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A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism – from the author of Sunday Times bestseller Travellers in the Third Reich

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This is one of those books that is hard to rate because the content has such a somber air around it. It was brilliant reading about how the community came together to help many of those pretending to be a German and following Hitlers regime. Making sense of this story is perhaps helped by first reading Boyd and Patel’s short back story introductions beginning on page 383.

The prize is awarded alternately to a Dutch and a Flemish author), to mandatory membership of the Hitlerjugend and the BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel - that would give its members free cinema tickets, outdoor sports, horseback riding and mountaineering ! Her book Travellers in the Third Reich described the rise of the Nazis through the eyes of foreigners who visited Germany before the war. As I’ve long said, I don’t think religion makes people do bad things so much as people make religion do bad things.Boyd and Patel also had access to diaries and letters from private collections and documents preserved in various national, state, and church archives, giving her a unique insight into the day-to-day challenges of life under the Nazis and a real sense of how ordinary Germans supported, adapted to, and survived a regime that after promising them so much, in the end delivered only anguish and devastation. The amount of dead and wounded men hailing from Oberstdorf increased rapidly, with enthusiasm for Hitler slowly decreasing as a result. The mayor, who may have had prior knowledge of Aktion T-4, managed to get his beloved epileptic son home in time, but for little Theodor it was already too late. The life of an individual or a village under Nazi rule was first explored in Milton Mayer’s 1955 classic They Thought They Were Free.

One aim of the Nazis’ antisemitic propaganda was to convince even their devoted followers that their own Jewish doctor or accountant or classmate wasn’t one of “the decent ones. This one is a stunningly evocative portrait of Hitler’s Germany through the people of a single village.Its an obvious companion to Milton Sanford Meyer's 'They Thought They Were Free', looking at the lives of ten Nazi party members in another German small village. Still, even for this small, remote village, the new regime changed all aspects of their lives, from education through to religion. Despite the multitude of incidents and the huge cast of characters, as well as the lengthy period of memorable historical events which are described in the book, it is never confusing or lacking in interest for the reader, who will be both educated and entertained by this book.

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