This week on Q&A our guest is author Andrew Nagorski, discussing his new historical narrative “Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power.” Nagorski recounts the stories of American journalists and diplomats who were in Berlin prior to Adolf Hitler taking power. He discusses how these individuals viewed Hitler and his rise throughout the 1930’s. He notes that the most perceptive of these Americans helped point out the ruthless nature of Nazi Germany as the regime eliminated political opponents and instilled in the public a hatred of Jews. Others, he says, simply viewed Hitler as a flash in the pan who should not be taken seriously. Nagorski shares stories about broadcasters such as Howard K. Smith, Richard Hottelet and Hans Kaltenborn as they interviewed Hitler and were allowed to report on their early impressions. He relates stories about every day social life in Berlin prior to the outbreak of hostilities. In addition, Nagorski discusses the early influences in his own life, including his study of William Shirer, the noted correspondent and author of “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” He points out that there was a powerful United States press corps consisting of over 50 correspondents in Berlin in the 30’s. He suggests that today, no country has nearly that level of U.S. reporters.
Andrew Nagorski currently serves as Vice President and Director of Public Policy for the EastWest Institute, an international affairs think tank. He spent more than 30 years as a foreign correspondent and editor for Newsweek. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Born in Edinburgh Scotland, he earned a magna cum laude Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College in 1969. This is his sixth book. He is married, has four children and resides in New York.