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The Hitler Myths (Hardback)

Exposing the Truth Behind the Stories About the Führer

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

By Sjoerd J De Boer, Translated by Arnold A W van Wulfften Palthe
Frontline Books
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781399019057
Published: 1st April 2022



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Adolf Hitler remains one of the most discussed figures in world history. Every year, an untold number of articles and books are published, and television programmes and internet pages are produced, by respected historians through to amateur conspiracy theorists.

One of the consequences of this continuous flow of stories is that, over time, increasing numbers of falsehoods and fabrications have emerged about Hitler. Many of these have subsequently gained credence by virtue of their constant repetition – however bizarre they may be.

These include such claims that Hitler was impotent (contradicted by another myth that he had an illegitimate son), that he had Jewish ancestors, or that he had killed his niece. Another claim, one of the most persistent, is that he did not commit suicide but escaped Berlin to live in Argentina for years after the war, despite his well-recorded failing health. What is the truth about his corpse, his sexual experiences, his years of poverty, his complete dominance of his subordinates? How much of what we think we know is the result of intentional or misunderstood modern interpretations? Many rumours also circulated during Hitler’s life and, with the passage of time, have been presented as facts despite having no substantial foundation.

Was Hitler really a hero of the First World War and, if so, why was he not promoted beyond the rank of corporal? Was he the true author of Mein Kampf and did he write a second book that was never published, and was Hitler initially a socialist?

In The Hitler Myths the author clinically dissects many of these myths, often in a highly amusing fashion, as he exposes the inaccuracies and impossibilities of the stories.

The myths – the familiar and the obscure – are discussed chronologically, following the course of Hitler’s life. In his analysis of each of the myths, the author draws on an array of sources to prove or disprove the rumours and speculations – once and for all!

Like all people who, for whatever reason of good and ill who resonate in history, the fact and fiction of their lives can very often merge over time.  History can merge with here say. Clarification can often become pontificating. We all know Adolf Hitler in this light, is one of the most written about and discussed figures in world history, with new books and articles being written about him every year. This fascinating book by De Boer challenges further opens up and analyses many of the falsehoods and fabrications that have developed on Hitler throughout the years. 

This book will appeal to many, not just those who were interested in historical characters of the past, but also those with an interest in modern German History. Each section in the book is broken down into bite size chunks which provide a great tool for instant access, and indeed discussion with others, which are so important. All this is supported by references and research which the author has undertaken, covering a broad, yet in depth spectrum.

Jon Sandison

De Boers’ analysis shows how the weird stories have thrived. One of the best chapters, thirteen, ‘Did Hitler Always get his Way?’ illustrates the incoherent nature of Nazi rule, in which a hint or chance remark could constitute a Fuehrerbefehl. It includes a very apposite quote, close to the chief theme of this book: ‘Stories about the Jew who exterminated Jews, the homosexual who killed Ernst Roehm, the psychopath who murdered the mentally ill and the Catholic who committed the most serious sins imaginable, are apparently much more interesting than a sober analysis of the facts.’


I am always fascinated with books about WWII especially ones that set the record straight. Hitler was a man who, was and is a magnet for many people. Sadly, there are still those out there who subscribe to his warped view of the world. They will seek to embellish the “heroic” or positive myths. The rest of the world leans more towards the myths that paint him as the monster he became. This book seeks to test the myth, the source and then apply other source material to determine if the myth has any basis in fact.

It is an interesting premise and one that is well researched. It looks at some common myths and adds in some that were less well known. For the student of history, there is some good reading. It is also a book that could be read cover to cover or dipped into one chapter at a time. Four purrs and two paws up.

NetGalley, Susan Johnston

I really enjoyed this book, yes I had heard of some of them but a good few I hadn’t heard of, but thanks to some good writing by the author it seemed an effortless but balanced read in an enjoyable way.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

This book looks at 19 myths which have persisted about Hitler & examines the evidence for each one: did Hitler really have Jewish ancestry? Was he the true author of Mein Kampf? Did he fake his suicide & escape from the bunker? The author looks at contemporary & historical sources & the investigations of others to find the true answers once & for all.

No matter how many books I read on WWII, there's always something new to learn. I had heard of some of the myths discussed in the book, but others were unfamiliar. The author looks at each question in detail & considers the possible issues if they were correct. I found the last chapter discussing whether Hitler was a demon one of the most interesting chapters with the ramifications of arguing that Hitler was evil personified. No, I agree that we should remember him & the others as examples of the fact that normal human beings can carry out evil deeds - we should never forget this so history is not repeated. I thought it was well-researched & considered some intriguing perspectives.

