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Germany has a rich history. Centuries of it.

But, face it. Events of 60 to 70 years ago are what captivate most of us.

The people at After the Battle book publishers in London realize that, and have produced a volume that allows a unique familiarity with Nazi Germany.

“The Third Reich Then and Now” is both history and guidebook. It explains the rise of Hitler and Nazism, but also helps readers walk in the footsteps of the dark history, from its origins in Munich to its death beneath the streets of Berlin.

After the Battle has built a reputation over three decades for showing readers where history happened, mostly from World War II. Other volumes feature the airfields of the 8th Air Force in England and the beaches of Normandy. In a departure, one volume followed the footsteps of American outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.

This book maintains the high standard expected by historians. Packed with more than 1,400 photographs, many of them rare, it juxtaposes photos from then with photos of now.

For example, the Nazi Party was born in a pub in central Munich. The book features a photo of the place as it looked when a young, impressionable Adolf Hitler attended a meeting there. Next to that photo is one of the furniture store now occupying the building.

The building is easily recognizable, but thousands walk past it daily without knowing its history.

In the same fashion, “The Third Reich Then and Now” takes readers to Rudolf Hess’ school and Hermann Göring’s home. With the help of the book, visitors can stand where Hitler stood to urge thousands to war at party rallies in Nuremberg. It shows you where the first shovel of dirt was shifted to begin Germany’s first autobahn.

The minor players and events are not forgotten. Author Tony Le Tissier, a British military veteran who lived for 21 years in Berlin and wrote “Berlin Then and Now” for the same publisher, tracked down bit players and early martyrs.

The only drawback to the book is cost. In these days of a weak dollar, the price is going to be roughly $100. That includes the book price of 44.95 British pounds ($85) and the postage, which is 4.80 pounds ($9) in the U.K. and 12.50 pounds ($23) in a European Union country.

That’s a hefty price. But it is no ordinary book. Readers with an interest in World War II and its origins will find this a fascinating and useful addition to their library.

More information, including ordering instructions, can be found at the Web site: www.afterthebattle.com or by writing to After the Battle, Church House, Church Street, London E15 3JA England.


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