Heinz Linge worked with Adolf Hitler for a 10 year period from 1935 until the Fuhrer's death in the Berlin bunker in May 1945. He was one of the last to leave the bunker and was responsible for guarding the door while Hitler killed himself. During his years of service, Linge was responsible for all aspects of Hitler's household and was constantly by his side. He claims that only Eva Braun stood closer to Hitler over these years. Through a host of anecdotes and observations, Linge recounts the daily routine in Hitler's household; his eating habits, his foibles, his preferences, his sense of humour, and his private life with Eva Braun. In fact, Linge believed Hitler's closest companion was his dog, Blondi. After the war Linge said in an interview, "it was easier for him to sign a death warrant for an officer on the front than to swallow bad news about the health of his dog"
Linge also charts the changes in Hitler's character during the period of his service, and the latter's fading health from around 1942. During his last days, Hitler's right eye began to hurt intensely and Linge was responsible for administering cocaine drops to kill the pain. In a number of instances - such as with the Stauffenberg bomb plot of July 1944 - Linge gives an excellent eyewitness account of events. He also gives thumbnail profiles of the prominent members of Hitler's "court": Hess, Speer, Bormann, and Ribbentrop amongst them. Though Linge held an SS rank, he claims not to have been a Nazi Party member. His profile of Hitler is not blindly uncritical, but it is nonetheless affectionate. The Hitler that emerges is a multifaceted individual: unpredictable and demanding, but not of an otherwise unpleasant nature.
Hitler's psyche is a source of morbid fascination for many, and With Hitler to the End: The Memoirs of Hitler's Valet takes listeners right into the Nazi Fuhrer's household. Based on the recollections of Heinz Linge, Hitler's long-term valet, and narrated by talented voice performer Jim Frangione, this audiobook sheds light on aspects of the fascist dictator's lifestyle that could only be observed by an insider, from his eating habits to his sense of humor. Though Linge passed away in 1980, his memoir was only translated into English in 2009, finally giving English-speaking listeners a unique insight into the daily life of a monster.
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Insight into One of Hitler's Unrepentant Dullards
The story of your typical unrepentant Nazi...one who is a racist, babbling on about things he knows nothing about and holding himself up as a more important figure that he was. This guy was Hitler's valet, not a soldier, not a general and not a politician. He should just stick to telling his experience as a valet.
Performance was good, nothing to complain about.
This guy was in charge of making sure Hitler's underwear was folded correctly and that he had enough socks...I don't care to hear his rantings on how the War was managed by the Generals and Hitler and what he would have done better. I don't need to hear his racism. I don't need to or want to hear his Nazi propaganda. What's interesting to hear (and what I wish there was more of in this book) is his experience being intimately close to and the day to day interactions with Hitler from 1935 till the end in 1945.
The book does well about 2/3 of the time, when Linge is sticking to what he knows (service as a valet). The book is awful when Linge tries to lecture on things he knows nothing about - being a soldier, military tactics, military operations, when he tries to describe "coward" generals, when he praises the genius of and his thoughts on the infallibility of Hitler.
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