The Arms of Krupp
It covers a lengthy span of time in Krupp saga. Its 900 pages have space for all kinds of detail, from the purely familiar and personal to the more general of German customs and idiosyncrasies, and finally -to me the most relevant and interesting- the historical. The historical from the ground perspective, is what I mean, not the ideological or political.
There's a lot of merit in this author to keep the interest along so many pages. Some of these pages are of great style, elsewhere the interest plummets a little, which is totally understandable.
One paradox in the book that can summarize the story of Krupp is the difference between the way the greatest Krupp (Alfred) treated a poor and foreign woman appealing for help, and the way his great-grandson, would treat people like her in his not-known-well-enough private concentration camps. For Alfred it was: "Necessity knows no law", a fitting motto. Exactly the opposite would be during the Nazi times. Here's a sample of great writing: "Yet there was a time when Alfred's great-grandson not only abandoned helpless women from abroad, but exploited them, and then left them to a doom far more unspeakable than the turbid gray waters of the Rhine. The bonfire of the Third Reich was rapidly being reduced to embers. No sources of manpower were left and so, necessity knowing no law, Krupp turned to girls, to mothers, and, in the end, to the construction of a private concentration camp for children."
A must read, for the fine style in which it describes important historical subjects that must be known, the day-to-day lives of the people who lived those turbulent -to say something- times. Let's not forget those horrors. And don't try to understand them, just beware how low the human race can fall.