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  • Published: 1 October 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241413470
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

The Hitler Conspiracies

The Third Reich and the Paranoid Imagination




Renowned historian Richard Evans puts 'fake news' in historical perspective in this challenging and illuminating study

The idea that nothing happens by chance in history, that nothing is quite what it seems to be at first sight, that everything that occurs is the result of the secret machinations of malign groups of people manipulating everything from behind the scenes, is as old as history itself. But conspiracy theories are becoming more popular and more widespread in the twenty-first century. Nowhere have they become more obvious than in revisionist accounts of the history of the Third Reich. Long-discredited conspiracy theories have taken on a new lease of life, given credence by claims of freshly discovered evidence and novel angles of investigation.

This book takes five widely discussed claims involving Hitler and the Nazis and subjects them to forensic scrutiny: that the Jews were conspiring to undermine civilization, as outlined in 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'; that the German army was 'stabbed in the back' by socialists and Jews in 1918; that the Nazis burned down the Reichstag in order to seize power; that Rudolf Hess's flight to the UK in 1941 was sanctioned by Hitler and conveyed peace terms suppressed by Churchill; that Hitler escaped the Bunker in 1945 and fled to South America. In doing so, it teases out some surprising features these, and other conspiracy theories, have in common.

This is a history book, but it is a history book for the age of 'post-truth' and 'alternative facts': a book for our own troubled times.

  • Published: 1 October 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241413470
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the author

Richard J. Evans

Richard J. Evans was born in London in 1947. From 1989 to 1998 he was Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Since 1998 he has been Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University.In 1994 he was awarded the Hamburg Medal for Art and Science for cultural services to the city. His books include The Feminist Movement in Germany 1894-1933, Death in Hamburg (winner of the Wolfson Literary Award for History), In Hitler's Shadow, Rituals of Retribution (winner of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History), In Defence of History (which has so far been translated into eight languages) and Telling Lies about Hitler.

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