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Interrogations: The Nazi Elite in Allied Hands, 1945

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While the trial of Hitler's fallen elite at Nuremberg has been thoroughly documented, the interval between the Nazis' capture in May and June 1945 and the start of the actual trial in late November has until now remained shrouded in shadow. With Interrogations, acclaimed historian Richard Overy opens a new window into the Third Reich, providing an intimate glimpse of the s While the trial of Hitler's fallen elite at Nuremberg has been thoroughly documented, the interval between the Nazis' capture in May and June 1945 and the start of the actual trial in late November has until now remained shrouded in shadow. With Interrogations, acclaimed historian Richard Overy opens a new window into the Third Reich, providing an intimate glimpse of the savage dictatorship in its death throes. More than thirty transcripts of the interrogations are reproduced here for the first time, allowing us to hear the voices of the newly captured "Hitler gang"-including Göring, Speer, and Hess-as they squirmed under the Allies' glare. Interrogations is the stark and disturbing history of defeat; it lays bare as never before the human weaknesses that made the Third Reich possible.


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While the trial of Hitler's fallen elite at Nuremberg has been thoroughly documented, the interval between the Nazis' capture in May and June 1945 and the start of the actual trial in late November has until now remained shrouded in shadow. With Interrogations, acclaimed historian Richard Overy opens a new window into the Third Reich, providing an intimate glimpse of the s While the trial of Hitler's fallen elite at Nuremberg has been thoroughly documented, the interval between the Nazis' capture in May and June 1945 and the start of the actual trial in late November has until now remained shrouded in shadow. With Interrogations, acclaimed historian Richard Overy opens a new window into the Third Reich, providing an intimate glimpse of the savage dictatorship in its death throes. More than thirty transcripts of the interrogations are reproduced here for the first time, allowing us to hear the voices of the newly captured "Hitler gang"-including Göring, Speer, and Hess-as they squirmed under the Allies' glare. Interrogations is the stark and disturbing history of defeat; it lays bare as never before the human weaknesses that made the Third Reich possible.

30 review for Interrogations: The Nazi Elite in Allied Hands, 1945

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy Yingling

    Richard Overy has compiled an important piece of history that I think is often overlooked. The book was informative upon matters which I knew very little about. The first 200 and some pages of the book is wonderfully written and reads like a normal non-fiction book, but the last part (part II to be exact) is actual documents from the transcripts of interrogations of Nuremberg. Man the Germans were a boring lot they just drone on and on about the most mundane things like the number of aircraft an Richard Overy has compiled an important piece of history that I think is often overlooked. The book was informative upon matters which I knew very little about. The first 200 and some pages of the book is wonderfully written and reads like a normal non-fiction book, but the last part (part II to be exact) is actual documents from the transcripts of interrogations of Nuremberg. Man the Germans were a boring lot they just drone on and on about the most mundane things like the number of aircraft and things like that granted these are important things but I think if the information was laid out in paragraph form with just the facts instead of interview style with Q and A it would not have been so dry which is why I only gave it four stars instead of five. I'm so relieved to be done with this book it normally does not take me seven days to read a book even one of this length so that should let you know how slow going part II of this book is, so I would only recommend this book to those who have a SERIOUS interest in this time period of history or if you don't want to go into the transcripts I do recommend highly part I of this book to anyone.

  2. 4 out of 5

    David Alonso vargas

    Es una gran combinación de síntesis histórica y relatos directos de los interrogatorios en los juicios de Nuremberg.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Addison

