The extraordinary German bestseller on the final days of the Third Reich
One of the least understood stories of the Third Reich is that of the extraordinary wave of suicides, carried out not just by much of the Nazi leadership, but also by thousands of ordinary Germans, during in the war's closing period. Some of these were provoked by straightforward terror in the face of advancing Soviet troops or by personal guilt, but many could not be explained in such relatively straightforward terms.
Florian Huber's remarkable book, a bestseller in Germany, confronts this terrible phenomenon. Other countries have suffered defeat, but not responded in the same way. What drove whole families, who in many cases had already withstood years of deprivation, aerial bombing and deaths in battle, to do this?
In a brilliantly written, thoughtful and original work, Huber sees the entire project of the Third Reich as a sequence of almost overwhelming emotions and scenes for many Germans. He describes some of the key events which shaped the period from the First World War to the end of the Second, showing how the sheer intensity, allure and ferocity of Hitler's regime swept along millions. Its sudden end was, for many of them, simply impossible to absorb.
Gripping ... Huber tells the shocking stories of ordinary German suicides with literary power and skill, making excellent use of unknown material.
All eyes will be opened by the facts on offer in Promise Me You'll Shoot Yourself ... Huber follows a cast of real, all-too-human characters as they head into darkness. ... His terrible evidence is priceless, and belongs on every bookshelf.
Huber retells the self-annihilation of May 1945 in dispassionate, vivid detail ... It's hard not to hear faint echoes in our current plight.
A remarkable book - grim and fascinating. Florian Huber tells the story well.
An under-represented history that is equal parts terrifying and tragic ... Amid the nearly unbearable darkness, Huber injects notes of hope ... Illuminating yet haunting.
Huber tells this terrible history with compassion and care. He writes with an ease that makes the book flow smoothly despite the bleak nature of the subject, aided by a fine translation from the German by Imogen Taylor.
A harrowing insight into the psyche of everyday German citizens ... Huber's book is extremely well researched ... By drawing on the thoughts, movements and mental state of the diarists, he is able to provide a compelling insight into the minds of everyday Nazi citizens.
A grimly compelling study of the psychology of fanaticism ... The book hints at a deep truth about war at its dirtiest.
Bleak, arresting ... A sobering study of a dark period of Europe's history.