Cover Image: A Village in the Third Reich

A Village in the Third Reich

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Member Reviews

In this follow up to her book "Travellers in the Third Reich", Julia Boyd examines the effects of Nazism and WWII on one village in Bavaria, Germany. The book is well researched and enjoyable to read but a little dry, which meant it took me a long time to get through. It's very informative and even though it occasionally becomes a little confusing, it's still worth a read. I learned a lot and I recommend it if you are interested in German history.

I'd like to thank the publishers, Elliott & Thompson, and Netgalley for kindly providing me with an advance release copy. All opinions are my own.
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This is one of those books that is hard to rate because the content has such a somber air around it. I thought it was very well written and found the information presented to be so interesting. 
Having lived in Bavaria for a time, that region and its people, culture, and history hold such a special place in my heart. Reading about the good, the bad, and seeing the total humanity (or lack thereof) in the individuals within Obertsdorf and the surrounding area was enlightening. 
If you are a history buff, a WWII history enthusiast, or have an interest in the history of Germany and its people, I highly recommend this book to you. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Elliott and Thompson for the copy of this eARC.
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Really well researched and documented insight into how Bavarian villagers thought and behaved from the rise of National Socialism to its fall. Fascinating reading, which gave me a much better understanding of the historical background. Strongly recommended.
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This was an amazing read. I just couldn't put this book down. It was so interesting. I loved how easy this history book was to read. It flowed exceptionally well. You felt like you were experiencing what like was like to live in German occupation during the war. There was so many sources used from many personal diaries. It had the ease of reading like a fiction book where you get to know all the people in this book. You really felt like you knew these people. That you was with them struggling on with every day life. You understood just how hard it was for some to accept the new regime. I especially found the story of the school teacher very interesting. There was also a German officer who didn't like the way others were treated and started the help people where he could. It also looks at what happened to these people during their trials after the war. It was brilliant reading about how the community came together to help many of those pretending to be a German and following Hitlers regime. I loved every minute, it was the best way to learn what it was like to be oppressed by hitlers German rule. I definitely recommend reading this history book. It is definitely a unique history that is a real page turner. 

I also have to mention how much I loved the cover its so beautiful. I also loved how af the end of this book. It gives a paragraph talking about each person or family mentioned in this book and what happened to them from after the war to present day or until their natural death.

Only the highest of praise goes out to the authors and publishing team for bringing us this amazing book that really brought out my emotions. 
The above review has already been placed on goodreads, waterstones, Google books, Barnes&noble, kobo, amazon UK where found and my blog today either under my name or ladyreading365
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Well Researched. Interesting. Fascinating. Thought provoking. All very true of this collection of insights into Nazism and living in Germany. However, I couldn’t keep on track. There’s not a tangible person to follow, instead it’s a whole village and becomes confusing and hard to follow. It’s clearly very very well researched but it is such a dry topic it was so hard not to skip through. Even trying the audiobook didn’t help. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and Elliott and Thompson publishing for the opportunity to read this in return for my honest review.
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Julia Boyd answers a question I long had. As a Dutch citizen I have often wondered what I would do under occupation. I would like to think I would join the resistance, but the costs could be high, not only your own life, but that of your loved ones are at stake. This dilemma is brilliantly exposed in this book that is easy to read. For non fiction it has a particular good flow. I really enjoyed getting to know the many characters and due to the unbiased narration I can draw my own conclusions. Well researched, highly recommended.
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Fascinating and enthralling. Beautiful writing. Riveting storytelling. Chilling slice of history. I’ve read about and taught WWII/Holocaust history for decades but this still felt fresh to me.
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An interesting and informative read. This is the Second World War from the perspective of a small Bavarian village and its occupants. The author's thorough research is clearly evident in the details included from the very beginning of Nazism. As someone who has wondered how the Nazis managed to achieve what they did, I found this book to be absolutely fascinating.   A great read for anyone interested in the history of this period.
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Loved this book. Lots of interesting information to digest. This is a great read for anyone who loves to read about history. Very well written
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A Village in The Third Reich by Julie Boyd and Angelika Patel.

