The collapse of the Third Reich in 1945 was an event nearly unprecedented in history. Only the fall of the Roman Empire fifteen hundred years earlier compares to the destruction visited on Germany. The country's cities lay in ruins, its economic base devastated. The German people stood at the brink of starvation, millions of them still in POW camps. This was the starting point as the Allies set out to build a humane, democratic nation on the ruins of the vanquished Nazi state-arguably the most monstrous regime the world has ever seen.
In Exorcising Hitler, master historian Frederick Taylor tells the story of Germany's Year Zero and what came next. He describes the bitter endgame of war, the murderous Nazi resistance, the vast displacement of people in Central and Eastern Europe, and the nascent cold war struggle between Soviet and Western occupiers. The occupation was a tale of rivalries, cynical realpolitik, and blunders, but also of heroism, ingenuity, and determination -- not least that of the German people, who shook off the nightmare of Nazism and rebuilt their battered country.
Weaving together accounts of occupiers and Germans, high and low alike Exorcising Hitler is a tour de force of both scholarship and storytelling, the first comprehensive account of this critical episode in modern history.