100 books like Hitler

By Ian Kershaw,

Here are 100 books that Hitler fans have personally recommended if you like Hitler. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice

Michael S. Bryant Author Of Confronting the "Good Death": Nazi Euthanasia on Trial, 1945-1953

From my list on pondering the worst of the Nazis’ crimes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a life-long interest in genocide dating back to my teenage years, when I read Simon Wiesenthal’s book The Murderers Among Us. Wiesenthal introduced me to the idea that governments sometimes murdered innocent people and could elude justice for their crimes. The question of human evil interacted with my theological interest in the problem of evil generally. Both genocide scholars and theologians were posing similar questions: how could people or God permit the occurrence of wanton evil when it was in their power to avoid it? And what should we do about genocide after it has happened? These questions launched my research into genocide and continue to fuel my study of this topic.

Michael's book list on pondering the worst of the Nazis’ crimes

Michael S. Bryant Why did Michael love this book?

In 2019 I published a review of Mary Fulbrook’s Reckonings in the journal HistoryThe review may have been the most laudatory I’ve written. Fulbrook’s study of the Holocaust and its noxious aftereffects lingers with me today. I’ve come to think of Reckonings as the War and Peace of Holocaust histories. Like Tolstoy’s epic, it paints on a sprawling canvas, exhausting the writer’s palette to portray the Holocaust as a searing multi-generational phenomenon. Reckonings does not approach the Shoah as most writers of the Holocaust do, namely, as a monumental but time-limited event. Fulbrook conceives of the Holocaust as a cancer that blights the victims and their families into the second and third generations. The radioactive fallout of the Shoah continues to the present day, poisoning people’s lives so deeply that no human response is adequate to deal with it. She upholds the tragedy of the Holocaust by refusing…

By Mary Fulbrook,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Reckonings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A single word - Auschwitz - is often used to encapsulate the totality of persecution and suffering involved in what we call the Holocaust. Yet a focus on a single concentration camp - however horrific what happened there, however massively catastrophic its scale - leaves an incomplete story, a truncated history. It cannot fully communicate the myriad ways in which individuals became tangled up on the side of the perpetrators, and obscures the diversity of experiences
among a wide range of victims as they struggled and died, or managed, against all odds, to survive. In the process, we also miss…


Book cover of Heinrich Himmler

Robert Gerwarth Author Of Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich

From my list on Nazi leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Gerwarth is a professor of modern history at University College. After completing his DPhil at Oxford, he has held visiting fellowships at Harvard, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the European University Institute in Florence. He is the author and editor of more than ten books on modern German history, most recently November 1918: The German Revolution.

Robert's book list on Nazi leadership

Robert Gerwarth Why did Robert love this book?

As head of the notorious SS, Himmler’s importance in the Nazi dictatorship was second only to Hitler. He had direct responsibility for the Nazi terror apparatus and was one of the chief architects of the Holocaust. During the Second World War, Himmler also commanded the Waffen-SS and built an economic empire in which concentration camp inmates and other slave labourers were exploited. Peter Longerich is a leading expert on the SS and the Holocaust and he helps us to understand how a seemingly normal, middle-class man from Munich could rise to such heights of power, committing unparalleled crimes along the way.

By Peter Longerich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heinrich Himmler as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As head of the SS, chief of police, 'Reichskommissar for the Consolidation of Germanness', and Reich Interior Minister, Heinrich Himmler enjoyed a position of almost unparalleled power and responsibility in Nazi Germany. Perhaps more than any other single Nazi leader aside from Hitler, his name has become a byword for the terror, persecution, and destruction that characterized the Third Reich. His wide-ranging powers meant that he bore equal responsibility for the
repression of the German people on the home front and the atrocities perpetrated by the SS in the East. Yet, in spite of his central role in the crimes…


Book cover of Speer: Hitler's Architect

Robert Gerwarth Author Of Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich

From my list on Nazi leadership.

Why am I passionate about this?

Robert Gerwarth is a professor of modern history at University College. After completing his DPhil at Oxford, he has held visiting fellowships at Harvard, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the European University Institute in Florence. He is the author and editor of more than ten books on modern German history, most recently November 1918: The German Revolution.

Robert's book list on Nazi leadership

Robert Gerwarth Why did Robert love this book?

