At a February 20, 1933, meeting at the Reichstag, 24 German captains of industry and senior Nazi officials plotted the accession to power of the National Socialist Party and its Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. Five years later, the Anschluss—Germany's annexation of Austria—was a major success. Or was it? In this NPR and Boston Globe Book of the Year—also a winner of France's Goncourt Prize—Eric Vuillard looks behind Goebbels's propaganda to reveal that this surprisingly inept takeover was achieved by a combination of intimidation and bluff.
"Vuillard's writing is spare, angry and powerful…. A chilling, brilliant look at the rise of fascism in the 1930s that also works as a warning for today." —NPR