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He Was My Chief (ePub)

The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Secretary

Military > Frontline eBooks > Frontline: WWII WWII > Hitler & the Third Reich

By Christa Schroeder, Foreword by Roger Moorhouse
Frontline Books
File Size: 1.3 MB (.epub)
Pages: 210
Illustrations: 8pp b/w plates
ISBN: 9781783030644
Published: 7th March 2012


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As secretary to the Führer throughout the time of the Third Reich, Christa Schroeder was perfectly placed to observe the actions and behaviour of Hitler, along with the most important figures surrounding him.

Schroeder's memoir does not fail to deliver fascinating insights: she notes his bourgeois manners, his vehement abstemiousness and his mood swings. Indeed, she was ostracised by Hitler for a number of months after she made the mistake of publicly contradicting him once too often.

In addition to her portrayal of Hitler, there are illuminating anecdotes about Hitler's closest colleagues. She recalls, for instance, that the relationship between Martin Bormann and his brother Albert (who was on Hitler's personal staff) was so bad that the two would only communicate with one another via their respective adjutants – even if they were in the same room. There is also light shed on the peculiar personal life and insanity of Reichsminister Walther Darré.

Schroeder claims to have known nothing of the horrors of the Nazi regime. There is nothing of the sense of perspective or the mea culpa that one finds in the memoirs of Hitler's other secretary, Traudl Junge – who concluded 'we should have known'. Rather the tone that pervades Schroeder's memoir is one of bitterness. This is, without any doubt, one of the most important primary sources from the pre-war and wartime period.

As featured on Coffee & Books

Coffee & Books

The last unpublished work by a Nazi of any significance.

Sunday Telegraph

The last unpublished work by a Nazi of any significance.

Sunday Telegraph

Her observations and obvious devotion to Hitler form part of a greater understanding of one of the darkest periods in history for the German people and as such it a valuable and interesting document.

Councillor Sir Ron Watson CBE, Conservative Councillors Association Input Magazine

For those who wish to understand the dynamics of Hitlerism - from the early 1930s to the last days of the Fuerher bunker - this is a must read.

Amazon UK customer review

Christa Schroeder provides a rare, fascinating insight into Hitler and his household.

The Sunday Telegraph

'The Nazi years continue to fascinate. This book, written from the records of one of Hitler's secretaries, gives a rare insight into the 'inner world' of the Third Reich. It concentrates upon the day to day routines of Hitler and his closest circle of aides and advisors, and reminds us that notorious tyrants such as Hitler are also very human. As a boss, he was courteous, kind, and approachable - he even received criticism with good grace. For those who wish to understand the dynamics of Hitlerism - from the early 1930s to the last days of the Fuhrer bunker - this is a must-read.'

Amazon UK review

This memoir from Adolf Hitler's personal secretary provides an insider's view to working for the Führer. Christa Schroeder has very little to say on politics, almost nothing on the conduct of the war. Instead she focuses on the personal, describing Hitler's working and eating habits, his relationships with women and staff, and his physical deterioration as the war draws to a close. Schroeder also paints vivid descriptions of the physical workspaces, from the dank, midge-infested bunkers at the front to the majestic setting of Hitler's estate at Obersalzberg. While clearly biased and seemingly unrepentant, Schroeder serves as an important eyewitness to the Nazi regime.

Joseph Craig, Editor-in-Chief, History Book Club

It is utterly compelling... She makes you understand, better than anyone else I have read, exactly what it was like to be around the table in Hitler's dining room... As with so many memoirs by servants, the view from below proves far more revealing than the
view from above or beyond.

Mail on Sunday (Craig Brown) - May 2009

These are the memoirs of one of Hitler's secretaries and no one could be closer to the man than her. She describes all the great events of the Second World War from the perspective of his headquarters, including the invasions of Poland, France and Russia. Intriguing eye-witness material makes the book a fascinating insight into the dictator and his regime.

Military Illustrated - May 2009

An alternately adoring, clinical, fascinating and creepy take on one of history's most evil men.

The New York Post - May 2009

A rare and fascinating insight into Hitler’s inner circle.

Roger Moorhouse author of Killing Hitler

Christa Schroeder's memoir of the 12 years she spent working for the Fuhrer gives a unique insight into his intelligence, temper and his personal quirks.

The Week Magazine - May 2009

About Christa Schroeder

Christa Schroeder was Hitler's personal secretary for twelve years in total. She worked as his secretary until his suicide in April 1945, living at the Wolfsschanze near Rastenburg. Her memoir Er War Mein Chef was first published in 1985, a year after her death in Munich, aged 76.

About Roger Moorhouse

Roger Moorhouse is an historian of the Third Reich. He is the author of the acclaimed Hitler's Third Reich in 100 Objects and The Devil's Alliance, and has been published in more than 20 languages. He is also a tour guide and visiting professor at Warsaw's College of Europe. You can see him on Twitter at @Roger_Moorhouse.

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