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Synopsis

A first hand account of life with Hitler by a survivor of The Night of the Long Knives this important and often overlooked volume was originally published as" I Knew Hitler" by Kurt Ludecke in 1938. The book was out of print for 75 years prior to the appearance of this new Illustrated Edition .Edited and introduced by Emmy Award Winning writer Bob Carruthers " I Knew Hitler" the illustrated edition provides the missing link in the literary trail which traces the fortunes of Adolf Hitler from Linz to Berlin. There are surprisingly few personal accounts of life with Hitler from inside the inner circle during the years before he seized power and besides the accounts of Putzi Haefsteangal and Josef Goebels Ludecke is by far the most important of them. Dedicated by its author to the memory of Ernst Roehm, the publication of this brand new illustrated edition means that Ludeckes explosive memoir is back in print for the first time in 75 years. Kurt Ludecke was a former confident of Hitlers who had the misfortune to find himself on the wrong side of the political gulf which led to the 1934 blood purge better known outside of Germany as The Night Of The Long Knives. As the power struggle between the SS and the SA threatened to engulf him, Hitler took decisive action and was personally involved in the vicious in-fighting which saw the arrest and execution of many senior SA figures including Roehm himself. Ludecke was a man in the wrong place at the wrong time and was actually incarcerated twice on Hitlers orders before finally escaping to Switzerland.For many years this fascinating and highly readable account of life with Hitlers inner circle was dismissed by the academic world as a heavily biased and therefore unreliable as a main primary resource. However a number of recent scholarly assessments have confirmed what most historians suspected all along; Ludecke is in fact an excellent and highly reliable original source. The rehabilitation of Ludecke is a timely development as he provides the only detailed account surrounding the actions of Adolf Hitler into the world of Adolf Hitler as he took the first steps from Landsberg prison to achieve power through the horse trading following the ill starred election of 1933.Ludecke also throws a powerful new light on the events of the Night of the Long Knives and gives the clearest indication that we have today that there was indeed a genuine SA plot to overthrow Hitler and set the party on a more rigorous route towards a truly National socialist state. Ludecke is indispensable reading for anyone with an interest in the political history of the Third Reich.

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I Knew Hitler
Average rating
3 / 5
Interesting insights
April 1st, 2013
The author seems to be more interested in writing about himself than about Hitler. However, he does present interesting insights to the very complicated dictator and the evil men surrounding him. The recollections of the moving speeches which brought crowds to tears and cheers and the tens of thousands who travelled miles to hear Hitler speak paint a vivid picture of a great orator and a people searching for a leader. The book was written by a devout Nazi before the outbreak of the Second World War. His escape from a concentration camp is worthy of a movie.
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