The Office and the Past

German diplomats in the Third Reich and in the Federal Republic

Original Title: Das Amt und die Vergangenheit

Hardcover with jacket, 880 pages, 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 5.3 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-89667-430-2
€ 34.95 [D] | € 36.00 [A] | CHF 47.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Blessing

Date of publication: October 28, 2010
This title is available.


Rights sold to: Japan (Enishi Shobo), Poland (Dolnoslaskie)

Eckart  Conze, Norbert  Frei, Peter  Hayes, Moshe  Zimmermann - The Office and the Past


A historical myth crumbles

The myth that the Foreign Office was a haven of resistance between 1933 and 1945 is among the longest lasting about the Third Reich. What did members of the German Foreign Service really do after Hitler's rise to power? And what was their attitude to their past in the Federal Republic?

From the very first day, the Foreign Office was directly involved in the politics of the NS terror regime. It not only made sure that no one outside the country knew of the Third Reich "Jewish policy" but was also actively involved in all its phases. Everywhere in Europe, German diplomats paved the way for the "Final Solution"; they collaborated in the "registration" of the Jews and in their deportation. Opposition from within the Foreign Office came only from individual members of staff and remained the exception. After the end of World War II, no more than a few civil servants were held accountable for their activities; many of them could count on being reinstated and continued their careers. The shadow of the past hung over foreign policy decisions made by Federal Germany for decades.

Basing its conclusions on numerous files that even today are still under lock and key, the book puts an end to old legends and rectifies the historical perception of one of the most important functionary elites in the country.

“Without a doubt one of the most important history books of recent years, at times as suspenseful to read as a thriller.”

Die Zeit


Weiter zu