Geli Raubal – Hitler’s niece: a summary

On 18 September 1931, a 23-year-old woman was found dead in a sumptuous nine-room Munich apartment, a single shot wound into her heart. Her name was Geli Raubal, the apartment was rented to Adolf Hitler, and the young woman happened to be Hitler’s niece. Cause of death – suicide. Naturally.

Geli Raubal was the daughter of Hitler’s half sister, Angela. Angela and Adolf grew up together; both products of the same father, Alois Hitler, and his second and third wives respectively.

Uncle Alf

Geli RaubalIn 1928, Hitler offered his sister the position of housekeeper in his Bavarian mountain retreat. Angela arrived with her two daughters, Elfriede and nineteen-year-old Angela, known as Geli. Hitler immediately took a shine to the carefree Geli and, in order to remove her from her mother’s watchful eye, installed her into his Munich apartment. Nineteen years Hitler’s junior, she was, according to one of Hitler’s aides, ‘of medium size, well developed, had dark, rather wavy hair, and lively brown eyes… it was simply astonishing to see a young girl at Hitler’s side.’

Geli, who called Hitler ‘Uncle Alf’, had been born in Linz; the town Hitler always considered his hometown, on 4 June 1908.

Hitler liked to be seen with his attractive niece, taking her to meetings, and to restaurants and theatres, but their relationship was a stormy one. Both were consumed by jealousy – Geli of Hitler’s relationship with a seventeen-year-old Eva Braun, a model for Hitler’s photographer, Heinrich Hoffman; and Hitler by Geli’s flirtatious conduct and numerous admirers. Indeed, Hitler once told Hoffman, ‘I love Geli and could marry her.’

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Heinrich Himmler – a brief biography

With his rimless glasses and small physique, Heinrich Himmler’s appearance was at odds with his fearsome manner. Indeed, one English visitor observed, ‘nobody I met in Germany is more normal.’ A German officer described Himmler’s ‘slender, pale and almost girlishly soft hands … He looked to me like an intelligent elementary schoolteacher, certainly not a man of violence.’

Chicken farmer

Heinrich HimmlerHeinrich Himmler was born the son of a Catholic schoolteacher in Munich on 7 October 1900. After a stint in the army during the First World War, although he missed out on seeing active service, Himmler studied agriculture and held a number of jobs including that of a chicken farmer and a fertilizer salesman before joining the Nazi Party in 1921.

Hardworking and meticulous, Himmler became devoted to Hitler and the Nazi cause. He took part in the failed putsch of 1923 in which Hitler tried to seize power in Bavaria. Between 1926 and 1930, Himmler acted as the Nazi party’s propaganda leader until, in 1929, Hitler appointed him head of the SS.

In 1934, Himmler became head of the Prussian division of the Gestapo and, two years later, head of all Nazi security organs. In 1933, soon after Hitler’s coming to power, Himmler established the first concentration camp at Dachau, near Munich, and in 1934, played a vital role in the elimination of Hitler’s opponents during the ‘Night of the Long Knives‘.

A page of glory

During the war Himmler was responsible for co-ordinating the systematic murder of Jews and other victims of the Nazi regime, extending and expanding the network of concentration and death camps, and responsible for implementing the ‘Final Solution’.

Himmler DachauHimmler suffered from various psychosomatic illnesses and intense headaches and was shocked and sickened by what he saw when visiting the camps he administered. Yet he remained determined that the work should continue, however distasteful.

On 4 October 1943, addressing an audience of SS officers in Posen, he said, ‘Whether or not 10,000 Russian women collapse from exhaustion while digging a tank ditch interests me only in so far as the tank ditch is completed for Germany … This is a page of glory in our history, which has never been written and is never to be written…. We had the moral right, we had the duty to our people, to destroy this people which wanted to destroy us.’

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Goebbels and the not-so-great German novel

In 1923, the future Nazi minister for propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, wrote a novel. Eighty years later, a carbon copy bearing the author’s corrections and amendments, came up for auction in Connecticut. 158 pages long, Michael Voormann: A Man’s Fate in the Pages of a Diary is written as a diary and is both autobiographical and a tribute to Goebbels’ friend, Richard Flisges, to whom the novel is dedicated.

