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  • Nazi Wives

  • The Women at the Top of Hitler's Germany
  • By: James Wyllie
  • Narrated by: Dalya Raphael
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Summary

Nazi Wives explores these women in detail for the first time, skilfully interweaving their stories through years of struggle, power, decline and destruction into the post-war twilight of denial and delusion.

Goering, Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich, Bormann, Hess - names synonymous with power and influence in the Third Reich. Perhaps less familiar are Carin, Emmy, Magda, Margaret, Lina, Gerda and Ilse.... These are the women behind the infamous men - complex individuals with distinctive personalities who were captivated by Hitler and whose everyday lives were governed by Nazi ideology. 

Throughout the rise and fall of Nazism these women loved and lost, raised families and quarrelled with their husbands, all the while jostling for position with the mighty Führer himself. And yet they have been treated as minor characters, their significance ignored, as if they were unaware of their husband’s murderous acts, despite the evidence that was all around them: the stolen art on their walls, the slave labour in their homes and the produce grown in concentration camps on their tables.

©2019 James Wylie (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Wyllie tells the stories of the wives of Goering, Goebbels, Himmler and others...a distinctive prism through which to view the period." (The Guardian)

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A bit disappointed

I was hoping to learn about the feelings and opinions of these wives - yes there are one or two insights but too much of the book is padded out with already documented information about Hitler and his Nazi acolytes - not difficult to access.
I'm guessing those wives would be circumspect in voicing any qualms they may have had as the horrific crimes committed increased as time went by so there just isn't enough material to really get inside the minds of these women.

4 people found this helpful

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Great enough to read twice in a row

Although the subject content of this book, Nazism, is the most contemptible, I loved this book. It was expertly performed, and the content was fascinating and illuminating; I learned a lot about the time period covered, Nazisim, and most of all, these Nazi women to whom life and history have been far too kind. Although they were all living miserable lives in many ways, they were mostly left to live a normal life after the trials convicting their husbands of war crimes.

I thank the author for writing such a comprehensive view of these women, because they were instrumental in the most elite extended family substitute that surrounded and nurtured Hitler. Listening on Audible, this book is a virtual page turner.

3 people found this helpful

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fascinating

my first listen regarding the women surrounding Hitler. a goodinsight of facts.... enjoyable listen... well read..

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

So interesting I couldn’t put it down . I’ve wanted to read/listen to these stories forever. First comprehensive interrogation of the personalities behind the women of the Third Reich I’ve found. Just loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly fascinating

Whilst all stories of the Nazi's are without doubt a hard lesson in a history of human atrocities- by their sheer strength of endeniably evil conviction. James Wyllie delivers an incredibly interesting account of this lesser known history.

1 person found this helpful