Enjoy 50% off select gifts and specialty foods at our Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale, July 31 thru August, while supplies last!

Eight Days in May: The Final Collapse of the Third Reich

Pre-Order Now Badge
Eight Days in May: The Final Collapse of the Third Reich cover

Eight Days in May: The Final Collapse of the Third Reich

By  Volker Ullrich , Translated by  Jefferson Chase
$ 28.95
Add to Wish List
Pre-Order (Not Yet Published)

The best-selling author of Hitler: Ascent and Hitler: Downfall reconstructs the chaotic, otherworldly last days of Nazi Germany.

In a bunker deep below Berlin’s Old Reich Chancellery, Adolf Hitler and his new bride, Eva Braun, took their own lives just after 3:00 p.m. on April 30, 1945—Hitler by gunshot to the temple, Braun by ingesting cyanide. But the Führer’s suicide did not instantly end either Nazism or the Second World War in Europe. Far from it: the eight days that followed were among the most traumatic in modern history, witnessing not only the final paroxysms of bloodshed and the frantic surrender of the Wehrmacht, but the total disintegration of the once-mighty Third Reich.

In Eight Days in May, the award-winning historian and Hitler biographer Volker Ullrich draws on an astonishing variety of sources, including diaries and letters of ordinary Germans, to narrate a society’s descent into Hobbesian chaos. In the town of Demmin in the north, residents succumbed to madness and committed mass suicide. In Berlin, Soviet soldiers raped German civilians on a near-unprecedented scale. In Nazi-occupied Prague, Czech insurgents led an uprising in the hope that General George S. Patton would come to their aid but were brutally put down by German units in the city. Throughout the remains of Third Reich, huge numbers of people were on the move, creating a surrealistic tableau: death marches of concentration-camp inmates crossed paths with retreating Wehrmacht soldiers and groups of refugees; columns of POWs encountered those of liberated slave laborers and bombed-out people returning home.

A taut, propulsive narrative, Eight Days in May takes us inside the phantomlike regime of Hitler’s chosen successor, Admiral Karl Dönitz, revealing how the desperate attempt to impose order utterly failed, as frontline soldiers deserted and Nazi Party fanatics called on German civilians to martyr themselves in a last stand against encroaching Allied forces. In truth, however, the post-Hitler government represented continuity more than change: its leaders categorically refused to take responsibility for their crimes against humanity, an attitude typical not just of the Nazi elite but also of large segments of the German populace. The consequences would be severe. Eight Days in May is not only an indispensable account of the Nazi endgame, but a historic work that brilliantly examines the costs of mass delusion.

Ullrich Volker is a German historian, journalist, and the best-selling author of Hitler: Ascent, 1889–1939 (winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography) and Hitler: Downfall, 1939–1945 (one of Time’s top-ten nonfiction books of the year). He lives in Germany.

Chase Jefferson is the translator of some forty books from German to English, including works by Thomas Mann, Volker Ullrich, and Wolfgang Schivelbusch. He lives in Berlin.

ISBN: 9781631498275

ISBN-10: 9781631498275

Publisher: Liveright

Publication Date: 09/07/2021 - 12:00am

On Sale: 09/07/2021 - 12:00am

Pages: 336

Language: English

Categories

History / Military / World War II

History / Europe / Germany

History / Modern / 20th Century

History / Holocaust

More by Volker Ullrich

  • Pre-Order Now Badge
    Hitler: Downfall: 1939-1945 Cover Image
  • Pre-Order Now Badge
    Eight Days in May: The Final Collapse of the Third Reich Cover Image
  • Hitler Lib/E: Downfall: 1939-1945 Cover Image
  • Hitler: Downfall: 1939-1945 Cover Image
  • Hitler: Downfall: 1939-1945 Cover Image
  • Hitler: Downfall: 1939-1945 Cover Image
  • Hitler: Ascent: 1889-1939 Cover Image
  • Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939 Cover Image
  • Hitler Lib/E: Ascent 1889-1939 Cover Image