While the trial of Hitler's fallen elite at Nuremberg has been thoroughly documented, the interval between the Nazis' capture in May and June 1945 and the start of the actual trial in late November has until now remained shrouded in shadow. With Interrogations, acclaimed historian Richard Overy opens a new window into the Third Reich, providing an intimate glimpse of the savage dictatorship in its death throes. More than thirty transcripts of the interrogations are reproduced here for the first time, allowing us to hear the voices of the newly captured "Hitler gang"-including Göring, Speer, and Hess-as they squirmed under the Allies' glare. Interrogations is the stark and disturbing history of defeat; it lays bare as never before the human weaknesses that made the Third Reich possible.
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Richard Overy is Professor of Modern History at King's College, London. He has written extensively on modern German and European history, and is the author of Russia's War and The Penguin Atlas of the Third Reich.From Library Journal:
Desperate rats will devour one another to survive. At the end of World War II, the members of the captured Nazi hierarchy were indeed desperate to survive. Craven and cringing, they dissembled with their captors, attempting to sacrifice one another to escape inescapable guilt. As historian Overy (Russia's War) points out, though there was never any doubt about the criminality of the Nazi regime, subjecting that regime to judicial process was very risky: if the case were not proven, the accused might actually go free. Overy presents excerpts of the pretrial interrogations that provided the Allies with much of the information they needed to convict those responsible for the war and its atrocities. Overy's descriptions of the interrogations and illuminating commentary reveal the leaders of the "master race" to be weak-willed cowards. It was typical for the primary defendants to deny responsibility for the barbarity that occurred right under their noses or to feign incredulity that such fantastic cruelty could even occur. Copiously annotated and supported by an extensive bibliography, Interrogations is highly recommended, especially for academic libraries with a strong emphasis on 20th-century or military history. Michael F. Russo, Louisiana State Univ. Libs., Baton Rouge
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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