Hitler: Dictator or Puppet? (Paperback)
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Written by an authority on Adolf Hitler, this book charts new ground and shows how the writings of a deluded ex-monk, Lanz von Liebenfels and the pseudo-science of Liebenfels and other writers convinced Hitler that Germanys destiny was to save the world from a Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy. It was this perverted sense of destiny that drove the Nazi Party and led to the outbreak of the Second World War and the deaths of some sixty million people as well as the destruction of much of Europe. Using the writings of Liebenfels from his magazine Ostara, Dr Andrew Norman demonstrates how the mass murders of Jews, Gypsies, mentally-ill people and those regarded as less than human had its roots in articles written by Liebenfels. An index of Ostara articles is included and their very titles indicate the malign influences that shaped Hitler's Germany.
An interesting read.NetGalley, Claire Meadows
This is a short book that is extremely well written... It was a well organized biography and a great read.NetGalley, Cristie Underwood
For a relatively short book, Andrew Norman compacts a ton of information about his subject. Starting from the dictator's youth, Norman chronicles his entire life and the motivations behind his actions during the Holocaust. The first chunk of the book is devoted to philosophers, artists, and other thinkers who influenced the Nazi party's ideals and values. In particular, I had never heard of Liebenfels and was shocked to see how much of his very harmful and deranged thinking was the catalyst for the Holocaust. I was even more shocked to see that a "secret society" he created still has members to this day. Norman goes on to describe Hilter's hubris and self-sabotaging of his mission to conquer the world (thank God!) in great detail, pointing to numerous times his callous choices resulted in his failure. There is also in depth discussion of a possible schizophrenic diagnosis, utilizing first hand accounts to support this theory. The book ends with a summary of the Nuremberg trials and the death of many involved in the atrocities committed in Europe.NetGalley, Kristina Wilson
While this is never an easy subject matter to read and study, I am nevertheless fascinated by World War II nonfiction. It constantly astounds me how such an obviously disturbed individual was able to gain the amount of power and go virtually unchallenged for decades, all while committing heinous acts and spewing vitriol. This book was fantastically written and I appreciated the immense use of primary sources to illustrates the author's points. I will definitely be reading more from Andrew Norman in the future, as his work is both concise and extremely informative.
Very interesting read... He was such an interesting person to read about.NetGalley, Lisa Houston
Featured inThe Bookseller, October 2019
The anti-semitic fixation that preoccupied Adolf Hitler until the day he died has long seemed incomprehensible to the well-adjusted mind. The world remains only too well aware of the horrors perpetrated by him and at his instigation. And yet the central question remains: Why? Was he (as is so often suggested) evil incarnate or is there some other explanation for his character and behaviour?Stephanie A. Jefford
Established author Andrew Norman believes he can at last provide the answer that has eluded us for so long. And this book represents the outcome of a searching enquiry that took the author into Austria as well as Germany and which combines traditional methods of historical scholarship based upon documentary evidence with a modern, innovative approach drawing upon the insights derived from the disciplines of medicine and psychiatry. This makes for a highly original account of his subject and one which suggests some quite fascinating conclusions. Dr Norman manages to dent, along the way, some of the mythology that has lately sprung up around the purported achievements from the early days of the Third Reich, showing that Hitler claimed credit for an economic miracle that in reality originated some time before his rise to power. Evidence is produced to show that resistance by the churches to Nazism may have been more robust that is often supposed (see pp 86-88). He also takes further than most historians his analysis of pseudo-intellectual influences upon the young Hitler and in particular the 0stara publications. His treatment of this theme is more developed, focussed and specific, and he ascribes to the writings of former monk Liebenfels great weight, regarding them as a formative influence upon the mind of the future dictator.
0n another level, there is the story of the tragic fate of Aloisia Veit. Who she was, what happened to her and what that tells us about Hitler and his regime is here revealed for the first time to an English-speaking audience and is in itself an important addition to our knowledge of the history of the Third Reich. Anyone imagining that there is nothing more that can be learned about Hitler at this distance in time will certainly find their assumptions challenged by this interesting and informative book, written with all the insight of one coming from a medical background. You may agree with his thesis; you may disagree; but the author makes his case persuasively, and supports it with evidence. His explanation as to the true nature of the 'puppet', is sure to generate discussion and debate.
Overall this is a curious but interesting book, taking a different approach to Hitler, his beliefs and his crimes.Historyofwar.org