Hitler’s rise to power, Germany’s march to the abyss, as seen through
the eyes of Americans—diplomats, military, expats, visiting authors,
Olympic athletes—who watched horrified and up close. By tapping a rich
vein of personal testimonies, Hitlerland offers a gripping narrative full of surprising twists—and a startlingly fresh perspective on this heavily dissected era.
of the Americans in Weimar and then Hitler’s Germany were merely casual
observers, others deliberately blind; a few were Nazi apologists. But
most slowly began to understand the horror of what was unfolding, even
when they found it difficult to grasp the breadth of the catastrophe.
the journalists, William Shirer, Edgar Mowrer, and Dorothy Thompson
were increasingly alarmed. Consul General George Messersmith stood out
among the American diplomats because of his passion and courage. Truman
Smith, the first American official to meet Hitler, was an astute
political observer and a remarkably resourceful military attaché.
Historian William Dodd, whom FDR tapped as ambassador in Hitler’s
Berlin, left disillusioned; his daughter Martha scandalized the embassy
with her procession of lovers from her initial infatuation with Nazis
she took up with. She ended as a Soviet spy.
Award-winning journalist ANDREW NAGORSKI is vice president and director of public policy at the EastWest Institute, a New York-based international affairs think tank. During a long career at Newsweek, he served as the magazine’s bureau chief in Hong Kong, Moscow, Rome, Bonn, Warsaw, and Berlin. He is the author of four previous books and has written for countless publications. He lives in Pelham Manor, New York.
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