Goebbels and the First World War

Bild 183-L04035One imagines there’s a degree of envy here – born on 29 October 1897, Joseph Goebbels was old enough to fight in the First World War but was rejected due to his clubfoot. (Throughout his life he had to wear a special shoe to compensate his shorter leg.) After the war, he sometimes liked to pretend that his disability was in fact a war wound. In his novel, Michael, in common with Flisges, sees active service on the Eastern Front during the Great War; Michael’s war record a reflection of Goebbels’ wishful thinking.

Michael returns to a democratic Germany, seeking revolution and answers, but not sure where to find it. Michael is a socialist and a Christian, attempting to write a play about Jesus (as indeed Goebbels had) in which he describes Jesus as one of the greatest men to have lived.

Goebbels in Love

While at college, Michael falls in love with a Hertha Holk (based on Goebbels’ first but unrequited love, Anka Stalherm, whom he met at Heidelberg University, from where he would receive a doctorate in literature). After their split up, Michael finds works in the mines and just as things are coming together for him, is killed in a mining accident – a fate that had befallen Flisges in July 1923.

One recent review of Michael describes its characters as ‘never rising above their basic two-dimensionality; they are cardboard cut-outs whose greatest glory is to become sounding boards for the author’s lugubrious philosophizing’.

Goebbels’ parents had hoped he’d become a priest (as did Stalin’s mother of her son). But Joseph dreamt of being a writer and wrote numerous plays, poems and articles but Michael was his only novel. His literary aspirations however fell well short of his expectations – Michael was eventually published in 1929 by the Nazi’s own publishing house, Eher-Verlag, but merely on the back of Goebbels’ growing status within the party. Back in the early twenties, unable to make a living as a writer, Goebbels was forced to find employment, working on the stock exchange and as a bank clerk, both of which he loathed.

Both great and simple

Goebbels joined the Nazi Party in 1922, seduced, as many were, by the charisma of its leader, Adolf Hitler. But for a couple of years, Goebbels sided with the more socialist side of the party, a division that momentarily threatened to split the movement. ‘I no longer fully believe in Hitler,’ Goebbels confided to his diary. Hitler went on the offensive and through a mixture of bullying and charm, healed the rift. Goebbels was left reeling and utterly in awe of Hitler. From then on, he devoted his life to his leader and remained loyal to the last. ‘Adolf Hitler, I love you because you are both great and simple at the same time. What one calls a genius.’

In 1926, just four years after joining the party, Goebbels was made Gauleiter of Berlin and, in 1929, appointed the party’s propaganda minister where he edited a weekly newspaper called Der Angriff (The Assault). In 1933, following Hitler’s assumption of power, he became the Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.

Goebbels married Magda Ritschel on 19 December 1931, with Hitler as a witness. They were to have six children, all of whose names began with an H in honour of Hitler.

Following Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945, Goebbels succeeded him as chancellor, a post he was to retain for a single day. With the Red Army bearing down on Berlin and defeat inevitable, Goebbels and his wife couldn’t bear the thought of their children living in a post-Hitler world. Thus, on 1 May, they drugged up their children, aged four to twelve, on morphine, then, with the help of a doctor, crushed ampules of cyanide into their mouths. The girls had ribbons tied in their hair. A couple of hours later, Magda and Goebbels walked out into the Reich Chancellery garden. Goebbels shot his wife and then himself.

In 1987, the novel was published for the first time in English, published by Amok Press.

The auction house, Alexander Autographs, had hoped the book would sell for $10,000 to $12,000 (£6,400 to £7,600). However it remains unsold. But it did sell Hitler’s accounts book, a 175-page handwritten ledger covering his expenses during the last year of his life.

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Rupert Colley’s enthralling novel, set in Nazi-occupied France, The White Venus, is now available.

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The Death of Hitler – a summary

The death of Hitler: In January 1945, with the Soviet Red Army bearing down on Germany, Hitler left his HQ in East Prussia and moved back to Berlin and into the Reich Chancellery. A month later, he went underground into the Chancellery’s air-raid shelter, a cavern of dimly-lit rooms made of solid, high-quality concrete.

Hitler’s Health

Adolf HitlerDuring his last few months, Hitler’s health deteriorated rapidly. In February 1945, after so many years of shouting and screaming, he had to have an operation on his vocal chords which, following the operation, obliged him to stay silent for a whole week.

