It is hard to comprehend just how the people of Germany could have possibly allowed someone like Adolf Hitler to come to power, but hindsight is an incredible thing and skews our view of reality so much so, that we make judgments about their actions with the smallest pieces of information.
Paul Roland explores what life was actually like for people who would have been children during the 1930s and 1940s, living in Nazi Germany. He uses letters, diaries, interviews and much more, from the time of the Third Reich, to build a picture of day to day living.
You see it is easy take the propaganda of the time at face value, that all people in Germany supported the rise of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. The reality is different though, because, as Roland shows, Hitler and his ‘cult; (as it is referred to), had influence over every public aspect of life and in turn controlled what the masses read, saw and experienced.
When we look at the interview and personal diaries, it is easier to see that ‘One people, One Führer’ was less the case than Hitler would have had you believed. Life for anyone who did not tow the party line was precarious in the least. People were encouraged to inform on friends, neighbours and family members, anyone who spoke out, or even murmured about the Ayrian master race being anything but the way forward for the world.
Roland explores this striking contrast and also places the Nazi Party’s and Hitler’s party political promises in context with the time in which they lived. The failing economy, where money was more useful as fuel than to buy food, where the country had lost World War I and their Kaiser.
This book does not in anyway excuse the actions of the Third Reich, it simply takes the reader on a journey that will help them understand life for children and teenagers during this troubled period in history. A definite read for any history fan, or student of World War II.