Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris
Author: Ian Kershaw
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Release Date: April 12, 2000
From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales & overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in this century. Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the character of the bizarre misfit in his 30-year ascent from a Viennese shelter for the indigent to uncontested rule over the German nation that had tried & rejected democracy in the crippling aftermath of WWI. With extraordinary vividness, Kershaw recreates the settings that made Hitler's rise possible: the virulent anti-Semitism of prewar Vienna, the crucible of a war with immense casualties, the toxic nationalism that gripped Bavaria in the 20s, the undermining of the Weimar Republic by extremists of the Right & the Left, the hysteria that accompanied Hitler's seizure of power in 1933 & then mounted in brutal attacks by his storm troopers on Jews & others condemned as enemies of the Aryan race. In an account drawing on many previously untapped sources, Hitler metamorphoses from an obscure fantasist, a drummer sounding an insistent beat of hatred in Munich beer halls, to the instigator of an infamous failed putsch &, ultimately, to the leadership of a ragtag alliance of right-wing parties fused into a movement that enthralled the German people. This volume, 1st of two, ends with the promulgation of the infamous Nuremberg laws that pushed German Jews to the outer fringes of society, & with the march of the German army into the Rhineland, Hitler's initial move toward the abyss of war.