As this book shows, Nazi ideology was based on two central beliefs: in war and race. Peace was merely a preparation for war, war which would redraw the racial map of Europe. The author begins with the aftermath of the First World War and the corrosive myth-building which substituted memories of senseless slaughter with the myth of a meaningful and even sacred event. It moves on steadily through the 1920s and the Nazi seizure of power, to the economic boom, massive rearmament and government-sponsored anti-Semitism of the 1930s. And then on to the war itself and the Nazis' racist war of extermination. The author pays particular attention to the chaos and extreme violence of the last months of the war, so catastrophic for the German people that they came to believe that they too had been victims of the war. Finally he describes the aftermath of the Second World War and the wreckage left behind by the Nazis which affected the lives of Germans and Europeans far beyond May 1945.