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He Was My Chief: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Secretary [Paperback]

Christa Schroeder
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Mar 2012
As secretary to the Führer throughout the time of the Third Reich, Christa Schroeder was perfectly placed to observe the actions and behaviour of Hitler, along with the most important figures surrounding him. Schroeder s memoir does not fail to deliver fascinating insights: she notes his bourgeois manners, his vehement abstemiousness and his mood swings. Indeed, she was ostracised by Hitler for a number of months after she made the mistake of publicly contradicting him once too often. In addition to her portrayal of Hitler, there are illuminating anecdotes about Hitler s closest colleagues. She recalls, for instance, that the relationship between Martin Bormann and his brother Albert (who was on Hitler s personal staff) was so bad that the two would only communicate with one another via their respective adjutants even if they were in the same room. There is also light shed on the peculiar personal life and insanity of Reichsminister Walther Darré. Schroeder claims to have known nothing of the horrors of the Nazi regime. There is nothing of the sense of perspective or the mea culpa that one finds in the memoirs of Hitler s other secretary, Traudl Junge who concluded we should have known . Rather the tone that pervades Schroeder s memoir is one of bitterness. This is, without any doubt, one of the most important primary sources from the pre-war and wartime period.

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He Was My Chief: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Secretary + I Was Hitler's Chauffeur: The Memoir of Erich Kempka
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Frontline Books; Reprint edition (15 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848326319
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848326316
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Christa Schroeder provides a rare, fascinating insight into Hitler and his household' -- Sunday Telegraph, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Christa Schroeder was Hitler s personal secretary for twelve years in total. She worked as his secretary until his suicide in April 1945, living at the Wolfsschanze near Rastenburg. Her memoir Er War Mein Chef was first published in 1985, a year after her death in Munich, aged 76.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Observations on Hitler by his circle 28 Feb 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thought that this book was excellent in that it presented a female perspective and a very intuitive one too on the phenomenon of Hitler's personal attraction and what life was like living near him 24/7 before and during the war years. The late author appears a proud individual, writes well (or has a very good ghost which I doubt), and does not go in for apologies for her part in supporting Hitler`s inner circle. She comes across as someone who would not suffer fools gladly, so in some respects she comes across as slightly ruthless and cutting inher observations of others. A good book and well worth reading.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful insight 11 July 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Nazi years continue to fascinate. This book, written from the records of one of Hitler's secretaries, gives a rare insight into the 'inner world' of the Third Reich. It concentrates upon the day to day routines of Hitler and his closest circle of aides and advisors, and reminds us that notorious tyrants such as Hitler are also very human. As a boss, he was courteous, kind, and approachable - he even received criticism with good grace. For those who wish to understand the dynamics of Hitlerism - from the early 1930s to the last days of the Fuerher bunker - this is a must read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Personal and at times surprising. 29 Aug 2014
By Bridgey
Format:Paperback
An interesting first hand account from one of Hitler's secretaries. This is the second book I have read in the series, the other being 'I was Hitler's Chauffeur by Erich Kempka '.

While these books may not provide much detail regarding the war, they do give valuable insight into what Hitler was like as an everyday person. They detail his daily routines and how he treated those closest to him. These books are ideal for a reader, such as myself, that have an interest in the second world war and Hitler, but don't really want to sift through and books that go into the subject too deeply.

He was my Chief details Schroeder's personal thoughts of Hitler and gives an account of her presence at a number of important historical occasions. We learn many a snippet that allows the reader to build a fuller picture of the Fuhrer and his character. Surprisingly he is a man that is very generous to his employees, a man of strict personal morals (doesn't eat meat, smoke or drink) and at times even a little self conscious.

The only annoying aspect of the book was that a number of passages were repeated throughout. Maybe a little better editing would have helped. Interestingly Shroeder herself requested the publication of the book as she was unhappy at inaccuracies depicted in other books of her and work colleagues.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Review of He Was My Chief by Christa Schroeder 20 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is written in a very bland way; being more of a diary than a book. It does have some interesting insights into both Christa Schroeder (who appears to be on the one hand very naive and on the other to exhibit strong Nazi race values) and Hitler. This book shows that Hitler was not a madman and that there were many sides to him; his relationships with women are interesting as are his insights into architecture, painting etc. There is a feeling that the Hitler entourage was composed of a great many hangers on and that he encouraged this. Eva Braun comes over as an equally naive person and that she along with many others genuinely believed in him until the end.

A short book; interesting and a springboard to read other memoirs of those who worked and lived around Hitler.
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5.0 out of 5 stars How to Run and Lose a war 18 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading this one tends to think that Hitler did very little in the way of 'military work,

I had already read much of Hitler's life but this from someone so close to his everyday
actions and moods wa something of an eye opener even for myself.

Recommended
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Insight 17 Mar 2014
By Iain
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A bit disjointed at firsts it sets off, but it gives an interesting insight into the man. I preferred Traudl Junge's version as it seemed more in depth. However worth a read.
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