Prussia: The Perversion of an Idea by Giles MacDonogh
46 years ago, the Allied Control Council produced the final obsequies of a state which "from its earliest days had been a bearer of militarism and reaction in Germany". With this laconic text, Prussia, with its near millennium of history as one of the frontier states of Christian Europe, was cast away. To many contemporaries, the gesture had a futile ring to it. This book attempts to examine Prussia over the years following the creation of the German Empire in 1871. It shows how severe virtues were weathered away by the new imperial idea. It analyzes all aspects of Prussian life, from the Hohenzollern monarchy to sexuality, and from the arts to the importance of the army. It explains how the idea of "Prussianism" lay behind every aspect of the state, worshipped by some and feared by others. Prussia has been seen as a scapegoat for Nazi Germany. The author questions the truth behind these charges, examines the historical background and looks at the traces which remain today. Giles MacDonogh has also written "A Good German: Adam von Trott zu Solz", a study of the German opposition to Hitler.