Book: Paperback | 129 x 198mm | 1216 pages | ISBN 9780140272390 | 25 Oct 2001 | Penguin
Following the enormous success of Hitler: Hubris this book triumphantly completes one of the great modern biographies. No figure in twentieth century history more clearly demands a close biographical understanding than Adolf Hitler; and no period is more important than the Second World War. Beginning with Hitler's startling European successes in the aftermath of the Rhinelland occupation and ending nine years later with the suicide in the Berlin bunker, Kershaw allows us as never before to understand the motivation and the impact of this bizarre misfit. He addresses the crucial questions about the unique nature of Nazi radicalism, about the Holocaust and about the poisoned European world that allowed Hitler to operate so effectively.
'That this new deed of Hitler is another milestone on the way to the hell's jaws of destruction seems hardly to have entered the consciousness of anyone.'|
'Germany Report' of the Sopade, April 1936
‘After three years, I believe that, with the present day, the struggle for German equal rights can be regarded as closed.' The day was 7 March 1936. The words were those of Hitler addressing the Reichstag as German troops, defying the western democracies, crossed into the demilitarised Rhineland. 'Great are the successes which Providence has let me attain for our Fatherland in these three years,' Hitler continued. 'In all areas of our national, political, and economic life, our position has been improved...In these three years, Germany has regained its honour, found belief again, overcome its greatest economic distress and finally ushered in a new cultural ascent.' In this paean to his own 'achievements', Hitler also explicitly stated that 'we have no territorial claims to make in Europe'. He ended with an appeal - received to rapturous acclaim - to support him in new 'elections' (though only one party, the Nazi Party, was standing), set for 29 March. The outcome of these 'elections' was a vote of 98.9 per cent backing Hitler. But however 'massaged' the figures had been, whatever the combined weight of propaganda and coercion behind them, there can be no doubt that the overwhelming mass of the German people in March 1936 applauded Hitler's recovery of German sovereignty in the Rhineland (as they had his earlier steps in throwing off the shackles of Versailles}. It was a major triumph for Hitler, both externally and internally. It was the culminating point of the first phase of his dictatorship.
Hitler's triumph also marked the plainest demonstration of the weakness of France and Great Britain, the dominant powers in Europe since the First World War. Hitler had broken with impunity the treaties of Versailles and Locarno, the main props of the post-war peace-settlement. And he had signalled Germany's re assertiveness and new importance in international affairs.
Within Germany, by this point, Hitler's power was absolute. The largest, most modern, and most thrusting nation-state in central Europe lay at his feet, bound to the 'charismatic' politics of 'national salvation'. His position as Dictator was unchallenged. No serious threat of opposition faced him. The mood of national exhilaration whipped up by the Rhineland spectacular was, it is true, of its nature short-lived. The worries and complaints of daily life returned soon enough. Worker discontent about low wages and poor work conditions, farmer resentment at the 'coercive economy' of the Food Estate, the grumbling of small tradesmen about economic difficulties, and ubiquitous consumer dissatisfaction over prices continued unabated. The behaviour and corruption of party functionaries was as much a source of grievance as ever. And in Catholic areas, where the 'Church struggle' had intensified, the party's attacks on the Church's practices and institutions, the assault on denominational schooling, and the harassing of clergy (including highly publicized trials of members of religious orders for alleged foreign-currency smuggling and sexual impropriety) left the mood extraordinarily sour. But it would be as well not to overestimate the significance of the discontent. None of it was translated into political opposition likely to cause serious trouble to the regime.
Oppositional forces on the Left, the Communists and Socialists, were crushed, cowed, and powerless -dismayed at the supine acquiescence of the western democracies as Hitler continued to upturn the post-war international order. The propaganda image of a statesman of extraordinary boldness and political genius seemed as a consequence of weakness of the western powers to match reality in the eyes of millions. Under threat of draconian recrimination, the perilous illegal work of undercover resistance had continued, even revived, for a brief period in late 1935 and early 1936 as foodstuff shortages led to rising unrest in industrial areas, and was never halted. But following a huge onslaught by the Gestapo to crush all indications of a short-lived Communist revival, any threat of resistance from below by illegal organizations was effectively ruled out. Resistance cells, especially those of the Communists, were constant prey to Gestapo informers, and were as a result frequently penetrated, the members arrested and interned in prisons or concentration camps. It has been estimated that around one in two of the 300,000 Communist Party members of 1932 was imprisoned at some stage during the Third Reich - a statistic of unrelenting attritional repression. Even so, new cells invariably sprang up. Those risking liberty, even life, showed great courage. But they lacked any semblance of power or influence, had no contacts in high places, and consequently lacked all opportunity to overthrow the regime. By this time, they could pose no real threat to Hitler. Opposition endangering his dictatorship - leaving aside the unpredictable actions of an outsider acting alone, as would occur in 1939 - could now in practice only come from within the regime itself.
