BOOK : IAN KERSHAW - THE END (HITLERS GERMANY 1944-1945) - Literature review Example

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In thee following few writings, the critique seeks to undertake three major actions, which are detailed description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of “The End: The Defiance & Destruction of Hitlers Germany 1944-45.”…
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The End: The Defiance & Destruction of Hitlers Germany 1944-45 In thee following few writings, the critique seeks to undertake three major actions, which are detailed description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of “The End: The Defiance & Destruction of Hitlers Germany 1944-45.” Descriptively, Ian Kershaw uses his book as a biography that takes an entirely different tone from the series of biographies that have been written about Hitler and the Nazis in general. It is not for nothing that the writer makes a quotation that “There is about Hitler personally, and the Nazis in general, a sort of cultism that attracts fascination” (p. ix). In an attempt to do this, the writer takes a new dimension of the World War II and the role played by Hitler and the Nazis. The writer critically reviews reasons behind why German kept fighting till the very last hour that they did even though the battle seemed lost and a continuation of it seemed devastating. In the estimation of Ian Kershaw, the reason was that there were strong structures instituted by the German government and for that matter Hitler that rules on the states of mind of the German army. Such structures make the army know of only one thing and that was obedience.
A critical analysis of the issue holding on to the end as presented by Kershaw brings out a number of concerns. First is the fact that there is a limitation on all human endeavors. Indeed, the Hitler led army had a character and psychological structuring that was to make it possible for them to fight to the end. But there had to be a time when their limit was to be met and so they had to surrender unconditionally. In the second place, an excruciating but factual accolade could be given to Hitler and other German led leaders as they being charismatic. Though used in wrong way that caused Germany as lot of destruction, the need for charismatic leadership in pursuance of collection goal has been analyzed as a very vital component of leadership – for in Hitler could achieve such a cruel motive with his charismatic leadership, then what can a vision oriented leader not do in the face of charisma? Lastly, there is the issue of a leader who was ready to take on board all his followers to defending his ideologies even when they proved to be wrong. It was for this reason that Hitler was keen about making the entire nation follow his way of thinking that Germans should under no circumstance fall into the hands of Soviets. But should citizens suffer for the wrongful thinking of their leaders?
As a piece of literacy, “The End: The Defiance & Destruction of Hitlers Germany 1944-45” has its own strengths and weak points. For instance the attempt by the author to take the subject of the World War II from a different perspective from what has already existed in literature was a step in the right direction. Much had been said on the causes of the war and the actual war but Kershaw was tactical enough to take the subject from its concluding part. There were also attempts to be very detailed with character analysis and actual description of events including warfront reports and this gave the book a lot of mental pictorial background. However, in an attempt to be totally different, the writer made the book get dismiss of juicy social detail (Shepherd, 2011). Without any doubt, there were series of social implications to the war that made the omission very clear and lacking in the book. Again, the writer was excessively restrained in his presentation of facts as he had adopted a strategy of being levelheaded with the facts. There are analysts who even think that it was for this attempt that a personality like Hitler could be accorded a ‘positive’ accolade that could be exemplified by other world leaders and that if the writer had been bare with the facts, Hitler would have been exposed more on his weaknesses.
Kershaw I., 2011, ‘The End: The Defiance & Destruction of Hitlers Germany 1944-45’, Penguin Press: New York
Shepherd B., 2011, ‘The End: Hitlers Germany, 1944-45 by Ian Kershaw – review’ The Observer [Online] [April 19, 2012] Read More
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