The Thanks of the Fatherland; & In the Wake of War
Frank McDonough looks at two new works on post-war Germany
- The Thanks of the Fatherland: German Veterans After the Second World War
by James M. Diehl (University of North Carolina Press xii +345 pp.)
- In the Wake of the War: The Reconstruction of German Cities After World War II
by Jeffrey M. Diefendorf (Oxford University Press xx +403 pp.)
Diehl's book is a very interesting and readable account of how former Nazi war veterans reacted to defeat in 1945, and successfully re-adjusted to life under the Federal German Republic. When you consider that Hitler was once a war veteran, and the part played by ex-soldiers in the instability of the Weimar period, then you begin to appreciate the importance of this study for all those interested in twentieth-century German history.