NetGalley, Gayle Noble

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book would be great for readers of WWII. The information given is interesting and the sources he uses is documented very well.

NetGalley, Melinda Anders

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

With so many story swirling about Hitler. The Hitler Myths leads the way of correcting news that have come up with Adolf Hitler.
As a lover of history I found this book very interesting and one I would definitely have in my library.

NetGalley, Dee A.

The book is told chronologically, starting with his birth and his parentage, through his student years, the First World War, and his ascension to power. The writer does a very good job of stating the story, how the myth might have started, and grown, presenting facts either backing or busting the story and giving more information for the reader to do their own research. The book is well sourced and written clearly, more a general history than an academic study. The chronology flows nicely and does not bog down, giving time to bigger stories, where needed.

An intriguing work, written well and without any purple prose or breathless tales of excess. The author does a very good job stating his case, making facts clear and helping the reader to understand where a story might have come from, why it gained traction, who gained and who lost from the lies, or untruths and why. Recommended for history fans who enjoy World War II and for those who like to read about conspiracy theories, and how they get lodged in the minds of people.

NetGalley, Dan O'Leary

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Several bizarre myths and stories about the Führer seem to have taken root in our collective minds, in nineteen chapters the source of the myth is explained and where necessary debunked.
It is noted that this is not a biography - I rather refer readers to reading the biographies by Kershaw or by Volker Ullrich -

I studied German and worked as a German teacher - and have always been fascinated by the figure Hitler from a historical point of view. I have have most of the biographies and books that have been published about him at home.

The author eleborates on how Hitler became a highly decorated WWI soldier (EK1 & EK2), even when he was a footsoldier at the frontlines for a mere 11 days, the Langemarck Myth, the question whether he was poor and starving when he lived in Vienna, the rumour about him fathering a son, - Philip Loret - ( a French plumber); and the rumour that an English soldier spared his life during WWI; the author uses existing sources (Ian Kershaw, Mein Kampf, Internet, Newspapers).

A readable, fascinating and well-researched account, perfect for readers who want to know more about the man and the myth, but rather not read the fat encyclopedic biographies, and, of course for history buffs.
Highly recommended!! a five star read for me. *****

NetGalley, Sandra van der Plaats

World War II-era books are some of my favorite reads, so of course I was interested in checking out this book. I found this to be fascinating and engaging, albeit chilling. It was interesting to see all the myths about someone who seems to be quite well known in history. If you're interested in history, this is a book to add to your TBR pile.

NetGalley, Leslie McKee

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting read for those who are interested in world War 2 books.
Definitely worth buying especially for gift.

NetGalley, Karen Bull

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I am definitely someone who is fascinated by the incredibly dark and disturbing incidences that happen throughout history and of course the holocaust appears on that list. Therefore, when I saw this this book about Hitler and the myths and almost folklore that surrounds him I knew I had to read it.
It was a fascinating yet somewhat chilling read that washard to put down but also so hard to read. It is ironic that there are so many myths that surround one of the most well known men in history who in himself is almost a myth. I would highly recommend this book to anyone in history or especially Hitler or the holocaust.

NetGalley, Aria Harlow

This book was a bit of an eye opener for me, as some of the ideas I had about the rise of Hitler to power, and then the build-up of Germany leading to WWII, were not as I thought.

NetGalley, Diane Fairbanks

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Wow! This is a fascinating and well documented look at the myths surrounding the 20th Century’s most evil dictator.

NetGalley, Caroline Palmer

This book attempts to unravel the many and often contrary myths that are repeated about Hitler.
Overall it does a good job in analysing the evidence, discarding that which is unsupported (which is the first objective of ‘myth busting’) and with what remains either offering a supported opinion or leaves the question open. The key to this is good primary sources and the author strips out the unreliable accounts, many of which changed over time.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Sjoerd J De Boer

SJOERD J. DE BOER is a Dutch historian and author of books on Adolf Hitler and the Second World War. For his publications and website, he regularly visits historical sites across Europe relating to Hitler and the Third Reich era. As well as specializing in the Nazi history of Munich, Berlin and the Obersalzberg, Sjoerd has also concentrated on Hitler’s service in Belgium and northern France during the First World War. He is the founder of the English-language website www.hitlerpages.com.

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