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Shipwreck of a Nation: 08/12/09

The Shipwreck of a Nation by H. Peter Nennhaus is more childhood memoir than a history of World War II from a German's point of view. The author was five when Hitler came to power and sixteen at the end of the war.

While he has included a short bibliography and notes from diaries of older relatives, ultimately the book's timeline comes down to childhood memories. I got through the first seventy pages (about three chapters) and I had to set the book aside. The overwhelming impression the book gives in that short amount of time is one of warm-fuzzy nostalgia. He had a happy childhood and he in a not so round about way thanks Hitler for it.

When the book isn't steeped in nostalgia it switches to a more apologetic tone, trying to reconcile the happy memories with the actual events of the time. Unfortunately these attempted moments of historical analysis didn't strike me a genuine.

If anything, The Shipwreck of a Nation helps to prove the thesis of the second chapter of Going Postal. Happy, well adjusted people don't revolt but they are easily caught up in the fury when a crackpot does, no matter how off his rocker he is.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Thursday, August, 13, 2009 at 09:05:35


I have this book, too. I can't believe anyone would thank Hitler for anything, so this sounds interesting. Is it okay to link to your review on War Through the Generations?

Comment #2: Sunday, August 16, 2009 at 17:16:04


Yes, you can link to my review. Have you reviewed it? If you have, I'll link to it.

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