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The Hitler I Knew (Hardback)

The Memoirs of the Third Reich's Press Chief

Military > Greenhill Books WWII

By Otto Dietrich, Roger Moorhouse
Greenhill Books
Pages: 256
Illustrations: 8 plages of b/w plates
ISBN: 9781784389987
Published: 2nd June 2023



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"Up to the last moment, his overwhelming, despotic authority aroused false hopes and deceived his people and his entourage. Only at the end, when I watched the inglorious collapse and the obstinacy of his final downfall, was I able suddenly to fit together the bits of mosaic I had been amassing for twelve years into a complete picture of his opaque and sphinx-like personality." Otto Dietrich

When Otto Dietrich was invited in 1933 to become Adolf Hitler's press chief, he accepted with the simple, uncritical conviction that Adolf Hitler was a great man, dedicated to promoting peace and the welfare for the German people. At the end of the war, imprisoned and disillusioned, Dietrich sat down to write what he had seen and heard in twelve years of the closest association with Hitler, requesting that it be published after his death.

Dietrich's role placed him in a privileged position. He was hired by Hitler in 1933, and was a confidant until 1945, and he worked and clashed with Joseph Goebbels. His direct, personal experience of life at the heart in the Reich makes for compelling reading.

Otto Dietrich knew Adolph Hitler better than anyone else while serving his as his press secretary. He offers insights into Hitler's thoughts, actions, and manias. While there will never be an excuse for what Hitler did it was interesting hearing about him from someone so close to him.

NetGalley, Mary Scanlon

'...a fascinating picture of the dictator as very few would have seen him… Filled with anecdotes and eyewitness observations, the book is a condemnation of the Third Reich and a searing analysis of Hitler’s personality. Hitler was, Dietrich concludes, “a schizophrenic of unique intensity”, whose “inhuman and insatiable will shattered the edifice of contemporary life.”'

Don DeNevi, Argunners.com

I am forever keeping my ears and eyes open to any possible memoirs, etc, that could offer something a little bit different to world history, perhaps from a different angle or perspective than we have seen before which immediately, quite naturally, brings you to this excellent, insightful biography on Adolf Hitler and what used to go on around him and compiled from sources kept by his press secretary and confidante, Otto Dietrich. Not only do we get Dietrich's autobiography within these fascinating pages but also more insight into a regime that was tight-knit and secretive to a T. A compelling and interesting story told from the inside out.

NetGalley, 8stitches9lives

This is an interesting book. Otto Dietrich tells his story about the man that he knew and we know as Hitler. Dietrich thought that Hitler was a wonderful man and had the best interest of Germany and his people in mind (I know, I know, but this is from Dietrich's perspective). This is a very compelling read that tells a very different version of what we have all been told.

NetGalley, Terri Ladage Randolph

If you are keen to get inside Hitler's life and mind, do read this memoir/biography.

NetGalley, Brenda Carleton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have always been curious as to the reasons for so much death and suffering in our world. It is obvious that it is still going on . Here is one persons view of what happened in Germany after the First World War and through the Second. We have to learn from our mistakes and that includes reading others opinions and figuring out how not to fall into the same traps that us humans seem to run to generation after generation. I didn't know this book existed but it is an eye opener and also disturbing at the same time. Well written and relevant to today.

NetGalley, Patrick Carmen

Simply stated, this edition of "The Hitler I Knew: The Memoirs of the Third Reich's Press Chief" from Greenhill Books should be given a careful reading by anyone with an interest in the mastermind that launched World War II and took his adoring nation with him into an utter devastation that would take decades to recover from. This eyewitness combination of biography and memoir by Otto Dietrich (31 August 1897 - 22 November 1952) who was a German SS officer during the Nazi era, who served as the Press Chief of the Nazi regime, and who was a confidant of Adolf Hitler is enhanced for the reader with an impressively informative introduction by Roger Moorhouse. "The Hitler I Knew: The Memoirs of the Third Reich's Press Chief" was originally published in 2014 and this new hardcover edition is a prized pick for community and academic library World War II History & Biography collections and personal reading lists.

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Midwest Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Very harrowing to have a direct account of someone who knew Adolf Hitler. This was a really good read and gave a different insight into a man who changed the course of history. Strongly recommend.

NetGalley, Zara Yaqoob

Such a fascinating perspective and one which shows people are different things to different people. The insights into Goebbels were almost as interesting as those relating to Hitler, making this an important account of the Nazi regime and Third Reich more broadly. Books like this are important to help us remember and hopefully prevent history repeating itself.

NetGalley, Louise Gray

About Otto Dietrich

Dr Otto Dietrich was the Third Reich's Press Chief from 1933 to 1945. He was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to seven years in prison, where he wrote his memoirs. He died in 1952, aged 55. 

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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