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Martin Bormann (Hardback)

Hitler’s Executioner

WWII Frontline Books Hitler & the Third Reich Frontline: WWII

By Volker Koop
Frontline Books
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781473886926
Published: 28th July 2020

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Born on 17 June 1900, Martin Ludwig Bormann became one of the most powerful and most feared men in the Third Reich. An obsessive bureaucrat, it was Bormann who helped steer Hitler’s apparatus of terror so effectively that he became the clandestine ruler of Nazi Germany.

After joining the Nazi Party in 1927 Bormann rose through its ranks. Indeed, by July 1933 Bormann had manoeuvered himself into the position where he became the Chief of Cabinet in the Office of the Deputy Führer, Rudolf Hess. In this role Bormann gradually consolidated his power base, so that when Hess carried out his infamous flight to the United Kingdom in 1941, Bormann stepped into his shoes.

As the head of the Party Chancellery, Bormann duly took control of the Nazi Party. By the end of 1942, he was in effect Hitler’s deputy and his closest collaborator. With the Führer increasingly preoccupied with military matters, Hitler came to rely more and more on Bormann to handle Germany’s domestic affairs. On 12 April 1943, Bormann was appointed Personal Secretary to the Führer.

Feared by ministers, Gauleiters, civil servants, judges and generals alike, Bormann identified strongly with Hitler’s ideas on racial politics, destruction of the Jews and forced labour and made himself indispensable as the Führer’s executioner. Cold as ice, he decided the fate of millions of people.

In January 1945, with the Third Reich collapsing, Bormann returned to the Führerbunker with Hitler. Following Hitler’s suicide on 30 April, Bormann was named as Party Minister, thus officially confirming his rise to the top of the Party. Late the following day he fled from the bunker in an attempt to escape the encircling Red Army; his fate remaining a mystery for many years. In October 1946 he was found guilty in absentia by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and sentenced to death.

Drawing heavily on recently declassified documents and files, the historian and journalist Volker Koop reveals the full story of the most faithful member of Hitler’s inner circle, an individual who, whilst little known to the German people, became the second most powerful man in the Third Reich.

This was a deep and thorough biography of the second most powerful man in the Third Reich. It gives a personal as well as a professional picture of Bormann, his way to success despite all odds, his (not so amicable) personality and more.
I appreciated the use of his letters as well as other sources from WWII, it made the book much more believable and reliable - not that it would not have been so without them, it was written very, I would say, reader friendly and although the reader must have certain knowledge of the Regime before reading, Volker Koop explained anything that the average person might not have known.

I recommend this book to everybody who is fascinated by history - if I were to be honest, everyone should read this book, even to simply understand human character better, but who am I kidding. People would rather read about Kylie Jenner's newest outfit. How sad.

NetGalley, Miriam Minkova

This book is recommended for individuals with background knowledge on the subject matter as it is heavily academic. However, if you are a history buff, this book is right down your alley. I was pleasantly surprised to learn a lot of new facts even thought I have previously read many books on the matter and didn’t think I would! The author researched well this book, yet made it easy to read.

NetGalley, Kamila Bouvier

Very interesting to read. The book was very well written. It flowed well. Lots to think about. Interesting subject to learn about.

NetGalley, Lisa Houston

This is a very detailed account of Martin Bormann and his rise to power. He was to become the man closest to Hitler.

Mr. Bormann strikes me as a slimy manipulator. He weaseled his way to become Hitler's gatekeeper. All communications went through him, whether addressed directly to Hitler or not. This was a perfect set up, for Hitler didn't want to deal with domestic affairs, or be bothered with ordinary citizens. He was too busy “directing” what he saw as his brilliant strategies for conducting the war.

He was nicknamed by the other Nazi officials, “The Brown Eminence.” (Make of that what you will.)

This book contains notes and a bibliography for those who wish to further explore Martin Bormann's life and times. Fascinating and full of minutely detailed information about Bormann's actions – mostly to protect his own position as Hitler's confidante – this book is easy to read and understand. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the personalities of those whom Hitler chose to surround himself.

NetGalley, Joyce Fox

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A fascinating account of the rise and life of Martin Bormann. His death was in doubt but Mr Koop has reports that evidence for his death was found in Berlin years after the war. It is amazing to me that someone so powerful could die so unnoticed and uncared for after years of rulership and largesse. Mr Bormann was a loyal mouthpiece for Hitler but it seems he was also power hungry and had hopes of leading the Reich after Hitler killed himself in the bunker. This book covers it all in a readable way. Reading this book made it clearer than ever that some politicians and power hungry people exist and should be avoided. Some of Bormanns children survived the war and went on as best they could. A very interesting book that highlighted mans worst offenses against other humans.

NetGalley, Patrick Carmen

About Volker Koop

Born in Bavaria in 1945, since 1994 VOLKER KOOP has worked as a freelance author and journalist, mainly on topics of German and European post-war history. Having written more than thirty non-fiction titles, in 2003 he received the prestigious Premio Capo Circeo, a cultural award that is presented annually by the German-Italian Friendship Association.

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