I’ve picked up a little light reading over the weekend, Ian Kershaw’s biography of Hitler (further thoughts when I’ve finished). My interest was piqued when reading Graham Hurley’s excellent Estocada, the third part of his Wars Within series. I really rate these books (although as a massive Hurley fan I may be a tad biased), and Estocada is in my opinion the best so far. Set in the months leading up to the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the cast includes many of the figures whose names were to become indelibly written into twentieth century history.
I realised I knew little about this period, or much about Hitler himself, and I wanted to know more. Hence the purchase. One thing this is clear from what I have read so far (and appropriate since yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day) is that comparisons between events taking place in the world today (Trump, Brexit, rise of populism, etc.) and the situation in Germany post WW1, are trite and even offensive. Could a country behave like Germany did, the end result of which was a war that claimed the lives of seventeen million people? Yes, but a special set of circumstances conspired to create the greatest horror of modern times, and while we must always be on guard, the world is in a very different place now.
Given the subject matter in Kershaw’s book, the question is am I all of a sudden going to be writing some kind of historical thriller? Well, never say never, but given the enormous amount of research necessary for such a novel, I don’t think so!