Meanwhile, the pillars of the regime - armed forces, Party, industry , civil service - were loyal in their support.
The national-conservative élites who had helped Hitler into power in 1933, imagining that they would be able to control and manipulate him, had largely swallowed their differences. Disquiet in such circles had been marked especially during the gathering internal crisis of spring and summer
1934, which had been ended by the massacre of the storm troopers' leadership (and the liquidation of numerous other genuine or presumed opponents) in the 'Night of the Long Knives' on 30 June 1934. But whatever their continuing misgivings about anti-capitalistic tendencies in the Party, the high-
handed behaviour of Party bosses, attacks on the Christian Churches, the lawlessness of Party formations, and other disquieting aspects of the regime, the conservative élites had by early 1936 not distanced themselves from Hitler in any serious fashion.
The armed forces, though the officer corps often turned up their noses at the vulgar upstarts now running the country, had fewer grounds than most for dissatisfaction. The tensions with the SA which had preoccupied the military leaders in the early months of the regime were now long past. The
political murder of two generals, the former Reich Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and Major-General Ferdinand von Bredow, in the 'Night of the Long Knives' had seemed a small price to pay for removing the scourge of SA leader Ernst Röhm and his associates. Meanwhile, military leaders had seen their aim of rebuilding a powerful Wehrmacht, cherished even in the dark days of the 1920s, fully backed. The army had been delighted when general conscription, despite the prohibition under the Versailles Treaty, had been reintroduced (as the basis of a greatly expanded thirty-six-division peace time army) in March 1955. In line with Hitler’s promise in February 1933 ‘that for the next 4-5 years the main principle must be: everything for the armed forces’, rearmament was now rapidly gathering pace. The existence of the Luftwaffe – a further flouting of Versailles – had been announced, without recrimination in March 1935. And, remarkably , Great Britain had proved a willing accomplice in the undermining in of Versailles in it’s willingness in June 1935 to conclude a naval treaty with the Reich allowing Germany to attain 35 per cent of the strength of the British Navy. With the remilitarisation of the Rhineland Hitler had then accomplished a cherished desire of the military leadership long before they had contemplated such a move being possible. He was doing all that the leaders of the armed forces wanted him to do – and more. There could be few grounds for complaint.
Leaders of big business, though often harbouring private concerns about current difficulties and looming future problems for the economy, were for their part, grateful to Hitler for the destruction of the left-wing parties and trade unions. They were again ‘masters in the their house’ in their dealings with their work force. And the road to massively increased profits and dividends was wide open. Even where Party interference was criticized, problems of export and trade of shortage of raw materials were raised, or worries about the direction of the economy voiced, no industrialist advocated , even in private , a return to the ‘bad’ old democratic days of the Weimar Republic.
Some individuals from within the national-conservative élite groups – mainly in the leadership of the army and the upper echelons of the state bureaucracy - would some two years later at first gradually and flatteringly begin to feel their way towards fundamental opposition to the Nazi regime. But at this time, they still saw their own interests and what they took to be the national interest, served by the apparently successful policies of national assertiveness and reconstruction embodied in the figure of Hitler.
Only the intensified ‘Church Struggle’, causing heightened friction between clergy and churchgoers on the one side and Party activists on the other, cast a substantial shadow, notable in Catholic rural districts where the influence of the clergy remained unbroken over what amounted otherwise to an extensive prevailing consensus (in part, of course manufactured through a mixture of repression and propaganda). But the stance of both major and Christian Denominations was riddled with ambivalence. Though still wielding considerable influence over the churchgoing population, the clergy felt they had to tread warily in public pronouncements, particularly where religious matters were not directly concerned. In some ways they were led by public opinion more that they were willing or able to lead it. They had to take account of the fact that Hitler’s national ‘successes’, most of all his triumph in remilitarising the Rhineland, were massively popular even among the same members of their flocks who harshly the Nazi attacks on the Churches.
