Hitler's Empire by Mark Mazower

Hitler's Empire

Drawing on an unprecedented variety of sources, Mark Mazower reveals how the Nazis designed, maintained, and ultimately lost their European empire and offers a chilling vision of the world Hitler would have made had he won the war.Germany's forces achieved, in just a few years, the astounding domination of a landmass and population larger than that of the United States. Control of this vast territory was meant to provide the basis for Germany's r...

Details Hitler's Empire

TitleHitler's Empire
Release DateSep 18th, 2008
PublisherPenguin Press
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, World War II, Cultural, Germany, European History, Military Fiction, German History, Nazi Party, Military, Military History, Historical

Reviews Hitler's Empire

  • Matt
    In Hitler’s Empire, Mark Mazower explores Nazi Germany from a very specific angle. He does not write about the many battles of World War II. There are no discussions of weaponry or tactics. He is not interested in the twisted, pathological personalities that studded the Nazi hierarchies. He is not here to describe Hitler’s rise to power or the domestic politics of his party. Instead, Hitler’s Empire is a thorough (604 pages of text), readab...
  • Terence
    There's a scene in the classic Star Trek episode "Patterns of Force" that always comes to mind when I read Nazi-era histories. In the episode, Enterprise is called to the planets Ekos and Zeon to find out what happened to the Federation's cultural observer, John Gill, who's disappeared. They discover Ekos ruled by a Nazi Party identical in every way to Earth's, down to the very uniforms; led by the Fuhrer, John Gill; and embarked on a campaign to...
  • Christopher Saunders
    Mark Mazower's Hitler's Empire offers an ambitious, provocative look at Nazi management of conquered territories and collaborators throughout the Second World War. Mazower examines the underpinnings of Hitler's dream for lebensraum in the broader contexts of German imperial history, racial fears of Russians and Jews, and (reviving an old idea of A.J.P. Taylor) the American and British expansionists whom Hitler professed to admire. Yet Mazower str...
  • Eric
    In 1915, with Europe aflame in what everyone thought would be its worst war, W.E.B. Du Bois published a theory of the belligerents’ motives in the Atlantic Monthly. “The African Roots of War” argued that the proverbial chickens had come home to roost: that imperial competition, especially the “scramble for Africa,” had created the jealousies fueling the war, and had raised the stakes almost to preclude a lasting peace. “The Balkans ar...
  • Jonny
    An examination of how the Germans plundered, murdered and stole their way through Europe in the years from 1938 to 1945. Not unsurprisingly, it's a catalogue of lack of planning, graft, genocidal tendencies, outright theft and the insanity of issuing vague instructions to competing individuals. Of particular interest was the way that the definition of "ethnic Germans" shifted depending on the racism of the Gauleiters and the pressure of quotas to...
  • Jenny T
    Easily the most compelling book I've read this year, Hitler's Empire detailed Germany's domination of Europe from the 1930s to 1950--and the aftermath. From Germany's initial goal of uniting all the "Germanic peoples" in Europe under a single flag, to forced migration, attempted genocide, forced labor, political back-stabbing, and mass murder, this is a sad, scary story.But it's a fascinating one. Rather than focusing strictly on the political po...
  • La pointe de la sauce
    The wholesale betrayal of the Jewish people by Europe headed by the third Reich. Systematic. A dishonour to humanity. The murder of millions of women and children on a scale unimaginable.  Little is sadder in the whole grim story than the accounts of Jewish women and children emerging out of the Polish woods to give themselves up at gendarmerie posts asking to be shot. Their certainty that they were doomed if they relied on local Christians is c...
  • Jon
    I read this in tandem with Fischer's Germany's Aims in the First World War to get a sense of whether there was any continuity between the means and ends of German aggression in the world wars. In short, there definitely was. Mazower provides a detailed and extremely well-written account of 1)Germany's extensive aims, 2)its decided lack of a well thought-out plan for administering the territories it conquered, 3)its failure to coordinate military ...
  • Michael Williams
    In terms of Realpolitik and political theory, though adamantly not in ethical terms, Nazi hegemony of Eurasia was a real and legitimate possibility for a brief while in the late 1930s and first years of the 1940s. Why this possibility did not materialize is the question that Mark Mazower confronts in Hitler’s Empire, which, as its title suggests, locates the answer in the field of imperial policy. This approach hearkens back to Mazower’s earl...
  • DoctorM
    An excellent account of Germany's attempt to administer its conquered territories and of how the Third Reich so haplessly failed to understand both its own economic and military limitations and to coordinate any vision of what a Europe dominated by Greater Germany would look like. Mazower focuses on the utter disjunct between Nazi racial visions and the economic needs of the Reich whether in peace or war and on the sheer venality and incompetence...
  • Martin Empson
    This is an exceptionally detailed and informative study, well written and compelling. Despite its scope, Mark Mazower manages to make sure the human context is not forgotten in analyzing the death and destruction caused by war, occupation and genocidal policies.Full review on the 'blog as ever: http://resolutereader.blogspot.co.uk/...
  • Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
    Excellent companion to the Richard Evans trilogy, dealing as it does with the effect of Nazism on the protectorates, the occupied territories, palatinates, and client states of the Greater German Reich.
  • Ushan
    In 1938-1945 Nazi Germany ran a short-lived but large European empire, which at its peak in late 1942 stretched from western France to the Volga, and from northern Norway to Greek islands. It started rather innocuously, when Nazi Germany annexed Austria and majority-German border areas of Czechoslovakia, with the consent of most of their citizens. This is what a lot of independent European nations wanted to do since the beginning of the Age of Na...
  • Marks54
