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July 26, 2018


Classic: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

by N@ncy

War correspondent, W. Shirer




  1. The best description of this book
  2. …was written by H. Trevor-Roper
  3. a British historian at Oxford University
  4. who reviewed the book or the New York Times:
  5. Light on our century’s  darkest night
  6. the awful story of Hitler’s Germany is movingly told
  7. and masterfully studied.”
  8. I could not improve on this statement if I tried.
  9. What I can add are my thoughts while reading the book.
  10. This classic of non-fiction had been on my bookshelf for decades!.
  11. But the sheer size of the book intimated me…and I never read it.
  12. If I can give any advice
  13. …read this book because it is so insightful.
  14. The only way I managed to do
  15. was using the audio book.
  16. I set out with Hitler, Goebbels, Himmler, Göring  and  a cast of
  17. …characters on my morning walks.
  18. I let Shirer’s words drift into my mind hoping I would learn a
  19. little more about Hitler, his rise to power and his
  20. …dreams of a pure nation that would rule the world!
  21. I wrote down a few notes  after every walk.


Last thoughts:

  1. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich has become more than
  2. …just another work of history.
  3. It has acquired the reputation as the best-selling historical work
  4. ever written in modern times.
  5. It is based on captured  German secret documents.
  6. Don’t wait as long as I did to discover this book
  7. ….read it soon!
  8. Remember…
  9. Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.
  10. (George Santayana, philosopher )




May 20, 2018 – page 80
Beer Hall Putsch (8 Nov 1923) Hitler’s attempt to form a new government failed miserably. But Hiltler was not deterred…I’ll be back!

May 21, 2018 – page 117
Did you know?
It was obligatory (and politic) to present a copy of Mein Kampf to the bride and groom at their wedding?
Nearly every school child received a copy at graduation.
Now…that creates a boost in sales!

May 23, 2018 – page 150
Did you know?
Hitler’s great deep love was for his niece (1929). She was not to be seen with any man than himself. 1931 his niece decided ‘I’m done, going back to Vienna”. There was an argument between Hitler and the girl. The next morning she was found shot in her room.

May 24, 2018 – page 188
Election intrigues (1932) backroom politics, conspirators playing their last desperate hands, with so many details. This was an exhausting read (pg 150-188). I was glad when it all ended and on
Jan 30 1933…. Hitler was finally appointed as chancellor and in March 1933 Hitler would be named dictator. It’s all downhill from here!

May 25, 2018 – page 200
Did you know?
Göring suggests to Hitler that the Reichstag (parliament) be dissolved.
He didn’t mean that literally!
Oh, well ….it burnt to the ground….now
who did not get the memo?

May 26, 2018 – page 230
June 30-2 July 1934 Purge “The Night of the Long Knives”
Political executions of people who knew too much. Hitler’s power is now absolute. While this was going on Hitler was hosting a tea party on Sunday 01 July.

May 27, 2018 – page 279
Shirer mentions one of the most arrogant, icy and ruthless Nazis: Reinhard ‘Hangman’ Heydrich, chief of Security Police (SD) spying on everone! A great cross-read is HHhH by French author Laurent Binet (2010). The novel recounts Operation Anthropoid, the assassination of this Nazi leader in Prague during World War II. This will keep you glued to your summer beach chair!.

May 28, 2018 – page 300
Did you know?
Did The London Times play a dubious role in the disastrous appeasement of Hitler? Norman Ebbut chief correspondent for the paper in Berlin…his dispatches were much more revealing than other reporters. Much that he sent to London was NOT published! The Times editors read all his reports and knew what ‘really’ was going on in Nazi Germany!  Ebbut was expelled by the Nazis in August 1937. After only a month back in England, Norman Ebbutt suffered a severe stroke, thus effectively ending his career as a journalist. He was 43 years old.  A stroke at 43?  That is very young….or was Ebbut a “man who knew too much?”  MI6 …hmmmm?

May 29, 2018 – page 357
Did you know?
Hitler hated Vienna! (…such a beautiful city)
On the first day of Austrian invasion Hitler arrested
79.000 citizens of that town.
Austria is done an dusted…next stop Czechoslovakia!

June 6, 2018 – page 435
Goebbels is spreading fake news about Czechs attacking poor German citizens…March 1939 Czechoslovakia ceases to exist. With the newly empowered juggernaut of Hitler…next stop Poland!

