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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1955, They Thought They Were Free is an eloquent and provocative examination of the development of fascism in Germany. Milton Mayer's book is a study of 10 Germans and their lives from 1933-45, based on interviews he conducted after the war when he lived in Germany.

Mayer had a position as a research professor at the University of Frankfurt and lived in a nearby small Hessian town which he disguised with the name "Kronenberg". "These ten men were not men of distinction," Mayer noted, but they had been members of the Nazi Party; Mayer wanted to discover what had made them Nazis.

©1955 The University of Chicago (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Among the many books written on Germany after the collapse of Hitler's Thousand Year Reich, this book by Milton Mayer is one of the most readable and most enlightening." ( New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Time might change ones behaviour pattern

Would you listen to They Thought They Were Free again? Why?

Yes. It is a detailed account of the thought pattern(s) that led to the destruction of the German nation through the lives of ten average individuals in a small rural town, community.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found it a detailed book. Mr. Mayer, his presentation throughout the book gives the reader a constant barrage of options, in the various acts and behaviour of his 10 nazi friends. The constant how when where or why is always being asked in ones own mind. The book moves quickly from chapter to chapter and as often in my case, does soul searching.

Any additional comments?

I suggest that this book, might be presented to students throughout the world as an "eye opener" in regards to human behaviour. How it all did manage to come together, through no pattern of behaviour that might be deemed as what I call normal. To attempt to obliterate, erase humanity with justification? The world that I know weeps, I weep.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Must read(Listen)for anyone serious about history

An engaging insight as to how a nation was swayed into despotism incrementally yet whloley

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Well put.

An intriguing and eye-opening look from the "other" perspective, with familiar overtones seen especially today.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • San Antonio, TX
  • 07-26-17

Disappointing except for the narrator

I persisted as long as I did before returning the book because of the performance by Michael Page. He almost made an uninteresting and unoriginal book seem good.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful