• The End: Hitler's Germany, 1944-45

  • By: Ian Kershaw
  • Narrated by: David Timson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)
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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

Critic Reviews

"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 A master of both the vast scholarly literature on Nazism and the extraordinary range of its published and unpublished record, Kershaw combines vivid accounts of particular human experiences with wise reflections on big interpretive and moral issues....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 listeners say about The End: Hitler's Germany, 1944-45

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dr.Stuart
  • 02-01-14

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Adam247
  • 09-30-15

A tour de force

Excellent exposition of the führerprinzip and its central place in the destruction of Germany from the summer of 1944. Kershaw brings together the sad collapse of a people held in fear to the end.
I would have preferred a complete integration of the military and political aspects but perhaps max Hastings treatment of the ruination of Europe in the last year of the war is a good bedfellow.
The narrative is compelling with very few repetitions and the narrator strikes the right balance of gravitas and a lighter tone to deal with truly terrible facts that are laid before the listener. The retelling of the forced marches and the savagery of soviet retribution are particular standout episodes in this work.
Excellent.

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  • ULLA
  • 04-18-16

Narrator's voice - a problem

The Narrator of this books har a marvellous, light and vibrant speaking voice, and his range in volume from pianissimo (near inaudible) to fortissimo (you reach for the sound switch) is remarkable. He has, in short, an expressive, dramatic voice, that I would fint delightful in maybe reading poetry, children's stories, and many types of fiction.
But in a non-fiction history-book, written in a sober textbook-style, often with long sentences, this type of voice becomes distracting, and after a while quite tiresome and irritating, because it distracted me from the text I was interested in. I would not have bought this, had I known how distracting the narrator would become.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Billyboy
  • 04-12-18

Brilliant writing

A great book. I was unable to stop listening. Shocking , unreal but superbly worded. A must have for all.

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  • Charles Palmer
  • 09-01-17

Kershaw..brilliant as ever

excellent for novices and experts alike. this isn't a military history and those unfamiliar with the course of ww2 might benefit from some pre study before r
reading.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 04-15-13

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 03-04-13

Brilliant

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kath708907
  • 03-02-21

Fascinating deep dive into this era

I found this book fascinating and absorbing. The narrator is excellent and keeps up a good pace through the complexity of names, places and ideologies.
I did find some concepts to be repetitive and felt with a stronger edit of the initial text it would have been more compelling. However the comprehensive level of research is highly impressive.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-30-20

Utterly compelling

Kept listening compulsively to this utterly compelling narrative, expertly recounted.
Thoroughly recommended to anyone interested in this area of history.

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  • redghost
  • 03-31-20

Perfect for a History degree course

Narration very good, excellent audiobook production. Kershaw along with Beevor are in a class of their own.

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  • steve
  • 04-23-18

Well researched.

A very thorough and and well presented account of the final part of the war. But if you're looking for something that captures the drama, the desperation etc. then this isn't it.

This book is mostly about the Nazi's mechanisms of control over the military, the population and their own party and how they forced the 'fight to the death' as Germany was conquered. It gets a bit dry and boring (sorry!) in places unless you are really interested in Nazi personalities jockeying for position and favour within the party. It's a really valuable book if you're interested in knowing a lot about this fairly narrow aspect but it's not what the title suggests.

It's not exclusively about these themes but the title probably suggests a broader view of the german downfall than it delivers. Still, it is a good book.

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  • Mr Denis M McPhillips
  • 04-02-20

Kershaw the Master

What a brilliant work. Ian Kershaw takes his time in the build up to the Nazi catastrophe
and its denouement. A stirring read by David Timson brings it to life.