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After Hitler

Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History, 2016

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781848544970

Price: £12.99

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On 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide. The following day, his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels also killed himself and the crumbling Third Reich passed to Admiral Karl Dönitz. The Nazis’ position seemed hopeless. Yet remarkably, the war in the rest of Europe went on for another ten days. After Hitler looks at these days as a narrative day-by-day countdown but also as a broader global history of a European war that had seen some of the most savage battles in history. Relations between the ‘Big Three’ – the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union – suddenly plunged to near breaking point. This book reveals that tumultuous story.

After Hitler also looks at the wider canvas of the war and the terrible humanitarian catastrophe uncovered in Europe. It describes those who felt the joy of freedom, but also those who faced a highly uncertain future. As Red Army soldiers joined forces with their British and American allies, Stalin’s East finally came face to face with Churchill’s and Truman’s West. After Hitler tells of their growing mistrust, but also of moments of remarkable goodwill and co-operation – the brief but poignant hope that these great nations could together fashion a new and safer future. This is a fascinating exploration of the brief but crucial period that shaped the emerging post-war world.


A compelling and little-told account of a few days that set the scene in Europe for much of the next 50 years . . . a 'must-read' for professional and amateur historian alike
General The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux GCB CBE DSO, Late Chief of Defence Staff UK
Michael Jones has described the death agonies of Nazism in an excellent, vivid and often moving narrative of the ten days between Hitler's suicide on April 30, 1945, and the celebration of VE day on May 9. He has deftly blended the stories of great events and the great figures who shaped them with the experiences of the myriad men and women who carried out their orders
The Times
An evocative, clear and exciting recreation of the final ten days of the crumbling Third Reich. It is fast paced, exceedingly well written, with some very thoughtful and insightful analysis of the atmosphere between the Great Power leaders on the eve of the Cold War, in particular the sensitive surrender negotiations . . . really well done
Robert Kershaw
[Michael] Jones - a master of the vignette - provides an effective retelling of the story. Using an impressive selection of eyewitness accounts, he skips across Europe in that last week of the war - from Reims to Luneburg, Prague to Flensburg - giving an engaging, lively summary of events
BBC History
An absorbing history . . . communicates the pity of the war and its aftermath with a proper sympathy
Sunday Telegraph
Hitler, broken and despairing, killed himself on 30 April 1945; the war in Europe formally ended on 9 May. Acclaimed historian Michael jones resists the common urge to skip over that gap, unearthing a wealth of intriguing detail, much from primary sources . . . in a year sure to be swamped with war publications, few are likely to offer such novel approaches
Press Association
As such a recognisable and universally reviled figure of the 20th century, Adolf Hitler tends to overshadow what happened after his suicide. This book tells that story, as the German capital Berlin crumbled and tensions between the US, UK and Soviet Union rose
History Revealed
Michael Jones has woven together the many stories of those terrible ten days in a most compelling fashion
The Spectator
A tale of heroism and barbarism; of overwhelming triumph and abysmal defeat; of refugees and revenge; of a nightmare shattered and emerging hopes of a better future . . . Jones demonstrates an ease of command of his historical material and he understands the complex personalities of the commanders who dominate his pages. This is the best book of its genre
Michael Jones's superbly researched account vividly evokes the death throes of the Third Reich
Mail on Sunday
Fast moving and addictively readable, this book covers the ten days from Hitler's suicide to VE Day in Moscow on 9 May 1945