I have a deadline to meet this week for a publisher, so my posts are going to be short and to the point.
Just received the above title as a gift from my father-in-law. Having read Kershaw’s 2 volume bio of Hitler, as a historian, he merits the accolade “critically acclaimed” and is one of number that I direct students to read who express an interest in WWII or the history of the Third Reich. Here Kershaw explores the Nazi Gotterdammerung of 1944-45; a worthwhile lesson for those who hold supreme confidence in the ultimate rationality of states in existential matters of war and peace.
That Hitler had been unfathomable to the blinkered and idealistic Neville Chamberlain seems all too comprehensible, but that the Fuhrer also took in the wily, Georgian monster who ruled of the USSR is less so – until you grasp Hitler’s obsession with triumph or death. In matters of war the difference between the 20th century’s greatest dictators was that Josef Stalin miscalculated on small stakes while Adolf Hitler gambled for the pot.