They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45 #2020

They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45 By Milton Sanford Mayer They Thought They Were Free The Germans What no one seemed to notice said a colleague of mine a philologist was the ever widening gap after between the government and the people Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with
  • Title: They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45
  • Author: Milton Sanford Mayer
  • ISBN: 9780226511924
  • Page: 227
  • Format: Paperback
  • They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45 By Milton Sanford Mayer
    They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45 By Milton Sanford Mayer What no one seemed to notice, said a colleague of mine, a philologist, was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany And it became always wider You know, it doesn t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people s government, a true democracy, o What no one seemed to notice, said a colleague of mine, a philologist, was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany And it became always wider You know, it doesn t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing Excerpt
    • [KINDLE] Ò They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45 | BY ☆ Milton Sanford Mayer
      Milton Sanford Mayer

    About “Milton Sanford Mayer

    • Milton Sanford Mayer

      Milton Sanford Mayer, a journalist and educator, was best known for his long running column in The Progressive magazine, founded by Robert Marion LaFollette, Sr in Madison, Wisconsin.Mayer, raised a Reform Jew, was born in Chicago, the son of Morris Samuel Mayer and Louise Gerson He graduated from Englewood High School, where he received a classical education with an emphasis on Latin and languages He studied at the University of Chicago from 1925 to 1928 but did not earn a degree he told the Saturday Evening Post in 1942 that he was placed on permanent probation in 1928 for throwing beer bottles out a dormitory window He was a reporter for the Associated Press 1928 29 , the Chicago Evening Post, and the Chicago Evening American.During his stint at the Post he married his first wife Bertha Tepper the couple had two daughters In 1945 they were divorced, and two years later Mayer married Jane Scully, whom he referred to as Baby in his magazine columns.At various times, he taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Louisville, as well as universities abroad He was also a consultant to the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.Mayer s most influential book was probably They Thought They Were Free The Germans, 1933 45, a study of the lives of a group of ordinary Germans under the Third Reich, first published in 1955 by the University of Chicago Press Mayer became a member of the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers while he was researching this book in Germany in 1950 he did not reject his Jewish birth and heritage At various times, he taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Louisville, as well as universities abroad He was also a consultant to the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions.Mayer is also the author of What Can a Man Do Univ of Chicago Press and is the co author, with Mortimer Adler, of The Revolution in Education Univ of Chicago Press.Mayer died in 1986 in Carmel, California, where he and his second wife made their home Milton had one brother, Howie Mayer, who was the Chicago journalist that broke the Leopold and Loeb case.

    847 thoughts on “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45

    • They Wanted It They Got It And They Liked ItMilton Mayer was that rarest of writers a journalist who knew his job was to create interesting facts and a philosopher who knew that facts are meaningless without a theory, a coherent narrative, that connects them His phenomenological analysis of ten Everyman Nazis was remarkable but largely unremarked when it was first published in 1954 during the Red Scare of McCarthyism The book may be even relevant today in understanding the Red Scare of a differ [...]


    • They wanted it they got it and they liked it In 1952, American journalist Milton Mayer moved his family to Marburg, Germany, a small town near Frankfurt There, he set about to answer the question plaguing the world since Hilter s rise in 1933 how did a modern, western democracy fall prey to Nazism Mayer was from German decent himself and a Jew, and he decided the answer to this quandary might lie in the little man Mayer made friends with ten such men in Marburg, men who had average jobs and live [...]


    • Shortly after the war Milton Mayer, an American Jew of German heritage, and his wife, Jane, moved into a mid sized German city Concealing his religious background, Mayer passed as an authentic, returning German and was thereby afforded an easy intimacy with the inhabitants What he was aiming for was some insight into how Hitler came to power and how Germans of all walks of life thought of his regime He apparently got it.I ve approached the German experience from 1933 to 1945 with similar questio [...]


    • Seven years after the collapse of Hitler s regime, Milton Sanford Mayer, an American Jewish journalist of German heritage, traveled to Germany in an effort to understand how and why Nazism had developed in Germany He spends a year in a small Hessian town whose identity he disguises by calling it Kronenberg Here he works to develop contacts with kleine Leute , i.e ordinary Germans who enthusiastically or reluctantly embraced the Nazi cause He wanted to understand why they had done so And through [...]


