Inside Hitler's Bunker

Publié le par Joachim Fest

Inside Hitler's BunkerFest describes in riveting detail the final weeks of the war, from the desperate battles that raged night and day in the ruins of Berlin, fought by boys and old men, to the growing paranoia that marked Hitler’s mental state, to his suicide and the efforts of his loyal aides to destroy his body before the advancing Russian armies reached Berlin. Inside Hitler’s Bunker combines meticulous research with spellbinding storytelling and sheds light on events that, for those who survived them, were nothing less than the end of the world.

Pub. Date: March 2005
Author : Joachim Fest
Publisher: Picador
ISBN-13: 9780312423926
ISBN: 0312423926

Editorial Reviews - Inside Hitler's Bunker

Library Journal

German journalist and historian Fest (Hitler: A Biography) has penned another admirable study of Nazi Germany that focuses on the final, cataclysmic days of Hitler's Third Reich in the F hrer bunker beneath Berlin. Four factual chapters chronicle events as reconstructed by reliable eyewitness reports and interviews. They are complemented by four reflective chapters that look at the "deeper meaning" behind those events. Reprising a theme from his Hitler biography, Fest describes his subject essentially as a supreme nihilist.

The destruction in the final weeks of the war, engendered by Hitler's obstinate refusal to end the fighting long after defeat was certain, gave him, according to Fest, a "greater sense of satisfaction" than any of his early victories. The tragic devastation was further compounded and abetted by the "inculcated obsequiousness" of Hitler's entourage and leading generals, who did little or nothing to stop him. While there are no surprising revelations, Fest does synthesize a daunting body of research obtained from disparate, if sometimes dated, sources into an accessible narrative. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.

Kirkus Reviews

A vivid reconstruction of the final weeks of Hitler's regime. In mid-April 1945, the Soviets launched an offensive against Berlin "with twenty armies, two and a half million soldiers, and more than forty thousand mortars and field guns"-an avenging force of an almost unimaginable size and scale. Hitler retreated into the Reich Chancellery, but not before warning that this "Asian onslaught" had to be stopped; if it were not, he warned, Germany's "old people, men, and children will be murdered, and women and girls will be forced to serve as barracks whores."

Thus inspired, the Volksturm and Wehrmacht units charged with defending the city put up a stiff fight, even as Hitler continued to imagine that with Franklin Roosevelt's death the Western Allies would realize that their enemy was Russia and join Hitler's crusade. The fall of Vienna to the Soviets put an end to that vision, and Hitler-physically and mentally ill-waited out Marshal Zhukov's arrival while gorging himself on chocolate cake. An inglorious end, that, and German historian Fest (Speer: The Final Verdict, 2002, etc.) surprises with a number of unreported or overlooked details-such as a letter that Albert Speer had written to Hitler only a few weeks before, chiding him "for equating the existence of Germany with his own life span, describing this as an egocentricity unparalleled in history."

For all that, Hitler shot his wife and then himself, leaving it to the handful of remaining stalwarts to burn their corpses. Fest confirms that widely published photographs of Hitler's corpse were a hoax, but adds the intriguing note that many of the theories concerning Hitler's supposed survival came straight from Josef Stalin: "Once he saidthat Hitler had escaped to Japan in a submarine; another time he mentioned Argentina; and later he said something about Franco's Spain." A well-considered slice of the Nazi era, and one with a happy ending.

Meet the author :

Joachim Fest was born in Berlin in 1926. His previous books include The Face of the Third Reich; Hitler, his celebrated biography of Adolf Hitler; Plotting Hitler’s Death; and Speer: The Final Verdict, for which he has won numerous awards. A film adaptation of Inside Hitler’s Bunker, entitled The Downfall, has become a European blockbuster.

Publié dans Bibliothèque

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