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The True German: The Diary of a World War II Military Judge [NOOK Book]

Overview


Werner Otto M?ller-Hill served as a military judge in the Werhmacht during World War II. From March 1944 to the summer of 1945, he kept a diary, recording his impressions of what transpired around him as Germany hurtled into destruction?what he thought about the fate of the Jewish people, the danger from the Bolshevik East once an Allied victory was imminent, his longing for his home and family and, throughout it, a relentless disdain and hatred for the man who dragged his beloved Germany into this cataclysm, ...

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The True German: The Diary of a World War II Military Judge

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Overview


Werner Otto Müller-Hill served as a military judge in the Werhmacht during World War II. From March 1944 to the summer of 1945, he kept a diary, recording his impressions of what transpired around him as Germany hurtled into destruction—what he thought about the fate of the Jewish people, the danger from the Bolshevik East once an Allied victory was imminent, his longing for his home and family and, throughout it, a relentless disdain and hatred for the man who dragged his beloved Germany into this cataclysm, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party. Müller-Hill calls himself a German nationalist, the true Prussian idealist who was there before Hitler and would be there after. Published in Germany and France, Müller-Hill's diary has been hailed as a unique document, praised for its singular candor and uncommon insight into what the German army was like on the inside. It is an extraordinary testament to a part of Germany's people that historians are only now starting to acknowledge and fills a gap in our knowledge of WWII.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Otto Werner Muller-Hill, “the true German,” was the rare individual who tried to tell and to remember the truth about the violence the Nazis meted out and the lies they told, even as the Allies approached the borders of his beloved Germany.  A very valuable document about a mind not held captive."—Peter A. Fritzsche, author of Life and Death in the Third Reich

"Perfectly clear-headed. An important document " —Le Figaro

"This document confirms that German officials knew about the final solution." —Le Nouvel Observateur

 

"The diary casts a spell over the reader from the first to the final page. A disconcerting and highly informative book." — Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Werner Otto Müller Hill's "war diary" provides answers and is particularly worth reading for its insightful analysis."— Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

 

"As his wartime diary shows, the military judge Werner Otto Müller-Hill was one of the few people who thought for themselves in Germany. His sober, prescient assessements of the situation back then make this historical document an informative read." —Stuttgarter Zeitung

 

Library Journal
Müller-Hill (1885–1977) was a German military judge who kept a diary during the latter part of World War II. His son had it transcribed and made available. What comes across most vividly is Müller-Hill's sense of impending doom. In addition to his anxiety for his family, he expresses contempt for the incessant Nazi propaganda and its effect on his fellow citizens. Furthermore, he believed that Germany would either fall under communist domination or be broken up into small, powerless states. As a veteran of World War I, Müller-Hill shows a deeper historical perspective on the last months of the Third Reich than do many other contemporaneous sources. His historical judgments, however, should not be accepted uncritically. For example, he attributes the rise and endurance of Nazism to Prussian militarism and ignores the party's Bavarian roots. Meanwhile, his concern over the massacre of Jews was based not on a moral compass but on fear of Allied retribution. VERDICT While Müller-Hill's contempt for the Hitler regime is palpable, he is not very self-reflective. Still, his accounting of the collapse of Germany in 1944-45, ranging from the local to the wider fronts, makes for fascinating reading; scholars and World War II aficionados will find the material useful. Recommended for 20th-century history collections.—Frederic Krome, Univ. of Cincinnati Clermont Coll.
Kirkus Reviews
A prescient World War II diary by a German judge who loathed the Nazi regime yet was a military judge during the war. Taken up the day after his 59th birthday, on March 28, 1944, until the end of the war, and infused with his raging against the duplicity of Joseph Goebbels' propaganda machine, this diary is a stunning document for all its cleareyed realism, impassioned scorn and historical potential. Since Müller-Hill began the diary at a time when Germany's defeat for him appeared indisputable, was he writing with a sense of self-preservation after the country's occupation, as he predicted correctly, or did he write out of a conviction that the diary would be "of some interest" to his young son, as he claims up front? Neither introducer Benjamin Hett (History/Hunter Coll.) nor translator Jefferson Chase indicates how and when the diary actually came to light. Nonetheless, it's a fascinating, readable narrative by an erudite, patriotic German from a wealthy family, a self-described "mild" judge with strong humanitarian and skeptical streaks and disgust for the Prussian military culture that, he believed (wrongly, according to Hett), bred the arrogance and "sense of power" that made the National Socialists drunk with power. The Nazi barbarity toward the Jews was "unheroic," he writes; the reckless foreign policy led to catastrophe and the slaughter of senseless numbers of people. Throughout, the author heaps scorn on the newspaper accounts filled with false optimism about Germany's impending "secret weapon" and "holy war," and he despairs at the willful gullibility of his colleagues, all the while aware of how perilous his views were, if exposed. It's an account of a man stuck inside a lunatic asylum. A man of reason in Nazi Germany observes the approaching maelstrom.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137365545
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 798,111
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Werner Otto Müller-Hill was a military judge in the Wehrmacht who began a diary in the last days of World War II. He survived the war and went on to become a prosecutor. He died in 1977.

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