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Hitler Was My Friend: The Memoirs of Hitler's Photographer Hardcover – January 11, 2012
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First printed in 1955 on his release from Allied imprisonment this fly-on-the-wall account by court photographer Heinrich Hoffmann documents Hitler's private life and inner circle. Loathed by Goebbels and Bormann due to his apolitical nature, the author was the Nazi leader's confidant and lightening rod. Hitler Was My Friend becomes increasingly absorbing as the dictator's numerous wartime crises deepen but do not expect insights on the major strategic or operational decisions as Hoffmann was neither present nor involved. - Soldier Magazine
About the Author
Heinrich Hoffman (1885–1957) began his career in his father’s photography shop. He became an official photographer for the army during World War One. He had a very close friendship with Hitler, and remained his official photographer until 1945. Historian Roger Moorhouse is the author of Berlin at War and contributed to He Was My Chief and With Hitler to the End.
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The book is interesting from a strict historical perspective. Hoffmann provides some quaint and generally unimportant facts and antidotes about Hitler and his entourage. But if you're looking for something more than essentially trivia, this isn't the book for you. However, it does show Hilter is a different light; more of a flesh and blood human being and far from the monster he's often protrayed as. The book has a generous number of pictures to fil out its 250 pages (with Epilogue).
These are the memoirs of Heinrich Hoffmann--a personal friend's view of the the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler. Hoffmann provides a close up view of Hitler as a concerned and overprotective uncle, his ambivalence toward the Church, his enthusiasm for art, his hatred for hunting, his friendships with Mussolini and a number of other interesting angles on the man who failed to save Germany from its Communist destroyers.
A few of the more memorable parts of the book:
Hitler's extreme grief after the suicide of his niece, his long mourning, and his subsequent resolve to commit himself to Germany.
Hitler's anger at the disappearance of an eagle he had been admiring, his wrathful plan to punish the hunters, and his subsequent distress at finding the eagle had been killed by his own men and presented to him as a trophy.
Hitler's annoyance at Bormann for exposing "Hitler's little sweetheart" as not being of pure Aryan descent, and preventing her mother from bringing her to visit Hitler. "There are some people who have a positive genius for spoiling all my little pleasures!"
Some great pictures of Hitler practicing his poses in front of a camera to make sure he looked just right during his speeches.
Fascinating read for anyone wanting to see past the demonic caricature of Hitler invented by the Communists and presented as history for the past 70 years.
Also Hoffman's life is not uninteresting
Mr Hoffman's book is not only, or perhaps even mostly, about Adolf Hitler. But it does contribute (mainly by inference) on the character of the Leader of National-Socialist Germany and transmits the hope that that nation then had. The details of his own life are narrated with the rise of NSism in the background and the obviously very significant friendship he and AH shared. In our sad day of cynicism and negativity, it is refreshing to read of an apparently genuine friendship such as this. It is enlightening as to the characters of both the friends and may go against what we are (constantly it seems) told about one of them.
Photo's are of course part of the book, including one of AH in shorts. He apparently forbade HH to publish this as being unsuitable to a National Leader. Many others of interest also.
All in all a very worthwhile purchase and recommended to all.