Volker Ullrich

Eight Days in May
  • Eight Days in May

  • The final week of the Third Reich's existence has begun. Hitler is dead, but the war has still not ended. Everything has both ground to a halt and yet remains agonizingly uncertain.

    Volker Ullrich's remarkable book takes the reader into a world torn between hope and terror, violence and peace. Ullrich describes how each day unfolds, with Germany now under a new Führer, Admiral Dönitz, based improbably in the small Baltic town of Flensburg. With Hitler dead, Berlin in ruins and the war undoubtedly lost, the process by which the fighting would end remained horrifyingly unclear. Many major Nazis were still on the loose, wild rumours continued to circulate about a last stand in the Alps and the Western allies falling out with the Soviet Union.

    All over Europe, millions of soldiers, prisoners, slave labourers and countless exhausted, grief-stricken and often homeless families watched and waited for the war's end. Eight Days in May is the story of people, in Erich Kästner's striking phrase, stuck in 'the gap between no longer and not yet'.

    Translated by Jefferson Chase.

Volker Ullrich is a historian and journalist whose previous books include biographies of Bismarck and Napoleon, as well as a major study of Imperial Germany, The Nervous Superpower, 1871-1918. Ullrich was for many years editor of the political books review section of Die Zeit. His two-volume biography of Adolf Hitler was a German bestseller.

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