Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Don't Know Much About History

Sparked by my recent trip to New Orleans and a day spent at the WWII Museum, I'm reading everything I can find about WWII and the years leading into it.

I just finished reading In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson.  It is an account of the years that William Dodd was the US ambassador to Germany in Berlin (1933-1937).  It dealt heavily with the life of his 20-something daughter Martha.

I was aware of the lives of most of the main players and the "Night of the Long Knives" purge*, but this book held many written accounts of the attitudes of US politicians toward Germany as well as the attitude of Americans and Europeans toward their Jewish neighbors.  News reports of "The Nazis are bad" versus the diplomatic reports of "It's not like that, really" were shocking to contemplate as well as many other prejudices of the times.  Being born in the 60s, the life of an adventurous communist woman of the 30s was interesting/shocking as well.

Note:  don't mistake this for Jeffery Deever's novel of a similar name (which is on my to-read shelf currently).
*For an overview of the Night of the Long Knives, watch "Hitler's Circle of Evil" on Netflix, episode 3, Fall of Rohm.

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