Life in Britain & Germany on the Road to War – Keeping an Eye on Hitler, Anton Rippon & Nicola Rippon


Life in Britain & Germany on the Road to War – Keeping an Eye on Hitler, Anton Rippon & Nicola Rippon

The idea of this book is to look at events in the inter-war years in Britain and Germany in parallel, to give some idea of what was attracting the attention of people in Britain during the rise of the Nazis and the first six years of Nazi rule. We also look at some of the reactions in Britain, in particular the small British fascist movements, with a focus on Mosley. This was a very crowded twenty year period, with very different starts in the two countries. In Britain we see the ‘Bright Young Things’ holding extravegent parties that for some time attracted largely positive attention (before the Depression made them very unfashionable). In contrast Germany was plunged into chaos in the aftermath of defeat, leading to the rise of extreme right and left wing parties, and leaving the new Weimer Republic almost permanently unstable.

This is an interesting approach to the period. For me its key value is to remind us that events in Germany that seem hard to ignore in retrospect were happening alongside major news stories in Britain – the impact of the Great Depression, the Abdication Crisis and countless other stories largely forgotten now – that could drive many apparently minor stories from Germany off the front pages. However many events in Germany did become front page news in Britain, and we look at the reaction to them.

Some chapters focus more on events in Britain – this includes one on a scandal about a leak of the Chancellor’s budget plans, the Abdication Crisis and a look at the thankfully fairly small British fascist movement, and in particular the career of Oswold Mosely. Here we sometimes look at the German reaction to British news , which after 1933 was of course controlled by the Nazis – one oddity is that the abdication was barely covered in most of the German press.

This is an unusual approach to the inter-war period, and helps explain why some aspects of the rise of the Nazis and their early atrocities didn’t get as much attention as one might have expected.


1 – Uninhibited by Convention
2 – A Great Wave of Reaction
3 – A New and Stronger Spirit?
4 – Political Upheavals
5 – Statesman or Showman?
6 – The Good Old English Fist
7 – Rowdy Streets
8 – One of the World’s Most Evil Places
9 – Hitler’s Games
10 – Pharoahs and a Fuhrer
11 – Flags Flying, Bands Playing…
12 – A Most Inconvenient Dilemma
13 – The Man Who Leaked the Budget
14 – An Affront to the National Conscience
15 – The Empty Hell of War
16 – God Save the King!
17 – Voting Only for War or Peace
18 – A Terrible Transformation
19 – Asylum and Sanctury on Our Doorsteps
20 – A Period of Danger More Acute…
21 – Adolf Hitler Stepped In, Didn’t He?

Author: Anton Rippon & Nicola Rippon
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Publisher: Pen & Sword History
Year: 2024

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