The unrest stirred up by the ‘Church Struggle’ was extensive. But it was largely compartmentalized. It seldom equated with fundamental rejection of the regime, or with any commitment to active and outright political opposition. Fierce defence of traditional observance, customs, and practices against Nazi chicanery was compatible with support for Hitler personally, with approval for his assault on the Left, with applause for his national ’triumphs’. With readiness to accept his discriminatory measure against Jews, with most measures, in fact, which did not directly impinge on Church affairs. Catholic bishops had, in the very first weeks of Hitler’s chancellorship, exhorted their charges to obedience to the new regime. And even at the height of the ‘Church Struggle’, they publicly endorsed its stance against the ‘atheistic’ Bolshevism and affirmed their loyalty to Hitler. The brutality of the concentration camps, the murder in 1934 of the SA leader, and the mounting discrimination against the Jews had brought no official protests or opposition. Similarly in a Protestant Church divided within itself, unease, criticism, or dissent over Nazi high-handeness towards the Church and interference in its affairs, practices, structures, and doctrine coexisted – apart from the examples of a few exceptional individuals – with official avowals of loyalty and a great deal of genuine approval for what Hitler was doing.
Underpinning Hitler’s unchallenged authority in spring 1936 was the adulation of the masses. Large sections of the population simply idolized him, Even his opponents acknowledged this. ‘What a fellow, Hitler. He had the courage to risk something,’ was a sentiment frequently recorded at the time by the underground socialist opposition. ‘The spirit of Versailles is hated by all Germans. Hitler had now torn up this accursed treaty and thrown it at the feet of the French,’ was the reason given for the upsurge of support for the Dictator even among those who up to then had been less that enthusiastic about him. In 1936, the German people – at any rate the vast majority of them – revelled in the national pride that Hitler (almost single-handedly) had restored to the country.
The backing of a huge mass movement, the mainstay of his plebiscitary support, guaranteed that the flow of adulation was never stemmed. But the support for Hitler was genuine enough and massive in extent. Most Germans, whatever their grumbles, were at least in some respects Hitler supporters by summer 1936. Unquestionably, the foreign-policy triumphs had united the overwhelming majority of the population behind his leadership. Admiration for the Führer was widespread. Indeed, at the level of humdrum daily life, too, many were prepared to credit Hitler with bringing about a change in Germany that seemed to them little short of miraculous. For most of those who did not belong to a persecuted minority, remain firm adherents of the suppressed Social Democrats or Communists, or feel wholly alienated by the attacks on the Churches, things seemed incomparably better than they had been when Hitler took over. Unemployment, far from increasing again (as the Jeremiahs had predicted), had practically been wiped out. Modestly, but noticeably, living standards were beginning to improve. More consumer goods were becoming available. The 'people's radio' (Volksempfänger) was spreading to more and more households. Leisure pursuits, entertainment, and minor forms of tourism were expanding. The cinemas and dance-halls were full. And even if the much-trumpeted 'glamour' trips to Madeira or Norway on cruise-ships run by 'Strength Through Joy' (the leisure organization of the German Labour Front) remained the preserve of the privileged and made little real dent on class divisions, far more people were able to take advantage of days out in the country or visits to theatres and concerts. For many, even looking back long after the war, these were the 'good times'.
In a mere three years, Hitler appeared to have rescued Germany from the miseries and divisions of Weimar democracy, and to have paved the way for a grandiose future for the German people. The demagogue and political firebrand had apparently been transformed into a statesman and national leader of a stature to match that of Bismarck. That the national revival had been accompanied by rigid authoritarianism, loss of civil rights, brutal repression of the Left, and intensifying discrimination against Jews and others thought unfit to belong to the 'national community' was seen by most as at least a price worth paying - by many as positively welcome. Few at this stage had the foresight to imagine what would come – that Germany's new international standing in spring 1936 would prove the prelude to boundless expansion, world war bringing slaughter on an immeasurable scale, unparalleled genocide, and the eventual destruction of the Reich itself. 'That this new deed of Hitler is another milestone on the way to the hell's jaws of destruction,' the same perceptive report of the
exiled Social Democratic movement added, 'seems hardly to have entered the consciousness of anyone.’
