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  • A Village in the Third Reich

  • How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed by the Rise of Fascism
  • By: Julia Boyd, Angelika Patel
  • Narrated by: Julie Teal
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Summary

New from the author of Travellers in the Third Reich—the Sunday Times top-three best seller and Waterstones Book of the Month: a stunningly evocative portrait of Hitler’s Germany through the people of a single village.

Oberstdorf is a beautiful village high up in the Bavarian Alps, a place where for hundreds of years ordinary people lived simple lives while history was made elsewhere. Yet even here, in the farthest corner of Germany, National Socialism sought to control not only people’s lives but also their minds.

Drawing on archive material, letters, interviews and memoirs, A Village in the Third Reich is an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Germany under Hitler, of the descent into totalitarianism and of the tragedies that befell all of those touched by Nazism. In it, we meet the Jews who survived—and those who didn’t, the Nazi mayor who tried to shield those persecuted by the regime and a blind boy whose life was thought ‘not worth living’.

It is a tale of conflicting loyalties and desires, of shattered dreams, despair and destruction—but one in which, ultimately, human resilience triumphs.

These are the stories of ordinary lives at the crossroads of history.

©2022 Julia Boyd and Angelika Patel (P)2022 Simon & Schuster, UK

Critic reviews

"Compelling." (Daily Telegraph)

"Fascinating." (Spectator)

What listeners say about A Village in the Third Reich

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Excellent

A very enjoyable audio

Very well written and narrated

Definitely I d recommend it

It’s a difficult complex subject brought to life in a very easy to listen to manner

1 person found this helpful

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Very interesting insight

Excellent narration and very interesting insight into the Nazification of German society in the 20s and 30s, together with the unsurprising revelation of the level of ‘wasn’t me Guv’ once the war was over. That much is reflected in the Nuremberg trials transcripts and interviews with senior Nazi politicians and soldiers.

Contemporary politicians and Joe Public might not see parallels with the modern world, but you’d have to be rather dim witted not to see how malleable society remains. That which happened to Germany is happening today, more or less, in many countries today. This book highlights it.

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Insightful analysis of a dreadful period of German history

Interesting and at times upsetting. Nonetheless a fascinating and enlightening piece of factual history. I must read a hard copy as it is easy to lose track of the different families and main players.

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Insight

A fantastic read and gives a rarely highlighted into how nazi proceedures and propaganda infiltrated a village somewhat reluctant to accept it. Personal stories and testimony backed up by surviving recotds make this an excellent read/listen.

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Astounding, illuminating, heartbreaking

Even better than Travellers in the Third Reich. Beautifully written and expertly narrated, this book is a real eye-opener. Illuminating and at times deeply disturbing, the creeping sense of dread and growing horror will stay with me. This book has made me think deeply about the German experience of the Second World War; it has made me re-examine many of my preconceived ideas and beliefs. Subtle, nuanced, and absolutely gripping, it comes highly recommended.

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A difficult subject skilfully treated

This was very well read by Julie Teal and beautifully put together by the authors. We get to know certain villagers quite well through their repeated appearances in public records and the interesting proposition is advanced that it was possible to be a Nazi and a decent human being. Some of the descriptions of what the Nazis did are indeed sobering and upsetting, but the subject is treated very fairly, the authors demonstrating how reasonable people could appear to support the unsupportable whilst also working to mitigate some of the grosser aspects of the regime. On the other hand, we are left in no doubt as to the iniquity of the Third Reich. Altogether, a thought-provoking and interesting listen.