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Hitlers Fatal Sickness and Other Secrets of the Nazi Leaders: Why Hitler Threw Victory Away Hardcover – August 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books (August 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781807425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781807425
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,478,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Dr. Lattimer was a U.S. Army surgeon who had access as a consulting urologist to the Nazi leaders tried for war crimes at Nuremberg. This book records his professional impressions of those men and their medical conditions. Included is a lengthy chapter on Adolf Hitler's health problems, with a resulting (and surprising) diagnosis of advanced Parkinson's disease. More important than the text, which needs more editing and some scholarly documentation, are the photographs, many showing personal artifacts of the Nazi leaders. More than 400 are reproduced, many from the author's collection and not available elsewhere. World War II buffs will probably enjoy, historians less so. For public libraries with adequate book budgets.AEdward Gibson, Langston Hughes Memorial Lib., Lincoln Univ., PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

People don't get sicker and more secretive than Hitler and his cronies. Hitler had parkinsonism, Lattimer posits, probably the "faster moving post-encephalitic" sort, and he cites reports of Hitler's tremors, first in the left hand, then spreading to other limbs; his well-documented attacks of rage; and the discontinuation of his "powerful public appearances" after 1940 as chief among many clues supporting his thesis. As for the fuhrer's sidekicks, Lattimer reveals how Goring's tailors coped with his ponderous and fluctuating physique and presents photographic evidence of his daughter Edda trying to avoid the fuhrer's attentions. Jodl, Keitel, the insufferable Ribbentrop, Speer, and Streicher all receive Lattimer's scrutiny, but there are no chapters on Himmler and Goebbels, who both cheated justice--and this book based on discoveries of the Nuremberg trials--by committing suicide before they could be tried. Good, disquieting reading about some of history's master miscreants. Mike Tribby

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kieran Milner on December 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book, supposedly adding something to our knowledge of the leaders of Nazi Germany, in fact adds nothing at all. The information on Hitlers Parkinsons Disease is already well known to historians. Dr Lattimer also maintains that Hitler was informed that he was suffering from this disease at about the time of the fall of Dunkirk and that it thus precipipated his decision not to invade England and to invade Russia instead because he had been told that he had only five years to live. This is pure conjecture. No evidence is offered for this view. Even more fanciful arguments are offered by Dr. Lattimer about Goering's possible role as a successor to Hitler and the outcome of that eventuality. He also offers, in appendix one, an account of Lindberghs examination of German air an missile technology before an after the war. This entirely gratuitous appendix is simply a vehicle for Dr. Lattimer to let us know that he knew Lindbergh. In fact the whole book is simply a collection of "I was there" recollections and highly speculative pronouncements on the possible course of the war without any historical merit whatsover.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Dillard on April 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book was written by a US army doctor who was at the Nuremberg Trials and consequently came into contact with the Nazis there who awaited justice. His book proports to give away secrets of these infamous men but for the most part it only gives impressions that the author and other staff had. He does make a compelling case that Hitler had Parkinson's Disease but his claim that this is what caused Hitler's infamous blunders of WWII (such as invading the USSR) is highly debatable at best. The book's true value (and the reason I gave it 3 stars) lies in the photos of the massive collection of Nazi artifacts the author gathered. From Hitler's darned socks to Ribbentrop's medals, any WWII buff or collector will be impressed with Mr. Lattimer's collection.
In conclusion, if you want to see photos of items that once belonged to top Nazis like napkins Hitler used, then pick up this book. If you want an in-depth analysis of the infamous Nazi leadership and the secrets they had, this isn't the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By xxgrendelxx on October 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
...the best conjecture is by those who were there, in person, to eyewitness the events they may theorise about.

Dr. Lattimer was there maintaining as personal a relationship with the former leaders of the Third Reich as any American could be. His unbiased, informed observations therefore carry great weight and should be acknowledged and taken seriously.

Things like Hitler's Parkinson's disease may be well known by scholars, but a lengthy survey of pop culture historical documents and documentaries reveal that this is not well know at all by the public. To claim, as other reviewers have, that this element of Hitler's life could only have effect on his decisions being "pure conjecture" is simply obtuse.

It is also known by scholars that the German high command was asked to devise a timeline for an invasion to the East, and that this timeline was radically moved forward against their wishes and judgement. What could Hitler's motive be? Read this book.

History is not science. Just because documents report that such-and-such occured on this date does not necesarily make it so (as is the case with SS archives regarding Operation Hummingbird - the "Night of the Long Knives"), and when discussing the personal motives behind major decisions all we have is our conjecture - that being formed by our personal knowledge of human beings and history. Hitler, being a man, had human motives for his actions; fear of illness and mortality certainly play a part in the motives of a man who fancied himself in competition with the likes of Napoleon.
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