Why didn’t the United States intervene earlier or at least protest? Apparently, Hitler was sensitive to such acrimony, and protests might have done some good. As it turns out, after WWI, Germany was heavily indebted to us, and we wanted to make sure we got paid. This was one of many reasons, but it’s a hard one to wrap my head around. In the same vein, some influential business people here thought they could “do business with Hitler.”
Larson doesn’t go back and forth like he does in his other book, Devil in the White City, but he does offer alternate worlds, from parties and strolls through lush parks in Berlin and letters written to Carl Sandburg and Thornton Wilder, to one-on-one meetings with Hitler. The book is hard to put down.
Larson lists a video in his sources that you can find on Youtube: Berlin: Symphony of a Great City. If you’re a film buff or if you’re fond of nostalgia, the film is a fascinating glimpse of everyday life in Berlin in 1927. Not a single swastika, at least I didn’t spot any. The following year, Hitler’s party would lose an election. But then.
Next book to tackle is Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, which seems like a good companion piece to the above.