Despite the implorations of his staff, Hitler refused to leave Berlin, and finally, realising the war was truly lost, he decided to end his life. Shuffling around with a stoop, Hitler looked much older than his fifty-six years. A new pain in his eye required daily doses of cocaine drops, and, perhaps from the onset of Parkinson’s disease, his left hand shook constantly. His eyesight had become so poor he had to have his documents written in extra-large print on specially-made ‘Fuhrer’ typewriters.

He ate poorly – devouring large portions of cake. He’d fallen out with many of his senior colleagues – in particular Hermann Goring and Heinrich Himmler, both of whom he accused of treachery and ordered to be arrested on sight and court-martialled. Joseph Goebbels, however, remained loyal to the last, broadcasting to the nation, demanding greater effort and sacrifice against the enemy.

Hitler the General

In his final days Hitler ordered a scorched-earth policy throughout eastern Germany and the destruction of anything that could be of use to the Soviets. What happened to the German citizen was not of Hitler’s concern – as far as Hitler was concerned, they had proved themselves unworthy of him.

From within the bunker, Hitler continued to dictate operations but his grip on reality had deserted him. He refused to listen to the glum reports from the front and ordered a constant stream of counterattacks deploying non-existent troops and refusing the troops that did exist room to retreat and re-group.

On his 56th (and last) birthday on 20 April 1945, a group of nineteen Hitler Youth boys lined-up in the Chancellery garden for Hitler to inspect and decorate with Iron Crosses. Lined-up from the eldest to the youngest, Hitler, with his shaking left hand behind his back, shook hands with each child, pinching the cheek of the last, the youngest child, a 12-year-old boy called Alfred Czech.  ‘The Führer shook my hand,’ said Mr Czech decades later, ‘then he pinched my left cheek. He told me, “Keep it up!” I certainly had the feeling that I had done something remarkable.’ Hitler delivered a short speech and thanked them for their bravery before shuffling back into the bunker. It was to be Hitler’s last appearance in public.

Hitler and Eva

Adolf Hitler und Eva Braun auf dem BerghofOn April 20, Hitler celebrated (of sorts) his 56th birthday. A week later, just past midnight on April 29 in a ten-minute ceremony, Hitler married his long-term partner, Eva Braun (pictured). Twenty-three years his junior, the German people knew nothing of her. Her presence, although not a secret amongst the Nazi hierarchy, was not something Hitler wished publicized lest it should diminish the adoration of Germany’s women. Goebbels and Martin Bormann stood as witnesses as a hastily-found registrar nervously asked the couple whether they were of pure Aryan descent and free of hereditary diseases.

That night, following the subdued and rather surreal marital celebrations, Hitler dictated his last political testament and private will to his secretary, where, in the former, he drew-up the make up of the government following his death. The admiral, Karl Donitz, was named as his successor, not as ‘Fuhrer’ but as president, and Goebbels as Chancellor.

Death of Hitler

On April 29 Hitler made preparations for his death. 200 litres of benzene were delivered into the bunker. Hitler insisted that his body be burnt, not wanting his corpse to finish up in Soviet hands like an “exhibit in a cabinet of curiosities”. He also ordered the testing of the newly-arrived batch of cyanide capsules. The chosen victim was Hitler’s much loved Alsatian dog, Blondi.

On April 30, with the Soviets only 300 metres away, Goebbels tried one last time to convince the Fuhrer to leave Berlin but Hitler had already made it plain a week earlier, bellowing at his generals, “If you gentlemen think I’m going to leave Berlin you are very much mistaken. I’d rather blow my brains out”.

Near four o’clock, after a round of farewells, Hitler and his wife of forty hours retired to his study. Hitler wore upon his tunic, his Iron Cross (First Class) and his Wounded Badge of the First World War. His entourage waited nervously outside. A shot was heard. Hitler had shot himself through the right temple. Braun was also dead. She had swallowed the cyanide. The pistol Hitler had used was the same one that his niece, Geli Raubal, had used when she committed suicide almost 14 years before.

The bodies, covered in blankets, were carried out into the Chancellery garden. There, with artillery exploding around them and neighbouring buildings ablaze, Hitler’s wishes were honoured – the benzene was poured on the corpses and set alight. With the bodies blazing, the entourage gave one final Hitler salute before scampering back into the bunker.

The official announcement, the following day, stated that “Hitler had fallen at his command post fighting to his last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”.

He had come to power as German Chancellor, aged 43, in January 1933. But with the death of Hitler, the Third Reich, which was meant to last a thousand years, had come to an end after just twelve.

