‘Defying Hitler’. By SEBASTIAN . Excerpted from Defying HITLER: A MEMOIR by: SEBASTIAN HAFFNER Translated by: OLIVER PRETZEL. In Sebastian Haffner (Raimund Pretzel) fled from Germany to England with his Jewish wife. In he began work on an account of his “duel” with the. Written in and unpublished until , Sebastian Haffner’s memoir of the to suppress Communism and precursor to the Nazi storm troopers, to the Hitler.

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We can give up, like his father, or we can speak up, like himself. I think that Haffner did As I have read and studied about World War II through the years, I, too, have had the same questions Haffner’s son mentions near the end of this book–How were the Nazis possible?

It is in many ways remarkably prescient, most notably about the Final Solution and the overall course of the war, and there have been challenges to its authenticity — addressed in a brief afterword by Haffner’s son and translator Oliver Pretzel. Needless to say, we made sure that Zadie went home with a copy under her arm. Apr 15, Brian Leach rated it it was amazing Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

During the inflation the young Haffner and his friends get very excited and join in the speculation. The book is presented much like a diary recounting the author’s life at specific times in Germany between WWI when he was a small child and when the Nazi regime began to reveal it’s true face to the German people. For fear of me. The masses — by which I mean not the proletariat, but the anonymous collective body into which all of us, high and low, amalgamate at certain moments — react most strongly to someone who least resembles them.

No trivia or quizzes yet. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. The question that always springs from accounts of Hitler’s Germany is “Why didn’t the Germans resist? It was the Third Reich in a nutshell. It’s scary how some of his observations could apply to certain current events! Haffner’s insight into this process was that the success of the Nazis was down to the triumph of du over sie or tu over vous if you prefer in other words creating a politics of the informal, politicised groups which could replace or act as a substitute for family or friends with a ready sense of society and inclusion.


Due to the hyper-inflation come his pay-day the whole family troop off to the barbers to have their hair cut before the money looses too much of its value.

Sebastian Haffner – Wikipedia

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However, the Nazis enact a law that makes it compulsory for all those who would have administrative positions to go to a kind of officers reserve training camp. Book ratings by Goodreads. He explains in detail and with background how the Nazi regime came about and the psychology of the German citizens at that time. While at school during the Kapp Putsch, for instance, a particularly right-wing teacher view spoiler [ which may have been a tautology given the circumstances hide spoiler ] asks if they can feel the difference in the atmosphere now that they are ruled by a firm hand again.

Pity the Apple or Amazon employee who does not celebrate gay marriage, suggests that he might be an orthodox Christian, or states the obvious truth that Bruce Jenner is still a man, and always will be a man, whatever he says or wishes. This period covers the post-World War I violence; hyperinflation and economic collapse; and economic recovery.

Sebastian Haffner

Some of the young men in camp even arrange a reunion to enjoy a night out in the city and realize with some shame and unease that whatever they shared has dissolved. His Father however, true to the dignity of a Prussian civil servant considers that financial speculation is an improper and immoral pass time for someone in his position, Ordnung muss sein afterall.

The Best Books of Haffnsr An absolute classic of autobiography and history – one of the few books to explore how and why the Germans were seduced by Hitler and Nazism.

Ma le cose sono andate avanti per anni, i nazisti non hanno mai fatto passi indietro, haffer gente vedeva e assisteva. Il mistero non si svela, la grande domanda rimane senza risposta, anche Haffner non aiuta. Sebastian Haffner, the author, tells his story, and explains the innermost workings of his mind, as well as the way the Nazi’s were able to take control with almost no interference from the common man. This book was very surprising.

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They stopped fighting it as it fell apart step by step, and each step could somehow be justified, in a flawed way, of course, but as a single event not worth the cost of resistance.


Yitler other words, it covers a period of huge instability and great change, both for society and individuals. Shortly after the author makes his escape to Britain where at the time since everybody treated each other as foreigners he could feel safe and begin to make a living for himself as a journalist.

A brilliant and clear examination of the rise of Hitler and the Nazis to power in s Germany.

Defying Hitler: A Memoir (Sebastian Haffner) – book review

How everyday people were slowly but surely indoctrinated into the new order with virtually no resistance. Retrieved from ” https: The striking comment to me was that it seemed “demonic” in nature. Fascinating true story about Germany during the rise of Hitler.

He adopted the pseudonym Sebastian Haffner eebastian that his family back in Germany would not be endangered by his writing. It was hard to get into the book at first- all the different German leaders and shifting politics was hard to keep up with. By the time his training is nearing completion in Gleichschaltung was under-way in the legal profession, ie the process of hwffner that profession among others into the regime’s ideological line, to which end Haffner and a bunch of other young trainees are sent to a training camp at Jueterbog where they march about singing uplifting patriotic songs and are generally meant to develop a sense of camaraderie.

Haffner describes, from the perspective of an ordinary person, the response to the Reichstag fire, the inaction of opposing leaders, the meek surrender of Communist and centrist defyinf militia, the Jewish boycott, and the steady erosion of freedom amid surface normality.

Rather than death camps, incendiary bombs and people being hanged from lampposts, Haffner a lawyer focuses on twin lesser, precursor evils, two sides of the same coin: Let us learn to pray: His confusion, frustration, and helplessness and some of the things he experienced must have been what thousands of other Germans were feeling and going through at the time.

About Sebastian Haffner Sebastian Haffner orig. The result is atomization and necessarily increased conflict—when there is no possible common ground, nothing is possible but zero-sum games.