Hitler’s Third Reich in 100 Objects
By Roger Moorhouse
Published by Big Sky Publishing
RRP $34.99 in paperback | ISBN 9781922387714
You might wonder what more there is to say about Hitler’s Third Reich yet it is still the focus of numerous articles, books and films: no regime of the twentieth century has prompted such interest or so much literature.
The hundred items featured in this unusual book range from the surprising (no.42 the Volkswagen Beetle), to the bizarre (no.36 Eva Braun’s lipstick case), to the intimate (no.72 Rudolf Hess’s underpants) and, of course, to the lethal (no.28 Messerschmitt Bf 109).
The book begins with Hitler’s paint box, a set of well-used watercolour paints made in 1910.
Art was Hitler’s first known career choice. We can only speculate at how world history might have been different had he been accepted for the Vienna Academy of Art and proved the be an exceptional artist. How the world might have been spared! As Fuhrer, he was to spurn modern art represented by the Bauhaus designers who were forced into exile and instead embraced classical artistic styles for the Reich.
The book ends with a picture of Goring’s (used) Cyanide Capsule with which he ended his life on 15 October 1946. He had been sentenced to death two weeks earlier by the Nuremberg Tribunal. He was the most senior Nazi to stand trial.
This collection is at once fascinating for its insights into Germany of that era and terrible, representing as it does the cruelty of the Third Reich and the delusion of the man who was its architect.