Kirk, Terence S. The Secret Camera: A Marine's Story: Four Years as a POW (The Lyons Press, 2004).
On the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the twenty-three marines stationed in North China were at the peak of physical condition. They were young, brave men who were willing to die to defend their country. But on that day, they were forced to surrender to the Japanese and spent the rest of the war-all 1,355 days-as POWs. They didn't know the statistic that stated a marine was 17.5 times more likely to die in a Japanese prison camp than in battle-or that 38 percent of all Americans captured by the Japanese died in labor camps. But they were soon to find out on their own.
Kirschner, Ann. Sala's Gift: My Mother's Holocaust Story (Free Press, 2007).
Few family secrets have the power both to transform lives and to fill in crucial gaps in world history. But then, few families have a mother and a daughter quite like Sala and Ann Kirschner. For nearly fifty years, Sala kept a secret: She had survived five years as a slave in seven different Nazi work camps. Living in America after the war, she kept from her children any hint of her epic, inhuman odyssey. She held on to more than 350 letters, photographs, and a diary without ever mentioning them. Only in 1991, on the eve of heart surgery, did she suddenly present them to Ann and offer to answer any questions her daughter wished to ask. It was a life-changing moment for her scholar, writer, and entrepreneur daughter.
We know surprisingly little about the vast network of Nazi labor camps, where imprisoned Jews built railroads and highways, churned out munitions and materiel, and otherwise supported the limitless needs of the Nazi war machine. This book gives us an insider's account: Conditions were brutal. Death rates were high. As the war dragged on and the Nazis retreated, inmates were force-marched across hundreds of miles, or packed into cattle cars for grim journeys from one camp to another. When Sala first reported to a camp in Geppersdorf, Poland, at the age of sixteen, she thought it would be for six weeks. Five years later, she was still at a labor camp and only she and two of her sisters remained alive of an extended family of fifty. In the first years of the conflict, Sala was aided by her close friend Ala Gertner, who would later lead an uprising at Auschwitz and be executed just weeks before the liberation of that camp. Sala was also helped by other key friends. Yet above all, she survived thanks to the slender threads of support expressed in the letters of her friends and family. She kept them at great personal risk, and it is astonishing that she was able to receive as many as she did. With their heartwrenching expressions of longing, love, and hope, they offer a testament to the human spirit, an indomitable impulse even in the face of monstrosity.
Kitchen, Martin. The Third Reich: A Concise History (Tempus Publishing, Limited, 2003).
Seventy years have passed since Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor, and in the intervening years a vast amount has been written on the origins and nature of the Third Reich. The years from 1933 to 1945 cast such a grim shadow that the moral, ethical, and religious elements embedded in the narrative are such that the subject still resists treatment as part of a historical past. Fierce debates still rage over both the how and the why of these terrible events. In this concise and accessible account Martin Kitchen addresses the major issues. How did Hitler come to power? How was the Nazi dictatorship established? What was the essential nature of the regime? What were the reasons for Hitler's extraordinary popularity? Why did Germany go to war? What led to the Holocaust? What was the legacy of National Socialism?
Kjellander, Petter. Konigsberg: The Battle For East Prussia January - May 1945: The Russian Offensive (Leandoer And Eckholm, 2007).
East Prussia was the first genuine part of the German home lands that fell to the Red Army in 1945. Already by 1944 some parts of East Prussia had been under the attack of the Soviets. The tragedy became complete in April 1945. The losses and horrors German civilians had to endure were tremendous. The Red Army showed its worst after the capture of East Prussia. The discovery of the Red Army's behavior in late 1944 in some of the border towns led to the most severe battles ever to be fought in East Prussia. The German army tried in vain to save the civilians from the Red Army onslaught. The battle for East Prussia ended with the siege of Konigsberg and Pillau, April 1945. The loss of human lives during these battles for East Prussia was very high. This book covers a much overlooked and little recorded campaign during World War Two. It draws on sources from both the Russian archives giving the Red Army view and those from the German side gives a good balance, and it contains never before seen pictures of the fighting and a great number of maps and color profiles of the AFVs being employed on both sides in the battle.
