- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; First Edition edition (June 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1602399727
- ISBN-13: 978-1602399723
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hitler I Knew: Memoirs of the Third Reich's Press Chief Hardcover – June 1, 2010
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A member of Hitler's staff who monitored foreign press for the dictator, Dietrich began this memoir within months of Nazi Germany's defeat. The audience clearly on Dietrich's mind was the German people, to whom, as a Hitler associate, he felt obligated to offer an explanation of the author of their trauma in 1945. There are sound reasons why Dietrich's recollections (which were originally published in the 1950s; this is the first American edition) never became as well known as Albert Speer's Inside the Third Reich (1970). Long on philosophy and anecdotes, Dietrich's narrative and factual utility to a historian would be limited. Nevertheless, his character observations accord with historian Ian Kershaw's biography and so may engage general interest in what Hitler's haunts and habits were like. Amid details about physical surroundings, Dietrich imparts the tedium of listening to Hitler's repetitive nocturnal monologues, from which palaver Dietrich theorizes a dual personality of superficial affability concealing aggressive willfulness. However postwar Germans reacted to Dietrich's portrait, his work shows present readers an insider's first-draft exegesis of Hitler. --Gilbert Taylor
“However postwar Germans reacted to Dietrich’s portrait, his work shows present readers an insider’s first-draft exegesis of Hitler.” (Booklist)
Top customer reviews
Never heard of Otto Dietrich? Well, he had the lofty title of Reich Press Chief. Still doesn't ring a bell? Well, I am not sure most people who are causal readers of WWII literature would. Let me shed some light on Dietrich for you. When Hitler sat at a dinner table, Dietrich was there, when Hitler traveled places, Dietrich was there...when Hitler wanted someone to leak something to the press...Dietrich was there. Dietrich was that quiet friend who would sit and listen to Hitler talk endlessly about all his favorite subjects, and never interrupt. He was the friend who could always be expected to go with Hitler at a drop of dime, to what ever forest hideaway Hitler chose to set up during the war. Trusty friend, follower, and confident. That is what Dietrich claim to fame was. Sit and listen, and capture and remember every utterance of a deranged mad man. However, being Hitlers friend and confident was not always easy.
Hitler had a habit of creating doubles of every government, political. and military departments, posts, positions, through out the Reich government. Even with the lofty title he had, Dietrich had no real role in the government, he would work for the Nazi Party so it could dominate the press.
Most people are very aware of a man maned Joseph Goebbels. He was the Minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment through out the whole Third Reich. He was supposedly the lord of all news sources, arts, literary works, and so on. Goebbels was also Hitlers friend..and at times, Hitler liked to pit his two friends against themselves. Goebbels was very jealous of Dietrich role and how close he was to Hitler. At times, they would eat at the same dinner table with Hitler, and Goebbels would make fun of Dietrich the whole evening, with Hitler laughing right with him. Dietrich found this very embarrassing, but would never tell Hitler this (story from the book), and he could not tolerate Goebbels mouth. Dietrich played a part in WWII history that embarrassed Hitler, the German government, and the German press, and most of all, Joseph Goebbels, a man you didn't want to make an enemy of. In fact, the jarring indecent you will read about is the famous newspaper article that Dietrich made the announcement that Germany had already won the war against the Russians ( Oct. 1941) ! That was certainly news to the Russians, the British, and all the other countries in the world. The Russians were not winning at this point, but they, certainly had not been beaten. Why was this announcement coming from the Nazi Press Chief, and not from the Minister of Propaganda? Had it been true or not, this would have been Goebbels time to shine, it was he who was the mouth piece for the regime!!! Goebbels was furious with Dietrich, wanted Hitler to fire him. Well, Dietrich took a beating for this action, but some how, kept his job, and confidence of Hitler. One of the things he reveals in this book is about that indecent, and we learn in the book, that it was not he who wrote the article, or wrote his speech, it was Hitler himself. But, you know how friends are, you take the heat for them. According to Dietrich, that's exactly what he did. What are friends for? Dietrich was put on trial after the war, and found guilty. He was sentenced to 7 years. He died in 1952 at the age of 55.
Interesting book, and if you like to read the dirt on the Nazi leadership, you will like this one.
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The Hitler I Knew by Otto Dietrich
Otto Dietrich was the press secretary of Adolf Hitler from 1932 until a month before...Read more