    About half this massive book is transcripts of interrogations; the other half describes and explores the circumstances under which the interrogations were conducted in the run up to the Nuremberg trials. Fascinating particularly for the ways in and degrees to which the Nazi criminals avoided admitting their culpability (ranging from Ley's suicide to Hess' half-faked, half-genuine hysterical amnesia to Speer's calculated self-reinvention); fascinating (also infuriating and appalling) for the hypo About half this massive book is transcripts of interrogations; the other half describes and explores the circumstances under which the interrogations were conducted in the run up to the Nuremberg trials. Fascinating particularly for the ways in and degrees to which the Nazi criminals avoided admitting their culpability (ranging from Ley's suicide to Hess' half-faked, half-genuine hysterical amnesia to Speer's calculated self-reinvention); fascinating (also infuriating and appalling) for the hypocrisy of the Allies, who were not only retroactively creating crimes to try the Nazis for, but were very carefully tailoring those crimes so as to avoid tarring themselves with the same brush. It's not that I think the Nazis shouldn't have been held accountable--because obviously I don't think that; it's the way in which the Allies deliberately rigged the game so as to hide their own questionable actions. Both Hitler and Mussolini were convinced, near the end of World War II, that they could make a deal with England and America so as to turn and go after Stalin. And the problem is that there's a lot of ways in which that's what should have happened. Not the deal-making part, which was a bedtime story for frightened dictators, but the unconscionable double standard whereby England and America condemn the Nazis but ignore the exact same crimes being committed by the Soviets (not to mention turning over Russian POWs who are begging to be protected from their own government, Winston Churchill, I am looking at you) . . . I don't know what the right answer would have been, or if there even was one, but that wasn't it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    danny

    Fascinating but ultimately unsatisfying. But I guess that describes my feeling about nearly every book describing the German people's (and other's...) involvement in matters concerning The Holocaust: I just don't get it. The banal racism, myopia, and flat out denial exhibited by the German military, government officials, and civilians interviewed is absolutely mind boggling. The book is meticulously researched and very well written. It offers a fascinating perspective on the allied jurists' strug Fascinating but ultimately unsatisfying. But I guess that describes my feeling about nearly every book describing the German people's (and other's...) involvement in matters concerning The Holocaust: I just don't get it. The banal racism, myopia, and flat out denial exhibited by the German military, government officials, and civilians interviewed is absolutely mind boggling. The book is meticulously researched and very well written. It offers a fascinating perspective on the allied jurists' struggle with summarily executing the high-level German prisoners (advocated by Winston Churchill and the British) or proceeding with a trial strategically framed such that the bad guys wouldn't walk. With the benefit of 60 years of historical hindsight designing a process to convict high ranking Nazis and their manifold collaborators seems like a complete no-brainer, but author Overy effectively portrays the myriad difficulties involved with fairly and even-handedly implementing such a process. Overy also provides details on the amazing amount of documentary material generated and how it was handled by the painfully understaffed allies (and their contracted/vanquished German transcribers and translators...). Frustratingly, it really does not shed any new light on the mindset and behavior of any high ranking German participants. And, as a result, I still don't get it. (Side bar rant): Overy, though a marvelous and immensely readable historian, repeatedly and annoyingly quotes himself as a source of material (one of this readers' pet peeves).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erwin

    One thing you learn after reading "Interrogations" is that the Nuremberg Trials of 1945 were not a slam dunk process. Now we take the trials for granted and say "of course' they had to be but back then there was a lot of debate and controversy over whether to hold them and if so how will everything be handled. At the time Winston Churchill had his own ides of justice: identify the top leaders after their capture and have them shot within six hours. "Interrogations" takes us through the whole proce One thing you learn after reading "Interrogations" is that the Nuremberg Trials of 1945 were not a slam dunk process. Now we take the trials for granted and say "of course' they had to be but back then there was a lot of debate and controversy over whether to hold them and if so how will everything be handled. At the time Winston Churchill had his own ides of justice: identify the top leaders after their capture and have them shot within six hours. "Interrogations" takes us through the whole process of the trials... from planning to the final judgments. What makes this book very much worth reading are the transcripts of the actual interrogations that took place with men such as Hermann Goering, Albert Speer, Rudolph Hess, Rudolph Hoess (Commandant at Auschwitz during the peak of WWII), to name a few.Included also are their official statements and affidavits as to their positions, roles and 'responsibilities' during the war. "Interrogations" is an important part of the history of WWII.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Roberts-Miller

