Fritzsche’s 101 days certainly capture the scale of the upheaval and a swiftly coalescing sense of where the new Germany was headed ... What makes Fritzsche’s telling so refreshing is that he uses all his skills as a writer and historian to stop us from drifting into that sense of foreknowledge ... Especially thought-provoking are the eyewitnesses in this book, Germans who had nothing to do with the machinations of the elites, who watched events as they unfolded in the street, in their workplaces and apartment blocks, or frequented the great halls where the Nazi mass meetings were held ... Fritzsche’s skill is in finding a wide enough cast of Germans to give a sense not just of the faithful, but of the skeptics, the disbelieving and the defeated. And it is here that the full value of telling his story through eyewitness testimony becomes clear. Fritzsche turns their surprise, ambivalence, enthusiasm or horror into far greater account than most other historians. Just how they were moved, what values they held fast to and which became dispensable, tells him—and us—more than just what kind of witnesses they were ... it is his capacity for turning the lens back onto the viewer that makes his work so profound and so convincing.
Fritzsche describes an era that has been covered by other books—not least his own—many times over. As an esteemed historian of how ordinary Germans accommodated themselves to the Nazi regime, Fritzsche is neither revising his scholarship nor breaking new ground here. But there’s something particularly clarifying about the hundred-days framing, especially as it’s presented in this elegant and sobering book, which shows how an unimaginable political transformation can happen astonishingly quickly.
In some perceptive passages in the earlier stages of this book, Mr. Fritzsche examines how, during the party’s years in opposition, the Nazis were able to broaden their support away from the original ideological core to voters who, for example, just thought that 'something' had to be done to sort out a deeply unsettled country. And Mr. Fritzsche looks particularly closely at those who swung behind the party in early 1933 ... Mr. Gellately is, however, possibly too dismissive of just how much Hitler’s success owed to his own strange charisma and, by extension, his curiously personal bond with millions of Germans ... Yet Mr. Gellately is correct to stress that many voters had been radicalized by the inflationary spiral of the early 1920s or by the Great Depression.
Fritzsche opens his book with a gripping fly-on-the-wall account of the meeting in which the Make Germany Great Again conservatives, who had the ear of Paul von Hindenburg, the ailing president, decided to make Adolf Hitler chancellor ... Fritzsche injects fresh life into this familiar story via extensive primary sources, including novels, films, journalism, and diplomatic memos. These animate the means through which Hitler’s system fused party with nation and forged ordinary Germans into Nazis ... His book’s most unsparing passages document the savage treatment of 'mixed' (Jew-Gentile) couples, paraded through the streets by force before baying crowds, bearing signs advertising their shame.
Fritzsche successfully weaves in excerpts from letters and interviews, providing firsthand accounts of German people grappling with a new world order. Fritzsche argues that the coup of the Third Reich was getting Germans to see themselves as the Nazis did: as an imperiled people creating national community ... Everyone concerned about the rise of nationalism, the impact of extreme partisanship, and preserving democracy should read this insightful book.
Hitler had little trouble destroying German democracy, and this fine history describes how he did it ...Even readers who know what followed will not put down Fritzsche’s gruesomely fascinating account ... A painful but expert historical account.
Military historian Frank...taps a massive, multicontinent array of sources to deliver the definitive account of the first phase of WWII in the Pacific ... Frank masterfully sets the stage for the next installment in a planned trilogy. With copious maps and 160 pages of endnotes, this epic yet accessible account sets a new gold standard for histories of the conflict.