A Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika


In this starkly candid account of one boy's indoctrination into the Hitler Youth, we see a side of Nazism that has been little recorded. This autobiographical account is a rare glimpse at World War II from a German boy's viewpoint.
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A Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika

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In this starkly candid account of one boy's indoctrination into the Hitler Youth, we see a side of Nazism that has been little recorded. This autobiographical account is a rare glimpse at World War II from a German boy's viewpoint.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780939650446
  • Publisher: American Traveler Press, LLC
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 300,916
  • Lexile: 990L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Alfons Heck (3 November 1928 - 12 April 2005) was born in the Rhineland. From 1938 through the end of World War II, he was a member of Hitler Youth, eventually becoming a Hitler Youth Officer and a fanatical adherent of Nazism’s ideologies. Decades later, after emigrating to the United States via Canada, Heck wrote candidly of his youthful military experiences in news articles and two books. Thereafter, he partnered with Jewish Holocaust survivor Helen Waterford, each presenting their differing wartime circumstances before more than 200 audiences, most notably in schools and colleges.
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2000

    Coming of Age in Nazi Germany

    ?Alfons Heck¿s story of his coming of age in Nazi Germany is quite remarkable. His descriptions of his ascent through the ranks of the Hitler Youth helped me tremendously in understanding what was taking place in Germany and what was going through the minds of many of the German people during the time Hitler was in power. It is absolutely necessary, when undertaking the study of Nazi Germany, to examine what the average German thought process was like and what led them to follow and fight for such an evil regime. Alfons Heck examines this excellently through the writing of his memoirs. His story is an easy and interesting read while still maintaining it¿s academic integrity. I recommend this book to anyone who is serious about understanding what it was like growing up in Nazi Germany.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful Read

    This is a book I read and remembered as an undergraduate in history. It is a thought provoking book that really rattles your perspective. I now assign it as a companion to my WWII lecture, along with a memoir of a Holocaust survivor. They make for a nice contrast, but truly bring home the realities of WWII.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    'A child of hitler' is absolutly nothing anyone would want to be of course, except ALfons Heck had no choice. he had grown as a boy to be a Nazi soldier and throughout his story he shows his feelings and how the Nazi life and Warfare really was. Alfons talks about his life and how he has grown through the ranks and shows everyone what really goes on in descusting life of a Nazi leader. He shows his pain in what he had to do to innocent people and how his life had began to chance right in front of his eyes. As a boy he was raised well. Tought to Respect all human kind yet the awfull powering Adolf Hitler changed that in a heart beat. The Themes stays around how hard of a time this was for everyone and how never to take things for grantit because a single person could change your life for ever. I really enjoyed the reading and it kept me focused on what was going to happen next. I enjoy the fact that it was a personal source so i can somewhat react to ALfons feelings through out the book and makes me think alittle about how lucky i am to life in the world i am in now. The book was very well written and doesnt make you want to stop for anything. There was only one dislike about this book and it was to see how much pain and suffering everyone went through throughout this book. Its sad to hear that people where acually treated that way during this time period. I would recomend this book to anyone who likes to read about the past. i think students in all schools should read the book to understand how lucky there are to have what they do have and how people in the past had no choice but to obay or be put to death. i would rate this book outstanding because of the attachment i got with the reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    The idealism of The Hitler Youth was thrust upon the nation of Germany and one Alfons Heck. A deity in the form of Adolf Hitler cast a spell over Germnay and over its youth. As noted by the author, one of Hitler's final acts as Fuhrer was to award medals of honor to a group of Hitler Youth. Heck brings to life the story of one young man and his desire to be 'in' as a member of the Nazi party. As an American citizen today Heck struggles with his role as a perpetrator in the Nazi regime of Hitler. It is in this story that he shares how Hitler cast his spell upon Heck and other German youth as they obeyed his orders with a cult like passion. The story of Nazi Germany can not be told solely as one whole regime. The cast of Hitler had to be placed upon receptive individuals. It is here that Heck brings to life his and his comrade in arms fanactical devotion to Hitler and the Third Reich. From kindergarten to the Gymnasium'prep school' Heck was influenced by Party officials to have an unwavering support and faith in the politics of the Nazi Party. He also points out the distance these youth were kept from the Front during the early years in the war. Yet, as the war progressed the Hitler Youth's, and Heck's, role would continue to increase as Germany began to crumble. Heck's own journey of advancement in the Hitler Youth and his desire to be a member of the Luftwaffe'German Airforce' brings heroic action into the story as well as military ineptitude. Heck also does an implausible job of showing the division between generations in its support of Hitler and the Nazi party within his own family. The book itself reads fairly well. Yet, he often confuses the reader with an usually large amount of German terms for various ranks in the Hitler Youth. The glossary of German terms provided at the end of the book would have been useful to the reader at the beginning of the text. Having viewed the HBO film 'Heil Hitler: Confessions of a Hitler Youth' based loosely upon this work: one will find a much more in depth and personal look into the Hitler Youth through this piece.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2000

    A Great History Book & A Great Psychology Book

    The German people, especially the youth were swept up in a nationalistic pep rally that deified Adolph Hitler.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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