It really is impossible to write of biography of Adolf Hitler that is not also a history of the Third Reich. That’s why Adolf Hitler: A Study in Hate reads like both.
Adolf Hitler barely mentions Hitler’s childhood – instead it jumps right into WWI, in which Hitler served under the Kaiser. As Adolf Hitler points out, because of the successfully run propaganda in Germany, practically no Germans knew how horribly Germany was faring in the war and so felt utterly betrayed when the leaders of Germany accepted terms of surrender instead of pressing through and winning. It felt like a corrupt political move.
Hitler and thousands of other Germans continued under this deluded view that the German populace had been betrayed by their rulers. This combined with the truly harsh terms of the armistice planted a root of bitterness which, when sprouted, grew into Nazism.
Hitler didn’t invent the tenets of Nazism. He merely borrowed them from other philosophers and glossed them over with the veneer of hope – hope for a day in which Germany would be restored to her former, non-existent, glory.
By using these powerful emotions – a combination of jealousy / greed / betrayal and hope – Hitler found it easy to manipulate the German people. He worked on their basic senses and made his horrible, horrifying ideas seem just and good.
And they were none of them monsters – they were all human. How far off are we from being used in the exact same way?
Adolf Hitler goes beyond the mere facts and dates of Hitler’s life; it actually does a good job at discussing the political and philosophical undercurrents of Germany as it came under the control of the Third Reich.
It is said on page 45 that “While Hitler liked being with women, there is little evidence that he had any love affairs until after World War I.” Hitler’s dubious relationship with his niece, Geli is mentioned and Roberts is frank concerning the possibility that this relationship may have been sexual. It is mentioned that just before committing suicide, Hitler married his long-term mistress. On page 54, it is said that Hitler stomped into Ernst Rohm’s bedroom in the middle of the night and that there had been rumors that he would find a male “guest” there.
Conclusion. A good, sober account of Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Review © 2015 Laura Verret