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I have found the best German-English-German dictionary ever. It's at www.wernerr.de, and the limited version (still awesome with 170,000+ translations) is free; the more expanded version is ca US$35 and has over 800,000 entries. The best thing for me is that it gives multiple translations, just like a real dictionary, so you can pick from the context and see which is best. Plus, it does partial matches, which is particularly useful for a language like German where the same stem can appear on 20 different words -- it's a learning utility as well as just a word lookup.
Dictionary.com, which has caused me to scream at my computer monitor for years, only gives one translation, is woefully short of terms, and they've bloated the page with so many adverts that it sometimes takes minutes(!) to load -- and many times, at least on my browser, breaks part-way through. Greed kills.
The Germanic Invasions by Lucien Musset is the best one-volume survey of the Migration period I've read -- this covers the time at the end of the Classical period when successive hordes of peoples moved from the East and North across Eastern Europe and into Western Europe. The Hunnic invasions, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Franks, Lombards, and the Vandals. A coherent and interesting book. There were enough copies printed that it can be found used cheap, too. Click here to find The Germanic Invasions: The making of Europe, AD 400-600
I'm interested in the origins of Europe as we know it, and most particularly in that period at the end of the Roman age when everything came crashing down and had to be rebuilt. One of the most interesting players at this period were the Goths, and the best one-volume history of the Goths available in English is History of the Goths by Herwig Wolfram. I've heard that there are reprints without the bibliography at the end -- don;t get one of those. My copy is a 1988 2nd revised edition from the University of California press and runs to 613 pages + a few maps. It should cost less than $15-20 used or about $30 new from Amazon.
What? Laura Ingalls Wilder? Little House on the Prairie?
These are great books. I hadn't read them since I was quite young, but they were favorites of my wife also, so now she and our 8 year old daughter are reading them out loud together (one does one page, the other the next, etc). I'd forgotten how wonderful these books are, describing real life on the American frontier in the 1860s and '70s, as it happened to one who lived the experience. And the level of reading is perfect for a second-third grader (or older).
What was life like before Nintendo, iPods and TV? Your kids or grandkids should read these -- start with the first one: Little House in the Big Woods. I didn't remember that they started in Wisconsin, not Kansas. Little House on the Prairie is next.
An impressive reference on the German Order Police in the East under the 3rd Reich: 'Hitler's Green Army: The German Order Police and their European Auxiliaries, 1933-1945 - Volume 2 - Eastern Europe and the Balkans'. Invaluable information, particularly in tracing units involved in war crimes.
I highly recommend, 'Dreadnought', which is a of history events leading up to World War I, with particular attention to the naval arms race between Germany and England which seems to have been the primary (if not proximate) reason for the UK to fight Germany. It reads like a novel; and while the title might make you think the story is about building the first great battleship (the Dreadnought, which gave it's name to a whole generation of ships), it's not. The story is primarily revolves around all the different personalities; their motivations, and how they moved the various countries inexorably towards war.
The autobiographical work 'To the Last Salute' from Georg von Trapp, captain of the successful Austrian WWI submarine 'U5'. Captain von Trapp's later life was the basis for 'The Sound of Music', though of course that's not particularly interesting to me. The book covers the history of his service in WWI, and has been reviewed well as one of the better WWI submarine / U-Boot memoirs.