November 12, 2009
THE LEGACY OF THE THIRD REICH
Evans, Richard J., The Third Reich at War (New York: The Penguin Press, 2008) (This is the final volume in Richard J. Evan's trilogy on the history of the Third Reich. I strongly recommend that you read the trilogy, which consists of The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich in Power, and the present volume, The Third Reich at War. Why should you read this trilogy? The answer is contained in the final paragraph of The Third Reich at War. "Most of those who lived through the Third Reich and fought in its wars are no longer with us. Within a few decades there will be no one left who remembers it at first hand. And yet its legacy is still alive in myriad ways. History does not repeat itself: there will be no Fourth Reich. Neo-Nazism still finds its supporters, but nowhere has it shown any signs of even coming close to achieving real political power. The legacy of the Third Reich is much wider. It extends for beyond Germany and Europe. The Third Reich raises in the most acute form the possibilities and consequences of the human hatred and destructiveness that exist, even if only in a small way, within all of us. It demonstrates with terrible clarity the ultimate potential consequences of racism, militarism and authoritarianism. It shows what can happen if some people are treated as less human than others. It poses in the most extreme possible form the moral dilemmas we all face at one time or another in our lives, of conformity or resistance, action or inaction in the particular situations with which we are confronted. That is why the Third Reich will not go away, but continues to command the attention of thinking people throughout the world long after it has passed into history." Id. at 764.).