Albert Speer is one of the most enigmatic figures within the Nazi leadership. I have always been intrigued by the fact that most biographies of him – including Gitta Sereny’s famous Speer: His Battle with Truth – have been fairly benign in their judgment of Speer’s character and deeds. Although directly responsible for the slave labour programme in the later stages of the war and a member of Hitler’s inner circle until the end in 1945, Hitler’s favourite architect managed to get away with a comparatively light sentence at the Nuremberg Trials, where he admitted partial responsibility. Handsome and well-spoken, Speer was often publicly perceived as one of the “less bad” Nazis. Martin Kitchen’s biography revises that image and convincingly shows the reader how intimately involved Speer was in many of the crimes of the Nazis.

By Martin Kitchen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Speer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new biography of Albert Speer, Hitler's chief architect and trusted confidant, reveals the subject's deeper involvement in Nazi atrocities

"Kitchen, the author of a dozen works on twentieth-century Germany, comprehensively disassembles Speer's alibis and excuses. . . . His mastery of the revisionist evidence against Speer is complete."-John Fund, National Review Online

"Brilliant and devastating. . . . Kitchen lays out a case so airtight that one marvels anew how Speer survived the Nuremberg trials with his neck intact."-Martin Filler, New York Review of Books

In his best-selling autobiography, Albert Speer, Minister of Armaments and chief architect of Nazi…


Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

By Gabrielle Robinson,

Book cover of Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

Gabrielle Robinson Author Of Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Retired english professor

Gabrielle's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Gabrielle found her grandfather’s diaries after her mother’s death, only to discover that he had been a Nazi. Born in Berlin in 1942, she and her mother fled the city in 1945, but Api, the one surviving male member of her family, stayed behind to work as a doctor in a city 90% destroyed.

Gabrielle retraces Api’s steps in the Berlin of the 21st century, torn between her love for the man who gave her the happiest years of her childhood and trying to come to terms with his Nazi membership, German guilt, and political responsibility.

Api's Berlin Diaries: My Quest to Understand My Grandfather's Nazi Past

By Gabrielle Robinson,

What is this book about?

"This is not a book I will forget any time soon."
Story Circle Book Reviews

Moving and provocative, Api's Berlin Diaries offers a personal perspective on the fall of Berlin 1945 and the far-reaching aftershocks of the Third Reich.

After her mother's death, Robinson was thrilled to find her beloved grandfather's war diaries-only to discover that he had been a Nazi.

The award-winning memoir shows Api, a doctor in Berlin, desperately trying to help the wounded in cellars without water or light. He himself was reduced to anxiety and despair, the daily diary his main refuge. As Robinson retraces Api's…


Book cover of Origins of Totalitarianism

Dorian Lynskey Author Of The Ministry of Truth: The Biography of George Orwell's 1984

From my list on totalitarianism not written by George Orwell.

Why am I passionate about this?

In The Ministry of Truth, I wanted to bring together two longstanding interests: dystopian fiction and the history of totalitarianism. Nineteen Eighty-Four is of course a landmark work in both categories. In trying to explain how and why Orwell came to write his masterpiece, and its subsequent influence on fiction and political thought, I read a huge range of books that wrestled with the horrors of Nazism and Stalinism and asked how they were able to hold sway, physically and mentally, over tens of millions of people. Many of them are gripping and valuable but these five in particular make for great companions to 1984.

Dorian's book list on totalitarianism not written by George Orwell

Dorian Lynskey Why did Dorian love this book?

Arendt’s three-part masterwork had the same US editor as 1984 and can be read as the non-fiction equivalent. While scholars have subsequently questioned aspects of her grand theory of totalitarianism, much of it holds up. Her commanding, aphoristic prose has made this one of the most widely quoted books of recent years, especially on the subject of power creating its own alternate reality: “In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time… think that everything was possible and that nothing was true.”

By Hannah Arendt,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Origins of Totalitarianism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism—an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history.

The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses…


Book cover of The Last Days of Hitler

David Luhrssen Author Of Hammer of the Gods: The Thule Society and the Birth of Nazism

From my list on understanding Nazi Germany.

Why am I passionate about this?

Unlike most children of immigrants who were told nothing about the past, I grew up surrounded by family history—my grandfather’s village in Russia, my father’s memories of 1930s Europe, and my mother’s childhood on a migrant worker farm during the Great Depression. I realized that history isn’t just names and dates but a unique opportunity to study human behavior. I wrote Hammer of the Gods about the Thule Society because Thule was often mentioned in passing by historians of Nazi Germany, as if they were uncomfortable delving into an occult group recognized as influential on the Nazis. I decided I wanted to learn who they were and what they wanted.

David's book list on understanding Nazi Germany

David Luhrssen Why did David love this book?

