Hitler's Berlin: Abused City, by Thomas Friedrich
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012. Pp. xiv, 482. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $40.00. ISBN: 0300166702.
history of the Nazi movement in Berlin that focuses on the period of Hitler’s
rise to the Chancellorship in 1933.
historian Friedrich opens this account of his home town with a chapter on
Hitler’s early contact with the city, notably two visits while on leave during
the First World War. There follow two
chapters on the city, Hitler’s early political career and the initial efforts
to establish a Nazi presence in the capital
(1919-1926). The next chapter
deals with Hitler’s appointment of Joseph Goebbels as leader of the Nazi Party
in Berlin. The book then follows the
fortunes of the party in Berlin and Hitler’s relationship to the capital until
he attained the chancellorship in early 1933. It is a period characterized by street
battles, electoral fraud, pogroms, murders, and more, with numerous characters
who will later be prominent in the Hitler regime, as well as many of its
victims. While 1933 provides a
convenient point at which to end this volume, it also leaves the reader rather
suspended in air, and the short chapter that concludes the book, by covering
the period from then until the start of World War II is too short indeed.
combination of a political history of Nazism in Berlin and a psychohistory of
Hitler’s love/hate relationship with the German capital, this work will appeal
to those interested in Hitler and the Nazi movement, the politics of the Weimar
Republic, and the origins of World War II.
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor
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