Crossing Hitler: The Man Who Put the Nazis on the Witness Stand

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $3.25
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 90%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (32) from $3.25   
  • New (10) from $8.95   
  • Used (22) from $3.25   

Overview

During a 1931 trial of four Nazi stormtroopers, known as the Eden Dance Palace trial, Hans Litten grilled Hitler in a brilliant and merciless three-hour cross-examination, forcing him into multiple contradictions and evasions and finally reducing him to helpless and humiliating rage (the transcription of Hitler's full testimony is included.) At the time, Hitler was still trying to prove his embrace of legal methods, and distancing himself from his stormtroopers. The courageous Litten revealed his true intentions, and in the process, posed a real threat to Nazi ambition.
When the Nazis seized power two years after the trial, friends and family urged Litten to flee the country. He stayed and was sent to the concentration camps, where he worked on translations of medieval German poetry, shared the money and food he was sent by his wealthy family, and taught working-class inmates about art and literature. When Jewish prisoners at Dachau were locked in their barracks for weeks at a time, Litten kept them sane by reciting great works from memory. After five years of torture and hard labor-and a daring escape that failed-Litten gave up hope of survival. His story was ultimately tragic but, as Benjamin Hett writes in this gripping narrative, it is also redemptive. "It is a story of human nobility in the face of barbarism."
The first full-length biography of Litten, the book also explores the turbulent years of the Weimar Republic and the terror of Nazi rule in Germany after 1933. [in sidebar] Winner of the 2007 Fraenkel Prize for outstanding work of contemporary history, in manuscript. To be published throughout the world.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hett has written a riveting account of Litten's life."—Jewish Book World

"Hett's well-researched history is an excellent introduction, and a creepy reminder of the insidious power of evil."—Dick Cady, ForeWord Magazine

"Hett adroitly explains the workings of the Weimar legal system and challenges the conventional wisdom that the German legal profession was, prior to 1933, so right wing that its transition to Nazism was an easy and logical step.... Recommended for all libraries."—Library Journal

Library Journal

Hett (history, Hunter Coll.) analyzes the career of Hans Litten (1903-38), a prominent anti-Nazi lawyer. Hett describes how Litten, the son of a Protestant mother from an old Prussian family and a Jewish father who converted to Lutheranism, actively identified with both his Christian and his Jewish roots yet broke with his parents politically. For example, many of his friends were German Jews active in Socialist politics, while one of his favorite intellectual pursuits was the study of Christian art. While Litten despised the German Communist Party, he defended communists who fought street battles with Hitler's storm troopers (SA). During the prosecution of four SA men in 1931, Litten forced Adolf Hitler to the witness stand, embarrassing the Nazi Party at a critical time in its quest for electoral respectability. Hett adroitly explains the workings of the Weimar legal system and challenges the conventional wisdom that the German legal profession was, prior to 1933, so right wing that its transition to Nazism was an easy and logical step. After 1933, Litten was sent to a concentration camp, where after years of abuse he committed suicide. Recommended for all libraries.
—Frederic Krome

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195369885
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/18/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 932,971
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

A former trial lawyer, Benjamin Carter Hett is now Associate Professor of History at Hunter College and the author of Death in the Tiergarten. He lives in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue: "We Are Not Alone"
Part I: The Whole Person
Part II: Crossing Hitler
Part III: Toward Dachau
Epilogue: "And Only Where There Are Graves Are There Resurrections"
Appendix: Transcription of Litten's Cross-Examination of Adolf Hitler, May 8, 1931
A Note on Sources
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)