Author(s): R.J. Overy
hardback, 672 pages, 60 b&w illust Europe in 1945 had been turned into a vast physical and moral wasteland. In the wreckage of defeated Germany the British, American and Soviet forces came face to face with the true horrors of the system they had fought against. This time there was no negotiation with the Germans as there had been in 1918; the leaders of Hitler's Reich were seized as war criminals and thrown into makeshift camps. "Interrogations" is the story of these prisoners as they and their captors came to terms with the reality of the bloodiest war in human history.The Allies had an opportunity unique in modern times to get their enemy to tell the story of war, terror and genocide as they had seen it. Most talked willingly - stunned, disorientated, bitter, fearful, they sat and discussed the system they had so recently served and for which they were now called to account. The months before their trial were marked by sudden drama, grim confrontations, desperate efforts to deny responsibility or attempts to confound the victors.Through "Interrogations" the reader confronts the reality of a savage dictatorship in its death throes. More than 30 interrogations are reproduced to capture the full flavour of the bizarre, psychologically charged response of men in a tough prison regime who not long before had enjoyed all the privileges and esteem of high office. As the stories unfolded, many scarcely credible, the Allies built up the picture of the Third Reich they needed for the Nuremberg trials. This is the history of defeat: stark and disturbing, "Interrogations" lays bare the human weaknesses that made the Third Reich possible.
Missing dust jacket
Richard Overy is Professor of History at King's College London. His previous books include WHY THE ALLIES WON, RUSSIA'S WAR and THE BATTLE.
Part 1 Interrogations - an introduction: outlaw country; the criminals; the charges; asking the questions; the absentees -Hitler, Himmler, Bormann; selective amnesia? the case of Hess; the helpful Speer; the unrepentant Goering; the limits of responsibility - strategies of denial; confessing to genocide; "I hope they hang 'all'" - final retribution. Part 2 Interrogations -the transcripts: notes on the transcripts; perspectives on the Fuehrer - "the driving force", Albert Speer, Hitler's women, Karl Brandt, the new feudalism, Hans Lammers, Hitler the warlord, Alfred Jodl; "the world's worst criminal" - Goering in the Third Reich - a souvenir from Monte Cassino, Hermann Goering, the commander-in-chief, Hermann Goering, conquest by telephone, Hermann Goering, vote "no" if you dare Albert Goering; waging war - Ribbentrop, Hitler and war, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler's "chess game of power politics", Albert Speer, OKW at war, Wilhelm Keitel; genocide - the Fuehrer order, Dieter Wisliceny, a morbid accounting, Dieter Wisliceny, "incredible things at Auschwitz", Ernst von Gottstein and Eugen Horak, a doctor at Dachau, Franz Blaha, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Rudolf Hoess, demarcation dispute, Otto Moll and Rudolf Hoess; the Hess case - "I have lost my memory", Rudolf Hess and Hermann Goering, the young ladies, Rudolf Hess et al, "the science of psychiatry is sound", Rudolf Hess; the von Papen case - resistance and compliance - "a way out of the mess" -von Papen and Hitler in 1933, Franz von Papen, "this problem of responsibility", Franz von Papen; Albert Speer - true confessions? - Speer the expert, Albert Speer, sixty acts of treason, Albert Speer, Speer the assassin, Dietrich Stahl, special pleading, Albert Speer, "not a concern of mine", Albert Speer; Robert Ley -profile of a suicide - the testament of Robert Ley, Robert Ley, Ley's dialogue with the dead, Robert Ley, confessions of an anti-semite, Robert Ley; obeying orders - complicity and denial - "not a dangerous person", Wilhelm Frick, "talking in a dream", Joachim von Ribbentrop, "very undesirable activities", Heinz Gudrian; Germany's future - rebuilding the Reich, Robert Ley, Schact's new Germany, Hjalmar Schact.