The best books on the German resistance to Hitler

The Books I Picked & Why

German Resistance to Hitler

By Peter Hoffmann

German Resistance to Hitler

Why this book?

This work on the German military resistance to Hitler by Professor Hoffman remains the most comprehensive, scholarly work on the topic available in English. Hoffman provides a detailed account of the opposition to Hitler and his policies within the German military and explains the motives for it. He then shows how this opposition was gradually transformed into resistance which culminated in an assassination and coup attempt. While meticulously researched and documented, this book is not for the novice or the faint-hearted, as it is over 800 pages long.


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Letters and Papers from Prison

By Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Letters and Papers from Prison

Why this book?

This is one of the few books available in English that records first-hand the feelings and thoughts of one of those few, courageous Germans who defied Hitler at the risk of their own lives. For that reason alone, it is worth reading. However, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was not only an ardent member of the German Resistance, arrested for aiding Jews, he was also an outstanding protestant theologian. His thoughts from a Nazi prison cell are particularly thought-provoking — and poignant. He was executed just before the end of the war. This is a moving yet inspiring read.


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A Noble Treason: The Revolt of the Munich Students against Hitler

By Richard Hanser

A Noble Treason: The Revolt of the Munich Students against Hitler

Why this book?

Resistance in Nazi Germany was overwhelmingly moral and almost always fatal, but too often attention is focused on the military resistance because they were the only people in Nazi Germany with the means to topple the Nazi regime. This tale of young students outraged by the corruption and brutality of the world around them, however, has a timelessness and a universal appeal. It is the story of youthful indignation and an example of conscience over-ruling rationality and self-interest. Hanser’s book makes this clear in prose that is sober yet lively, pulling the reader in emotionally as well as intellectually.


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The 12-year Reich: A Social History Of Nazi Germany 1933-1945

By Richard Grunberger

The 12-year Reich: A Social History Of Nazi Germany 1933-1945

Why this book?

No one can understand the German Resistance to Hitler without first understanding Nazi Germany — its ideology, its institutions, and its psychology. Grunberger’s concise but comprehensive study of Nazi Germany organized topically provides essential insight into the society in which those who opposed Hitler lived. This book is more valuable than any chronological history of Nazi Germany and exposes just how pervasive and insidious the National Socialist corruption was.


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