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The Nazi Miracle

Alan Milward, 23 January 1986

Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant 
edited by Henry Ashby Turner, translated by Ruth Hein.
Yale, 333 pp., £25, September 1985, 0 300 03294 3
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Blood and Soil: Walther Darré and Hitler’s ‘Green Party’ 
by Anna Bramwell.
Kensal Press, 288 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 946041 33 4
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Industry and Politics in the Third Reich: Ruhr Coal, Hitler and Europe 
by John Gillingham.
Methuen, 183 pp., £15.95, October 1985, 0 416 39570 8
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Geschichte der Deutschen Kriegswirtschaft 1939-1945. Vol. II: 1941-1943 
by Dietrich Eichholtz.
Akademie Verlag, 713 pp., January 1986
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... In the early summer of 1931, as the storm centre of the century’s worst depression roared back towards a Germany where already 4.5 million people were out of work, the Nazi Party for the first time faced the fact that it might be elected to government. ‘Finance capitalism’, which they had been lambasting for 12 years, had got the country into just the mess they had predicted ...

Double Thought

Michael Wood: Kafka in the Office, 20 November 2008

Franz Kafka: The Office Writings 
edited by Stanley Corngold, Jack Greenberg and Benno Wagner, translated by Eric Patton and Ruth Hein.
Princeton, 404 pp., £26.95, November 2008, 978 0 691 12680 7
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... It’s certainly an excellent arrangement,’ the official says, ‘always unimaginably excellent, even if in other respects hopeless.’ We can easily picture, or even recall, arrangements that are excellent for some and hopeless for others, and that is what the phrase ‘in other respects’ invites us to do. But the larger rhythm and grammar of the sentence ask us to go beyond this option, to think both contrary thoughts at once, taking excellence and hopelessness as partners in an intricate dance, each calling for and implying the other; as if the arrangement is excellent because it’s hopeless, hopeless because it’s excellent ...

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