Women on the TrainRupert Colley.

Rupert Colley’s novella, set during World War Two and Paris in 1968, The Woman on the Train, is now available.

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Rudolph Hess – a brief biography

On 10 May 1941, occurred one of the most bizarre incidences of the Second World War – the appearance in Scotland of top-ranking Nazi, Rudolph Hess.

Hitler and Rudolph Hess

Rudolph HessHess was one of the original members of the Nazi Party, joining in 1920. Three years later he was involved in the failed Munich Putsch and, for his part, was imprisoned alongside his leader, Adolf Hitler. Devoted to Hitler, Hess acted as scribe as Hitler dictated his biographical Mein Kampf. Upon their release, Hess became Hitler’s private secretary and in 1933 was promoted to deputy leader of the Nazi Party. In 1939 Hess was appointed second-in-line to Hitler as Head of State, second only to Hermann Goering.

Hess’s Flight to Scotland

Although a fervent and ideological Nazi, Hess felt that, as fellow Anglo-Saxons, Britain and Germany should not be at war with one another. Thus, on 10 May 1941, he took it upon himself to fly single-handedly the one thousand miles from Augsberg in Germany to Scotland with the express purpose of negotiating a peace between the two nations. Stocked-up with money, a gun, camera, maps, twenty-eight medications and various homeopathic remedies, Hess took off. Around 11 pm, after a five-hour flight, Hess jettisoned his plane and parachuted out, landing awkwardly and breaking his ankle. He had landed on Floors Farm, near the village of Eaglesham in Renfrewshire, eight miles south of Glasgow.

A 45-year-old ploughman, named David McLean, who had heard the crashing of the plane, rushed out, armed with a pitchfork, to find Hess who initially identified himself as Captain Albert Horn. Prodding the German with his pitchfork, McLean escorted the hobbling Hess back to his cottage where McLean’s mother offered Hess a cup of tea (Hess refused, asking only for water). In a TV interview, Mr McLean, with his mother, described his strange encounter with the Nazi apparition from the skies. “He was a gentleman,” she says, and “after all he was somebody’s son.”

The Duke of Hamilton

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The Enabling Act – a brief outline

On 23 March 1933, the German Reichstag voted in the Enabling Act, allowing Hitler to rip up the constitution. He’d been in power less than two months.

On 30 January 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor within a coalition government, achieving what he had striven for since 1923 – power through legitimate means.

The Reichstag Fire

Barely a month after Hitler’s appointment came the Reichstag Fire, started by 24-year-old Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch arsonist who may or may not have been a communist. Rumours persisted that it was the Nazis themselves that set the parliament building ablaze.

Either way, Hitler, who saw it as a “God-given signal”, made political capital of it, blaming the communists, having all political opponents rounded up and beaten, and put into ‘protective custody’. President Paul von Hindenburg (pictured with Hitler), increasingly senile, accepted Hitler’s request following the fire for a decree suspending all political and civil liberties as a ‘temporary’ measure for the ‘protection of the people and state’. These temporary measures were never revoked.

In March the last parliamentary elections took place. Only Hitler, it was claimed, could save Germany from the communists, and the SA, using violence and intimidation, silenced all other parties. The Nazis polled 44% of the vote, not enough for a majority but enough to squash any future political resistance.

The Enabling Act

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Adolf Eichmann – a brief biography

On 31 May 1962, a man who seemed from the outside quite an ordinary person, even banal, was hanged in Ramla prison in Israel. It was, and still is, the only time the Israel state has executed a person. Tall, slim, bespectacled and with a receding hairline, his external persona was indeed very mundane but this was no ordinary person. The man in question was 56-year-old Adolf Eichmann, responsible for the logistical management of the mass deportations of Jews to the Nazi death camps.

Born 19 March 1906 in the town of Solingen in western Germany, Eichmann was brought up in a middle class Lutheran environment. (Eichmann kept his faith right up to the late 1930s, long after it was fashionable for Nazis to denounce religion).

Following his mother’s death in 1914, Adolf Eichmann’s father, an accountant, took his two sons to live in Linz, Austria, the town that Adolf Hitler always considered his home. Eichmann’s early life was certainly ordinary, dropping out of his studies to become a mechanical engineer and drifting from one job to another before finding more permanent employment as a travelling salesman for an Austrian oil company.

