Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Andrew Nagorski joins EWI Senior Fellow Franz-Stefan Gady to discuss 1941—the pivotal year in World War II—which saw the invasion of Russia by Nazi Germany, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the beginning of the mass extermination phase of the Holocaust.
Nagorski observes on the lessons from the war, "We look back at a historical period like the war and we say, 'oh it happened this way, and this event led to the following event,' and it all seems inevitable in retrospect. In fact, none of this is inveitable in retrospect."
"There were so many different decisions—good decisions, bad decisions—in Hitler's case he managed to parlay what appeared to have been a winning hand into a completely losing hand in the space of a year, and that was because of decision-making. So, I think one of the things that it teaches us is everybody is fallible, and the role of individual decisions can never be underestimated, whether they are sensible decisions or disastraous miscalculations."
Andrew Nagorski spent more than three decades as a foreign correspondent and editor for Newsweek. His most recent books—Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power and The Nazi Hunters—have received glowing reviews. His new book 1941: The Year Germany Lost the War, was the focus for this podcast.