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2. The Last Days of the Reich
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the state of Germany during the final days of the Third Reich, focusing in particular on: (i) the crumbling of the German state at the end of the Second World War, as its communications and infrastructure were destroyed by the Allies; (ii) the divided opinions of leading Nazi officials who had been confined to live within Hitler’s underground bunker complex; (iii) the significance of suicide to the end of the Reich, both among the Nazi leadership and the general population; (iv) the death of Hitler, and Germany’s attempt to sue for an end to hostilities with each of the Western Allies.
In this course, Professor Richard Bessel (University of York) explores the consequences of the Second World War in Germany. In the first module, we think about the final battles that took place towards the end of the Second World War. After that, in the second module, we think about the last days of the Third Reich in Germany, before turning in the third module to look at the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. In the fourth module, we consider the impact that Allied occupation had upon Germany, then in the fifth module we outline the far-reaching consequences of Germany’s loss of the eastern territories in 1945. Finally, in the sixth module, we think about the poor state that Germany was left in at the end of the Second World War, and how this manifested itself in the attitudes of subsequent generations.
Professor Richard Bessel is Professor Emeritus of Twentieth Century History at the University of York. He specialises in the social and political history of modern Germany, in particular the aftermath of the two world wars. He has published widely within this area, including Germany 1945: From War to Peace (2009) and Nazism and War .(2004).
Cite this Lecture
Bessel, R. (2022, July 21). Germany - The Consequences of War, 1945 - The Last Days of the Reich [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-the-consequences-of-war-1945/the-last-days-of-the-reich
Bessel, R. "Germany - The Consequences of War, 1945 – The Last Days of the Reich." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Jul 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/germany-the-consequences-of-war-1945/the-last-days-of-the-reich