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Publisher's Summary

By July of 1944, the Third Reich's days were numbered. Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, a general staff insider with open eyes (and access to the Fuhrer), was convinced that assassinating Hitler was the only way to prevent the destruction of the Fatherland and the deaths of millions. On July 20, he hid a bomb-stuffed briefcase at a high-level meeting. The explosion tore through the room, but a table leg spared Hitler from the blast. The result was a witch hunt, a wave of executions, and a further pointless year of war. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh deliver an exhilarating and definitive portrait of the anti-Nazi movement (called "Secret Germany") that almost killed Hitler. Secret Germany is the story of "World War II's boldest plot-that-failed" (Time), a coup that was a moral and spiritual necessity.
©2008 Michael Baigent and the estate of Richard Leigh (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Secret Germany

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

False Advertising

Reader beware. Most of this audiobook has nothing to do with the July plot to kill Hitler headed by Claus von Stauffenberg. This audio book deals mostly with biographies of German philosophers, poets, composers, authors, and artists for the last 350 years. The central character of the second half of this book is not Stauffenberg, but that of Stephan George, a 20th century poet / philosopher. It is from George that we learn of the meaning of "Secret Germany"

Additionally, this book is in serious need of editing. In the first 45 minutes of this book, the author has killed Hitler twice and is beginning to retell it again for the third time. Historical fact checking was obviously overlooked ( example: German invasion of Poland began on Sept 1st 1939 but the book incorrectly states the war as beginning Sept 4th.) Central characters to the July 1944 plot aren't even mentioned or glossed over with little information. ( examples Generals Erich Fellgiebel and Friedrich Olbricht and Field Marshall Erwinn Rommel)

Fleet Cooper did a decent job presenting this audio book.

I was disappointed with this listen. I would suggest bypassing this audiobook.

10 people found this helpful

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If you want a good account of Valkyrie this is NOT IT!

If you were to look up the definition of “bait & switch” the cover of this book would be next to it. Only about a third of it is about Operation Valkyrie. It almost seems as though the authors really wanted to do a book about Stephan Georga but as he and his writing are boring as whale $hit, they had to find a different angle. Enter the fact that Klaus Von Stauffeberg was a fan/disciple of Georga, in particular his poem “Secret Germany” & you’ve got a ready made THEORY that rather than what everyone including the firing squad attribute as his last words “Long Live Sacred Germany”, that the actually said, “Long Live Secret Germany.” Regardless of what he said, it’s not worth 4 hours of reading to hear all about how Georga and other literary mystics of the time may have influenced Stauffeberg & how the Nazis perverted his (Georga’s) work (as they did countless other artist’s) as evidence to support their twisted world view. If the authors wanted to do a book of Georga & his contemporary’s poetry then that should’ve been at least mentioned in the title or subtitle but it’s not. If I wanted a poetry reading I’d go to a coffee house. At least there id get to have a cup of coffee. My real regret & to a degree embarrassment is that the narrator (who was really good, by the way) at least got paid to read this crap. I actually paid to read it which definitely gives me, and I’m sure any other poor soul who slogs through this mess, a sense of definite buyer’s remorse.

4 people found this helpful

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Too many attempts at accents, too much moralizing

I would rate the actual telling of the main story higher; however, The authors chase many tangents from the political history of medieval Germany to a long and often esoteric analysis of Stefan George.

In the end, the authors seemed to be really wanting to write essays on German Mystics and their views on leadership and just squeezed the history of the Stauffenburg story around it.

As for the narration, the performance was full of over dramatic stereotypical accents that greatly distracted from the content of the lines quoted.

1 person found this helpful

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Good book but another annoying narrator

Narrator's BAD German accent when quoting Germans was annoying and completely unnecessary. It sounded like a bad WWII movie from 1946. I know Germans speak German but not with an American accent imitating German. Just read it normally. I hate when narrators do this.

1 person found this helpful

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Mental Masturbation

Definitely not a narrative history. More like endless analysis similar to a CNN panel of "experts".

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In depth Background

Whilst some have complained the book does not focus enough on the actual events of operation Valkyrie it does go into great depth about the cultural background and the "secret Germany" that deeply influenced Stauffenberg. It is this insight that makes this an incredible read. You are given a view into the Germanic past that led both to the Nazi Party and the Moral Fortitude of Claus Von Stauffenberg. This is history that is not often investigated but gives deep insight into the German culture, myth, and volksgeist. A worthy read/listen.

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Perfect

I read it twice. I am sure German people are good people. It is unfortunate that memory of a monster takes time dying

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Convoluted!!!

This is more a book of early literary history. Only about a third of the text deals with actual German war history. i would only suggest this book to create background noise to fill a quiet room while the listener is busy and not really listening.

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False advertising

Narration
Almost poetic, such is its melody, the lilting inflection, intonation, pacing, and vocal tone.

Content/story
I anticipated a description of the planning and personalities leading up to Hitler’s failed assignation. I’ve listened to this audio three times and still cannot make out its purpose.

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Thoroughly researched

This book will deliver what it meant to be German. Brings forth the German culture and founding of 19th Century Germany.