech criticizing Nazis.
--- Per Allied principles of self-determination, Sudeten Germans should never have been in Czechoslovakia. Americans who denounced Hitler's Munich demands had no thought of returning California to Mexico, nor restoring the Kingdom of Hawaii.
--- Mentions Nazi boycott of Jewish stores, but not worldwide Jewish boycott of German goods. Says Kristallnacht shows vile German character, but omits character-analysis of Allies who demolished German cities and nuked Japan. (Kristallnacht followed the murder of a Nazi official by a Jew, which Goebbels loudly denounced, but apparently it was a homosexual lovers' quarrel.)
--- Hitler's excuse for invading Poland was more plausible than Bush's for wrecking Iraq, which most Americans accepted automatically.
--- Blames German invasion of Norway, but omits simultaneous Allied invasion. Says Hitler sought global domination, but ignores worldwide empires of Allies. (Hitler did not want war with West. Unlike US, he had no idea of wiping out civilization with nukes.)

Jun 21, 2017

I read many books on WW2 I thought this wasn't as good as I had hoped. It lagged in places and lost my interest here and there. Though I wanted to get inside of the mind of the normal German people which explains it generally.

Mar 12, 2017

Absolutely a must read. I wish he'd go on and write a book about the experiences of people from all of Europe as Hitler rose to power and why so many seemed to be in such denial. I'm going to check out, no pun intended, all his other books.

Jul 03, 2016

A well written account of Hitler's rise as seen by the Americans and others in Germany at that time. A stark example of evil succeeding while good men did nothing. It makes it possible to see that we have not come very far from those days in light of today's tyrants and how they are tolerated.

Feb 14, 2013

If you've ever wondered: why didn't anyone around Hitler stop him when they had a chance- this book's for you. Nagorski weaves inidividual perspectives of Hitler and his rise from various Americans living in Germany. And yet, even with these first hand accounts, you still can't completely understand who he was or why he was followed. Many were skeptical of his influence, many completely unaware of the reality. Few completely understood exactly how dangerous and tragic Hitler's reign would be.

KEVIN DOWD Sep 07, 2012

great read. easy prose and lots of great info. great background on the rise of Hitler.

Jason Wheelock Jun 13, 2012

I enjoyed this book but not as much as other WWII books i've read. There were times when this book was really engaging and others where it was a terrible bore. I couldn't quite place my finger on what the problem was other than one thing i really didn't like which was the structure of the book. There didn't seem to be much rhyme or reason to a lot of the chapters. It didn't seem to be strictly chronological and in some cases the chapters didn't seem to be terribly cohesive following a singular train of thought.

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