    • You should read this book if you think that you are free.This is an old book, originally published in 1955, but it is relevant today than ever before Today the U.S government openly arrests people without probable cause, detains them indefinitely without trial, tortures them, assassinates citizens and non citizens alike with predator drones, and spies on everyone, all in the name of freedom What is the reaction of the American people Most of the mainstream media fails in reporting the flagrant [...]


    • They Thought They Were Free the germans 1933 45Milton Mayer author Published by the University of Chicago PressFirst published in 1955 the book has the advantage of being a collection of recollections about the conditions of life in the small town of Kronnenberg The citizens of Kronneberg were of the most conservative of ordinary people In fact they were not even Germans, according to real Germans Kronnenberg was in Hesse Its people were sometimes referred to as blinder Hesse Blind Hessian when [...]


    • Excellent, sad, and troubling The author, a Jewish American, lived in Germany after World War II, in the 1950s, as a professor at a small provincial college This book is an account of his many conversations with ten different German men about their experiences and memories of the pre war, war, and immediate post war periods, and their attitudes about the Nazis and their actions They knew he was American, but not that he was Jewish.Unsurprisingly, they almost uniformly minimized the scale and nat [...]


    • Great book, if not a bit frightening Frightening because you can really see that tyranny can happening anywhere and at any time It really puts you in the shoes of ordinary Germans Would I really stand up to tyranny if it meant the death of my wife and children Also interesting is that many Germans referred to the 30 Year War WWI and WWII were, in many Germans minds, the same war.


    • They Thought They Were Free was first published in 1955 In 1966 it was reprinted with a new foreword by the author I read it for the first time as a college undergrad and activist in the early 1970s It exerted a lasting influence on my emerging view of the world Perhaps its most important lesson was this People who are content with, or at least resigned to, the status quo have no need of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, or the right to not incriminate oneself More, m [...]


    • Milton Mayer writes wonderful profiles of ten Germans who lived through the Third Reich His analysis is very human compassionate, yet to some extent damning I liked Mayer in these chapters, but liked him less in the opening and closing chapters when he writes, not so much about the individuals caught up in the war, but about the nations involved and especially the United States Mayer joins other Blame the USA critics in imagining some better undetermined solution to winning WWII than bombing Dre [...]


    • I really enjoyed this book, but it does take a bit of effort to stay engaged in what s going on The author s style isn t very direct until later in the book.This book really opened my eyes to how the Germans were manipulated very carefully by the National Socialist movement It serves as a chilling reminder that this could happen to anybody, that anything less than standing on principle regardless of the consequences makes a people vulnerable to usurpation and slavery.


    • Mayer An American Jewish journalist performs what may be nearly a supernatural feat of grace as he profiles 10 ordinary Germans shortly after the war my 10 Nazi friends as he puts it Mayer quotes the prayer of the publican as a warning to all of us The book is powerful and revealing of human nature, but in an unexpected way The Nazi problem is indeed a human problem.


    • Illusion can very easily overcome ones reality In these times in which we look at the state of the union, we would do well to remember this This book is eerie because of how blinded they were to the reality of what they were supporting.


    • The other reviewers explain what the book is about Mayer s discussion of the experience of his Nazi sources, which forms about the first half of the book, is its best part Some of the stories are moving all are frightening, showing how ordinary, generally decent people became Nazis, in some cases in spite of themselves His further discussion of the German character is weaker, and his predictions concerning the future of Germany have proven to be incorrect, something for which we may be grateful [...]


    • Given the current state of American politics, this book, now 61 years old, is eerily relevant The author lives for a time in postwar Germany, hiding from his 10 Nazi friends that he is Jewish, to examine how average citizens could become supporters of a brutal dictator The books strength is in the profiles and interviews with these 10 men no women were profiled , who each have supported the Nazi movement to varying degrees, from local strongmen to go along get along types That so many Germans be [...]


