If you need an example of the wide range of titles published by Pen & Sword you have to look no further than this curio by James Wilson.
What we have is an amazing collection of original photographs and postcards relating to the Nuremberg rallies of the Nazis. I am bound to say that the book is dazzling, because collating all this stuff is a work of skill in itself. Where I can offer resistance is in the iconography, the architecture, the theatre and, above all, the sheer ghastliness of the Nazis themselves. For all this they do act like a bewitching flame for an unwary moth. The author sets out to steer a non-committal path through this parade of weirdness because his aim is to show the images and try and set them in the context of the time, whereas I can be far more partial. However, his accurate if well used point about the seductiveness of the Nazis is not lost and the amazing images in this book are proof for the pudding. The fact it tastes absolutely horrible is, besides the point!
Having reviewed the photographer Heinrich Hoffman’s biography early in the life of WHO, it comes as no surprise to see so many of his excellent photographs included in the book. A browse through the photo credits is as fascinating as the book itself. I particularly like the author’s attempt to produce Then and Now type comparisons in what little remains of the old Nuremberg devastated by bombing. As the great Arthur Harris predicted, they serve as a reminder for what the Nazis reaped for all their mad ambitions.
A longstanding postcard collector, the author brings a degree of knowledge to a series of astounding theatrical events never missing from any TV documentary on the rise and implosion of Nazi Germany. His book is a study in the propaganda success of the top tier of the Third Reich and while I would never have considered looking at it myself, I am glad for having the chance to learn so much from a superb collection of images. This book would be a useful aid to kids covering the rise of the Nazis for their A2 studies and like the equally useful Russian Revolution book reviewed previously, this one will be on hand for my daughter when required. Top marks.
THE NAZIS’ NUREMBERG RALLIES
By James Wilson
Published in hardback by Pen & Sword Military £19.99
ISBN: 978 1 84884 757 6