There have been more recent accounts of Hitler’s retreat to the bunker in the last weeks of his life. But even if some new information has surfaced since Britain’s H.R. Trevor-Roper wrote his report, the vividness is hard to match. Trever-Roper recorded his thoughts on Hitler’s end before the rubble of war had been cleared away. It was almost on-the-scene reporting.

By Hugh Trevor-Roper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Days of Hitler as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Late in 1945, Hugh Trevor-Roper was appointed by the British Intelligence to investigate the conflicting evidence surrounding Hitler's final days. The author, who had access to American counterintelligence files and to German prisoners, focuses on the last ten days of Hitler's life, April 20-29, 1945, in the underground bunker in Berlin.


Book cover of Hitler (Harvest Book)

Paul Ham Author Of Hiroshima Nagasaki: The Real Story of the Atomic Bombings and Their Aftermath

From my list on on 20th century conflict.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve devoted most of my life as a writer, historian, and teacher to understanding and connecting the events of the 20th century and their origins in the deep past. I believe World War I stands as one of the greatest human tragedies because the bloodiest events of the past century were directly caused by it. The tyrants Hitler and Stalin who thrived on mayhem and parasitized their societies were simply inconceivable without the destruction wrought by the Great War. I’m sometimes asked how I get up in the morning. I reply, ‘writing 20th-century history is a dirty job but some of us have gotta do it.’

Paul's book list on on 20th century conflict

Paul Ham Why did Paul love this book?

This remains the outstanding full-length biography of Hitler, not least because it is brilliantly written; it is also extraordinarily prescient.

Fest’s portrayal of the Nazi leader, the first to be written by a German, shows how any human society, no matter how cultured or educated, if far enough degraded and humiliated will be willing to listen to a banal, humourless bully whose singular obsessions were to pick at Germany’s war wounds and delegate the slaughter of the blameless minority he deemed responsible.

In Fest’s hands, Hitler emerges as no freak of nature with god-like powers, no monster beyond our comprehension…but shockingly human, the living fulfillment of the racist fantasies of the ordinary, pot-bellied fascists who brought him to power.

By Joachim C. Fest,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hitler (Harvest Book) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bestseller in its original German edition and subsequently translated into more than a dozen languages, Joachim Fest's Hitler as become a classic portrait of a man, a nation, and an era. Fest tells and interprets the extraordinary story of a man's and a nation's rise from impotence to absolute power, as Germany and Hitler, from shared premises, entered into their covenant. He shows Hitler exploiting the resentments of the shaken, post-World War I social order and seeing through all that was hollow behind the appearance of power, at home and abroad. Fest reveals the singularly penetrating politician, hypnotizing Germans…


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

David Hanna Author Of Broken Icarus: The 1933 Chicago World's Fair, the Golden Age of Aviation, and the Rise of Fascism

From my list on the perils of fascism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've found the creep of authoritarianism to be very disquieting. One would have to be willfully blind to not see its manifestations both here and abroad. I wanted to better understand how this phenomenon cast its shadow over the world and I found the '33 Chicago World's Fair an ideal lens to view this through. I've been fascinated by world's fairs since I was a child and the '33 Fair was the first to consciously feature the future. I'm also strangely drawn to this period – if I believed in reincarnation it might provide answers, but I don't. The Zeitgeist just before the full, brutal ugliness of fascism broke over the world, fascinates me.

David's book list on the perils of fascism

David Hanna Why did David love this book?

The first half of the book is like watching a slow-motion car wreck. There were so many missed opportunities to stop Hitler before he did his worst, I wanted to shout ‘Stop this guy before it’s too late!’ Alas… Shirer was our man in Vienna and Berlin from the late 1920s-early 1940s, which adds an intimacy to his words that I find lacking in other similar accounts.

By William L. Shirer,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was Hitler's boast that the Third Reich would last a thousand years. Instead it lasted only twelve. But into its short life was packed the most cataclysmic series of events that Western civilisation has ever known.

William Shirer is one of the very few historians to have gained full access to the secret German archives which the Allies captured intact. He was also present at the Nuremberg trials.

First published sixty years ago, Shirer's account of the years 1933-45, when the Nazis, under the rule of their despotic leader Adolf Hitler, ruled Germany is held up as a classic…


Book cover of Blood & Banquets: A Berlin Social Diary

Robert Teigrob Author Of Four Days in Hitler's Germany: MacKenzie King's Mission to Avert a Second World War

From my list on eyewitnesses to the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since 2011 I have taught a summer course at Freie Universität Berlin, and have grown fond of the city, including its admirable efforts to acknowledge and atone for its former status as the capital of the Nazi empire. I’ve seen pictures of Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King touring the city and interacting (cheerfully) with Reich officials, and a couple of years ago I made a point of retracing his steps to observe the vestiges (very little) of prewar Berlin. This compelled me to dig deeply into what motivated King to break bread with Nazis, and how the prime minister’s trip was viewed by Canadians and the world – at the time, and since.

