What was life like for ordinary Germans under Hitler? Hitler's Home Front paints a picture of life in Wnrttemberg, a region in south-west Germany, during the rise to power and rule of the Nazis. It concentrates in particular on life in the countryside. Many Wnrttembergers, while not actively opposing Hitler, carried on their normal lives before 1939, with their traditional loyalties, to region, village, church and family, balancing the claims of Nazism. The Nazis did not kill its own citizens (other than the Jews) in the way that Stalinist Russia did, and there were limits to the numbers and power of the Gestapo and to the reach of the Nazi state. Yet the region could not escape the catastrophic effect of the war, as conscription, labour shortages, migrant labour, bombing, hunger and defeat overwhelmed the lives of everyone.
"Stephenson's consideration of Nazism in terms of the conflict between rural precinct and urban neighborhood is extremely useful, and her discussion of the local men who left during the war and of the conscripted foreign workers, prisoners of war, and refugees from bombed-out north German cities who took their places is compelling and dramatic. Her narrative account of the hardships of 1943-1945 is unparalleled." -Peter Fritzsche, The Historian, 2009