    • Working through this book was a very intense exercise.It requires you enter it with an objective perspective that then must be balanced by an empathy of the characteristics of the timeline.I believe any reader would at several points in this book be challenged to look into themselves and question many of their misconceptions The exercise is made all the riveting while trying to relate to his 1955 Orthodox Quaker Pacifism cultural perspective solutions with the 50 years in cultural development t [...]


    • An unsympathic, somewhat unemotional view of the average German from 1933 1945 The book was written by a Jew, posing as a non Jew, who interviewed average Germans in the early 50s The German system was ripe for National Socialism Nazi Party Under Hitler, the average German was fed, had a job, and became Someone Hitler was their Father figure At some point, the state becomes important than the individual, and this can be the result One can easily draw several parallels between German of the 30s [...]


    • This book is scary, entertaining, and enlightening, all at the same time The author is an American journalist who was very curious as many people, since the end of WWII, have been about how Nazi Germany could have happened He had his publisher obtain a university teaching position for him at a northeastern German university unnamed and the book evolved from conversations with former Nazi friends Written in 1955, it still has the power to shock, amaze, and educate Much can be learned from this bo [...]


    • A Jew posing as a non Jew writes an interesting, scary, and sad book about the Germans of 1933 45 Written after the war, Milton Mayer befriends 10 Germans to gain understanding of their action, thoughts, and roles in the years of 1933 45 Although this book is written without real feelings toward the Germans, I felt it almost gave the underlying vibe of sympathy What was not surprising was the fact most of these Germans turned their heads and still believers of a good Hitler.


    • How could ordinary, decent people abide the Nazis for the span of twelve years to allow a baby born at the NSDAP s seizure of power to practically come of age under their banner Shortly after World War II, Milton Meyer traveled to Germany and attempted to answer that question for himself Omitting his Jewish heritage, he cultivated friendships with ten German citizens and approached them with questions about their life during the war His mission was to understand their experience.Though primarily [...]


    • A better title for this book might have been They Thought It Was All Good Milton Mayer s study of ten former Nazis, ordinary people from a variety of walks of life and of a variety of education levels, was an attempt to understand how such a heinous regime could have risen to power and maintained the loyalty of the German citizenry throughout such a disastrous for the Germans especially war From the perspective of 2013, it may be easier for Americans to imagine how gradual encroachments by the S [...]


    • I found it a little difficult to rate this book The first part, relating personal interviews with former Nazi party members was fascinating and a little troubling when looking at some of the events in terms of modern developments The second half of the book, though, read like an attempt at psychoanalysis of an entire country s population that just didn t work for me although he did admit there might be a few exceptions to some of the generalizations The final section made a lot of predictions ab [...]


    • Milton Mayer traveled to Germany 10 years after the end of the second world war and conducted extensive interviews with a group of ordinary Germans living in Kronenberg This book provides some answers to the question of how could this have happened Opression came gradually, affected the other and in the meantime life for the average German Aryan improved under the Nazis during the 1930 s This book also leads to the some uncomfortable questions for the reader, especially what would I have done I [...]


    • Chilling and Indispensable To learn from history, it s not enough to understand events It s critically important to understand human weakness and how quickly our institutions and ideals can fail us This book is both surprising and unsurprising To read it is to understand that not only can it happen here , but it can happen quickly and easily than we might imagine.


    • This book hurt I can actually feel how I d have been killed I m transgender That said, I think this is probably one of the most important books I ve ever read It s a hard lesson, but we must stand against those who would turn us against each other, as early as possible, and with the strongest possible compassion and love.


    • How can a democratic nation with a highly educated populace devolve into barbarism and tyranny Well, it was barbarism and tyranny to somer others it was order.Well written in both style and content A powerful reminder of what has happened and what can happen again.



    • Very good read This book was an interesting perspective from some ordinary Germans during the years of the Reich Do any of us really know how bad our governments can be



    • In this fascinating book, ten ordinary Germans from the same small town are interviewed shortly after WWII about their experiences as Nazis What made them join What drew them to Hitler Why did some of them participate in burning down the town s synagogue The answers are complex, revealing complexities in German culture and humanity itself Hitler s appeal to the little man is a major theme, and it is striking how little blame the ten Germans assign to him, instead wishing to blame those around hi [...]


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