For most dictators, the acquisition of unrivalled power over the state would have been enough. For Hitler, this was no end in itself. In his thinking power served a twin ideological purpose: destroying the Jews - for him, Germany's mortal enemy; and, through their destruction, acquiring mastery
over the entire continent of Europe -a platform for subsequent world dominance. Both interlocking aims, resting on a 'world-view' that saw racial struggle and survival of the fittest as the key determinants in human history, had been central to his thinking since the 1920s. However uncharted the route to attaining them, these basic ideas, once formed, never left him.
The obsessiveness and tenacity with which he held to these fixed ideas were part of Hitler's unique role in steering Germany, Europe, and the world to disaster. However, relatively few of the millions of followers attracted to Nazism on its road to power saw matters precisely as Hitler did, or were drawn by fanatical adherence to the fixed points of the personal 'world-view' that constituted his own prime ideological driving-force. The growing appeal of Hitler as an alternative to Weimar democracy rested to a far greater extent on the forcefulness of his uncompromising, frontal assault on a visibly failing political system undermined in high places and increasingly haemorrhaging mass support. During his rise to power, his central ideological tenets had been embedded within the general, all-embracing armoury of hate-filled tirades against the Weimar 'system' and within the appealing counter-image he conjured up of national rebirth once the 'criminals' who had instigated defeat and revolution, with catastrophic consequences, had been destroyed. His success as a demagogue lay in his ability to say what the disaffected masses wanted to hear, to speak their language - to capture and exploit a psychology of despair and invest it with new hope for a phoenix-like resurgence of the nation. He was able as no one else to give voice to popular hatreds, resentments, hopes, and expectations. He spoke more stridently, more vehemently, more expressively and appealingly than any of those with a similar ideological message. He was the mouthpiece of the nationalist masses at a decisive time of
all-embracing national crisis.
And in showing that he could galvanize the nationalist masses as no one else could, he made himself an increasingly attractive proposition to those with power and influence, who saw him and his rapidly expanding movement as an indispensable weapon in the fight against 'Marxism' (code not just for attacks on the Communists, but on the Social Democrats, the trade unions, and the democratic system itself), which the conservative elites had done everything possible to undermine. Through their help, in the final stage of the collapse of the Weimar Republic, Hitler was at last given what he had long striven for: control over the German state. Their fatal error had been to think that they could control Hitler. Too late, they discovered how disastrously they had underestimated him.
By the time he was levered into power, the 'redemptive' politics which Hitler preached - the overturning of the defeat and revolution of 1918 at their heart - had won the support of over 13 million Germans, among them an activist base of well over a million members of the various branches of the Nazi Movement. Hitler embodied their expectations of national salvation. The pseudo-religious strains of the cult built up around him - in an era when popular piety was still strong - had been able to portray him as a secular 'redeemer'. A lost war, national humiliation, profound economic and social misery, lack of faith in democratic institutions and politicians, and readiness to look to a 'strong man' able to overcome through force the apparently insurmountable acute political chasms prevailing in a comprehensive state crisis, had all contributed to drawing large sections of the masses towards seductive slogans of national salvation.
But not only the politically naïve had been attracted. The deep cultural pessimism widespread in neo-conservative and intellectual circles could also find appeal in the idea of 'national rebirth', however much the vulgarity of Hitler and his followers might be disparaged. Already before the First World War , the sense of unstoppable cultural decline - often directly coupled with increasingly fashionable views on the allegedly inexorable growth of racial impurity - was gathering pace. In the aftermath of the war, the mood of cultural despair gripped ever more tightly among conservative intellectuals.
Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West, with its melancholy prognosis of unstoppable cultural decay, was highly influential. Abstract art and modern theatre could be vilified as 'Jewish' and not truly German. Syncopated hot jazz - labelled 'nigger music' - seemed to epitomize the inevitable coming Americanization of not only music, but all walks of life, in the land of Bach and Beethoven.
