THE THIRD REICH IN 100 OBJECTS – A MATERIAL HISTORY OF NAZI GERMANY
Author: Roger Moorhouse
Publisher: Pen & Sword (Greenhill Books); 288 pages, over 200 Photographs
Published: November 2017, reprint May 2020
ISBN: 9781784381806, 9781784385163
REVIEW: Roger Moorhouse is a well-known and respected historian of the Third Reich with a long list of acclaimed books to his name. This book is not only a quality print, but his subject matter is meticulously researched and presented in a well-balanced, clear an coherent way that tells the story of Hitler’s Germany.
The object selection I thought was one of the best in the ‘100 Object’ book series, and because of this careful selection it describes the 1933-1945 Third Reich era in such an engaging, whilst at times shocking, way. With excellent colour photography, each object is paired with an equally strong written description of that object, be it a symbol, weapon, uniform, poster or simply a ‘Jerry’ can. From the beginnings of Nazism with objects such as hyperinflation banknotes, the blood flag and Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to more mundane objects such as Hitler’s moustache brush, Evan Braun’s lipstick and Rudolf Hess’ underpants, or even the VW Beetle, they all tell the story. The war years include objects include the V-2 missile and Messerschmitt ME262 jet fighter, to the more sinister and darker side, such as objects like the “Gate of Death” at Birkenau or a Zyklon-B canister, all of which are really thought provoking.
The horror of this period in German and European history must be told and never forgotten, and this book tells that story so clearly. This is an engaging read that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in the history of the Third Reich or the Second World War. The object selections are spot-on, and Moorhouse has the period framed perfectly from #1 Hitler’s paint box to #100 Goring’s cyanide capsule. Those two objects in a way says it all. Highly recommended.