Top Nazi: Karl Wolff: The Man Between Hitler and Himmler


The only biography of SS General Karl Wolff, who for many years would function as Himmler?s adjutant within the SS. One of Hitler?s favorites, Wolff played an increasingly key role until he was appointed head of the German SS and police in 1943 in Italy, where he negotiated the secret surrender to Allen Dulles.

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The only biography of SS General Karl Wolff, who for many years would function as Himmler’s adjutant within the SS. One of Hitler’s favorites, Wolff played an increasingly key role until he was appointed head of the German SS and police in 1943 in Italy, where he negotiated the secret surrender to Allen Dulles.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A German expert on the Third Reich gives us this dense but useful biography of one of Heinrich Himmler's right-hand men. A youthful veteran of WWI, Wolff was a bank officer and advertising agent during the '20s, but rose rapidly in the ranks of the SS after joining the Nazis in the early '30s. He spent much of his career as Himmler's chief of staff, and the author establishes his numerous connections to the Holocaust and dismisses his postwar claims of ignorance. Wolff was also something of a "fixer," arranging for a German racing driver to escape penalties for marrying a woman of Jewish ancestry and planning a gigantic castle to be the meeting place of the senior SS officers as a new order of Teutonic nights. In the second half of the war, Wolff participated in abortive negotiations with the Soviets for a separate peace, commanded the SS in Italy and was involved in plans to seize the pope. The author's extreme thoroughness makes the book primarily a scholarly resource, but it is also a worthwhile portrait of a criminal with complex motives. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Karl Wolff was a critical figure in the history of the Nazi SS. A low-ranking army officer in World War I, he joined the Nazi Party in 1931 and was quickly promoted to positions of increasing importance in SS administration. By midway through the war, Wolff was the commander of all SS units in Italy and the highest-ranking member of the SS after Heinrich Himmler. Wolff arranged the surrender of German forces in Italy shortly before war's end, thus effectively saving himself from being placed in the docket at Nuremberg. Although very little remains undiscovered about the Nazis, Wolff has rarely attracted the attention of scholars or popular writers. Von Lang's impressive biography provides an excellent examination of this enigmatic man who, while implicated in the murder of hundreds of thousands, nonetheless escaped the fate of his SS colleagues. The question of his responsibility for war crimes is covered in great detail, as is the nature of working as a staff officer within the ranks of the SS, an organization rightly judged as criminal by history and by the Nuremburg justices. This biography fills a void in studies of the SS, the Third Reich, and World War II and should be considered essential for both academic and public library collections.-John R. Vallely, Siena Coll. Lib., Loudonville, N.Y. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929631223
  • Publisher: Enigma Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/2005
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jochen von Lang, born in 1925, a veteran journalist and historian, was the editor of Stern news magazine. His best known book is The Secretary, the only biography of Martin Bormann: The Man Who Manipulated Hitler. He is also known for an early report on Auschwitz death camp entitled "Assassin Like You and Me?"

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