Germany's cultural descent seemed mirrored in politics. Where only decades earlier Bismarck had bestridden the political stage as a giant, the country's representatives now appeared reduced to quabbling pygmies, the irredeemably divided Reichstag a reflection of an irredeemably divided Germany - irredeemable, that is, unless a new national hero creating (if need be by force) new unity should emerge. Hopes could be invested only in the vision of such a hero - warrior, statesman, and high priest rolled into one - who would arise from the ashes of national humiliation and post-war misery to restore national pride and greatness. The seeds of subsequent intellectual backing for Hitler and his Movement were fertilized in such soil - however distant reality proved to be from the ideal. The shrill antisemitism of the Nazis was no barrier to such support. The Jews - less than 1 per cent of the population, the vast majority more than anxious to be seen as good, patriotic German citizens - had few friends. Even those who might criticize overt Nazi violence and the frequent outrages which the Jewish community had to suffer during the Weimar Republic were often infected by some form of resentment, envy, or suspicion of the Jews. Though relatively few were drawn to the outright violence against Jews (which was nonetheless commonplace in Weimar Germany), latent or passive antisemitism was widespread. As incessant Nazi agitation shored up layers of animosity already intensified by the search for scapegoats for a lost war, revolution, mounting political crisis, and deep social misery, prejudice intensified. Allegations that Jews were disproportionately wealthy, harmfully dominant in the economy, and unhealthily influential in the cultural sphere proliferated. The sense, in other words, that Jews were different (however much they strove to prove the opposite) and were responsible for Germany's ills was spreading fast even before Hitler took power.
Once he had done so, the anti-Jewish premises of Nazism were able to build on such negative feelings, permeate the entire regime and, magnified by incessant propaganda, touch all levels of society .The intention of 'removing' the Jews from Germany, as a basis of national renewal resting upon racial
'purification', was therefore guaranteed to prompt initiatives from every corner of the regime. And among the many who felt unease or disquiet at the ferocity of antisemitism in the new state, widespread latent dislike of Jews and moral indifference to discrimination offered no barriers to spiral-
The restraining of open aggression towards the Jews in the Olympic year of 1936 was regarded by activists as a mere temporary device, and simply kept the pressure for further discriminatory measures simmering below the surface. Social resentment, malice, and greed, as well as outright hatred and ideological correctness made sure the screw of persecution did not loosen. By late 1937 the 'aryanization' of the economy was starting to advance rapidly. By 1938, open assaults on the Jewish community were again commonplace. The internal dynamics of an ideologically driven police force with its own agenda, on the look-out for new racial target-groups, searching for fresh possibilities of 'solving the Jewish Question', additionally meant that radicalism in the fight against the 'racial enemy' mounted, rather than subsided, in the 'quiet years' of 1936 and 1937.
Gradually, then, the 'removal of the Jews', which Hitler as early as 1919 had advanced as the necessary aim of a national government, began to seem like a realizable aim.
In the other sphere most closely linked with Hitler's own ideological obsessions, the expansion of Germany's borders, radicalizing forces were also at work. If Hitler was the chief, most single-minded, and most unscrupulous exponent of the German expansionist drive, the dream of mastery in Europe was far from his dream alone. Rooted in certain strains of German imperialist ideology. It had been embedded as a key component in Hitler's thinking by the mid-1920s at the latest. It had then gained momentum as the Nazi Movement itself had gained momentum and swollen massively in size in the early 1930s. It had formed part of the great 'mission' of 'national redemption' embodied in Hitler's utopian 'vision' of a glorious German future. However unreal acquisition of 'living space' in eastern Europe at the expense of the Soviet Union 'by the sword' (as Hitler had repeatedly stated in the later 1920s) might have seemed in conditions of unprecedented impoverishment and enfeeblement of the German state in the early 1930s, the vaguely expressed Hitlerian 'vision' of mastery in Europe had the great advantage that it could encompass (while not being identical with) long-held and differing conceptions of the revival of German dominance close to the hearts of powerful groups within the leadership of the army, in the upper echelons of the Foreign Ministry, in some prominent business circles, and among many intellectuals. As self-confidence returned during the first years
of the Hitler dictatorship, as the economy recovered, as rearmament began to gather pace, and as the regime swept from one diplomatic triumph to another, the varying ideas of German expansion and dominance began gradually to congeal and to seem increasingly realistic.
Expansion, moreover, began to appear not just ideologically desirable as the fulfilment of the reborn nation, the culmination of the 'national salvation' which Hitler had preached; it was more and more seen to be desirable - even necessary - on economic and military grounds.