June 8, 2018 – page 500
Did you know?
Hitler was as sly as a fox…never kept a promise and it was all about Make Germany Great Again….hmmm.
Adolf Hitler treated Danzig somewhat differently. During the Czechoslovakia annexation, Hitler was ready to use force. Danzig was the catalyst. Hitler intended to use it to provoke war with Poland…and it worked!

June 15, 2018 – page 520
Boris Johnson (UK) has predicted Vladimir Putin will revel in the World Cup in Russia this summer in the same way that Adolf Hitler did in the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936.
I will have leave Hitler in Poland…. and put this book on the ‘back-burner’ while I ‘revel’ in the World Cup Soccer Championship.

June 25, 2018 – page 555
Poor Poland….invaded by Hitler and knocked out of the World Cup 2018.
Lose-lose situation.

July 8, 2018 – page 625
Did you know?
Mussolini was so worried about the approaching chance of world war that he sent a TOP SECRET message on 31 Aug 1939
(the eve of the attack on Poland by Hitler on 01 Sept )
to the British?
He promised despite his support of Hitler…
Mussolini would not attack England or France.
Not only Hitler can double cross friends….so can Il Duce!

July 11, 2018 – page 675
Did you know ?…..what the best kept secret was in WW II?
Hitler’s plan to invade and conquer Denmark and Norway!
I did not know that!

July 22, 2018 – page 758
Calculated ruthlessness of the Germans after bombing Rotterdam on May 14th 1940 would not be forgotten by the Dutch.
You will have excuse me for NOT feeling sorry that the German ‘manschaft’ was knocked out of the World Cup Soccer Championship in the first round.

July 22, 2018 – page 600
Did you know?
Once the Germans realized that Churchill and the British would never agree to a peace in July 1940…they were stunned!
No one had imagined Germany may have to attack and conquer England!
Germans had no PLAN-B! This is a great book with so many interesting insights!

July 23, 2018 – page 826
Did you know? ….that Denmark and Norway were sleeping at the switch. If I saw 10 German destroyers cursing on the horizon I’d be suspicious. Not the Scandinavians….before it was too late.
Russia is NOT going to make that mistake. They were WARNED by Pres. Roosevelt 10 days before the Hitler’s invasion on 22 June 1941.

July 24, 2018 – page 903
December 1941 Hitler is at the zenith of his power…..after this day it’s all downhill.
At war with formidable opponents (UK-USA-FRANCE-RUSSIA and smaller key figures Poland, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway…who now start fighting back….be it only with The Resistance.

July 24, 2018 – page 950
Stalingrad en El Alamein (Desert Fox, Rommel)…..military disasters.
Speechless. Starting the last…200 pages of 1149!   NOTE: my father’s favorite general was Rommel. He  loved the movie The Desert Fox (1951) with James Mason. We watched it together in 1961 on TV ‘Saturday Night at the Movies’ NBC! My mother’s favorite general was Patton! Mother never went to the movies….but made an exception to see George C. Scott dazzle in the movie.  If you have never seen this movie do try to find it on DVD….it is amazing! The movie won many Oscars (Best picture, Best Director, Best Writing)…and Best actor for G.C. Scott.  He famously refused to accept the award claiming that competition between actors was unfair.  George C. Scott  was a #ClassAct

July 26, 2018 – page 1100
February 1945 – it is evident the Hitler, his mission having failed to conquer the world, was ready to go down like Wotan at Valhalla ….taking his enemies and own people with him. I learn today about Operation Alsos…a fascinating scientific espionage story just waiting for me! US wants to know how close Nazi Germany was to getting the bomb.


Read more from Classic, HIstory, non-fiction
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 4 2018

    I read sections of this back in my school & uni days. Trying to understand how Hitler was able to do what he did obsessed me for years. I’m not over it, but for now this obsession is on the back burner.
    Have you ever read Gitta Sereny’s bio on Albert Speer? It’s one of the best books about Hitler’s Germany & who knew what & personal responsibility that I’ve ever read.


    • Aug 4 2018

      Thanks for your reading suggestion…I will make note of it.
      I can only take 1 or maybe 2 books about Hitler, his henchmen and WWII a year.
      It depresses me…but it must be read.

      Liked by 1 person


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