“Up to the last moment, his overwhelming, despotic authority aroused false hopes and deceived his people and his entourage. Only at the end, when I watched the inglorious collapse and the obstinacy of his final downfall, was I able suddenly to fit together the bits of mosaic I had been amassing for twelve years into a complete picture of his opaque and sphinxlike personality. If my contemporaries fail to understand me, those who came after will surely profit from this account.” Otto Dietrich
When Otto Dietrich was invited in 1933 to become Adolf Hitler’s press chief, he accepted with the simple uncritical conviction that Adolf Hitler was a great man, dedicated to promoting peace and welfare for the German people. At the end of the war, imprisoned and disillusioned, Otto Dietrich sat down to write what he had seen and heard in twelve years of the closest association with Hitler, requesting that it be published after his death.
Dietrich’s role placed him in a privileged position. He was hired by Hitler in 1933, was his confidant until 1945, and he workedand clashedwith Joseph Goebbels. His direct, personal experience of life at the heat of the Reich makes for compelling reading.
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About the Author
Otto Dietrich was Hitler’s press secretary and confident. He was imprisoned for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials in 1949 and was released in 1950. He wrote The Hitler I Knew while imprisoned for his crimes in Landsberg Prison. He died in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1952.
Table of Contents
Introduction Roger Moorhouse ix
Part 1 Hitler as Leader of "Party, State, and Armed Forces"
1 Character and Talent 3
2 From Popular Leader to Gambler with Destiny 13
3 Hitler's Foreign Policy During the War 40
4 Hitler the Soldier 60
5 The Leader State-Chaos in Leadership 90
6 The Führer's Will and the Will of the People 101
Part 2 Scenes from Hitler's Life
Scenes from Hitler's Life 111
Appendix 1 229
Appendix 2 235