For businessmen, Hitler's idea of 'living space' blended easily into their notions of a 'greater economic sphere' (Großraumwirtschaft), even if they favoured expansion to recover traditional German dominance in south-eastern Europe rather than looking to the brutal colonization of Russia. As thoughts of economic recovery turned to thoughts of economic domination, and as the pressures of an increasingly armaments-orientated economy laid bare the mounting shortages of labour and raw materials, the attractiveness of expansion became all the more evident. The economic balancing-act of
accommodating the demands of both consumer and armaments spending urgently needed a solution.
The eventual setting of priorities in favour of an armaments economy effectively set the points for expansion. Indeed, for those sections of the economy aligned to armaments production, fervent
backing for the regime's expansionist programme was the certain route to soaring profits.
For the military, forced to bide its time as long as Germany had been shackled by the terms of the Versailles Treaty and the burden of reparations imposed on the country after the Fjrst World War (and effectively written off in 1932), the aim of restoring the army to its former stature in order to regain the lost territories and to establish dominance in central Europe was long-standing. The speed of the rebuilding of the armed forces after 1933 and the evident reluctance and inability of the western democracies to counter it now produced their own momentum. Not just to Hitler, but to some military leaders, too, it seemed opportune to take advantage of circumstances which could rapidly become less favourable once Britain and France entered an arms race to counter Germany's rearmament. The
international instability following the break-up of the post-Versailles order, the weakness of the western democracies, and the incipient arms-race all suggested that the time was more propitious than it might ever be again to establish Germany's dominant role on the European continent. It was an
argument that Hitler could often deploy with effect when addressing his generals. The proximity of potentially hostile neighbours in Poland and Czechoslovakia, prospects of conflict at some future point with France and Britain, and, above all, the fears -whatever the perception of current weakness - of Bolshevism to the east all added to the allure of expansionism and, in so doing, helped to tie the military to Hitler and to his own dreams of domination in Europe.
In such ways, Hitler's fixed points of ideology -'removal of the Jews' and preparations for a future titanic struggle to attain 'living-space' – acted as such broad and compelling long-term goals that they could easily embrace the differing interests of those agencies which formed the vital pillars of
the Nazi regime. As a result, the instruments of a highly modern state - bureaucracy, economy, and, not least, army -in the heart of Europe increasingly bound themselves to Hitler's 'charismatic' authority , to the politics of national salvation and the dream of European mastery embodied in the personalized 'vision' and power of one man. Hitler's essential unchanging, distant goals had inexorably become the driving-force of the entire Nazi regime, constituting the framework for the extraordinary energy and dynamism that permeated the entire system of rule. It was a dynamism which knew no terminal point of domination, no moment where power-lust could be satiated, where untrammelled aggression could lapse into mere oppressive authoritarianism.
The 'good times' which the first three years of Hitler's dictatorship had seemingly brought to Germany -economic revitalization, order, prospect of prosperity, restored national pride - could not last indefinitely. They were built on sand. They rested on an illusion that stability and 'normality'
were within reach. In reality, the Third Reich was incapable of settling into 'normality'. This was not simply a matter of Hitler's personality and ideological drive - though these should not be
underestimated. His temperament, restless energy, gambler's instinctive readiness to take risks to retain the initiative, were all enhanced through the gain in confidence that his triumphs in 1935 and 1936 had brought him. His expanding messianism fed itself on the drug of mass adulation and the sycophancy of almost all in this company. His sense that time was against him, the impatience to act, were heightened by the growing belief that he might not have much longer to live. But beyond these facets of Hitler's personality, more impersonal forces were at work - pressures unleashed and driven on by the chiliastic goals represented by Hitler. A combination of both personal and impersonal driving-forces ensured that in the 'quiet' two years between. The march into the Rhineland and the march into Austria the ideological dynamism of the regime not only did not subside but intensified, that the spiral of radicalization kept turning upwards.
The triumph of 1936, which had given Hitler's own self-confidence such a huge boost, proved in this way not an end but a beginning. Most dictators would have been content to relish such a momentous triumph - and to draw the line. For Hitler, the remilitarization of the Rhineland was merely an
important stepping-stone in the quest for mastery in Europe. The months that followed paved the way for the sharp radicalization of all aspects of the regime that became noticeable from late 1937 onwards, and which would take Germany and Europe two years later into a second cataclysmic
Wolfson History Prize