10 books like The Seventh Cross

By Anna Seghers,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Seventh Cross. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

The Nazi Seizure of Power

By William Sheridan Allen,

Book cover of The Nazi Seizure of Power: The Experience of a Single German Town, 1922-1945

It is important for Americans to understand why millions of Germans who were not violent antisemites and racists voted for the Nazis. Looking at the case of a typical German town, Allen shows that economics, culture wars, and fear for the future motivated middle-class Germans to vote for an extremist party – not because of its racism, but despite its racism.

The Nazi Seizure of Power

By William Sheridan Allen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nazi Seizure of Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BE SURE YOU ARE BUYING THE CORRECT BOOK. THE ISBN FOR THE NEWEST PAPERBACK EDITION OF THE NAZI SEIZURE OF POWER IS 978-1626548725. IT IS PUBLISHED BY ECHO POINT BOOKS & MEDIA.

William Sheridan Allen's research provides an intimate, comprehensive study of the mechanics of revolution and an analysis of the Nazi Party's subversion of democracy. Beginning at the end of the Weimar Republic, Allen examines the entire period of the Nazi Revolution within a single locality.

Tackling one of the 20th century's greatest dilemmas, Allen demonstrates how this dictatorship subtly surmounted democracy and how the Nazi seizure of power…


Backing Hitler

By Robert Gellately,

Book cover of Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany

Contrary to popular belief, the Nazis did not rely on an omnipresent secret police force to win Germans’ cooperation. A skilled combination of fear, propaganda, and self-promotion alternatively cowed Germans and manufactured their consent for this regime. In the 1930s, ordinary Germans regarded the Nazis as restoring order to a chaotic society, and a flood of denunciations helped the Gestapo with its work. At the same time, the existence of the concentration camps was no secret to ordinary Germans.

Backing Hitler

By Robert Gellately,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Nazis never won a majority in free elections, but soon after Hitler took power most people turned away from democracy and backed the Nazi regime. Hitler won growing support even as he established the secret police (Gestapo) and concentration camps. What has been in dispute for over fifty years is what the Germans knew about these camps, and in what ways were they involved in the persecution of 'race enemies', slave workers, and
social outsiders.

To answer these questions, and to explore the public sides of Nazi persecution, Robert Gellately has consulted an array of primary documents. He argues…


The Twisted Road to Auschwitz

By Karl A. Schleunes,

Book cover of The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy toward German Jews, 1933-39

When the Nazis came to power, they were viciously antisemitic, but they had not planned a genocide of the Jews. By 1942, that genocide was their driving purpose. What changed? Schleunes argues that pressures within the Nazi Party and the circumstances of World War II induced an increasing radicalization of the Nazis’ plan for the Jews, culminating in the Holocaust.

The Twisted Road to Auschwitz

By Karl A. Schleunes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Twisted Road to Auschwitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"There is no single phenomenon in our time so important for us to understand as the one which identified itself in Germany during the 1920's, 30's and 40's as National Socialism. By the time this movement was swept from the stage it had destroyed the lives of at least thirty million and perhaps as many as forty million people. . . . The realization that some men will construct a factory in which to kill other men raises the gravest questions about man himself. We have entered an age which we cannot avoid labeling 'After Auschwitz.' If we are to…


Ordinary Men

By Christopher Browning,

Book cover of Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland

This book is a staple of the course I teach on the Holocaust. It is also the book most likely to provoke intense debate among my students. The book isn’t concerned with why Nazis so willingly participated in the Holocaust. It’s concerned with why Germans who weren’t Nazis and never really showed any affinity for Nazism also actively participated in the Holocaust. The answers Browning provides are disturbing, thought-provoking, compelling, and on more than one occasion have kept me awake at night. Browning’s book is a must-read in the field of Holocaust Studies and has been for thirty years. For the person who has ever asked themselves how they might respond in such a situation, Browning’s study of the men of Reserve Police Battalion 101 offers a chilling explanation.   

Ordinary Men

By Christopher Browning,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Christopher R. Browning's shocking account of how a unit of average middle-aged Germans became the cold-blooded murderers of tens of thousands of Jews-now with a new afterword and additional photographs. Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as round-ups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including…


A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald

By Joseph F. Moser, Gerald R. Baron,

Book cover of A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald: The Joe Moser Story

During August 1944, Joe Mower’s P-38 was shot down, and Nazi forces sent him to Buchenwald—the infamous work camp where tens of thousands died of cruelty, medical experiments, and starvation. It’s a story of survival in the worst of situations.