This is an intriguing document of Social History, detailing the lives of the inhabitants of an idyllic Bavarian tourist resort during the era of Hitler and the Nazi’s rise to power in Germany and the Second World War, including the earliest period of Allied Occupation. 
The authors have used a multiplicity of facts, historical documents, including letters and newspapers, and eye-witness accounts from during the period covered by the book and in hindsight, to tell the reader a plethora of interesting stories about the lives and adventures of the village’s many inhabitants: committed Nazis, members of the Resistance, and the large number of those in-between, who, perhaps fearing the oppressive power and many cruelties of the Nazi regime and brainwashed by propaganda, enabled, though their silence and inaction, the many atrocities committed by those in positions of power and influence at that time. 
Despite the multitude of incidents and the huge cast of characters, as well as the lengthy period of memorable historical events which are described in the book, it is never confusing or lacking in interest for the reader, who will be both educated and entertained by this book. Although the main audience for it will, probably, be students of Social History, it is also of interest to the general reader, who will find the style and content of the book very readable, as well as educational. I would thoroughly recommend this book, which arrested my interest from the outset and held it throughout. 
Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
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Travellers in the Third Reich was an excellent book (and a previous Waterstones Book of the month) and this is equally if not more excellent. Julia Boyd is a great writer and this is an essential read for anyone interested in this time and place.
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I received a copy of A Village in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd and Angelika Patel from NetGalley. It follows the ordinary lives of people in a picturesque village in the Bavarian Alps called Oberstdorf. This non-fiction book tells us the story of how fascism affected the simple lives of these people even in a far corner of Germany before, during, and after World War II.
I am interested in history and so, I have read a lot related to it even about World War II. The book gave me a whole new perspective into the life of the German people after the First World War and during the tumultuous times of the Nazi regime. It explained in detail the chain of events that led to the rise of Fascism and the consequences that followed. The neutral tone of the narration is a huge plus because otherwise, it can be really easy to generalize people and make a judgment. It gave me a new insight and objective view of the events. Reading does become difficult, especially in certain parts of the book, because it is actual history.  I needed to take a break for a day or two after these parts of the book.
The book is well researched. This adds the authenticity it needs for a historical book. Julia Boyd and Angelika Patel have maintained a certain tone. It has been a long time since I read a non-fiction book. This book is an interesting read, and it is different than the historical fiction of the time I have read before. It does get too much and, is not something I will necessarily go back to again, but it is an authentic book.  It shows the cultural, social, and political upheaval in the village.
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Julia Boyd ‘s talent for meticulous research and attention to detail is very evident in her latest historical text depicting life in a small Bavarian village during 1915 to 1955.  A gem for historians who are interested in the psychology behind the rise of power of the Nazis . We get a detailed account of a small thriving village tucked away near the Alps and how its inhabitants were manipulated and adapted to a power beyond their control . 

Many thanks to NetGalley for an arc.
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I have some experience of villages in Bavaria which is why I wanted to read this one. It's a well researched book, it seems there's plenty of evidence of what went on during WW2. However, it is quite a grim read at times, it seems that just as I thought   that I knew all of the ghastly things that went on in Germany at that time - I discovered I didn't!
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There have been a number of long and comprehensive reviews of this book with a wide variety of opinions expressed. 
One of the most important things to point out to any wood-be reader, is that this is not so much a novel as a recount of life in a village in Germany before, during and after WW2.
We rarely think or hear about the resistance in Germany, except perhaps with regards to the protection of Jewish families. This book shows us how confusing and complex life was during this period for the ordinary, honest living German person. Life was not easy and this book helps us to understand.
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I really enjoyed Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd.  It looked in detail at Germany between the wars, particularly as a place many Britons enjoyed visiting regularly.  A Village in the Third Reich explores a similar theme; life in Germany as lived by ordinary people.

I’ve come to realise that, as a post war baby, my view of Germany.and Germans was initially shaped by those who’d just experienced the end of  the Second World War.  Many had also suffered and survived the First World War and whilst I consider my education was relatively comprehensive and well balanced, there was a strong negative emphasis towards Germany and Germans.  They were subjected to parody well into the 1970s and 1980s in sitcoms.  Britons bang on about the Blitz and how dreadful it was; I don’t doubt that.  But there’s little balance; we weren’t told that Allied bombers killed some 55000 in Hamburg in a single night.  More than the total deaths over many months of the Blitz.  

Julia Boyd’s books give a refreshing and very different insight into ordinary Germans and their lifestyle.  They weren’t all stormtroopers who idolised Hitler and many resented the way their lives were affected.  This look at life in a village is a delight.  There is an eclectic mix of individuals, as one might expect.  Those intent on toeing the line and those prepared to challenge authority.  It’s a very different perspective which spans a couple of fascinating decades as the aftermath of one war is felt and the build up to the next begins.  A genuinely striking slice of social history. Well written, filled with information and so readable.  I really enjoyed this book.  

