Anne Nelson has written a major work on a tragic dilemma of our time — how a cultured people, defeated and impoverished though they were, could turn on and brutalize their own citizenry. And how the civilized world could stand by, reasoning that it would all “soon blow over.”
In an innovative approach this book describes Hitler’s rise to power from the point of view of the underground, which opposed him. The Red Orchestra was prominent in that opposition.
Using exhaustively researched real-life accounts of people of the time, Nelson, an experienced journalist, shows how men and women scrambled in and out of Germany, some finally deciding to stay and fight the glittering, ruthless new power.
The volunteer spies acted as loyal members of the régime, often partying with the Nazi elite and the Prussian nobility, while passing military information to the Russians and Allies.
Nelson’s un-theatrical style sometimes lacks pace. But her work stands as a tribute to the underground that opposed Hitler, the many murdered, and the embittered survivors. It is also a fine source for scholars, libraries, and curious readers. Bibliographical notes, documentaries, epilogue, index, preface, prologue, select bibliography.