Claus Peter Hant is a tv writer from Germany that worked for many years on der bulle von Tolz a german police series set in bad Tolz the clips i watched were a bit like pie in the sky .He has had access to the most complete collection of material relating to the life of hitler in the institut fur zeitgwschitche in Munich and has used a number of years research to compile the material for this book ,which he has written with the help of two english writers (James Triver and Alan Roche) in english ,as he would struggle to get it published in germany .
The book –
We start of with the young hitler in wien (vienna) as a struggling artist ,with what would seem an opened mind but as we progress we see his standpoint become narrower and narrower as things happen to him and he starts to fail as an artist and not be taken seriously ,also you hear about the idea for a supreme Reich of german speakers the tattooing of the arms of gypsies is mentioned ,then one day he just disappears and sells his books ,next time we meet him is on the eve of the first world war he is in the army and is a lance corporal he has to do some menial jobs like paint the officers mess and is disgusted by his fellow solders loose morals and the way pets are being eaten ,he then wins an iron cross for his bravery ,which he thinks is tainted by how it was awarded .The last time we catch up with hitler is post first world war in a mental hospital for his nerves and extreme views that seem to have wildly change ,he is released and travels to munchen (Munich) which is utter chaos with warring on the streets as political movements struggle ,he joins a group devote to honouring the old northern european tribes that happen to have a swastika as their symbol .
Dolferi was fixated on this “Reich” the fantasy Reich instilled in his mind by his favourite history teacher in school ;an empire that would unite germanic Austria with Germany .
“tattooing a number on the forearm of gypsies “said elephant “would make it far easier identify them as with automobiles “.
two quotes from the first part of young hitler in pre world war one vienna the ideas that made nazi party were being planted .
My view –
This book worried me when i first got it ,but was heavily compelled to read it to see what turned hitler in to the monster he became ,i also saw it as a wonderful bookend to the film downfall which i enjoyed almost completing the circle of a life .Hants writing is wonderfully clever and transports you to pre war vienna ,through the war and the horror of the trenches to the chaos of post war Munich .There is a wonderful insight in to the time and the making of a monster its like a huge jigsaw puzzle you can see the parts slipping into place ,the appendices and research for this book are vast you can see the time taken to make this as realistic as possible a truly special be of narrative non fiction writing .