The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin from the Interrogations of Hitler's Personal Aides

Henrik Eberle, Editor, Matthias Uhl, Editor, Giles MacDonogh, Translator , foreword by Richard Overy. Public Affairs $30 (370p) ISBN 978-1-58648-366-1

Even after Hitler's death, Stalin remained so intrigued by his nemesis that he commissioned a top-secret dossier detailing every aspect of the late dictator's private life, political behavior and personality. The result—File No. 462a, now known as The Hitler Book —was discovered hidden in the Soviet archives just two years ago by Uhl, of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich and Berlin, who presents it with Eberle, a historian at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. Much of its material was extracted, not entirely voluntarily, from two of Hitler's captured SS aides, though one should avoid taking all their gossip too literally, for the book reveals as much about the Soviet mentality as about the German. The dossier's authors, after all, appreciated the regime's need to present Hitler as a degenerate, drug-addicted tool of German imperialist capitalism. Their lives depended on how well they understood that unwritten imperative. To that end, the text is silent about the Nazi-Soviet Pact and, owing to Stalin's paranoid anti-Semitism, about the Holocaust. This revelatory document was an extraordinary find and gives an absorbing, truly disturbing, account of Hitler and his demonic court. B&w photos. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/19/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
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