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The Good Germans: Resisting the Nazis, 1933-1945

Catrine Clay

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Weidenfeld & Nicolson
08 September 2020
History; Oral history; Second World War; Fascism & Nazism
After 1933, as the brutal terror regime took hold, most of the two-thirds of Germans who had never voted for the Nazis - some 20 million people - tried to keep their heads down and protect their families. They moved to the country, or pretended to support the regime to avoid being denounced by neighbours, and tried to work out what was really happening in the Reich, surrounded as they were by Nazi propaganda and fake news. They lived in fear. Might they lose their jobs? Their homes? Their freedom? What would we have done in their place?

Many ordinary Germans found the courage to resist, in the full knowledge that they could be sentenced to indefinite incarceration, torture or outright execution. Catrine Clay argues that it was a much greater number than was ever formally recorded: teachers, lawyers, factory and dock workers, housewives, shopkeepers, church members, trade unionists, army officers, aristocrats, Social Democrats, Socialists and Communists.

Catrine Clay's ground-breaking book focuses on six very different characters: Irma, the young daughter of Ernst Thalmann, leader of the German Communists; Fritzi von der Schulenburg, a Prussian aristocrat; Rudolf Ditzen, the already famous author Hans Fallada, best known for his novel Alone in Berlin; Bernt Engelmann, a schoolboy living in the suburbs of Dusseldorf; Julius Leber, a charismatic leader of the Social Democrats in the Reichstag; and Fabian von Schlabrendorff, a law student in Berlin. The six are not seen in isolation but as part of their families: a brother and sister; a wife; a father with three children; an only son; the parents of a Communist pioneer daughter. Each experiences the momentous events of Nazi history as they unfold in their own small lives - Good Germans all.
By:   Catrine Clay
Imprint:   Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Unabridged edition
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 34mm
Weight:   500g
ISBN:   9781474607889
ISBN 10:   1474607888
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   08 September 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Catrine Clay worked for the BBC for over twenty years, directing and producing award-winning television documentaries. She won the International Documentary Award and the Golden Spire for Best History Documentary, and was nominated for a BAFTA. She is the author of King, Kaiser, Tsar, Trautmann's Journey, which won a British Sports Book Award for Biography of the Year and was runner-up for the William Hill Sports Book Award, and Labyrinths, adapted as BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week. She is married with three children and lives in London.

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