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Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrichby Robert Gerwarth
Synopses & Reviews
Reinhard Heydrich is widely recognized as one of the great iconic villains of the twentieth century, an appalling figure even within the context of the Nazi leadership. Chief of the Nazi Criminal Police, the SS Security Service, and the Gestapo, ruthless overlord of Nazi-occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and leading planner of the "Final Solution," Heydrich played a central role in Hitler's Germany. He shouldered a major share of responsibility for some of the worst Nazi atrocities, and up to his assassination in Prague in 1942, he was widely seen as one of the most dangerous men in Nazi Germany. Yet Heydrich has received remarkably modest attention in the extensive literature of the Third Reich.
Robert Gerwarth weaves together little-known stories of Heydrich's private life with his deeds as head of the Nazi Reich Security Main Office. Fully exploring Heydrich's progression from a privileged middle-class youth to a rapacious mass murderer, Gerwarth sheds new light on the complexity of Heydrich's adult character, his motivations, the incremental steps that led to unimaginable atrocities, and the consequences of his murderous efforts toward re-creating the entire ethnic makeup of Europe.
"The exploits of an iconic NaziÂ illuminate the Third Reich's ideology and machinery of mass murder in this probing biography. A hawk-faced Aryan poster boy who fended off false rumors of Jewish ancestry, Reinhard Heydrich oversawÂ the Gestapo, played a key role in formulating the Final Solution, and organized the Einsatzgruppen death squads that murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews during WWII. Historian Gerwarth reduces this diabolical figure to human terms, painting him as an apolitical man drawn to the SS by careerism and whose Nazi fiancÃ©e, Lina, instigated his drift toward the party. Heydrich then embraced SS chief Heinrich Himmler's racial theories and his ethos of ruthlessÂ Darwinian struggle against Germany's enemies. The author's fluent, meticulously researched account of Heydrich's career frames a trenchant analysis of the 'radicalization' of German anti-Semitic policies; as Heydrich searched fruitlessly for a place to which he could deport the Reich's Jews (none of the satrapies in the Nazi empire wanted to accept them), exclusion and expulsion gave way to systematic extermination almost as a matter of convenience. Gerwarth's fine study shows in chilling detail how genocide emerged from the practicalities of implementing a demented belief system. Photos." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A chilling biography of the head of Nazi Germanyand#8217;s terror apparatus, a key player in the Third Reich whose full story has never before been told
Bruce F. Pauley draws on his family and personal history to tell a story that examines the lives of Volga Germans during the eighteenth century, the pioneering experiences of his family in late nineteenth-century Nebraska, and the dramatic transformations that influenced the history profession during the second half of the twentieth century. An award-winning historian of anti-Semitism, Nazism, and totalitarianism Pauley helped shape historical interpretation from the 1970s to the and#8217;90s both in the United States and Central Europe.and#160;
Pioneering History on Two Continents provides an intimate look at the shifting approaches to the historianand#8217;s craft during a volatile period of world history, with an emphasis on twentieth-century Central European political, social, and diplomatic developments. It also examines the greater sweep of history through the authorand#8217;s firsthand experiences as well as those of his ancestors who participated in these global currents through their migration from Germany to the steppes of Russia to the Great Plains of the United States.
About the Author
Robert Gerwarth is professor of modern history at University College Dublin and director of UCDand#8217;s Centre for War Studies.
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