Hitler's People

Hitler's People

The Faces of the Third Reich


Why did so many Germans take part in the crimes of Nazi Germany? How did they come to support Hitler and follow him almost to the very end? For too long, the Nazis have been presented as little more than psychopaths or criminals. In his major new work, renowned historian Richard J. Evans makes use of a mass of recently unearthed new evidence to strip away the veneer of myth and legend from the faces of the Third Reich and present a more realistic view of Nazi perpetrators as human beings who were disturbingly like us.

Evans offers rounded, fresh and often startling new portraits of the men and women who created and served Nazi Germany, beginning with Hitler himself and going on to encompass leading figures like Göring, Goebbels and Himmler, enforcers of Hitler’s orders such as Eichmann and Heydrich, propagandists like Leni Riefenstahl, low-level perpetrators such as the notorious Irma Grese and unknown sympathizers and fellow-travellers who helped the regime in myriad ways.

Hitler’s People is a chilling, brilliantly written work which allows the reader to understand the texture and values of the Third Reich and just how far individuals will go when so many normal moral constraints have disappeared.

About the author

Richard J. Evans

Richard J. Evans is one of the world's leading historians of modern Germany. He was born in London in 1947. From 2008 to 2014 he was Regius Professor of History at Cambridge University, and from 2020 to 2017 President of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He served as Provost of Gresham College in the City of London from 2014 to 2020. In 1994 he was awarded the Hamburg Medal for Art and Science for cultural services to the city, and in 2015 received the British Academy Leverhulme Medal, awarded every three years for a significant contribution to the Humanities or Social Sciences. In 2000 he was the principal expert witness in the David Irving Holocaust Denial libel trial at the High Court in London, subsequently the subject of the film Denial. His books include Death in Hamburg (winner of the Wolfson History Prize), In Defence of History, The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich in Power, and The Third Reich at War. His book The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914, volume 7 of the Penguin History of Europe, was published in 2016. His most recent books are Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History (2019) and The Hitler Conspiracies: The Third Reich and the Paranoid Imagination (2020). In 2012 he was knighted for services to scholarship.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more