A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald

By Joseph F. Moser, Gerald R. Baron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On August 13, 1944, during his 44th combat mission, Joe Moser's P-38 Lightning was shot down. Captured by Nazi forces, he and his fellow group of Allied fliers were scheduled for execution as “terrorfliegers” and shipped in overcrowded cattle cars to Buchenwald—the infamous work camp where tens of thousands died of cruelty, medical experiments, and starvation. Once a simple farm boy focused on sports and his dream to fly the fastest, meanest fighter plane, Moser now faced some of the worst of Hitler’s ghastly system. From the harrowing and sometimes hilarious experiences of flight training to the dehumanization at the…


KL

By Nikolaus Wachsmann,

Book cover of KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps

To ensure we’ll never repeat the Holocaust, we must understand it. One of the most difficult books you may ever read, KL is a comprehensive and impressive history of the Nazis’ camp system. The New York Times called this nearly 900-page work by Nikolaus Wachsmann, a history professor at London University, a work of “prodigious scholarship.”

Time and again, when researching my own book for young readers, I turned to Wachsmann for nuanced detail, impeccable research, and a better understanding of some of the “choiceless choices” faced by Jewish men, women, and children. Not for the faint of heart, but a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives.

KL

By Nikolaus Wachsmann,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize and the Wolfson History Prize

In March of 1933, a disused factory surrounded by barbed wire held 223 prisoners in the town of Dachau. By the end of 1945, the SS concentration camp system had become an overwhelming landscape of terror. Twenty-two large camps and over one thousand satellite camps throughout Germany and Europe were at the heart of the Nazi campaign of repression and intimidation. The importance of the camps in terms of Nazi history and our modern world cannot be questioned.

Dr Nikolaus Wachsmann is the first historian to write…


Hitler's War and the Germans

By Marlis G Steinert,

Book cover of Hitler's War and the Germans

This is not a full biography – the biography Steinert wrote later in her career is not available in English – but many of the ideas in Steinert’s biography can also be found in this earlier work, which has faded into posterity slightly but can be read with great profit. Here, Steinert is concerned to give texture to a hitherto often two-dimensional image of German society and its attitudes to Hitler’s War. The result is an interesting, differentiated account of public opinion in Nazi Germany. In many respects, it was pioneering and opened up questions surrounding the relationship between state and society that other historians went on to explore further in the 1980s. Steinert’s Francophone background, and perhaps the fact that she was a female writer working in a profession that was then very male-dominated, probably account for the fact that her work is less well-known in the English-speaking world…

Hitler's War and the Germans

By Marlis G Steinert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hitler's War and the Germans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Text: English, German (translation)


I Shall Bear Witness

By Victor Klemperer,

Book cover of I Shall Bear Witness: The Diaries Of Victor Klemperer 1933-41

The coming of the Third Reich in 1933 left Klemperer, a cash-strapped Jewish scholar, without his teaching job in a German university, but somehow sheltered from the worst excesses of Nazism due to his marriage to an “Aryan” German woman. His diaries are a window to the daily life of a childless middle-aged couple that observes world-shaking events from close proximity, while worrying about debts and the high costs of keeping the family car, Klemperer's most cherished possession. 

I Shall Bear Witness

By Victor Klemperer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Shall Bear Witness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A publishing sensation, the publication of Victor Klemperer's diaries brings to light one of the most extraordinary documents of the Nazi period.

'A classic ... Klemperer's diary deserves to rank alongside that of Anne Frank's' SUNDAY TIMES

'I can't remember when I read a more engrossing book' Antonia Fraser

'Not dissimilar in its cumulative power to Primo Levi's, is a devastating account of man's inhumanity to man' LITERARY REVIEW

The son of a rabbi, Klemperer was by 1933 a professor of languages at Dresden. Over the next decade he, like other German Jews, lost his job, his house and many…


The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

By William L. Shirer,

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

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.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

By William L. Shirer,

Why should I read it?

4 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…


Hitler's Lost State

By Tim Heath, Michela Cocolin,

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

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.

Hitler's Lost State

By Tim Heath, Michela Cocolin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hitler's Lost State as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seen as an agricultural utopia within Hitler's Germany, it is often the view that both East and West Prussia had remained relatively untouched during the Second World War. Yet the violence, prejudice and murder associated with the National Socialist regime that brought most of Europe to ruin were widespread throughout Prussia during its brief existence.

When the MV _Wilhelm Gustloff_ was sunk by a Russian submarine just after 9pm on 30 January 1945, 9,343 passengers - 5,000 of them children - would perish. It was the worst loss of life in maritime history, six times greater than the one of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Germany, prisoners, and World War 2?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Germany, prisoners, and World War 2.

Germany Explore 340 books about Germany
Prisoners Explore 69 books about prisoners
World War 2 Explore 1142 books about World War 2