The Jewish Expert

Eichmann joined the Austrian Nazi Party in April 1932 having been approached by a friend of his father’s, an SS man, who said to the younger Eichmann, ‘You belong to us’. Within seven months he had become attached to the SS itself, Hitler’s paramilitary corps, headed by Heinrich Himmler. In 1934, as an SS corporal, he worked at the newly-opened Dachau concentration camp.

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Reinhard Heydrich – a brief biography

On 4 June 1942, the Nazi wartime leader of occupied Czechoslovakia, Reinhard Heydrich, died. He had been the victim of an assassination attempt a week earlier. Aged 38, the ‘Butcher of Prague’ was dead.

Six months earlier, on 28 December 1941, two Free Czech agents, Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabčík, trained by Britain’s Special Operations Executive (the SOE), had parachuted into Czechoslovakia. Their objective, almost certain to end in their deaths, was to assassinate the ‘Deputy Reich Protector of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia’, to give Reinhard Heydrich his full title.

Assassination attempt

HeydrichOn the 27 May 1942, the agents, on learning of Heydrich’s movements that day, went into action. As the car taking Heydrich to a meeting slowed to navigate a hairpin bend, the two men attacked. Heydrich, as was his routine, was without an armed escort. Gabčík tried to shoot Heydrich but his submachine gun jammed at the fatal moment. Instead of ordering his chauffeur to drive off, Heydrich chose to fight. He attempted to fire back but a small bomb, thrown by Kubis, exploded, injuring him. Heydrich and his driver gave chase on foot, but the two agents escaped before Heydrich, bleeding profusely, collapsed from his injuries. He was rushed to hospital. Surgeons operated and initially it seemed the stricken Nazi was recovering.

On 2 June, a week after the attack, he received a visit from his superior and mentor, Heinrich Himmler. Following Himmler’s visit, Heydrich slipped into a coma and died on 4 June. He was given a sumptuous funeral in Prague followed by a second ceremony in Berlin.

Meanwhile, Heydrich’s assassins, Kubis and Gabčík, hid in the crypt of a Prague church. Three-weeks later they were betrayed and the church was surrounded by 800 members of the SS. The men held out for as long as possible before turning their guns on themselves.

Young Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich was born in the eastern German town of Halle on 7 March 1904. His mother was an actress and his father, Richard, a music teacher and occasional opera composer inducing in his sons (Reinhard and his younger brother, Heinz) a love of the operas of Richard Wagner. Reinhard became an accomplished violinist. Heydrich’s father, a fervent German nationalist, was sometimes known as Heydrich-Süss.  Süss having a Jewish ring to it, fuelled rumours that that the family had Jewish blood. Later, Reinhard Heydrich was so haunted by the thought, he ordered an SS investigation into his family ancestry. The report concluded, unsurprisingly, that Reinhard Heydrich’s family contained no trace of Jewish descent. Continue reading

Eva Braun – a brief biography

Born 6 February 1912, Eva Braun first met her future husband, Adolf Hitler, while working as an assistant and model to Hitler’s official photographer, Heinrich Hoffman. It was 1929 and she was 17, Hitler 40.

Adolf Hitler und Eva Braun auf dem BerghofAt the time Hitler had taken upon himself the responsibility of looking after his 21-year-old niece, Geli Raubal. The exact relationship between uncle and niece has never been properly ascertained except that Hitler was overly-possessive and jealous of the company she kept. On 18 September 1931, Raubal committed suicide by shooting herself with Hitler’s pistol.

Hitler’s relationship with Eva Braun began soon after Raubal’s death and possibly before. Raubal’s jealousy of Braun has been mooted as a possible cause of her suicide.

The Invisible Woman

Germany, as a nation, never knew of Braun’s existence as Hitler went to great lengths to keep her hidden from view. He was, as he often remarked, primarily wedded to the German people and wanted to maintain his popularity amongst German women, whose adoration for Hitler sometimes contained a sexual dimension.

Thus the relationship proved difficult for Braun who was devoted to the Fuhrer. Twice she tried to commit suicide, once by shooting herself, the second time by poison. Neither occasion could be regarded as a serious attempt at ending her life but a desperate cry for attention. Concerned, Hitler amply provided for her so that materially at least Braun was very comfortable. But still she remained marginalised. She spent much of her time with Hitler in his mountain retreat, the Berchtesgaden, but was only reluctantly accepted by the wives of other senior Nazis. When visitors and dignities arrived Braun had to make herself scarce.