My thanks to the publisher for a review copy via Netgalley.
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In the Village in the Third Reich What author succeeds in depicting normal daily live in Germany before and during the Second World War.  This is a very impartial glimpse into people’s lives during the rise of the Nazis.  As it is a historical text its not a novel but for me, I found it rather a historical text that I dipped in and out chapter by chapter, but this did not make my enjoyment of the book any less.
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A Village In The Third Reich is a fascinating and often very sad portait of forty years in the life of the Bavarian village Oberstdorf from 1915 to 1955. Nestled in the Alps, Oberstdorf was a burgeoning tourist town, relatively cosmopolitan and affluent enough, and yet like all of German slowly got swamped by the rise of National Socialism. Boyd and Patel have done a very deep dive on what seems to be a hugely comprehensive archive to tell the story of how the village adapted and changed, but also to follow the villagers as they themselves escaped, got sent to camps or went to war. There are a lot of tragic stories here, though there are reconstructions of the willing Nazi's there are also big questions about Good Germans and perhaps the unthinkable, Good Nazis.

Their canvas is large, even a village has thousands of residents, and sometimes the sheer weight of names and stories can overwhelm. Important figures however, such as the Mayor and local Nazi party administrators reoccur, and they do their best to give everyone with a story justice. There is even a tale at the end about the resistance whose names are still being protected seventy five years on. Nevertheless it does get a little relentless in places, and the nature of the archive is such that it favours dates, arrests and official actions and the authors are loathe to fill in additional speculative colour if they can help it. There are a few eyewitness accounts which fill those memories in but there is a tendancy for it to be a little dry in places.

Its an obvious companion to Milton Sanford Meyer's 'They Thought They Were Free', looking at the lives of ten Nazi party members in another German small village. This is a piece of history while that was part political investigation and part discussion of a (now past) future. They are different villages, but there are many similarities with actions, and A Village In The Third Reich does get tangled in the knotty issues of who were true believers without some of the introspection, deception or perhaps self delusion of Mayer's interviews. The overall tone here is of deep sadness rather than anger that comes with its place as history drifting out of living memory.
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When we wonder what life was like in a village in Bavaria during WWll, this book has it all. It traces the rise of Hitler in the aftermath of WWl and the impact it had on a quiet skiing village in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps.
The fascinating aspect of the story is how individuals came to terms with an ever-changing Germany and eventual total domination of the NAZI regime to everyday life. Not everybody succumbed to this regime, but they live in opposition and fear lest they were betrayed, sometimes by previously trusted neighbours. The ‘original’ inhabitants were used to accepting tourists as they formed an income stream to the village through skiing but when refugees fleeing the allied bombing offensive later in the war arrived, it was a different matter.
It was interesting to learn that several of the village leaders, including one Mayor, outwardly supported the NAZI cause but found ways to circumvent or ignore some of the more stringent dictats emanating from Berlin.
An enjoyable read to learn the other side of the story of a small community in Germany during that period.
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Remember at school being told to read all of the question before answering it? Did you learn that lesson? I STILL HAVEN’T decades on. And that’s why I made a bit of a booboo in applying for this @netgalley ARC. If I’d read ALL of the blurb, I’d have seen that it was non-fiction. Not my favourite genre. 
If you like non-fiction, I say go ahead and read it. If you’re not, but are interested in WWII, you could get a lot out of it. I certainly learned a lot and, had it been a fictionalised story, I think it could have been a five star read for me. It certainly has a cast of villagers who could populate a great story: a Dutch aristocrat who smuggles Jewish children out of Germany; the daughter of one of the conspirators who plotted to assassinate Hitler; ‘good’ Nazis; members of the German resistance, to name but a few and, oh, not forgetting the man who made the largest shoe in the world! But it’s non-fiction and with copious extracts from contemporaneous newspapers and documents, it’s the worst type of non-fiction for me (I stress, it’s me, not the fault of the book). I stopped reading the extracts and just got on with the narrative.
The chapters in the book are based along subject lines – why Nazism arose, euthanasia, religion and Nazism, concentration camps, the aftermath of the war, etc – and not on time lines. This has advantages but I found that it made for a disjointed narrative and it prevented me from building any rapport with the villagers. 
Knowing nothing about the rise of Nazism, I felt I learned that as well as the end of it – denazification and rehabilitation. And in between there are the stories of how ordinary Germans lived with privation, how they grieved for their men killed in the war (or at home through selection or in work camps). And, coming from a country where the war always seems to have been won by English speaking people, it was refreshing to see how the French (aided by the Moroccans) liberated the village.
Just now, it’s hard to read this book and not think of events in Ukraine. Indeed Ukraine features in the book and it’s heart breaking to think that that country is again in hell thanks to one man and his ambition.
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