Village in the Third Reich is a thoroughly-researched and well-presented history of the village Oberstdorf in Bavaria from 1919 to the end of World War II and beyond.
I have read quite a few book on several aspects of World War II, but this has been the first time that I read about it from the point of view of "everyday" German people and how they lived through it all. Julia Boyd absolutely managed to capture all aspects of their lives shown though the context of the mundane and the historical.
She handled it all with sensitivity, but the required "aloofness" and this made all the stories especially poignant to read about.
ARC provided by the Publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.
This book was such an unexpected surprise! I expected a mammoth chunk of history but this was a joy to read and made the whole era come alive
An incredible read - one that I found especially helpful because it is such a large topic but focussing on one small village allowed us readers to really get into the topic at hand. I often find books of this nature too large in scope to really connect with - they feel like just facts. But this really brought to life the time period and I think it is especially important today
I don’t often review non-fiction but I loved the premise of this book; to follow the life of a single village in Germany from the end of the First World War, and all through the Second.
It did not disappoint, and I would say it is essential reading for anyone interested in the era. It brings the human stories of the inhabitants of Oberstdof in the Bavarian Alps to the fore, while setting them firmly in their social and political context. Whether dipping in and out, or reading from cover to cover, this in an exceptional history and meticulously researched.
I really enjoyed this book. I was drawn to this title because I'd recently read a lesser one written about the same period.
The narrative is coherent and engaging. Supported by detailed research of archival material, interviews, and letters, the author provides an uncommonly intimate portrait of Germany during the Hitler years, leading up to and during the second world war.
This is the period when National Socialism used all manner of devious and divisive methods of influencing the lives and opinions of citizens.
The impact of Nazism under Hitler on the lives of the German people was profound and far-reaching. Many initially supported Hitler's rise to power, hoping that he would address the country's economic and political problems.
Set in Oberstdorf, a village in the Bavarian Alps known for simple living and winter sports, life was initially little changed by political events elsewhere. But eventually,
even in this farthest corner of Germany, National Socialism sought to control not only people’s lives but also their minds.
As Hitler consolidated his power, the regime's impact on the lives of ordinary people was pervasive and corrupting, imposing strict control over daily life, and marginalising and persecuting minority groups.
Although Oberstdorf escaped the physical destruction caused by the war, its residents suffered significantly. Inevitably, many young men who went to fight never returned, but it is in the descriptions of the daily lives of ordinary people that the book really excels. While historians may have been familiar with such detail, the book provides a doorway through which the rest of us can enter.
We are in the habit of viewing history through the lens of our own culture, with little thought or insight into the lives of those on 'the other side'. This enthralling and informative account reads like a novel, but it is also a factual and inspiring account that shows how, despite the horrors, the human spirit redeems us.
Utterly amazing. The telling of history through the micro lens of a village was terrific. A new take on the impact of Nazism in a small village, which can be used in many different ways. Spectacular.
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.
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.
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.
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 https://ladyreading365.wixsite.com/website/post/a-village-in-the-third-reich-by-julia-boyd-angelika-patel-elliot-thompson-5-stars either under my name or ladyreading365
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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!