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Promise Me You'll Shoot Yourself

The Downfall of Ordinary Germans, 1945
Narrated by: Sam Peter Jackson
Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
2.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

One of the last major stories on the Third Reich that remains largely untold is that of the extraordinary wave of suicides, carried out not just by much of the Nazi leadership, but by thousands of ordinary Germans, in the Second World War's closing period. 

Some of these were provoked by terror in the face of advancing Soviet troops or by personal guilt, but many could not be explained in such relatively straightforward terms. 

Florian Huber's remarkable book, a bestseller in Germany, confronts this terrible phenomenon. Other countries have suffered defeat, but not responded in the same way. What drove whole families, who in many cases had already withstood years of deprivation, aerial bombing and deaths in battle, to do this?   

In a brilliantly written, thoughtful and original work, Huber sees the entire project of the Third Reich as a sequence of almost overwhelming emotions and scenes for many Germans. He describes some of the key events which shaped the period from the First World War to the end of the Second, showing how the sheer intensity, glamour and ferocity of Hitler's regime swept along millions. 

For over 12 years a relentless and terrible drama shaped German life and its sudden end was, for thousands of people, simply impossible to absorb.     

©2019 Florian Huber (P)2019 Penguin Books Ltd

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Weird book

Most of the book has little or anything to do with the declared subject. The author find himself speaking about Bruning plan of austerity, the guilt or lack of guilt of the germans after the war and the adventures-from the great crisis of 1929 up to the downfall -of people who didnt commit suicide nor attempted it. The parts that actually speak about the subject are more like individual stories, instead of the academic analysis I was expecting. The book is moderately interesting, but wont give you much information.

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  • A. Macgregor
  • 07-19-19

Frightening Account

My German mother was in the Luftwaffe working in their Met Office.
In early 1945 as the Russians invaded and her officers flew off leaving the rank and file to fend for themselves she became a refugee.
She has always been loath to talk about her experiences but touched upon some of the horrors outlined in this book.
She is still alive , living in a nursing home but was only diagnosed with PTSD a year ago as she cannot forget the past.
Whilst this was distressing reading , as personal narratives go it’s a masterpiece.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-17-19

Please stop with accents in historical books.

It takes away from the seriousness of the subject matter, ruining the experience of reading an amazing book like this. Using accents is just plain goofy and distractive. This is not the worst example I've come across, but the point still stands. Stop using accents. I don't need it to figure out that the people talking are german. I think people are smart enough to know who's talking and where they're from in the context of the book.

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