    A very difficult read, but important. The Nazi leaders come across as cowards of the first order, often delusional, not able to rethink the premises that got them into trouble (except for Speer who sometimes does and sometimes doesn't), and still in love with Hitler. A very difficult read, but important. The Nazi leaders come across as cowards of the first order, often delusional, not able to rethink the premises that got them into trouble (except for Speer who sometimes does and sometimes doesn't), and still in love with Hitler.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ataur Rahman

    The secret about propaganda is that, you don't tell lies. You just mix truth with lies. That's how you create disinformation. The secret about propaganda is that, you don't tell lies. You just mix truth with lies. That's how you create disinformation.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jemma

    A well written and engaging history, as indeed Prof Overy's books always are. A fascinating insight into the minds of the War Criminals tried at Nuremburg and their interrogators. The extracts from the transcripts that form the second half of the book, provide more detail which may not be to everyone's taste but do have many gems which make the effort rewarding. Hoess, the Commandant of Auswichz, surprisingly contradicts an underling who continuously tries to minimise their crimes. What didn't w A well written and engaging history, as indeed Prof Overy's books always are. A fascinating insight into the minds of the War Criminals tried at Nuremburg and their interrogators. The extracts from the transcripts that form the second half of the book, provide more detail which may not be to everyone's taste but do have many gems which make the effort rewarding. Hoess, the Commandant of Auswichz, surprisingly contradicts an underling who continuously tries to minimise their crimes. What didn't work was that there should've been more about the lower ranks and the proceedings of the trials. It would have been good to learn more about the people who committed attrocities at Dunkirk, the Bulge etc.. Indeed, although the Commandant of Auswichz is herein, his trial is mentioned as an aside.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Geoff

    I have trouble getting a foothold in the saga of World War II. Big surveys are hard for me, especially with a story like this, which has trouble getting started ("if you're really going to understand WWII, you've got understand WWI, and to understand WWI you've got to understand Frederick the Great and the animosity between Greece and Turkey) etc etc. So I'm trying by starting with the end of the war. The book begins with a long section that sets the scene, which i found really interesting - the I have trouble getting a foothold in the saga of World War II. Big surveys are hard for me, especially with a story like this, which has trouble getting started ("if you're really going to understand WWII, you've got understand WWI, and to understand WWI you've got to understand Frederick the Great and the animosity between Greece and Turkey) etc etc. So I'm trying by starting with the end of the war. The book begins with a long section that sets the scene, which i found really interesting - the ethics of the trial, of choosing the odd cast of characters, how the interrogations were done. When the interrogation began I kind of lost interest, though I may pick it up again (I am audio-booking Exorcising Hitler and the two books work well together)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    An immaculately organized record of the depositions of Nazi leadership after World War II, this is an immensely valuable historical document; one feels a sort of horrified gratefulness that this material has been preserved, for it affords a intimate glimpse into the psychologies of evil unveiled:variously unrepentant, ingratiating, prevaricating, self-exonerating. I wish Overy had provided more input: the text, innocent of detailed foreword, afterword, or footnotes, leaves the reader to navigate An immaculately organized record of the depositions of Nazi leadership after World War II, this is an immensely valuable historical document; one feels a sort of horrified gratefulness that this material has been preserved, for it affords a intimate glimpse into the psychologies of evil unveiled:variously unrepentant, ingratiating, prevaricating, self-exonerating. I wish Overy had provided more input: the text, innocent of detailed foreword, afterword, or footnotes, leaves the reader to navigate these notorious (and notoriously unreliable) accounts alone. Still, this book is invaluable reading for students of the period, as well as a reminder of the nature of the evil that was Nazism.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rodrigo

    I am taking this book back, because it was partly damaged by somebody.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Sentir

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben Garner

  14. 4 out of 5

    John Althuizen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lee

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bernard

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  18. 4 out of 5

    Riko

  19. 5 out of 5

    John Mulloy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

  21. 5 out of 5

    John

  22. 5 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Zan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daniel1974nlgmail.com

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ray Packham

  26. 5 out of 5

    John

  27. 5 out of 5

    Viv Wilson

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mazen Fakih

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jack

  30. 4 out of 5

    Douglas MacGregor

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