"Up to the last moment, his overwhelming, despotic authority aroused false hopes and deceived his people and his entourage. Only at the end, when I watched the inglorious collapse and the obstinacy of his final downfall, was I able suddenly to fit together the bits of mosaic I had been amassing for 12 years into a complete picture of his opaque and sphinx-like personality. If my contemporaries fail to understand me, those who came after will surely profit from this account." (Otto Dietrich)
When Otto Dietrich was invited in 1933 to become Adolf Hitler's press chief, he accepted with the simple uncritical conviction that Adolf Hitler was a great man, dedicated to promoting peace and welfare for the German people. At the end of the war, imprisoned and disillusioned, Otto Dietrich sat down to write what he had seen and heard in 12 years of the closest association with Hitler, requesting that it be published after his death.
Dietrich's role placed him in a privileged position. He was hired by Hitler in 1933, was his confidant until 1945, and he worked - and clashed - with Joseph Goebbels. His direct, personal experience of life at the heat of the Reich makes for compelling listening.
Otto Dietrich was hand-selected by Hitler to be his press chief, a role Otto undertook from 1933 to 1945. Like other Germans, Dietrich believes in Hitler’s utopic vision for Germany at the beginning of his tenure. Over time he becomes disillusioned but feels compelled by the momentum of complicity to continue his work. Dietrich’s proximity to Hitler allows him ample opportunity for studying his boss. In The Hitler I Knew: Memoirs of the Third Reich's Press Chief Dietrich offers new details of Hitler’s habits, likes, hatreds, and his professional fumblings. He also tries to analyze Hitler’s rhetorical tricks and techniques to show why Hitler was so alluring to his countrymen. Dietrich explains without apology. Narrator Eric Brooks’ voice matches Dietrich’s cool and understated writing.
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A hard review to write
Good, unique content - bad German pronunciation
It was a British man who narrated this book and his handling of English was excellent, meaning I could listen to him for hours, as long as he veered away from German names. Problems appeared whenever he tried to say any kind of German name - even the really easy ones - and just plundered his way through. In the second half of the book, the names got thicker and their mispronunciations got to the point of distraction. How bad was it? Even "Isar" stumped him. It's a good book though and deserves to be re-recorded with a defter handle on German names. Again, the narrator was excellent for English overall and I would consider any other work of his for non-German topics.
- Computer Nut "cnut"