Raimund Pretzel (27 December – 2 January ), better known by his pseudonym The manuscript of Defying Hitler, discovered posthumously by his son, Oliver Pretzel, is a memoir of the Nazis’ rise to power, as witnessed by Haffner. In Sebastian Haffner fled from Germany to England with his Jewish wife (“the story of a German”), translated into English now as Defying Hitler. “Defying Hitler” by Sebastian Haffner. A newly discovered memoir by a German classified as “Aryan” describes the insidious early spread of.

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Yet what I liked about it was the author insight and observations about political and social life in Germany pre WW2.

If my experience of Germany has taught me anything, it is this: My library Help Advanced Book Search. Discover what to read next. Lists with This Book. The book is presented much like a diary recounting the author’s life at specific times in Germany between WWI when he was a small child and when the Nazi regime began to reveal it’s true face to the German people.

Oct 20, Bobbie rated it it was amazing.

Defying Hitler

Haffner describes, from the perspective of an hutler person, the response to the Reichstag fire, the inaction of opposing leaders, the meek surrender of Communist and centrist popular militia, the Jewish boycott, and the steady erosion of freedom amid surface normality. This intimate self-portrait stands with Victor Klemperer’s two-part memoir, I Will Bear Witnessas evidence that the personal can offer insight into the political tragedy of Nazism.


The studio considered that too scary a finish so a prologue and epilogue were added. During the Second World War in England Haffner was interned for several months in and released only after publication of his first book in English, Germany: I love this book.

Defying Hitler by Sebastian Haffner

The best part about it is the fact that it tries to answer two very important questions: Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. It is told from an everyday German person’s point of view. Haffner writes of his fellow Germans as a country of people who “had a spiritual organ removed: Covering tohis eyewitness account provides a portrait of a country in constant flux: And, of course, this same process occurred throughout the entire Germany economy—the private was no longer allowed to be private, and individuals were persecuted for their politically incorrect views.

This is the story of Sebastian Haffner, a man who lived in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. They stopped fighting it as it fell apart step by step, and each step could somehow be justified, in a flawed way, of course, but as a single event not worth the cost of resistance. Remember, it’s by understanding the past that we can best keep from repeating it.

Why didn’t anyone do anything about it? Apr 15, Brian Defyong rated it it was amazing Shelves: It sure makes you think that we are not all immu This book was very surprising. They greeted the flag or disappeared. Then he can go to Paris and write his doctoral dissertation. But would any of us have acted more courageously in the face of such brutality, lawlessness, and evil?


Anmerkungen zu Hitler, a short biography and analysis of Hitler. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. It made not the slightest difference that I – and, no doubt, others among us – ourselves fled into entryways to avoid these flags, when we were not marching behind them. The Meaning of Hitler. It is brilliantly written.

Haffner takes it for granted that Germans knew about the brutality of Nazi rule — brutality that, logically, would only increase as the state consolidated its power — and that they lacked the will to resist it.

I just wish Haffner would have finished writing his whole story before he died. We don’t have to be heroes, but sometimes, we have to choose sides.

It becomes clear how many “good Germans” struggled against impossible odds to keep their personal lives politics-free. The Best Books of I loved hearing the story from the perspective of the average German. May 07, Eleanor rated it it was amazing Shelves: