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Winifred Wagner: A Life at the Heart of Hitler's Bayreuth Paperback – 5 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 596 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (5 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862078513
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862078512
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.6 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 472,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"* 'A riveting biography of the British- born woman who married into the Wagner family and became Hitler's friend' Sunday Times (Culture) * 'Consistently enthralling book... displays truly impressive enterprise in locating quite new sources' THES * 'Hamann has approached her subject with powerful sensitivity and scholarship and the translation by Alan Bance flows swimmingly' The Irish Times * 'In laying bare one woman's moral failings, Hamann leaves the reader with a greater understanding of how millions managed to embrace the evil in their midst' The Glasgow Herald"

About the Author

Brigitte Hamann studied history and German literature in Munster and Vienna. She is the author of several books on Austrian history, including Hitler's Vienna: A Dictator's Apprenticeship, published in English by OUP, which was a critically acclaimed, international bestseller. She lives in Vienna.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John J. Powers on 8 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Historian Brigitte Hamann has provided a book which not only examines in exhaustive detail (with extensive footnotes) the life and times of Winifred Wagner---it also provides real insight into the social background of the emergence of national socialism from the turn of the 20th century to the second World War. This is a must read for historians of Nazism as well as Wagner devotees.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Klingsor Tristan VINE VOICE on 23 Nov. 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The subtitle of this book is important – A Life at the Heart of Hitler’s Bayreuth – for Winifred Wagner’s institutionalised childhood, her youth with the ageing hippie Klindworth couple and the early years of her marriage to Siegfried are all raced through in around 50 pages (out of 500). Another mere 50 cover the 30 odd years after her de-nazification hearings and the takeover of the Bayreuth Festival by her two sons. The main bulk of this book concerns itself with the 25 years of her relationship with Hitler (and his with the Wagner family and the Festival) and its immediate aftermath.
That said, Brigitte Hamann provides a fascinating and eminently readable account of that relationship. Her attitude towards her subject seems to change as the book progresses. Initially she presents Winifred as a fervently (German) Nationalist, anti-Semitic character, much influenced by the writing and the presence around Wahnfried of her brother-in-law, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, even before she met and fell under the spell of Onkel Wolfi, as the family referred to Hitler. (Incidentally, Chamberlain was also English by birth but, like Winifred, became more German than the Germans.) The older Winifred is a rather different person as portrayed here. Throughout the war, as evidenced by many of the testaments taken from her de-nazification hearings, Winifred became some kind of Schindleresque saint, saving everyone she could from the clutches of her top Nazi friends – friends, acquaintances, friends of friends, people she didn’t know at all, jews, gentiles, the lot. One suspects that all this is coloured by Winifred’s own practical need for self-justification at those hearings and should be taken with a slightly larger pinch of salt than Hamann seems prepared to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hans Grundberg on 12 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very well written, interesting biography of a fascinating person. Biographies written by academics can be really boring even if the subject is interesting. This one is not boring at all, on the contrary.
This book is perfect for anyone interested in the Wagner family and German history of the 20th century.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really do love this book.It tells the truths about the time, and not the bias told by the JEW media..I will not say much as much has already been said..But I fear history is repeating its self. Not in the light of Hitler, but the destruction of the West by Jews and Usury. Hitler had to contend with Bolshevicks and the destruction of Germany from within..If it had not been for him Europe would now be under the foot of the Russian Bolsheviks Jews....And do not forget they murdered 20 Million Russians .and that is a conservative guess. Russian JEWS ran concentration camps long before Germanys. Winifred doted on Hitler and to the end she held her beliefs in National Socialism. Which remember in her time was the saving of Germany.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Everson Thorpe on 16 July 2009
Format: Paperback
THIS IS A FASCINATING BIOGRAPHY OF THE ENGLISH ORPHAN WHO MARRIED INTO THE WAGNER FAMILY,VIRTUALLY TOOK OVER THE FESTIVAL AND WAS A GREAT FRIEND OF HITLER AND SENIOR NAZI OFFICIALS.
EVEN AFTER THE WAR UNTIL THE TIME OF HER DEATH SHE REFUSED TO GIVE UP HER ADMIRATION FOR DEAR ADOLPH!
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