cover image Defying Hitler: The Germans Who Resisted Nazi Rule

Defying Hitler: The Germans Who Resisted Nazi Rule

Gordon Thomas and Greg Lewis. Caliber, $30 (580p) ISBN 978-0-451489-04-3

Journalists Thomas and Lewis (Shadow Warriors of World War II: The Daring Women of the OSS and SOE) provide an engrossing and accessible history of Germans who risked, and mostly lost, their lives opposing the Nazi regime, effectively countering the idea that “the German people followed Hitler as if one mass.” The authors interweave stories of heroic acts of defiance by academics, blue-collar workers, and military service members, beginning their protagonists’ stories before WWII, as with Mildred Fish, a Wisconsin teacher who married visiting German student Arvid Harnack; she helped organize an anti-fascist underground in Berlin, while he became a senior official at the German Ministry of Economics who leaked information about the Nazis to the Americans. Readers familiar with movements such as the White Rose and the various conspiracies to assassinate Hitler will appreciate having them placed in a broader context. The authors rely on both primary and secondary sources, although their sourcing, as when they reconstruct the thoughts of White Rose leader Sophie Scholl, is not consistently robust. Despite a paucity of insight into what led a few Germans to oppose the Nazis when the vast majority of their countrymen did not, this volume is an informative counterpoint to accounts of widespread German complicity with the Holocaust. [em](Apr.) [/em]