Robert's book list on eyewitnesses to the rise of Adolf Hitler

Robert Teigrob Why did Robert love this book?

Fromm, too, was a journalist alarmed by the rise of Nazism and Germans’ increasing embrace of hatred and falsehood. She differs from Halton and Shirer in that she was 1) born in Germany, and thus had a deeper perspective on Nazism’s place in German history and culture, 2) a woman, and thus expected to report on “society” and fashion stories, although her interests and abilities soon drew her to politics, and 3) Jewish, and therefore subjected to the daily indignities, threats, and violence that in 1938 led her to flee a land her family had inhabited for five centuries. Fromm seemed to know everybody, including Nazi bigwigs, and was continually astounded by the degrees to which foreign visitors fell for blatant Nazi propaganda. Mackenzie King should have been listening.

By Bella Fromm,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Blood & Banquets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The diary, smuggled out of Nazi Germany, of a Jewish woman who wrote the social column for a major Berlin newspaper, and was able to observe the rise of the Nazis


Book cover of In the Ruins of the Reich

Keith Lowe Author Of Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II

From my list on the aftermath of World War 2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Keith Lowe is the author of several works on postwar history. His international bestseller, Savage Continent, won the English PEN/Hessell Tiltman Prize and Italy’s Cherasco History Prize. His book on the long-term legacy of World War II, The Fear and the Freedom, was awarded China’s Beijing News Annual Recommendation and was shortlisted for the Historical Writers Association Non-Fiction Crown. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Keith's book list on the aftermath of World War 2

Keith Lowe Why did Keith love this book?

There are dozens of excellent books about Germany and Germans in the wake of defeat – I could mention Giles MacDonogh’s After the Reich, or R.M. Douglas’s Orderly and Humane – but Douglas Botting’s book is by far the most engaging history of the subject that I’ve ever read. It was written in the 1980s, so it is not quite as up-to-date as the more recent histories, but what it lacks in cutting-edge research it more than makes up for in narrative immediacy. It is impossible not to be moved by Botting’s descriptions of postwar chaos, of orphans hiding in the ruins, of lawlessness, starvation, desperation and retribution. An absolute classic.

By Douglas Botting,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Ruins of the Reich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in Britain in 1985, In the Ruins of the Reich is a classic account of Nazi Germany after her fall to the Allies in May 1945. Douglas Botting concentrates on the defining events that took place in the period between the collapse of the Third Reich and the foundation of the new Germanys to create the prevailing atmosphere of a most unusual and little-charted time in history. This was a period when four of the strongest industrial nations to emerge from the Second World War attempted to work together to govern the once strong Germany, now prostate, impoverished…


Book cover of The History of the German Resistance, 1933-1945

Michela Cocolin Author Of Hitler's Lost State: The Fall of Prussia and the Wilhelm Gustloff Tragedy

From my list on German Resistance during WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

The shocking discovery that my grandfather, as a 21-year-old student, had applied to join the SS as SS-Anwärter (candidate), only to withdraw in August 1939 to pursue a career as a naval engineer and start a family, led to extensive research into my family history and WWII. I developed a keen interest in the German Resistance, contacted historians, archivists, veterans, visited museums, and was in touch with members of Claus von Stauffenberg’s family, the Bonhoeffer Centre in London, and the White Rose Memorial in Munich. To this date, not many people know that over 720,000 German civilians, military, paramilitary, and clergy died trying to overturn the Nazi regime. 

Michela's book list on German Resistance during WWII

Michela Cocolin Why did Michela love this book?

During my research for my book, I was fortunate to get in touch with Claus von Stauffenberg’s grandson Philipp von Schultess, who recommended the Peter Hoffmann book. 

It is a very detailed, comprehensive book on a topic that is too often omitted from schoolbooks and history books alike, the over 700,000 German civilians, politicians, clergy, military, and paramilitary who lost their lives trying to overturn the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945. The Hoffmann was a starting point to the discovery of several other books about the German Resistance and a visit to the German Resistance Memorial and Museum in Berlin, where von Stauffenberg and other co-conspirators were executed.

By Peter Hoffmann,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The History of the German Resistance, 1933-1945 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The English version of the book has been extensively revised and expanded since its original publication in German. This edition includes a new preface and an updated bibliography.


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