Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd

Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd – the rise of fascism seen through the eyes of everyday people – is a fascinating book. While the analysis part of it lacks a bit, the rest is so well researched and so nicely written that I had no issues giving the book 5 stars. It’s a must read, especially as it shows how many people, intelligent, educated, and aware of politics were willing to get over to confirm their biases. Within a decade of Lusitania being torpedoed, Brits and Americans were holidaying in Germany.

Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd

The book is focused on the period between the two world wars, although the last chapters go beyond that. She starts in the introduction with a story, a heartbreaking story:
A couple is on holiday in Germany, with their car that has a GB sticker on it. They are approached by a mother with her teenage daughter, who asks them if they want to take her with them. She looks scared and they know that Jewish are having a hard time in Germany at that time.
So, Boyd asks what I, the reader, would have done:
1. think they are crazy and leave;
2. tell them I’m sorry but I can’t help them;
3. take the child with me.

I know exactly what I would have done. I read it and asked my husband about it too. Now I’m asking my readers, do you know what you would have done? No need to reply, might not be comfortable sharing the answer. What the couple did, this is a real story, is revealed later in the book.

This is such an important book, where we can look at what other people did and how they justified anti-Semitism, including people who were a target for discrimination, like Black Americans, and what they thought about events in Germany. It matters because today there are wars, such as the russian invasion of Ukraine and we are constantly bombarded with propaganda that russian culture or sport are not important or linked to the invasion. There are so many similarities with what happened in the interwar Germany and how people travelling in the Third Reich saw the people around them. Some were even in Dachau. Also, it is relevant for countries that are not at war, like China or Qatar, but have a track record of human rights abuses and even genocide of the Uyghurs.

It is worth reading without any doubt. If you read it, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Elliott & Thompson Limited
Year it was published: 2017
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History
Pages: 464

About the author: Julia Boyd is the author of A Dance with the Dragon: The Vanished World of Peking’s Foreign Colony, The Excellent Doctor Blackwell: The Life of the First Woman Physician and Hannah Riddell: An Englishwoman in Japan. An experienced researcher, she has scoured archives all over the world to find original material for her books. As the wife of a former diplomat, she lived in Germany from 1977 to 1981. A former trustee of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, she now lives in London.
Website & Social Media Links: –

2 thoughts on “Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd”

  • You make a compelling case for reading this!

    As for answering the question…my heart tells me one thing, my mind tells me another, and ultimately I’m influenced knowing what I do about the horrors of the holocaust. It’s makes it more difficult to answer.
    Kelly recently posted…Village Station and a spinMy Profile

    • The book is interesting because the experiences of the people going there on holiday or with work were so normal, but there were signs that were seen. If you fancy reading it, I think you might like it.

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