Klabunde, Anja. Magda Goebbels (Time Warner Books, UK, 2003).
Magda Goebbels was arguably the most contradictory and intriguing of the women who lived alongside the top-ranking Nazis. Beautiful and intelligent, she went from being deeply in love with Zionist leader Victor Chaim Arlosoroff to marrying Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda. She turned from being a devoted mother of 6 and role model of Nazi family values to becoming a Medea who poisoned her young children. Anja Klabunde’s impeccably researched biography explores how such an intelligent and charming woman could fall victim to fanaticism. The result is an absorbing account of a life that mirrors the tragedy and illusion of Germany in the first half of the 20th century.
Klemperer, Victor. The Language of the Third Reich: LTI—Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist's Notebook (Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006).
Under the Third Reich, the official language of Nazism came to be used as a political tool. The existing social culture was manipulated and subverted as the German people had their ethical values and their thoughts about politics, history and daily life recast in a new language. This Notebook, originally called LTI (Lingua Tertii Imperii)-the abbreviation itself a parody of Nazified language-was written out of Klemperer's conviction that the language of the Third Reich helped to create its culture. As Klemperer writes: "it isn't only Nazi actions that have to vanish, but also the Nazi cast of mind, the typical Nazi way of thinking, and its breeding ground: the language of Nazism." This brilliant, entertaining, profound, and ultimately saddening and horrifying book is one of the great twentieth-century studies of language and of its engagement with history.
Klemperer, Victor. To the Bitter End, 1942-1945 (Orion Publishing, 2000).
In this second volume of Victor Klemperer's diary covers the period from the beginning of the holocaust to the end of the war, telling the story of Klemperer's increasing isolation, his near miraculous survival, and his growing awareness of the holocaust as his friends and associates disappeared.
Klemperer, Victor. I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941 (Modern Library Paperbacks, 1999).
The publication of Victor Klemperer's secret diaries brings to light one of the most extraordinary documents of the Nazi period. "In its cool, lucid style and power of observation," said The New York Times, "it is the best written, most evocative, most observant record of daily life in the Third Reich." I Will Bear Witness is a work of literature as well as a revelation of the day-by-day horror of the Nazi years. A Dresden Jew, a veteran of World War I, a man of letters and historian of great sophistication, Klemperer recognized the danger of Hitler as early as 1933. His diaries, written in secrecy, provide a vivid account of everyday life in Hitler's Germany.
What makes this book so remarkable, aside from its literary distinction, is Klemperer's preoccupation with the thoughts and actions of ordinary Germans: Berger the greengrocer, who was given Klemperer's house ("anti-Hitlerist, but of course pleased at the good exchange"), the fishmonger, the baker, the much-visited dentist. All offer their thoughts and theories on the progress of the war: Will England hold out? Who listens to Goebbels? How much longer will it last?
Kneece, Jack. Ghost Army of World War II (Pelican, 2001).
Career journalist and newspaperman Kneece chronicles the story of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. With only 1100 men, the 23rd was repeatedly able to disguise itself as a much larger force, masking the Allies' real operations and saving thousands of lives. The Germans called them the "Phantom Army," while the 23rd preferred the nickname "Ghost Army." Using elaborate ruses of false radio traffic, sound effects, inflatable vehicles, and other techniques, these "ghosts" were so successful in over 20 operations that the Germans believed that they were facing a 30,000-man force. The unit's soldiers were actually artists, set designers, sound technicians, and other specialists (including Bill Blass, Elsworth Kelly, Art Kane, and George Stulten). Kneece uses numerous declassified documents and personal interviews with veterans to create a readable narrative of the unit's operations in France, Luxembourg, and Germany. This unit was classified top secret during World War II and remained so until 1996, and the author describes the "silent suffering" of the 23rd's men, who did not get due recognition because of this top-secret classification. While not scholarly, this book is a capable study of an elite military unit for public and academic libraries. (David M. Alperstein, Queens Borough P.L., Jamaica, NY for Library Journal)
Knooz, Claudia. The Nazi Conscience (Belknap Press, 2005).
