REVIEW: Hitler’s Germany: The Birth of Extremism by Tim Heath

Tim Heath’s book covers the story of three German families as World War I ends. The German economy and society fell into a horrible position of blaming their situation on the Jews. Anti-Semitism was at its peak in Germany and a caustic political environment both combined to form a new German psyche that was determined to dig themselves out of a hole and recover their collective dignity at any cost. Ultimately that cost was millions of German and Jewish lives.

Germany recovering from the depths of economic turmoil after World War I found itself searching for prosperity and identity as a nation. History tells us this was Germany’s darkest hours with social and political factors that influenced its aggression throughout the early decades of the twentieth century. 

Using stories from personal diaries and first-hand accounts, the book attempts to explain the circumstances that caused Germany to pursuit a path towards dominance of Europe shortly after World War I.  The author also takes care to explain these concepts from the perspective of typical German families, Jewish and Christian. 

When the German’s found a strong leader that could bring them out of their social and economic turmoil, they picked the wrong man. They picked an Austrian man with two severe personality disorders, paranoia and narcissism. Mixed with his eliminationist anti-Semitism, Hitler was the exemplar of the destructive charismatic who attempted to unify the German people, his wounded people, by identifying and attacking an enemy. Unfortunately, this era also exposed the German people’s gullibility and their desperate grasp for structure. Although Hitler filled this void it was at significant cost of millions of military and civilian deaths estimated at 60-70 million. As the author comments in his afterword section, “Germany was without a doubt one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies…the darker aspects of their history continue to fascinate historians and scholars.”

Creating Hitler’s Germany is a 220 page book that covers Germany’s defeat in the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles that followed were national disasters, with far-reaching consequences not just for the country but for the world itself. Weaving the stories of three German families from the beginning of Germany’s territorial aspirations of the First World War to the shattered dream of a thousand-year Reich in the Second World War, Tim Heath’s rich narrative explores a multitude of rare and untapped resources to explore the darkest recesses of German social and military history.”

About the author Tim Heath; Born into a military family, Tim Heath’s interest in history led him to research the air war of the Second World War, focusing on the German Luftwaffe and writing extensively for The Armourer Magazine. During the course of his research he has worked closely with the German War Graves Commission at Kassel, Germany, and met with German families and veterans alike. 

This book is available on (US), Amazon (UK) and Pen and Sword Publishing