Letters to Hitler

Overview

Between 1925 and 1945 thousands of ordinary Germans of both sexesand all ages wrote letters to Hitler. Lost for decades, a largecache of these letters was recently discovered in the KGB SpecialArchive in Moscow, having been carted off to Russia by the SovietSecret Police at the end of the war.

The letters range from gushing love letters - ‘I love you somuch. Write to me, please,’ this from a seven-year old girlnamed Gina - to letters from teachers, students, priests,businessmen ...

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Overview

Between 1925 and 1945 thousands of ordinary Germans of both sexesand all ages wrote letters to Hitler. Lost for decades, a largecache of these letters was recently discovered in the KGB SpecialArchive in Moscow, having been carted off to Russia by the SovietSecret Police at the end of the war.

The letters range from gushing love letters - ‘I love you somuch. Write to me, please,’ this from a seven-year old girlnamed Gina - to letters from teachers, students, priests,businessmen and others expressing gratitude for alleviating povertyor restoring dignity to the German people. There are a few protestletters and the occasional desperate plea to release a loved onefrom a concentration camp, but the overwhelming majority arepositive and even rapturous, shedding fresh light on the nature ofthe Hitler cult in Nazi Germany.

This volume is the first publication of these letters in English.It comprises a selection of the letters and includes acontextualizing commentary that explains the situation of eachwriter, how the letter was dealt with and what it tells us aboutNazi Germany. The commentary also describes the bureaucraticprocedures that evolved to deal with the correspondence (Hitlernever read any of it), which ranged from warm thanks to referral tothe Gestapo.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A valuable addition to the available sources. There is also a lot here for the general reader: the letters are often surprising in tone and content, and sometimes funny."
Literary Review

"A historic gem ... Eberle's work is an interesting but chilling case study on how a seemingly educated and mature society can be manipulated to the point of blind fanaticism."
Morning Star

"Sheds a whole new light on life under the Nazis."
Daily Express

"An excellent example of the increased drive to portray history from the ordinary, everyday people - if that's what Hitler's followers could be called."
Review 31

"A history of the Third Reich at its most personal and individual; from the fawning letters of sycophants to desperate pleas for clemency from both active opponents and innocents swept up in terror ... an excellent book."
The Australian

"The letters have, like something from a Hans Fallada novel, the stamp of grimy, gritty truth."
The Age

"Gripping evidence on the relationship between Hitler and some ordinary Germans."
Australian Journal of Politics and History

"A unique and captivating view of one nation's devotion to its dictator."
Deseret News

"This collection of letters to Hitler from ordinary Germans is full of fascinating and sometimes disturbing testimonies to the charismatic power of the Nazi dictator. It adds notably to our knowledge of the German people's attitudes towards the Third Reich and its policies."
Richard J Evans, University of Cambridge

"This collection of letters to Hitler provides unique and fascinating insights into the social-psychological climate of the times. Here published for the first time in English, the long-lost letters from ordinary citizens read like voices from the past. Perhaps most strikingly they reveal loyalties to and support for a dictator and a regime we are still struggling to understand."
Robert Gellately, author of Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745648736
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,040,819
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Henrik Eberle is lecturer at the University of Halle.

Victoria Harris is a Research Fellow at King's College,Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

Introduction by Victoria Harris
PART ONE: The ‘Time of Struggle': 1924-1932
1. Hitler and the Nazi Party
2. Veneration and Advice
3. Wishes for the New Year
4. Rage and Hope
PART TWO: Worship, Protest and Consent: 1933-1938
1. Recognition, Gratitude, and Veneration
2. Private Petitions and Political Requests
3. Dissent
4. Expressions of Loyalty
5. The Highpoint of Hitler's Popularity
PART THREE: Crisis and War: 1938-1945
1. Jubilation and Concern
2. The Calm Before the Storm
3. At War
4. The End
Suggestions for further reading

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