Rebel Patriot: A Biography of Franz Von Papen

Henry Mason Adams, Author McNally & Loftin Publishers $25 (513p) ISBN 978-0-87461-065-9
According to the authors, Papen was the only prominent contemporary German politician who dared to take a public position against National Socialism and its efforts to seize power. Chancellor of Germany for six months in 1932, Papen became Hitler's vice-chancellor and later ambassador to Austria and Turkey. Henry Adams, who knew Papen and family after the war, describes in meticulous and well-researched detail how ""the sly grey fox of German diplomacy'' attempted to prevent the Nazis from gaining control of the government and how he later tried to exert a moderating influence on Hitler. The authors present Papen as a figure so far above reproach as to be almost saintlike, but they fail to clearly explain why he remained active in a regime whose policies he deplored. (Papen was acquitted in 1946 by the Nuremburg war-crimes tribunal.) Despite its disappointingly uncritical approach, the biography is valuable for the fresh insight it provides into the seizure and consolidation of power by the Nazis. Henry teaches at UC Santa Barbara; Robin Adams is his wife. (September 15)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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