Dr. James Billington has resided as the Chief Librarian at the Library of Congress for decades. Recently he remarked that Lincoln, Shakespeare and Jesus have more published each year it remains impossible for any scholar to maintain a grasp given the volume of published material.
Dr. Billington revealed that Adolf Hitler remained the single most inquired man for the 20th Century.
Given the confusion that accompanies the voluminous mass of increased publications many cogent writers simply ignore the task given to historians: making sense of the past. Given the state of both the demise of reading, and the implosion of the publication industry we may have hit critical mass. Witness the acclaim of Paul Johnson’s ultra slim monograph on Churchill from Viking Press. Their is a market for short reads on difficult imposing subjects. It is no different with Adolf Hitler.
Although Ian Kershaw’s two exhaustive volumes are considered the authority on Hitler, most readers just don’t have the time or desire to sit through two thousand pages. Nevertheless, two books stand out on revealing the nature and background that became Adolf Hitler, both are slim and extremely ardent in their scope. “Hitler’s Vienna” by Brigitte Hamann & “Hitler’s First War” by Thomas Weber. If you wish to understand both the ideological culture and the geopolitical strategy that dominated the early 20th Century look no further than Hamann or Weber, for both have tackled an enormity that threatens most writers.
“Hitler’s Vienna” by Brigitte Hamann reveals through exhaustive research that Adolf Hitler was not anti-semetic until long after World War I. Both Hamann and Weber are wading through the self mythologizing Hitler in ‘Mein Kampf’ to reveal him for what he is: AN OPPORTUNIST!
Both authors discovered new sources to help explain the rise of a demonic opportunist. In so doing they displace much that has been published. Both Hamann and Weber belong in every private library if only to honor the long lost virtue of honest historical craft.
Hitler’s own version of being blinded by poison gas and hearing of German defeat at a military hospital in Pasewalk may be true but what accounts for the diffident, gauche young Hitler, without solid political convictions morphing into the fascist demagogue by 1932? The answer rests with his Jewish deracinated superiors. Mr. Hugo Gutmann was Hitler’s superior who recommended him for his first Iron Cross (he’s buried in a Catholic cemetery in Washington Heights, northern Manhattan).
When both Hamann and Weber research German archives of Hitler’s war service it becomes clear that Hitler’s own dramatizing cannot bear scrutiny. Thanks to both Weber and Hamann we now have a more complete view of this tyrannical revolutionary.