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A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism – from the author of Sunday Times bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich

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DuBois—who should have been particularly attuned to race-baiting and prejudice—stopped short of demonizing the regime. The advantage of approaching the subject through the “microcosm” of one village, however, helps to provide a nuanced view beyond simplistic collective condemnation. The life of an individual or a village under Nazi rule was first explored in Milton Mayer’s 1955 classic They Thought They Were Free. I certainly learned a lot and, had it been a fictionalised story, I think it could have been a five star read for me.

When armed conflict began, casualties among Oberstdorf’s men were low, but they spiralled upwards when the campaign in the east began.Even technical education, something which Germany had once been very good at, was massively dumbed down in favour of tighter control. The chapters in the book are based along subject lines – why Nazism arose, euthanasia, religion and Nazism, concentration camps, the aftermath of the war, etc – and not on time lines. A Village in the Third Reich’ looks at history through the prism of Oberstdorf, a Bavarian village and holiday resort high up in the Alps.

His approach was quite decent, helping locals – including those critical of the regime – and he did not persecute Jews, several of whom had taken shelter in the village.

In the Village in the Third Reich What author succeeds in depicting normal daily live in Germany before and during the Second World War. Having previously written about visitors to Germany during the 1930s and their opinions about the rise of Hitler and Nazis in Travellers in the Third Reich (excellent! Ms Boyd's idea to describe life in a village during the inter-war period sounds interesting as most of the books cover towns or cities whereas countrylife is rather obscure. Many of the villagers viewed Hitler with distrust and Bolshevism with fear, but the villages new mayor, Ernst Zeitler, was unpopular as he expected the villagers to conform to Nazi ideology and policy. A remarkable moral drama, a miniature epic that is subtle in characterization, gripping in detail, and shocking in its brutal ordinariness.

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