For months two captives of the Soviet Army, Otto Guensche, Hitler's adjutant, and Heinz Linge, his personal valet, were interrogated daily, their stories crosschecked, until the NKVD were convinced that they had the fullest possible account of the life of the Furher. In 1949, they presented their work, in a single copy, to Stalin. It is as remarkable for the depth of its insight into Adolf Hitler, from his specific directions to Linge as to how his body was to be burned, to his sense of humor, as for what it does not say, reflecting the prejudices of the intended reader: Joseph Stalin. Nowhere, for instance, does the dossier criticize Hitler's treatment of the Jews.
Today, the 413-page original of Stalin's personal biography of Hitler is a Kremlin treasure and it is said to be held in President Putin's safe. The only other copy, made by order of Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, in 1959, was deposited in Moscow Party archives under the code number 462A. It was there that Henrik Eberle and Matthias Uhl, two German historians, found it. Available to the public in full for the first time, The Hitler Book presents a captivating, astonishing, and deeply revealing portrait of Hitler, Stalin, and the mutual antagonism of these two dictators, who between them wrought devastation on the European continent.
©2006 Henrik Eberle and Matthias Uhl; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.
"An astonishingly intimate portrait." (The Times [London])
"This revelatory document was an extraordinary find and gives an absorbing, truly disturbing, account of Hitler and his demonic court." (Publishers Weekly)
What the description doesn't tell you but what you learn in the first few minutes of the introduction is that this book was written to cater to Stalin's personal beliefs, not to present fact. So this book is a good work for describing how the Soviets viewed Hitler and Germany after the fact. This book is not very good history, being based almost solely on the accounts of two minor members of Hitler's staff. It is full of errors, omissions, and distortions. So as a book on the Soviet state of mind, it is worth reading. As a book about Hitler, you could do much better elsewhere.
After reading this book I must say that I was deeply disappointed in the myopic view of this book. Granted this was written by the soviet for the soviets but if you new nothing about WWII history before you read this book you would never know that the United States, England and the other allies participated in the war. Topics like the D-Day invasion, The Battle of the Bulge, and the North Africa campaign are barely mentioned. According to the book it was the "great soviet army" that won the war and not the Allied Expedetionary Force. With the exception of one refrence to Buchenwald there is no mention of the Holocoust.
My recommendation would be to find a book that has a more electic covering of Hitlers life that includes more that the cingular point of view that the soviets express in this book.
Loved it. It is one of the most informative outlines of Hitler the man that I have read in recent time. I really enjoyed the reader.
This book makes an extended effort to describe the thoughts and motives of enemy leaders and their underlings, while also trying to clarify domestic and continental influences / causes. This book provides a hallmark depiction of World War II.
I enjoyed this book because it had a lot of insight into Hitler as a person as well as Socialist Idealogy, but it was very hard to get through, especially because the last few weeks of the war drag on.
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