Trust Scientific meeting: “What were the Germans fighting for in World War II?”
World War was a German war like no other. Having started it, the Nazi regime
turned the conflict into the most horrific war in European history, resorting
to genocide well before building the first gas chambers. Over its course, the
Third Reich expended and exhausted all its moral and physical reserves, leading
to total defeat in 1945. Yet seventy years on, despite whole libraries of books
about the war’s origins, course and atrocities, we still do not know what
Germans thought they were fighting for and how they experienced and sustained
this war until the bitter end. In this lecture, Nicholas Stargardt will focus
on how ordinary Germans explored their own moral commitments and dilemmas in
their private letters and diaries at the time.
Nicholas Stargardt is one of Britain’s foremost scholars of Nazi Germany. He is Professor for Modern European History at the University of Oxford and is the author of Witnesses of War: Children’s Lives under the Nazis (Jonathan Cape, 2005), and The German War: A Nation under Arms, 1939-45 (Bodley Head, 2015), which the New York Times Book Review hailed as a ‘gripping new book…To write like this requires a rare sensitivity and psychological sophistication coupled with a degree of fearlessness… indispensable... Stargardt has given us a truly a truly profound piece of history’.