Summer of Long Knives Holiday Buying Guide

Here you’ll find a list of gifts perfect for someone who’s already bought, read, stolen, or otherwise wrangled a copy of Summer of Long Knives. (Of course, if you haven’t read Summer, I recommend you find a way to remedy that. But that’s another story.)

1. DVD: The Nazis: A Warning From History

Thanks to the History Channel, we’ve been bombarded with documentaries, of variable quality, about the Third Reich, but this five part series done for BBC bestrides them like a colossus. I’ve already shown clips from it for other posts, but the whole thing must be seen in full. Though this can be done on Youtube, I highly recommend buying the DVD series, if for no other reason than to encourage the production of high quality work.

2. Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris by Ian Kershaw

How did Adolf Hitler rise from a dreamy, ineffectual drifter who ranted to an audience of none to a dreamy, totalitarian dictator who ranted to millions? Ian Kershaw tells how, debunking myths and exposing the contingent nature of history along the way. To understand Hitler and his time, start here.

3. The Third Reich in Power by Richard J. Evans

The Nazi state, Hess’s rhetoric to the contrary, did not begin and end with Adolf Hitler alone. The images of lockstep order in films like The Triumph of the Will were a screen that covered a complex mass of conflicting institutions, bureaucracies, and interests. Evans explains how religion, art, business, and educational institutions were molded, with varying degrees of success, by the Hitler regime. A crucial book for understanding how the Nazi state actually operated.

4. Vacation: The Hotel Zum Tuerken

If you’ve got the money for air fare, and a friend who wants to touch history instead of simply watching and reading about it, send them here. The Hotel Zum Tuerken is a charming Bavarian hotel situated on the Obersalzberg, next door to a small hill on which Hitler’s Berghof once stood. The Hotel Zum Tuerken is much cheaper than the nearby Hotel Intercontinental, which stands roughly where Goering’s house once did, and offers underground tours of those parts of the bunker system that still remain accessible to the public.

Happy holidays, all.

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