They Thought They Were Free The Germans 1933 45 Epub

They Thought They Were Free The Germans 1933 45 “When this book was first published it received some attention from the critics but none at all from the public Nazism was finished in the bunker in Berlin and its death warrant signed on the bench at Nuremberg”   That’s Milton Mayer writing in a foreword to the 1966 edition of They Thought They Were Free He’s right about the critics the book was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1956 General readers may have been slower to take notice but over time they did—what we’ve seen over decades is that any time people across the political spectrum start to feel that freedom is threatened the book experiences a ripple of word of mouth interest And that interest has never been prominent or potent than what we’ve seen in the past year   They Thought They Were Free is an elouent and provocative examination of the development of fascism in Germany Mayer’s book is a study of ten Germans and their lives from 1933 45 based on interviews he conducted after the war when he lived in Germany Mayer had a position as a research professor at the University of Frankfurt and lived in a nearby small Hessian town which he disguised with the name “Kronenberg” “These ten men were not men of distinction” Mayer noted but they had been members of the Nazi Party; Mayer wanted to discover what had made them Nazis His discussions with them of Nazism the rise of the Reich and mass complicity with evil became the backbone of this book an indictment of the ordinary German that is all the powerful for its refusal to let the rest of us pretend that our moment our society our country are fundamentally immune   A new foreword to this edition by eminent historian of the Reich Richard J Evans puts the book in historical and contemporary context We live in an age of fervid politics and hyperbolic rhetoric They Thought They Were Free cuts through that revealing instead the slow uiet accretions of change complicity and abdication of moral authority that uietly mark the rise of evil


About the Author: Milton Sanford Mayer

Milton Sanford Mayer a journalist and educator was best known for his long running column in The Progressive magazine founded by Robert Marion LaFollette Sr in Madison WisconsinMayer raised a Reform Jew was born in Chicago the son of Morris Samuel Mayer and Louise Gerson He graduated from Englewood High School where he received a classical education with an emphasis on Latin and langu



10 thoughts on “They Thought They Were Free The Germans 1933 45

  1. says:

    They Wanted It; They Got It; And They Liked ItMilton Mayer was that rarest of writers a journalist who knew his job was to create interesting facts; and a philosopher who knew that facts are meaningless without a theory a coherent narrative that connects them His phenomenological analysis of ten Everyman Nazis was remarkable but largely unremarked when it was first published in 1


  2. says:

    They wanted it; they got it; and they liked itIn 1952 American journalist Milton Mayer moved his family to Marburg Germany a small town near Frankfurt There he set about to answer the uestion plaguing the world since Hilter's rise in 1933 how did a modern western democracy fall prey to Nazism? Mayer was from German decent himself and a Jew and he decided the answer to this uandary migh


  3. says:

    I've seen the rise of Nazism described as a warning from history on many occasionsWell this book is that warning written in clear and concrete terms soon after the events occurred by people who experienced them directly most of them Nazi sympathizers What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people little by little to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated


  4. says:

    I came across this book by accident It was on GR Friend's to read list and the title and theme somehow got me interested No regrets here The book published ten years after WW2 is truly surprising for a reader in the 21st century I've read several books with witnesses' accounts but this one is exceptional Through lives of ten 'little men' we learn how ordinary people living in a small town are draw


  5. says:

    Shortly after the war Milton Mayer an American Jew of German heritage and his wife Jane moved into a mid sized German city Concealing his religious background Mayer passed as an authentic returning German and was thereby afforded an easy intimacy with the inhabitants What he was aiming for was some insight into how Hitler came to power and how Germans of all walks of life thought of his regime He appare


  6. says:

    In contemporary times this book has surfaced than once in conversations as a means to obtain insight into the segment of society that is apparently blind to the chronic contempt for the legal ethical and moral principles that is being perpetrated by our current president here in the United StatesWhile reading They Thought They Were Free I indeed found threads of commonality between the Germans of Nazism and


  7. says:

    You should read this book if you think that you are freeThis is an old book originally published in 1955 but it is relevant today than ever before Today the US government openly arrests people without probable cause detains them indefinitely without trial tortures them assassinates citizens and non citizens alike with predator drones and spies on everyone all in the name of freedom What is the reaction of the Amer


  8. says:

    Seven years after the collapse of Hitler's regime Milton Sanford Mayer an American Jewish journalist of German heritage traveled to Germany in an effort to understand how and why Nazism had developed in Germany He spends a year in a small Hessian town whose identity he disguises by calling it Kronenberg Here he works to develop contacts with kleine Leute ie ordinary Germans who enthusiastically or reluctantly embraced th


  9. says:

    They Thought They Were Free the germans 1933 45Milton Mayer – author Published by the University of Chicago PressFirst published in 1955 the book has the advantage of being a collection of recollections about the conditions of life in the small town of Kronnenberg The citizens of Kronneberg were of the most conservative of ordinary people In fact they were not even Germans according to ‘real’ Germans Kronnenberg was in H


  10. says:

    Blast from the PastThe problem with old books is that unless they were written by geniuses and sometimes even if they were old books are a mixture of genuine insights and misconceptions geared to their times This book is no exception It's a favorite book of a friend who was urging that it be read by our small Jewish book study group What persuaded me to concur was that we'd just read Extracted Unmasking Rampant Antisemitism in Ameri


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