Claudia Koonz's latest work reveals how racial popularizers developed the infrastructure and rationale for genocide during the so-called normal years before World War II. Her careful reading of the voluminous Nazi writings on race traces the transformation of longtime Nazis' vulgar anti-Semitism into a racial ideology that seemed credible to the vast majority of ordinary Germans who never joined the Nazi Party. Challenging conventional assumptions about Hitler, Koonz locates the source of his charisma not in his summons to hate, but in his appeal to the collective virtue of his people, the Volk.
From 1933 to 1939, Nazi public culture was saturated with a blend of racial fear and ethnic pride that Koonz calls ethnic fundamentalism. Ordinary Germans were prepared for wartime atrocities by racial concepts widely disseminated in media not perceived as political: academic research, documentary films, mass-market magazines, racial hygiene and art exhibits, slide lectures, textbooks, and humor. By showing how Germans learned to countenance the everyday persecution of fellow citizens labeled as alien, Koonz makes a major contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust.
Knox, Donald. Death March: The Survivors of Bataan (Harvest Books, 2002).
Death March is an account of the extraordinary strength and courage exhibited by Americans under the extreme and seemingly unending stress of three and a half years of captivity under the Japanese on Bataan. Donald Knox (1936-1986) was an award-winning producer and director of television documentaries.
Konecky and Konecky. The Secret History of World War II (Konecky and Konecky Publishers, 2008).
These are the complete wartime correspondence between the leaders of the Allied Forces. Released with the cooperation of the Russian government, these revealing and often starkly frank communiques between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin add to our understanding of the course of World War II an indispensable horde of information. Through them, the reader is afforded a wonderfully intimate insight into the thinking of the three men who led the Allies to victory.
Korda, Michael. With Wings Like Eagles (Harper, 2009).
Michael Korda's brilliant work of history takes the reader back to the summer of 1940, when fewer than three thousand young fighter pilots of the Royal Air Force—often no more than nine hundred on any given day—stood between Hitler and the victory that seemed almost within his grasp.
Korda re-creates the intensity of combat in "the long, delirious, burning blue" of the sky above southern England, and at the same time—perhaps for the first time—traces the entire complex web of political, diplomatic, scientific, industrial, and human decisions during the 1930s that led inexorably to the world's first, greatest, and most decisive air battle. Korda deftly interweaves the critical strands of the story—the invention of radar (the most important of Britain's military secrets); the developments by such visionary aircraft designers as R. J. Mitchell, Sidney Camm, and Willy Messerschmitt of the revolutionary, all-metal, high-speed monoplane fighters the British Spitfire and Hurricane and the German Bf 109; the rise of the theory of air bombing as the decisive weapon of modern warfare and the prevailing belief that "the bomber will always get through" (in the words of British prime minister Stanley Baldwin). As Nazi Germany rearmed swiftly after 1933, building up its bomber force, only one man, the central figure of Korda's book, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, the eccentric, infuriating, obstinate, difficult, and astonishingly foresighted creator and leader of RAF Fighter Command, did not believe that the bomber would always get through and was determined to provide Britain with a weapon few people wanted to believe was needed or even possible. Dowding persevered—despite opposition, shortage of funding, and bureaucratic infighting—to perfect the British fighter force just in time to meet and defeat the German onslaught. Korda brings to life the extraordinary men and women on both sides of the conflict, from such major historical figures as Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, and Reichsmarschall Herman Göring (and his disputatious and bitterly feuding generals) to the British and German pilots, the American airmen who joined the RAF just in time for the Battle of Britain, the young airwomen of the RAF, the ground crews who refueled and rearmed the fighters in the middle of heavy German raids, and such heroic figures as Douglas Bader, Josef František, and the Luftwaffe aces Adolf Galland and his archrival Werner Mölders.
Winston Churchill memorably said about the Battle of Britain, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." Here is the story of "the few," and how they prevailed against the odds, deprived Hitler of victory, and saved the world during three epic months in 1940.