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Hitler appointed Chancellor

On 30 January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. The supposed one thousand year Reich had started. But it would be another nineteen months before Hitler achieved absolute power.

1932 Germany saw the rise of the Nazi party into a prominent political force. The Weimar government had failed its people and, following the worldwide depression, Germany was in economic ruin, people’s livelihoods shattered and the nation still burdened with the humiliation of the post-First World War Treaty of Versailles. Germans, fearful of Communists and Jews, looked for an alternative and that alternative lay in Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

Elections

In the July 1932 Reichstag elections, the Nazi party gained almost 40% of the vote making it the most powerful party in Germany. There was a slight dip in the elections four months later but the party still had enough electoral clout that Hitler, as dictated by the Weimar constitution, should have been appointed chancellor.

But the Weimar president, the 85-year-old Paul von Hindenburg (pictured with Hitler), was reluctant to appoint the former corporal: “That man a chancellor?” he exclaimed, “I’ll make him a postmaster and he can lick stamps with my head on them.”

Franz von Papen, Hindenburg’s former chancellor, who believed the Nazis were already a spent force after the dip in the Nazi vote in November 1932, decided to work with Hitler (or rather his objective was to manipulate the Nazi leader). Hitler would become chancellor and Papen would serve as his vice chancellor.

Justice to everyone

But the real power, Papen persuaded the aging president, would be himself. Hitler, Papen argued, needed to be contained and this would be far easier with Hitler working inside the government than agitating from outside. “In two months,” said Papen, “we’ll have pushed Hitler into a corner where he can squeal to his heart’s content.”

Reluctantly, Hindenburg agreed.

Adolf HitlerAnd so on 30 January 1933, Hitler was appointed Chancellor within a coalition government. At around noon, Hitler took his oath: “I will employ my strength for the welfare of the German people, protect the Constitution and laws of the German people, conscientiously discharge the duties imposed on me, and conduct my affairs of office impartially and with justice to everyone.” Yes, Hitler promised to respect the German constitution with justice for all.

He had done it – Hitler had achieved what he had striven for since 1923 following the failed attempt to seize power by force, the Munich Putsch – power through legitimate means.

‘The New Reich has been born’

That evening Hitler looked out from his balcony at the Chancellery. Below him filed passed thousands of torch-bearing Nazis, singing the Nazi anthem, the Horst Wessel song (so named after a martyr of the Nazi cause). This was their moment of triumph, the day of national exultation; the Nazi era had begun and their mood was jubilant. That evening, an ecstatic Joseph Goebbels wrote his in diary“It is almost like a dream – a fairytale. The new Reich has been born. Fourteen years of work have been crowned with victory. The German revolution has begun!”

Not everyone however was delighted by the turn of events. Hindenburg’s old wartime partner, Erich Ludendorff, who had been at Hitler’s side during the Munich Putsch, wrote to the president: “By appointing Hitler Chancellor of the Reich you have handed over our sacred German Fatherland to one of the greatest demagogues of all time. I prophesy to you this evil man will plunge our Reich into the abyss and will inflict immeasurable woe on our nation. Future generations will curse you in your grave for this action.”

Franz von PapenPapen (pictured) was to soon realise the folly of his intrigue – it was he, not Hitler, who was pushed into a corner and became an inconsequential figure. He was fortunate to survive Hitler’s murderous purge, the Night of the Long Knives, in which close associates of Papen’s were shot, and was shunted off to serve as German ambassador first in Vienna then later, during the war, in Turkey. He lived to the age of 89, dying in Germany on 2 May 1969.

The Road to Ruin

But for Hitler in January 1933, the road to absolute power had only just begun. The fortuitous (or not) Reichstag Fire, a month later, followed by the Enabling Act in March 1933 which, despite his oath, allowed Hitler to dispense with the German constitution, augmented his power. But it was the death of President Hindenburg, in August 1934, that allowed Hitler to establish his dictatorial rule. The road to ruin lay ahead.

The White Venus

Rupert Colley

Rupert Colley’s enthralling novel, set in Nazi-occupied France, The White Venus, is now available.

Also, gathered together in one collection, 60 of Rupert Colley’s history articles, The Savage Years: Tales From the 20th Century.

Claim your free copy of Rupert’s novel, My Brother the Enemy.