The 1000-Year Reich

The Long Night by Steve Wick

 

In "The Long Night," author Steve Wick tells us what it was like to be a broadcast journalist in Europe, and chiefly Berlin, during the 1930's rise of Adolf Hitler. But Wick wasn't born until 1951. So instead, he examines the work of William Shirer to capture a foreign correspondent's view of a Germany gone mad.

The first time I read Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," I was troubled by the author's too close proximity to the history. Part history, part memoir, the book also reflects a measure of intimacy like the pages of a diary. Though I did not doubt or distrust the author's honesty or the integrity of his research, his personal involvement in the story made me question his objectivity.

Now that Steve Wick has woven together Shirer's published works with diaries, letters, broadcast scripts and notes to self, I understand that Shirer actually restrained himself in describing the long and dark night of Hitler's regime. In addition to the near impossible task of reporting events under strict censorship and unknotting the pervasive lies of the official Nazi party line, Shirer worried about the safety of his wife and daughter. He also faced deportation or worse for his words. Despite huge obstacles and dangers, he did not compromise his honesty or pander to the overlords of the Third Reich.

 

--Bob S., Rock Road Branch

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