Today we share with you a new interview with historian, writer and journalist Jesús Hernández Martínez. Jesus has written the book “That was not in my book Third Reich“, a work in which the author warns us about the duality wakes Nazi Germany: the rejection of the heinous crimes committed by his regime as opposed to the fascination that even today raises everything related to the Third Reich.
Jesus Hernandez (Barcelona, 1966). Degree in Contemporary History and Information Sciences, It is a journalist, editorial consultant, literary critic and regular contributor to publications such as The adventure of history, Clío The very History. He has participated as a historical consultant on several documentaries. His historical works are published in twenty countries and have been translated into a dozen languages, including Chinese, Lithuanian or Icelandic. Among the twenty titles published, highlight: The hundred best stories of World War II, unusual facts of World War II, Enigmas and mysteries of World War II, All you need to know about the First World War, North against South, operation Valkyrie, All you need to know about World War II, The Thousand Year Reich, Brief History of Hitler, Nazi brutes. SS executioners, Small great stories of World War II The Japan won the war!
Jesus Hernandez in Utah Beach
How did the idea of writing the book came?
Given the interest in the subject of the Third Reich, the publisher asked me to write a work of reporting on that historical period. I accepted immediately, since the subject, I had already dealt with in previous books, It captivates me. Although he had in mind what he was going to explain, during the process of writing the book itself was leading me in ways hitherto unknown to me, so your writing has been a very rewarding process.
What are those issues that know until began writing the work?
For example, I found by chance, in an airport bookstore, a Portuguese edition of a work chronicling the dreams that had the Germans during the Nazi era. It was made by a Jewish German journalist, Charlotte Beradt. As the Nazis prevented him from working as a journalist, I had to do peluquera, but he devoted himself to ask acquaintances for their dreams and transcribing. In 1939 He went to New York and not until 1966 who published their work, would be very revealing to know the psyche of the Germans at that time, as I explain in my book. Surprising that this work so interesting is virtually unknown.
Can you say another issue that has surprised?
I found it fascinating too everything I've learned about German technology under Nazism, very advanced for its time. In the chapter on treatment speed of advances in automotive design, motorcycles, airplanes or trains. I was surprised to see again and again technical solution that would not be equaled or exceeded until the late fifties or early sixties. It is as if the German technique would have suddenly jumped twenty years. That allowed the Germans consiguieran all speed records in all these means of locomotion, an achievement really amazing. The clearest case is the V2 rocket, which bore no resemblance to anything that existed at that time, and he laid the foundations of the space race. Without that first step taken in Nazi Germany, chances are that the first man on the moon would have been delayed twenty years.
In his book also addresses the geographical explorations made at that time. They were really important?
Nazi triggered several expeditions to other points of the globe, although it should be split between those with ideological objectives, as he intended to find the origin of the Aryan race in the Himalayas, and possessing a scientific character, as that aimed to explore Antarctica, I detail in my book. The results of this expedition would be extraordinary, although its relevance would not be calibrated until after the war. Also an epic story expedition to the Amazon that served to make a documentary, although it would use its promoter secretly to develop a plan of invasion of French Guiana in 1940 presented to the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, although this would not show interest in him.
He devotes an entire chapter to highways. What was the purpose of the construction of this road network? Did they have a military function?
Highways pose a problem for historians, as objectively was a spectacular achievement for the Third Reich, but it is problematic to accept. So that, has argued that although they had a military function, as I explain in the book, this statement is absurd. The truth is that Germany created a road system without equal in the world, as he found General Eisenhower when his troops arrived in Germany. Upon arrival to the presidency in 1953 boost the construction of a highway system as he had seen there. Figures for construction were also spectacular; They were used 3250 locomotives, They were built 5519 bridges and volume of earth and rock removed and exceeded 1936 which it had been necessary to open the Panama Canal. As a curiosity, highways had a courier service; If someone wanted to send one to a conductor, He called a central office and then called the nearest service point which should be traveling at that time, then the manager wrote in chalk on a panel that was in the middle that such registered vehicle should call that person.
With the description of these achievements of the Third Reich, Is there no risk of presenting a positive image of the totalitarian regime?
I have divided the book into two parts. In the first treatment of these spectacular achievements and they are not usually referred to by historians precisely to avoid that risk, But the second part dedicated to the most terrible Nazi Germany face. It would have been handiest explain again Auschwitz but, in line with the title of the book, I chose to expose little known chapter of Nazi brutality, as what I have called "the basement of horror" in Hamburg or the slaughter of Rechnitz. I have also recovered detestable characters that I described in my book Nazi brutes and they are little known to the general public, as Martin Sommer u Oskar Dirlewanger. With this dual and contradictory Third Reich image hope the reader feel as bewildered as the Germans themselves when, to end war, They discovered all the iniquities perpetrated during those years.
To end, as usual, thank you for the time you have spent with us and wish you the best in this new adventure.