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The Young Hitler I Knew Hardcover – 15 Jul 2006

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books; illustrated edition edition (15 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853676942
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853676949
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,350,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'The Young Hitler I Knew' is an extraordinary memoir by a man who actually met Hitler in 1904 while they were both competing for a space at the opera. Their mutual passion for music created a friendship, and a roommate situation --Midwest Book Review, October 2006

An invaluable tool for every Hitler scholar; a fascinating portrait for every reader who is interested in Hitler. --Simon Sebag Montefiore

Kubizek's memoir of Hitler was largely written from memory after World War II, and published in German in 1953, which was shortly followed by an abridged English edition. This is the first full translation. Kubizek's book has to be used with some care. Certainly his memory could hardly have allowed him to recount incidents or repeat verbatim talks with Hitler that had occurred forty years earlier. But, as Ian Kershaw points out in his thoughtful introduction, Kubizek almost certainly got the things right in broad outline . . . an interesting look at Hitler's early years --NYMAS Review

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
So much of what is taken and accepted as "FACT" about Adolf Hitler is full of inconsistencies and assumption. It has been my experience that the public will readily swallow whatever they are fed about Hitler without giving so much as a second thought as to whether or not it is accurate. I wish I could be indifferent to this and take a neutral stance, but I cannot. I have dedicated six years of my life to studying that of Hitler, and it pains me to witness the widespread ignorance displayed by the majority whenever his name is mentioned.
This is why this book is so important to me. It is by far the best ever written about his young adulthood and, in short, who he really was as a person, an individual; for in order to begin to grasp who Hitler was, one must look into his past.
During the years the two spent together in Linz and later in Vienna, young Adolf was already developing into who he would later become. For getting a deeper perspective of the true nature of Adolf Hitler, August Kubizek is, in my humble opinion, the most reliable source for insight into this complicated human being. No one knew Hitler more intimately than he did. He was also reunited with his old friend three decades after their ways parted in Vienna, and thus gives valuable insight regarding "Adolf Hitler, the Führer". And, as Kubizek remarked, "Hitler didn't change."
The words Kubizek uses to describe his young friend convey the image of a deep, passionate, gifted and serious young man who, due to his great obsession with changing the world around him, did not enjoy his youth in any traditional sense. Kubizek did his friend a great service by writing this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is stated on the rear of this edition that it is the first complete English translation. This is a lie. Furthermore, Ian Kershaw's introduction is packed with the usual unsubstantiated anti-Hitler political rhetoric (that which has made him so rich over the years) and the language in this limited translation is much more vague (in much the same way as the Manheim translation of Mein Kampf is more vague and `wandering' in comparison to the superior official Third Reich 'Stalag' translation). Instead, I urge others to try to locate the ORIGINAL English language translation with the introduction by Hugh Trevor-Roper (himself no pro-Nationalsocialist to say the least, contributing an introduction in that edition arguable more ridiculous than Kershaw's - hard as that is to beleive). Anyway, from that edition, missing from this 2006 Leventhal translation, here is the ACTUAL ending of this book:

"It was only just in time as the very next day I was arrested and held for sixteen months in the notorious detention camp of Glasenbach. Naturally, an intensive search was made during my absence for the Hitler papers, but with no success. In the beginning I was often questioned, first in Eferding, then in Gmunden. These interrogations all ran on the same lines; something like:

"You are a friend of Adolf Hitler's?"
"Since when?"
"Since 1904."
"What do you mean by that? At that time he was nobody."
"Nevertheless, I was his friend."
"How could you be his friend when he was still a nobody?"
An American officer of the Central Intelligence Corps asked: "So you are a friend of Adolf Hitler's. What did you get out of it?"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was written over period of two times in the authors life. Some in the 1930s and some in the 1950s. Some of the stories seem a bit strange; The story of Hitlers "Mountain" sermon (In that hour it began) is worthy of Joseph Göebbels and Leni Riefenstahl, the story about seeking shelter from foul weather in a barn reads like a Heimat film scene and the whole Stefanie business is certainly strange as the woman in question knew virtually nothing af Hitlers existence, a fact which has been confirmed by historians after the war. Kubizek himself states this in the book.
Having said this, I do think this book offers some insight into the life of Hitler at this time. Kubizeks observations are of daily life in general and he does not attempt to portray himself as an all knowing, "I saw the future!" kind of person, as he neither expresses great support for nor great fear of Hitler.
It is a boook worth reading, but for a detailed account of Hitlers life 1889 to 1914 i recommend Brigitte Hamanns book Hitler's Vienna, which gives an excellent in depth acccount of Hitlers life, the places he lived and the society in which he found himself between 1889 and 1914
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