The best books on the rise and fall of the Third Reich

Adrian Greaves Author Of Albert Speer - Escaping the Gallows: Secret Conversations with Hitler's Top Nazi
By Adrian Greaves

The Books I Picked & Why

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

By William L. Shirer

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

Why this book?

The book which first stimulated my personal interest in Germany's defeat after World War Two, and which made the most impression on me, is the highly respected The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by American author William L. Shirer.

This is the classic work of events and Nazi leaders' guilt, which he personally witnessed while living in Germany at the end of the Second World War. It shows the two swings of the pendulum from Germany's ascent on the world stage to the country's near-total destruction and shocking after-effects on the defeated German people. This book is a remarkable work that has stood the test of time and which led the way for subsequent historians and authors of the subject to follow.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

By Keith Lowe

Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

Why this book?

Keith Lowe is a brilliant researcher and this account of the after-effects of the Second World war on Europe makes for harrowing reading. When Europe was still shuddering from the war's destruction, the allies frequently behave brutally towards the vanquished Germans. The worst excesses, especially against women, were deliberately committed by the Russians followed by the French. This aspect of the war has mostly been overlooked by historians.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Hitler's Lost State: The Fall of Prussia and the Wilhelm Gustloff Tragedy

By Tim Heath, Michela Cocolin

Hitler's Lost State: The Fall of Prussia and the Wilhelm Gustloff Tragedy

Why this book?

A detailed and terrifying account of the German civilians' plight as they were overwhelmed by the vengeful Russians - and of the Russian sinking of the German liner the ' Wilhelm Gustloff' resulting in some 6,000 civilian deaths, the worst maritime disaster ever.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

A Social History of the Third Reich. Richard Grunberger

By Richard Grunberger

A Social History of the Third Reich. Richard Grunberger

Why this book?

The Nazis developed a unique social structure of total compliance with fear and terror just out of sight. The work describes family life struggling with the ritual of Nazism from the privileged elite, the average German family seeking some normality to the open oppression of the Jews.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Hitler's Alpine Headquarters

By James Wilson

Hitler's Alpine Headquarters

Why this book?

The book's wealth of contemporary photographs and maps is a spellbinding work and makes the complexity of Hitler's alpine headquarters easy to understand - and reveals how the German people adored Hitler - at least in his early days.  Hitler's headquarters and adjacent Nazi properties were seriously plundered and looted by the victorious allies - although, in the interest of history, the location has been largely restored.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Distantly Related Book Lists

Random Book Lists