Hitler: The Memoir of a Nazi Insider Who Turned Against the Führer

Hitler: The Memoir of a Nazi Insider Who Turned Against the Führer


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An In-Depth Look into the Inner Workings of the Third Reich as Told by Hitler's Foreign Press Secretary

Of American and German parentage, Ernst Hanfstaengl graduated from Harvard and ran the family business in New York for a dozen years before returning to Germany in 1921. By chance he heard a then little-known Adolf Hitler speaking in a Munich beer hall and, mesmerized by his extraordinary oratorical power, was convinced the man would some day come to power. As Hitler’s fanatical theories and ideas hardened, however, he surrounded himself with rabid extremists such as Goering, Hess, and Goebbels, and Hanfstaengl became estranged from him.

But with the Nazi’s major unexpected political triumph in 1930, Hitler became a national figure, and he invited Hanfstaengl to be his foreign press secretary. It is from this unique insider’s position that the author provides a vivid, intimate view of Hitler—with his neuroses, repressions, and growing megalomania—over the next several years. In 1937, four years after Hitler came to power, relations between Hanfstaengl and the Nazis had deteriorated to such a degree that he was forced to flee for his life, escaping to Switzerland. Here is a portrait of Hitler as you’ve rarely seen him.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948924887
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 05/05/2020
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 1,204,869
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ernst Hanfstaengl was born in 1887 to German and American parents. He was educated at Harvard, but eventually moved to Germany, where he met a young Hitler at the very beginning of his political rise. After turning down Hitler's invitation to continue as his foreign press secretary, he returned to the United States, where he worked with the American government against the Nazi regime. He died in 1975.

John Willard Toland was an American author and historian best known for his Adolph Hitler: The Definitive Biography and The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. He died in 2004.

Table of Contents

Introduction John Toland 5

Foreword to the Original Edition 9

Introduction to the Original Edition 11

Letter to the Author from Hermann Goering 17

I Harvard's Gift to Hitler 21

The dozen years that made Hitler

My schooldays with Himmler's father

Sedgwick, Heine and Hanfstaengl forbears

Harvard and Theodore Roosevelt

Conflict on Fifth Avenue

The predictions of a German Jew

The American military attaché speaks of Hitler

Introduction to an agitator.

II Tristan in the Thierschstrasse 38

Sugar in the wine


The infantryman's guide

Fitting Hitler for society

The Stammitsch at the Café Neumaier

Cranks and intimates

The basic reading of a dictator

Wagner on an upright piano

From Falarah to Sieg Heil

A woman's reaction

A pamphlet becomes a newspaper.

III One Side to a Statue 55

Begging expeditions

Hitler escapes a Communist patrol

From bombs to women boxers

Hitler's fixation with Leda and the Swan

His faux pas as an art expert

Diamonds and a fedora hat

The plans for Czechoslovakia

Hitler's gifts as a mimic

Poison on his birthday

Orator in excelsis

Goering, Hess and Haushofer.

IV Particular Generals 75

Ferment in Bavaria

Hitler and Roehm

Pyromania in the Rhineland

Jewish anti-Semites

Dietrich Eckart loses faith

Rhinoceros whips in the courtyard

Rosenberg insults the Catholics

An offer from Mathilde Ludendorff

Hitler tempts General von Seeckt

Compromising reluctant allies.

V Fiasco at the Feldherrnhalle 91

Plan for a Putsch

Cracks in the Kampfbund

Double-cross at the Bürgerbräu


Red wine for Ludendorff

Fusillade in the Residenzstrasse

My escape to Austria

Hitler's attempted suicide.

VI Twilight at Landsberg 110

Goering in exile

A first sight of Geli Raubal

Hitler's hunger strike

The acrobat of the cells

Duel for the leadership

Welcome with Liebestod

The narrowing of a mind

Operatic eroticism

The man on the tight-rope.

VII Hitler and Henry VIII 126

A revision of Mein Kampf

No waltzes for the Führer

Ludendorff for President

The return of Rosenberg

A world tour rejected

The scaffold block at the Tower

Hitler on his knees

Forced repayment of a debt.

VIII The Bohemian at the Brown House 140

Art versus politics

The return of Goering

A red ground for the Swastika

The radicalism of Goebbels

Appearance of a Hohenzollern

An electoral triumph

Picking the first team

Interlude with the press

A letter from the Kaiser

Committed to the Nazis.

IX Geli Raubal 161

Hitler takes a luxury flat

The amours of his niece

Pornographic drawings and blackmail

Soprano without talent

The unwilling sub-tenant


Corpse without inquest

Hara-kiri and a pregnancy

The impotent Herostratus.

X Lohengrin Prevails 170

Poacher and gamekeeper

Prejudices strengthened

The Prussians of Asia

Peripatetic boredom

The court minstrel

Assertion at arm's length

Encounter with Churchill

A message from Roosevelt

Split with Strasser

Buskers in the Kaiserhof

Two organized disappointments

No mate for the glow-worm.

XI Disillusionment at Nuremberg 196

Neurath versus Rosenberg

First brush with Goering

Reichstag fire fever

Goebbels at Pots-dam

The one-man revolution

Interventions with Himmler

Hostages for a policy

No make-up for the Mitfords

The shape of things to come.

XII Circus at the Chancellery 216

Metternichs in shirt-sleeves

Three lunches a day

Rings around a dictator

King Kong and Ludwig II

America from a chair

The schizopedic radical

The wine merchant who deserted

The loyalties of a Fouché

A flag without a pole

Intercession with Mussolini.

XIII A Murderer's Welcome 240

Palm court interlude

Disguised departure

Shock on the high seas

Harvard, class of '09

The liquidation of Roehm

Assassin at bay

The mad hatter's lunch party

The Flying Dutchman.

XIV The Last Chord 254

Aftermath of a purge

What happened at Wiessee

Austrian misadventure

Short shrift at Neudeck

A wheel comes full circle

Funeral March farewell

Analysis of a medium

The prophet and the caliph

The militant revivalist

Pinchbeck Pericles

The tragedy of an orator.

XV Wilderness and Flight 271

Unacknowledged banishment

The warning of Rosalind von Schirach

No bed of my own

The Chancellery on the telephone

A mission to Spain

The intrusive cameraman

Goering's plot frustrated

A race with the Gestapo

Fiftieth birthday of a fugitive

Unity Mitford repeats a remark

No joke on a parachute.

XVI The Catoctin Conversation 287

Bodenschatz as emissary

Egon abstracted

Bribes, blandishments and threats

The warning of Reichenau

The non-enemy alien

Eels in a bathing hut

Cramped quarters in Canada

Haushofer triunfans

An offer to Roosevelt

State prisoner at Bush Hill

Reports for a President

No inducement to revolt

A black-list ignored

Return to the ruins

No world for Hitlers.

Afterword Egon Hanfstaengl 303

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