Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography

Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography

John Toland

Language: English

Pages: 1120

ISBN: 0385420536

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian John Toland’s classic, definitive biography of Adolf Hitler remains the most thorough, readable, accessible, and, as much as possible, objective account of the life of a man whose evil effect on the world in the twentieth century will always be felt.

Toland’s research provided one of the final opportunities for a historian to conduct personal interviews with over two hundred individuals intimately associated with Hitler. At a certain distance yet still with access to many of the people who enabled and who opposed the führer and his Third Reich, Toland strove to treat this life as if Hitler lived and died a hundred years before instead of within his own memory. From childhood and obscurity to his desperate end, Adolf Hitler emerges as, in Toland’s words, “far more complex and contradictory . . . obsessed by his dream of cleansing Europe Jews . . . a hybrid of Prometheus and Lucifer.”




















two-hundred-mile front This combined infantry-tank-air assault caught the Germans off guard and Hitler had not only lost Moscow but seemed destined to suffer Napoleon’s fate in the winter snows of Russia. Despair and consternation swept the German Supreme Command. Commander-in-Chief of the Army von Brauchitsch, sick and discouraged, wanted to resign. Hitler himself was confused. In the Great War the Russian infantrymen had fought poorly; now they were tigers. Why? Despondent, he admitted on

government …” Dorpalen 440. 63  “Gentlemen, it is five minutes past … And now, gentlemen, forward with God!” Dorpalen 441–42. 64  Hoffmann account: Hoffmann 68. 65  Egon Hanfstaengl account: Memoirs, 191. 66  “How on earth did he conjure …” Hoffmann 69. 67  Hitler-Papen: Papen 264. 68  Frank quote: Frank 111. 69  “Everyone felt the same …” Interview with H. Ruck, 1971. 70  Maschmann quote: Maschmann 10–13. 71  “The river of fire …” François-Poncet 48. 72  Frank account: Frank 129–30.

parish marriage book that a man named Georg Hiedler had indeed married a girl named Schicklgruber in 1842. And so he agreed to alter the birth register. But he must have been reluctant or leery. Although he changed the “illegitimate” to “legitimate” and crossed out “Schicklgruber” in the space for the child’s name, he failed to write in another name. In the last space, in extremely cramped writing, he penned: “It is confirmed by the undersigned that Georg Hitler whose name is here entered as

at Platterhof: Speer, Inside, 359–61. 24  “I, too, know …” Speidel monograph, op. cit. 25  Keitel-Rundstedt: Chester Wilmot, The Struggle for Europe (London, 1952), 347. 26  “any such coup d’état …” Interview with Manstein, 1971. 27  “I believe it is my duty …” Desmond Young, Rommel—The Desert Fox (New York, 1950), 223–24. 28  “You are young …” Speidel, Invasion, op. cit., 71. 29  Thiersch account: Zeller 286. 30  Steiner account: Interview with Steiner, 1963; Höhne, Order, 513.

superman. “It was like the difference between a Stradivarius lying in its case, just a few bits of wood and length of catgut, and the same violin being played by a master.” Professor von Müller couldn’t remember in his entire life “such a change of attitude of a crowd in a few minutes, almost a few seconds. There were certainly many who were not yet converted. But the sense of the majority had fully reversed itself. Hitler had turned them inside out, as one turns a glove inside out, with a few

Download sample