Korda, Michael. Ike: An American Hero (HarperCollins, 2007).
A big, ambitious, and enthralling new biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower, full of fascinating details and anecdotes, which places particular emphasis on his brilliant generalship and leadership in World War Two, and provides, with the advantage of hindsight, a far more acute analysis of his character and personality than any that has previously been available, reaching the conclusion that he was perhaps America's greatest general and one of America's best presidents, a man who won the war and thereafter kept the peace. Ike starts with the story of D–Day, the most critical moment in America's history. It was Hitler's last chance to win the war –– he had the means to destroy the troops on the beaches, but he failed to react quickly enough. The one man who would have reacted quickly and decisively had he been on the spot, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, was home on leave and didn't arrive back at his headquarters until it was too late. It was Ike's plan, Ike's decision, Ike's responsibility. He alone, among all the Allied generals, could win or lose the war in one day, and knew it.
Kotlowitz, Robert. Before Their Time (Anchor, 1999).
In the summer of 1943, Robert Kotlowitz, an indifferent premed student at Johns Hopkins University, was drafted into the army. "I told myself," he writes in his affecting memoir of World War II, "that it was better than being blatantly tossed out of college." In any event, he continues, "part of me, at eighteen, was eager to suffer the hazards and humiliations of war." Hazards and humiliations he found in abundance. He was assigned to a company led by an inept captain and put to work in a Browning Automatic Rifle unit. In combat school at Fort Benning he learned that, in battle, such units had a life expectancy of eleven seconds. "That is not hyperbole," he adds wryly. "It is scientific fact." But Kotlowitz lived through the war, fueled by his hatred, as a Jew, for the German enemy, and burning with the patriotic fervor of a young man. Both his hatred and his fervor diminished as he endured battle, living close to the bone and watching as his comrades fell. (Amazon.com)
Kovner, Abba. Scrolls of Testimony (Jewish Publication Society of American, 2002).
Accounts of the lives of displaced European Jews are collected in this fictionalized account of the years between 1930 and the late 1940s. The stories include not only the testimony of Jews in concentration camps but also the poems and commentaries of many others.
Kubizek, August. The Young Hitler I Knew (Greenhill Books, 2006).
This is the first edition to be published in English since 1955 and it corrects many changes made for reasons of political correctness. It also includes important sections which were excised from the original English translation. August Kubizek met Adolf Hitler in 1904 while they were both competing for standing room at the opera. Their mutual passion for music created a strong bond, and over the next four years they became close friends. Kubizek describes a reticent young man, painfully shy, yet capable of bursting into hysterical fits of anger if anyone disagreed with him. The two boys would often talk for hours on end; Hitler found Kubizek to be a very good listener, a worthy confidant to his hopes and dreams. In 1908 Kubizek moved to Vienna and shared a room with Hitler at 29 Stumpergasse. During this time, Hitler tried to get into art school, but he was unsuccessful. With his money fast running out, he found himself sinking to the lower depths of the city: an unkind world of isolation and 'constant unappeasable hunger'. Hitler moved out of the flat in November, without leaving a forwarding address; Kubizek did not meet his friend again until 1938. The Young Hitler I Knew tells the story of an extraordinary friendship, and gives fascinating insight into Hitler's character during these formative years.
Kuwahara, Yasuo. Kamikaze: A Japanese Pilot’s Own Spectacular Story of the Famous Suicide Squadrons (American Legacy Media, seventh edition edition, 2007)
Originally published in 1957, this enduring classic—the first-ever English publication co-written by a Japanese suicide pilot—remains a touching and insightful look into the world of the kamikaze. This edition, now completely revised, reflects the valuable insight and perspective gained by the author since the time of the book’s initial publication. From the age of 15, Yasuo Kuwahara began a life of military service that included suffering through brutal basic training, participating in ferocious aerial combat against the Allies, and avoiding a suicide mission when an atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, near his hometown. From being handpicked for kamikaze service to finding the discipline to die for the emperor, this history presents a firsthand account of the fascinating life of a kamikaze fighter pilot.