A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism by Julia Boyd & Angelika Patel

A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism by Julia Boyd & Angelika Patel

Since the end of the second World War in 1945, we’ve heard various accounts of life under the Nazis, predominantly from leading historians telling about the brutality of the regime that not only persecuted outsiders who they felt didn’t ‘fit’ with the ideology of their ideology but also those within Germany’s borders, those Germans who lived and worked in the country for centuries past. A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism by Julia Boyd & Angelika Patel tells the story of the lives of the people in the village of Oberstdorf in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, a place where people felt that history belonged to the world outside, soon to learn that history is something no one can escape.

In the inter-war years, Oberstdorf, like many villages, was a place where what happened in the outside world was something for the outside world, but that changed in 1914 and the onset of the First World War when the youth volunteered to join the frontline in search of adventure in the outside world.  Although their lives changed irrevocably, it was not until the rise of National Socialism that life in Oberstdorf changed drastically, and its villagers realised that history could not elude them.

Told with personal accounts from the people living in Oberstdorf during these years, A Village in the Third Reich tells not just the history, but gives the villagers their own voices, something previously unheard, and not just their daily lives, but an understanding of why they voted for National Socialist advocates, and a regime that ultimately gave them nothing.  In co-authoring with Angelika Patel, who was born in Oberstdorf, Julia Boyd creates a unique viewpoint on a period that, although widely acknowledged, is still a period that is very much unknown to us.  As such A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism not only provides a previously unheard account of the war, and those who survived through it, but also a memorial to freedoms lost and a voice for all those  who were ‘not worth living’.

  • A Village in the Third Reich: How Ordinary Lives Were Transformed By the Rise of Fascism by Julia Boyd & Angelika Patel is published by Elliott & Thompson (£25.00). To order a copy go to eandtbooks.com
Tom Stanger
Editor at Pilgrim House | Website | + posts

Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently undertaking a research degree at Bangor University and working on a book on Folklore and early Welsh Christianity. Tom’s other work on music, poetry, health along other writings and images can be found at tomasstanger.com

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