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The End: Hitler's Germany, 1944-45 | [Ian Kershaw]

The End: Hitler's Germany, 1944-45

The last months of the Second World War were a nightmarish time to be alive. Unimaginable levels of violence destroyed entire cities. Millions died or were dispossessed. By all kinds of criteria it was the end: the end of the Third Reich and its terrible empire but also, increasingly, it seemed to be the end of European civilization itself. In his gripping, revelatory new book Ian Kershaw describes these final months, from the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in July 1944 to the German surrender in May 1945.
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Publisher's Summary

The unabridged, downloadable audiobook of Ian Kershaw's The End is a searing account of the last days of the Nazi regime and the downfall of a nation. Read by David Timson.

The last months of the Second World War were a nightmarish time to be alive. Unimaginable levels of violence destroyed entire cities. Millions died or were dispossessed. By all kinds of criteria it was the end: the end of the Third Reich and its terrible empire but also, increasingly, it seemed to be the end of European civilization itself. In his gripping, revelatory new book Ian Kershaw describes these final months, from the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in July 1944 to the German surrender in May 1945. The major question that Kershaw attempts to answer is: what made Germany keep on fighting? In almost every major war there has come a point where defeat has loomed for one side and its rulers have cut a deal with the victors, if only in an attempt to save their own skins. In Hitler's Germany, nothing of this kind happened: In the end the regime had to be stamped out town by town with a level of brutality almost without precedent.

Both a highly original piece of research and a gripping narrative, The End makes vivid an era which still deeply scars Europe. It raises the most profound questions about the nature of the Second World War, about the Third Reich and about how ordinary people behave in extreme circumstances.

©2011 Ian Kershaw (P)2012 Penguin Books Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Well-written, penetrating...and ground-breaking." (Andrew Roberts, Evening Standard)

"No one is better qualified to tell this grim story than Kershaw.... A master of both the vast scholarly literature on Nazism and the extraordinary range of its published and unpublished record, Kershaw combines vivid accounts of particular human experiences with wise reflections on big interpretive and moral issues.... No one has written a better account of the human dimensions of Nazi Germany's end." (New York Times Book Review)

"A compelling account of the bloody and deluded last days of the Third Reich...this is far from being of mere academic interest.... The greatest strength of Kershaw's narrative is that he gives us much more than the view from the top.... Interwoven are insights into German life and death at all levels of society." (The Times)

What Members Say

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  •  
    The Zombie Specialist Secret Fortress 11-13-14
    The Zombie Specialist Secret Fortress 11-13-14 Member Since 2013

    the world's fastest fat man

    HELPFUL VOTES
    109
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    103
    62
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Should be Compulsive Reading"

    Ian Kershaw along with Stephen Ambrose are giants when it comes to these type of books. The author’s ability to bring clear historical facts to life along with insights into the character of the time and people is nothing short of brilliant!

    Surely, this type of book should be compulsive for all high schools so that hopefully we will never repeat the mistakes of the past.

    At the time of listening to this title I was also listening to Jack El-Hai’s “The Nazi and the Psychiatrist: Hermann Goring, Dr Douglas M Kelly, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII” This was a perfect match for this book. For Jack’s book continued on to examine from a more clinical view of the questions raised in Ian Kershaw’s book. I would highly recommend listening to this one first then move on over to Jack’s book.

    A word of warning, it is not the type of title you listen to in one sitting. It took me a couple of weeks to make it through to the end.

    The narration is brilliant and like so many other titles now days can be best listened to at 1.25x speed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Burnside Heights, Australia 09-16-12
    Andrew Burnside Heights, Australia 09-16-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic"

    Great listen. Not confusing and fantastic narrator. Very detailed. Well worth the listen. Recommended for WW2 buffs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Mr
    Galashiels, United Kingdom
    4/15/13
    Overall
    "Really informative"

    An excellant over-view, without the jingoism which seems to attach to so much German history as related by Brits. It happened and cannot be changed but the clarity of the why & how is frightenigly explained in a lesson to the wider world & to be hoped, we will learn something for mankind from it.

    Well written,listenable & sensitive as I would expect from Prof Kershaw.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    WORCESTER PARK, United Kingdom
    3/4/13
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    Very interesting and informative. The pace is very well thought out and it keeps you interested. I really enjoyed this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus
    London, United Kingdom
    4/11/13
    Overall
    "Detailed but superfluous account"

    There are so many books on the Second World War that this tragic period has been extensively documented. Kershaw tries to distinguished his books from the others by just concentrating on the Germany side of the story, and giving only brief accounts of the fighting. The key revelation for me was how the July bomb plot allowed the Nazi regime to destroy any opposition, and allowed them to take Germany to their nihilistic end. What the author does is concentrates on how the war affected the population, and how propaganda was used to make people believe there was no alternative to fighting till the end. For most people they adopted a passive stoicism, and try to keep a normal life going. I like the story of the high government official that wrote about the need to change monitory policy in the last months of the war. While there is obviously new research in this book I don't think it adds much to what we already know about the end of the war. I was a bloody mess, and the Nazi elite were callous brutes.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dr.Stuart
    Rickmansworth, United Kingdom
    2/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The End of Hitler"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a factual account of both the death of Adolf Hitler and the end of Nazi Germany. Perhaps, the most momentous event of the twentieth century is described and analysed in detail. It ought to be read by anybody interested in the age we live in.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked best the way in which Kershaw shows, how like scorpions, the Nazis continued to sting and kill even when the allies were in the next village. There was no making a deal with people like this.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?


    The end. The final end of Hitler's Germany and the debt we owe to all of the allied powers who defeated him.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Gotterdmerung!


    Any additional comments?

    A brilliant tale told well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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