Defying Hitler By Sebastian Haffner : The Nazi Regime And The War That Will Change The World Forever

Defying Hitler By Sebastian Haffner : The Nazi Regime And The War That Will Change The World Forever

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In his memoir Defying Hitler, Sebastian Haffner highlights the events and attitudes that eventually lead to the rise of the Nazi regime and the war that would change the world forever. He describes the struggle between and among the powerful forces at the time of his childhood as a duel, waged at the expense of the citizens, which supposed to be protected and cared for above all else. He goes on to describe how the priorities of the ruling powers slowly changed, attempting to hold back the Nazis, while still withholding their own dignity and influence. Haffner’s perspective gives the reader a unique insight into the minds and mentalities of the average German citizen at a time of massive governmental and social change in Europe. He goes on to describe the anticlimactic election and majority of the Nazi party, which were celebrated even before it actually occurred. As someone who, almost from the onset of the political rallying, despised Hitler and the messages which he propagated, Haffner, in his description of the fervor and exaltation in which the masses adored Hitler, gives a unique insight through the eyes of a dissenter, contrary to the widely-believed myth that all Germans at the time of the rise of Nazism were, in fact, Nazis.
In the second half of his book, Haffner chooses to highlight his own struggle in peri-Nazi Germany, rather than his original point of view, which graciously focused on the struggles of every German and dissenter at the time. He even acknowledges his own insignificance in the grand scheme of life, pointing out the tendency of readers to ask “Why should I care about this one man’s struggle when there are others out there who are also suffering?” Later, he describes his attempt to seclude himself from ...

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... affected by the war. I am in now way downplaying the tragedies and atrocities that occurred at the expense of the Jews, Poles, homosexuals, or anyone the Nazis found undesirable, but I think people tend to forget that others were suffering behind the scenes. Sometimes, being forced to suffer in silence without cause or reason is an almost equal punishment. Without the relief and release of death, people were forced to continually suffer through an endless array of hardship and atrocious life, without the hope of reprieve. Everyday was a struggle, whether at home, in prison, in a camp, or on the run. Though all suffering may not be equal, they all exist nonetheless. To put one above the other is to compare something incomparable. All suffered, all died in some way, and have been affected irreparably. For some, the war continues and will always continue, forever.

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