Have you ever found yourself so engrossed in a book that you hated to see it end? For me, this is that book. With Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance after Valkyrie, Dr. Randall Hansen, Professor of Politics and holder of a Research Chair at the University of Toronto, has added an important contribution to the literature of Nazi Germany’s war. Hansen looks past the oft-covered battle history amassed in the literature covering Germany’s war in Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa. In doing so, he sheds light on the ‘enemy within’ which aided the downfall of Hitler’s twisted vision for Germany.
The hidden enemies were numerous high-ranking Nazi officers and German citizens whose allegiance ultimately lay to Germany’s future rather than the Fuhrer.
In Hansen’s conclusion, he writes that: “Had the stock market not crashed in 1929, the Nazis would have been a footnote. Had Hitler lingered longer in a Munich pub in 1939, the war would have been over that year. And had the weather in East Prussia been cool rather than hot on July 20, 1944, which resulted in the conference’s move from an airtight bunker to an open-windowed hut, Stauffenberg’s bomb would have killed Hitler, Keitel, and all others in the room.” Such is the fate of circumstance and opportunity.
Hansen’s Disobeying Hitler is a must-read for those interested in the War in Europe and Hitler’s Nazi regime. Highly recommended.
1 Randall Hansen, Disobeying Hitler: German Resistance After Valkyrie. (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2014) 324.