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The Man Who Invented the Third Reich Hardcover – 23 Apr 1999
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"Succeed[s] in conveying the intellectual ferment and underlying current of violence that characterized prewar Vienna." --"Booklist" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
STAN LAURYSSENS is a Belgian writer who personally met and interviewed many of Hitler's henchmen. He has written a number of books on the Third Reich, including The Eichmann Diaries. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Bottom line: This book is a study in character. It is not the biography of just one man (AMVB), but two: AH as well. Brilliantly, maybe even unconciously, this work reveals what I believe the difference was beetween AH and the rest of the people of his time, as exemplified by AMVB. The ideas between AMVB and AH did apparently not differ very much, yet the personalities do: human bevavior, "morals", versus absolute wild and barbaric, in-human ruthlessness. AH could kill a lifelong friend without loosing a second of sleep over it, AMVB was plagued by depression (consience?) and killed himself. History (and politics) is all about character, not about philosophies. The story of AMVB puzzles, it is tragic drama of classical a stature. The picturesque and minutely detailed szene descriptions capture the readers imagination, the reader literally lives through early 20th century Berlin and Vienna. Yet, it this, this all to human picturesque in stories about AH that could easily make one forget what a mass murderer he really was. This is the danger of such a book. It tells a story from eyewitness accounts (O Strasser, a black shirt!) and personal (the authors) imagination; it describes the philosophy of the absolut inhuman from a perspective all too human; hence it cannot claim to be objective or entirely truthful. It can only tell a story, like a novel writer does. It is work of fiction in an unfictious world. A puzzling story, yes, but how much of it should we really believe?
There is really little meat in this thin book. Hitler occupies half and does van den Bruck. However, this is a rehash of Hitler's story along with the man who came up with the idea of the Third Reich.
While this book had some potential it falls down on the lack of basic material. Stan Lauryssens reveals in the last pages that all of Moeller Van Den Bruck's papers were destroyed at the end of WWII. This explains the structure of the rest of the book - a brief guide to the world in which van den Bruck lived and died. The result is that you only get brief glimpses of the man who was supposed to be the centre of this book.
It's also my opinion that Lauryssens also takes Otto Strasser (the so-called Anti-Hitler Nazi) altogether too much on his word.
Yet for all of this, it is an interesting book to read. For anyone interested in Weimar and what happened to it, it's worth a look.
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