    This is a terrific book about how the Nazis administered their conquered territories. It is a serious history book, filled with lots of detail, copious citations, and considerable insight. It is also a dense read and not for the timid.Why is this book so interesting and valuable? It is insufficient to say it is well crafted. One would certainly hope for that, but that sort of quality would not guarantee that the book was interesting or valuable. ...
  • H Wesselius
    An excellent account of how the Nazis ruled Europe.Mazower develops his ideas and story within the context of German nationalism and European imperialism. The ideas, methods, and organization that governed Europe in WWII did not develop in a vacuum. In most cases, it represented a continuity of Bismark eastern policy and Germany's actions in WWI. Furthermore, Mazower develops a comparison between standard European imperialism abroad and German ac...
  • J.M. Hushour
    Hitler, as we all know, was a dick. But, asks Mazower in this excellent book, how did his dickishness and supreme asshole-ality fit into a greater European context? The Third Reich was an Empire, which took overt and clearly stated cues from other empires (British, French, American vs. First Peoples, etc.) BUT it was a shitty empire predicated on extermination and outright territorial aggrandizement to a level hitherto unknown to the world. The o...
  • Themistocles
    Just as you think that all the topics of WWII have been covered, more or less, Mazower pulls an ace from his sleeve and delivers a really interesting approach/angle: the way Hitler's minions administered the Nazi empire, in economic, social and military terms.Really well-written and very accessible, it provides insight and raises new questions and -for the first time- offers an overall image of how Europe was run - and how Hitler would want to ru...
  • Erik Graff
    This is a history of the German administration of subject states during the second world war. A lengthy survey, it isn't, and it couldn't be, thorough within the compass of a single cover. Such emphasis as it does have seems to be with the East, where the greatest crimes were committed, especially with Poland. Coverage of the West is more cursory. However, extensive notes documenting the text suggest further, more focused study. Most rewarding pe...
  • Nick
    Although I am not a World War II buff, this long, detailed examination of how the Nazis governed the people they conquered fascinated me. There were some striking parallels to current events, as when Mazower observed that the Germans seemed, after overrunning Poland and the Baltic states, not to have given any thought to what would happen in those lands after the Wehrmacht won the military struggle.
  • Janschie
    Sub title of this book could be "If you thought things were bad , they were worse". The words, cruelty, brutality, self interest, murders of innocents... hardly begin to describe. Most facts here have been exposed before - and newer ones, just make one want to wonder - is there a God? The book is excellent and compelling.
  • Russ
    a long, difficult, in places harrowing, but excellent account of how the Nazis ruled those parts of Europe conquered between 1937 and 1941, and how they managed, or mismanaged, relations with their allies over the second world war. This covers all aspects of Nazi rule in Europe, including administration, economics, diplomacy, legalised murder, those who collaborated and those who resisted, and also goes into great detail about the crimes against ...
  • McCrary Drake
    Excellent read!
  • Grindy Stone
    Definitely a perspective changer; for me, Nazi territories were overseen with an iron fist by thugs in SS uniforms. After reading this it became clear that there was some diplomacy involved. Indeed, the story of how the Third Reich ran its conquered territories is a tale of foreign policy. Loads of insight herein, this has to be one of the five best books I have read about Nazi Germany.
  • g.lkoa
    It is perhaps a truism that you cannot think any worse of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, as the 'ur' contempt for Nazis isn’t even expression of an ethical stance – it’s the only viable attitude. This is an extremely well done, hugely documented book (Mazower has gathered references in a tremendously meticulous manner, relying a lot on grey literature, prosopographical records, and archival reconstruction on the strength of his expertise...
  • Jim
    This is a very interesting book and a new perspective (at least for me) on the history of World War II and the Nazis' actions before and during the war. The author, first of all, contends that the Nazis never really had a plan for ruling the various countries that they vanquished and occupied. How to rule was left more to hindsight and something that would be taken care of after the end of the war, which Hitler was sure would be very short. The N...
  • Katherine Addison
    Short version: Nazis. Most incompetent Evil Overlords in the history of ever.Exactly as the subtitle says, this book is about how the Nazis ran occupied Europe: how they dealt with the fact of administering an empire which, as Mazower shows, they spared no thought for even when they were in the middle of planning to invade Poland. Mazower is a functionalist rather than an intentionalist when it comes to the Holocaust, and that position arises nat...
  • Alister Black
    This book is a very serious work of history, looking in great depth at Nazi foreign policy. The Nazi's and Hitler in particular do not come out well. Their racism and German nationalism made any skillful policy impossible. Rather than win over occupied nations like Poland and the Baltic states, on the basis of anti-Communism, they preferred to slaughter civilians (often in anti-Partisan reprisals) by the thousand. They also used them to make up t...
  • Michael Schmidt
    An immensely readable account of what has been examined along so many other axes before: the relatively genteel fate of Western compared to Eastern Europe under the Nazi boot-heel was not only distorted by ingrained conceptions of race but of lebensraum. The axes of examination have usually been the ideological war between those totalitarian evil twins, Stalinism and Nazism, or the radicalisation of the Nazi race war from vague notions of deporti...
  • Tripp
    This is an excellent book that I docked a star just for being a bit too long. Mazower provides a lot of evidence to support his argument, I just felt that it was too much. This is not yet another military history, but a political history. It shows how the Nazis (mis) managed their conquests and their homeland before and during World War 2. Personalities loom large, but the book's focus is on policies. Mazower shows how factionalized Nazi Germany ...