History Today eBook: The Second World War

Third Reich

Chaplin's celebrated film first appeared on 15 October 1940. 

A crowd watches the destruction of the last camp hut.

A report from the Imperial War Museum's seminar on the anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen camp in April 1945.

The West’s confused approach to Germany after Hitler’s death damaged its relationship with the Soviet Union.

Historic attachments to heroic leadership combined with a mastery of propaganda techniques to mesmerise Germany into acceptance of the charismatic authority offered by the Führer. 

Hitler had taken enthusiastically to his years in the army during the first World War. D.C. Watt describes how, afterwards, the future führer worked with equal zeal — and served his political apprenticeship — as a propagandist for a Bavarian counter-revolutionary army group.

Firemen work on the burning Reichstag.

The conflagration of the Reichstag provided Hitler with a heaven-sent opportunity. But the theory that the Nazis had planned it themselves now appears to be entirely baseless.

Ronald Lewin offers his study of the German Commander as one of the ‘Great Captains’ of war.

Führer fake: Hitler leaves what is not Landsberg Prison.

A 90-year-old photograph of the future dictator soon after leaving prison still manages to fool the world’s media outlets.

All the Nazi leaders had a talent for self-dramatisation. None was more enamoured of the role he had chosen than Heinrich Himmler.

Elizabeth Wiskemann describes how Hitler ruthlessly consolidated his power in Germany by the slaughter of some of his closest former colleagues.