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With Hitler to the End: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Valet Hardcover – 2009

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Editorial Reviews

The remarkable memoir of a man who was by Hitler’s side from 1935 to 1945.

Heinz Linge worked with Adolf Hitler for a ten-year period from 1935 until the Führer’s death in the Berlin bunker in May 1945. He was one of the last to leave the bunker and was responsible for guarding the door while Hitler killed himself.
During his years of service, Linge was responsible for all aspects of Hitler’s household and was constantly by his side. He claims that only Eva Braun stood closer to Hitler over these years.

Here, Linge recounts the daily routine in Hitler’s household: his eating habits, his foibles, his preferences, his sense of humor, and his private life with Eva Braun. In fact, Linge believed Hitler’s closest companion was his dog Blondi. After the war Linge said in an interview, “It was easier for him to sign a death warrant for an officer on the front than to swallow bad news about the health of his dog.” Linge also charts the changes in Hitler’s character during their time together and his fading health during the last years of the war. During his last days, Hitler’s right eye began to hurt intensely and Linge was responsible for administering cocaine drops to kill the pain. In a number of instances—such as with the Stauffenberg bomb plot of July 1944—Linge gives an excellent eyewitness account of events. He also gives thumbnail profiles of the prominent members of Hitler’s “court”: Hess, Speer, Bormann and Ribbentrop amongst them.

Though Linge held an SS rank, he claims not to have been a Nazi Party member. His profile of one of history’s worst demons is not blindly uncritical, but it is nonetheless affectionate. The Hitler that emerges is a multi-faceted individual: unpredictable and demanding, but not of an otherwise unpleasant nature. 12 b&w illustrations


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Frontline Books / Skyhorse Publishing; First American edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602398046
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602398047
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Oliver L. on September 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Excellent story from the perspective of Hitler's valet; thus much of the material does not concern grand political strategies, but quotidian details such as Hitler's daily habits and health concerns as well as the author's personal feelings about many of the people constantly around Hitler (some of whom were in working capacities similar to the author himself, such as Hitler's physician[s], but also such figures as Himmler, Goebbels, Göring, Bormann and others; in regards to the latter the author provides interesting details on many of their personalities, the rivalries between one another, and the feelings of the headquarters "underlings" such as himself [Hess was beloved, while Bormann was despised, for example]).

Those looking for a work to either demonize or exculpate Hitler will be disappointed. There are numerous details and stories which serve to humanize Hitler, however, none of them are told in such a way that could be characterized as revisionist in the negative sense. (Things such as Hitler in his nightshirt changing a lightbulb by himself in his bedroom, or his problems with flatulence during the last years of his life.) Having said that the work does serve to humanize Hitler implicitly, although personally I feel that that is long overdue (Hess and especially Goebbels are also presented in a more positive light than is usually the case, while Bormann, Göring and the entire military leadership are seen as more flawed.)

Shone new light (for me) on certain events such as Rommel's suicide (the author thinks it was ordered by Bormann because of an old grudge from the Polish campaign) and Hess's flight to Scotland (the author thinks Hitler knew about it), as well as new events (for me) such as Hitler's effort to sound out peace terms from the West in 1944/5.
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Devil's Advocate on December 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
" I had a theatre box on history, and remained in it until it collapsed..."
Thus speaks Heinz Linge, personal valet to Hitler from 1935 until the suicide 10 years later.
For those few (post-"Downfall") who still view Hitler as some kind of supernatural ogre or maniacal beast this book will truly be a revelation.
For the rest of us, intrigued as to who this man was, this book is another fascinating fragment in a compelling mosaic.
The best way to picture Linge is outside the Fuhrer's bedroom last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Never farther than arm's length from his master for the last decade of his life.
Linge comes across as apolitical although clearly intoxicated by his attendance on this human phenomenom.
There are some absolutely priceless vignettes to savour in this honest, even-tempered and even-handed account:
From the banal; Hitler kept a chest expander under his bed, he wore large cap visors to block out light the bizarre; a woman claimed Hitler raped her, Hitler admired the man who tried to assassinate him in 1939 and utlised him to design other bombs,
to the exotic; Hitler and Eva caught embracing by Linge, Hitler possibly visiting his illegitimate child and former mistress during his tour of the WW1 battlefields...etc.
And that's before you get to the pen pictures of Bormann (a brute), Goebbels (engaging and loyal), Goering (brave but absurd) and Hess (loved by all).
An absolute cracker of a book with the pleasant and unpretentious Linge slowly descending into Hell. Unmissable unless you have no interest whatsoever in History and it's human carnival of characters.
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83 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Allnut on August 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Linge was Hitler's personal assistant from 1939 to the end, constantly by his side during that entire time.

This book has come out after another new release, "He Was My Chief" by Christa Schroeder. This is the first English translation of this work. The original publishing was in German in 1980. "Chief" is a new book that was released after Schroeder's death.

The books, while definitely different in style appear to paint a similar portrait of Hitler and his inner circle.

Linge's book is a personal memoir while much of Schroeder's book is gleaned from letters written by her to a friend. Both of these authors claim no knowledge of the atrocities committed by the Nazi government and unlike Hitler's other secretary, Traudl Junge, neither demonstrate any outward remorse.

What is fascinating about both books is the intimate look into the rulers of the Third Reich. You learn not just about Hitler, but many details of his inner circle.

The Linge book gives the reader a more detailed account of Hitler's daily interactions and life while the Schroeder book seems to give more detail in the whole atmosphere surrounding Hitler and his henchman.

Both works pretty much cover the same time frame in history and have many similar accounts. The reader walks away with a completely different view of Hitler and the German people from that available in history books or popular media. The country and their leaders are portrayed as people, with human aspirations and faults, and not mystical evil monsters under a witchcraft spell.

Perhaps that is what makes both books so incredibly important. What happened in Germany can happen anywhere.
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