RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 45234118 LA English T1 Hitler, 1936-45 : nemesis A1 Kershaw, Ian., PB W.W. Norton PP New York YR 2000 SN 9780393049947 0393049949 AB "Summer 1936: the eyes of the world were trained on Berlin, elaborately decked out for the Olympic Games. Aside from the swastikas unfurled inside and outside the massive stadium, visitors to the games saw scant evidence of a repressive regime. Nazi Germany and its unchallenged leader, Adolf Hitler, were on their best behavior. Yet, away from the spectacle in Berlin, an ominous war machine was in the making." "As Ian Kershaw opens this monumental volume, large segments of the German population idolize Hitler for bringing the nation out of economic despair. Supported by four pillars of the Nazi regime -- the Party, the armed forces, the industrial cartels, and the civil service -- Hitler is poised to realize his Mephistophelian vision: the subjugation of Europe under the Thousand Year Reich and, in the process, the annihilation of the Jews. Meanwhile, a continent still carrying the scars of the First World War largely ignores his blueprints for conquest." "Soon Hitler embarks on expansion. With chilling efficiency, he annexes Austria with the support of rabid local Nazis, and then, after hoodwinking European leaders in Munich, undertakes a lightning conquest of Czechoslovakia. His invasion of Poland plunges Europe headlong into a cataclysmic war, a war that Hitler is convinced he alone has the genius to conduct. In unsparing prose, Kershaw describes the slaughter of conquered troops and civilians alike as German soldiers, accompanied by fanatical SS units, sweep into country after country." "For three years, Hitler's armies have the upper hand. But once the tides of battle turn in favor of the Allies, Hitler, no longer the invincible warlord, becomes an increasingly desperate gambler. Rarely leaving his "Wolf's Lair" he continues to mastermind the war, his public appearances and radio broadcasts limited to whipping up fervor among his countrymen against Jews, "Bolsheviks," and others deemed enemies of the Aryan race." "Drawing on many previously unutilized sources, Kershaw describes the Draconian measures taken by Hitler's henchmen -- Himmler, Goebbels, Goring, Bormann, and others -- to tighten the Nazi grip on the home front without significant resistance from the German people. In the Fuhrer's name, Gestapo and SS leaders orchestrate and carry out the persecutions that lead to the death camps of the Holocaust." "After the D-Day invasion and a steady stream of defeats on the Eastern Front, Hitler is virtually alone in insisting that victory is still possible. When Hitler asserts that his survival after an assassination attempt by German officers on July 20, 1944, "is a sign of Providence that I must continue my work," Kershaw depicts a beleaguered fanatic prepared to leave his country in ruins. Ten months later, while his shattered forces desperately attempt to stave off the Russian onslaught on Berlin, Hitler spends his final days, chillingly documented here, in a bunker under the city until he ends his life with a pistol shot to his head." "Throughout this masterful account, Kershaw never loses sight of the German people and their massive support for Hitler and the Nazi regime. "Decades would not fully erase," he observes, "the simple but compelling sentiment painted in huge letters" in Munich shortly after the surrender to the Allies: "I am ashamed to be a German." Book jacket."--Jacket.