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I Was Hitler's Chauffeur (Paperback)

The Memoir of Erich Kempka

WWII Frontline Books Berlin 1945 Hitler & the Third Reich Frontline: WWII

By Erich Kempka, Introduction by Roger Moorhouse
Frontline Books
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9781848326309
Published: 7th March 2012



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Erich Kempka served as Hitler's personal driver from 1934 until the Führer's suicide in 1945. His candid memoirs provide a unique account that reaches a climax in the dark days in the bunker beneath Berlin's shattered streets.
Kempka begins by describing his duties as a member of Hitler's staff in the early years, escorting Hitler around Europe, and other top Nazis such as Albert Speer and Field Marshal Kesselring on tours of the front line. The core of his memoir, however, covers the period spent in the Führerbunker, including accompanying Hitler on his final trip to the front line in March 1945 and the chaotic weeks that followed.
Kempka's fascinating narrative covers the major events in the regime's downfall, including Göring and Himmler's efforts to seize power and negotiate a truce with the Allies and Hitler's marriage to Eva Braun before they committed suicide. Hitler's last order to Kempka was that he has ready enough petrol to cremate their bodies. The memoirs conclude with Kempka's desperate escape from Berlin more than 800 km through enemy-occupied Germany to his family, only to be arrested by American personnel shortly afterwards. He was interrogated before acting as a witness at Nuremburg.

It is an utterly absorbing memoir which does not dwell at all on matters of Nazi ideology, instead it paints a rare portrait of the last hours of the Third Reich.

Pegasus Archive

One of the best memoirs this review has read for a long time. A must read 10/10

The Great War Magazine

About Roger Moorhouse

Roger Moorhouse is a historian of the Third Reich. He is the author of the acclaimed Berlin at War, The Third Reich in 100 Objectsand has been published in more than 20 languages. He is also a tour guide, a book reviewer and a visiting professor at the College of Europe in Warsaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @Roger_Moorhouse.

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A decorated First World War pilot, Hans Baur was one of the leading commercial aviators of the 1920s before being pitched into the thick of it as personal pilot to a certain 'Herr Hitler'. Hitler, who loathed flying, felt safe with Baur and would allow no one else to pilot him. As a result, an intimate relationship developed between the two men and it is this which gives these memoirs special significance. Hitler relaxed in Baur's company and talked freely of his plans and of his real opinions about his friends and allies. Baur was also present during some of the most salient moments of the Third…

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