Hitler and the Nazis: A History in Documents explains how an unknown, unemployed Austrian became the modern world's personification of evil. The Nazis were meticulous record keepers, and many of the documents that chronicle Hitler's dictatorship come from the Nazis themselves. For example, the Nazis' Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring lists the conditions that could require a person to be sterilized in order to purify the Aryan race. And an invoice for Zyklon B, the poison used in concentration camp gas chambers, was ultimately used as evidence at the postwar trial of war criminals at Nuremberg.
Gr 8 Up-Crew has compiled a broad assortment of primary sources to give readers a glimpse into Germany under Hitler. He opens with a well-reasoned introduction that explains why it is still important for students to learn about the Nazi era. The remaining seven chapters cover the post-World War I breakdown of the German economy and culture, the rise of Hitler, Nazi propaganda, the development of the racist state, Hitler's war machine, and the Holocaust and its aftermath. Each chapter has a general introduction as well as commentary about the individual documents. The excerpts are drawn from government papers, Nazi propaganda, letters, diaries, articles, reminiscences, and trial and hearings testimony. The text is supplemented with black-and-white period photos, art, and documents, including reproductions that show how the Nazis used propaganda to create a mythical Hitler who became the all-powerful "embodiment" of the German nation. An extensive bibliography, divided by topic, and a list of Web sites offer many good choices for further information. This volume complements other primary-source-based titles such as Dorothy and Carl J. Schneider's World War II (Facts On File, 2003), which examines the war from the American perspective.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.