Posts Tagged ‘Hitler’

Adolf Hitler really did have only one ball, according to new medical report

December 23rd, 2015

• Spanish dictator Franco ‘only had one testicle’

On November 12, 1923, Hitler had to undergo the indignity of a medical examination on his arrival at Landsberg prison.

Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, left, with his second-in-command Hermann Göring

The records of that examination were long thought lost, until they surfaced at an auction in 2010.

They were promptly confiscated by the Bavarian government and have only now been properly studied.

Dr Josef Steiner Brin, the prison’s medical officer’s notes record “Adolf Hitler, artist, recently writer” as “healthy and strong” but suffering from “right-side cryptorchidism”.

• Adolf Hitler took ‘primitive Viagra’ to have sex with Eva Braun, claims new book

Cryptorchidism is when the testicle fails to descend properly.

“The testicle was probably stunted,” Prof Fleischman said.

The new findings appear to contradict claims that Hitler lost a testicle to a shrapnel injury in the First World War.

In an account that was only discovered in 2008, Franciszek Pawlar, a Polish priest and amateur historian, claimed a German army medic who treated Hitler after the incident told him about the injury.

They also appear to contradict the account of Hitler’s childhood doctor, Eduard Bloch, who told American interrogators in 1943 the Fuhrer’s genitals were “completely normal”.

In very rare cases, cryptorchidism can develop later in life.

A practising Jew, Dr Bloch stayed in Austria under Hitler’s personal protection until 1940, when he emigrated to the US.

The Soviet autopsy carried out on Hitler’s remains in the Fuhrerbunker after the fall of Berlin found that one testicle was completely missing — although, curiously, it recorded the left testicle as absent.

If Hitler did have an undescended testicle, it could explain why he had no children, as it is often linked to reduced fertility.

It would not necessarily have affected the Fuhrer’s sex life, as there is not generally a link to impotence.

The popular song emerged in 1939 and is thought to have been written by a publicist for the British Council, which was tasked with helping build propaganda that would damage the Nazis.

The commonly-recalled version is an adaptation of the original, which ran: “Göring has only got one ball, Hitler’s [are] so very small, Himmler’s so very similar, And Goebbels has no balls at all.”


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Hitler flower painting to be auctioned for $30,000

March 23rd, 2015

Anyone doubting the banality of evil would be wise to take a long look at this 1912 watercolour by Adolf Hitler, which is due to be auctioned on March 26 with a starting price of $ 30,000.

The painting, a still life of flowers in a pitcher, features Hitler’s signature, and is being sold by Nate D Saunders, a memorabilia collector.

The previous owner has not been identified. It is thought that Hitler would have been 24 or 25 at the time of painting.

The Telegraph’s art critic Alastair Smart says of the piece, “The work is of no intrinsic, artistic worth whatsoever. The only vague point of interest might be that, unlike the iffy watercolours of Vienna city we associate with Hitler the painter, this rarity is an iffy watercolour of a pitcher of azalias.”

The watercolour features Hitler’s signature

Argentine archaeologists find secret Nazi lair in jungle
Inside the Lodz Ghetto: photos by Henryk Ross
Anyone for a day out at Hitler’s bunker?

The last Hitler painting sold at auction was an architectural watercolour of Munich Hall, which sold for $ 161,000 in 2014.

This painting signed by A. Hitler is called “The Old City Hall”

Hitler began painting in 1908 when he moved to Vienna. He was twice rejected by the Vienna Academy of Art, but had a supporter in Samuel Morgenstern, a Jewish art dealer, who sold several of Hitler’s paintings to wealthy Viennese Jewish clients.

Hitler moved to Munich in 1913, having been unable to make a living as a painter.

The Nazis later seized Morgenstern’s gallery, and he was deported to the Lodz Ghetto, where he died in 1943. This flower painting has Morgenstern’s stamp on the back.

Evacuation of the sick and aged by horse-drawn cart, 1942, Lodz Ghetto (Henryk Ross/Copyright Art Gallery of Ontario)


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Adolf, the dog that looks like Hitler

March 4th, 2015


Hairdresser Claire Walsh is looking for a new home for Adolf (Wales News Service)

Mrs Walsh, from Gorseinon, Swansea, added: “We have called him Adolf – although, obviously, it is just tongue-in-cheek.

“We don’t have any time for what Hitler stands for, but we can see there is a resemblance.”

The family are now looking for new homes for Adolf and his siblings – although Claire and husband Niall’s son Zak, 11, has already grown attached to the puppy.

“Zak loves him,” said Mrs Walsh. “He is the cheekiest in the litter, and is full of character. One of the pubs has already gone, but we are still looking to find homes for the others.

“I bred the puppies myself, and have been looking to sell them.”


The house in Port Tenant, Swansea, that looks like Hitler (Athena)

The dog lives just four miles from a house that caused an intenet sensation for looking like Hitler.

The end property on a terrace in Port Tennant went viral after comedian Jimmy Carr retweeted a photo of the building.

The lintel above the door echoes the toothbrush moustache of the Nazi dictator and the black sloping roof resembles his hair.


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Painting by Adolf Hitler expected to sell for £40,000

November 25th, 2014

Though Hitler’s paintings surface fairly regularly, Weidler said this 28×22 cm (11×8.5 inch) scene, unimaginatively called “The Old City Hall,” also includes the original bill of sale and a signed letter from Hitler’s adjutant, Albert Bormann, brother of Hitler’s private secretary Martin Bormann.

From the text of the undated Bormann letter, it appears the Nazi-era owner sent a photo of the painting to Hitler’s office asking about its provenance.

Bormann wrote back that it appears to be “one of the works of the Fuehrer.”

The starting price is 4,500 euros, and Weidler, whose auction house has sold several Hitlers over the past decade, said she expects it will go for 50,000 – but wouldn’t be surprised if sold for double that.

If it does, however, it will be because of the name in the corner alone, as its artistic value is fairly minimal, she added.

Another auctioneer, Anja Doebritz said it was legally legitimate to sell Hitler’s work but she wouldn’t do it.

“What to me is a shame is that money is being made with an affection for this regime. I personally would not do it but every auctioneer has to decide for himself.”


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Martin Amis: how Hitler had sex

October 12th, 2014

Then he would go into some sort of excitation with Eva Braun staying a safe distance.

“There would be bourgeois perversion because he was the bourgeois anti-Christ – don’t forget the bourgeois in him. I imagine Eva would stand a distance away and lift her skirt. Then there would be some sort of soggy climax on Hitler’s part and that would be that.”

Amis’s latest novel, The Zone of Interest, is set during the Holocaust.

Speaking at Cheltenham Literature Festival, he said historians had failed to understand Hitler’s motives because they knew nothing of his sex life.

“No-one understands Hitler. No-one understands what he was up to. And I don’t want to be reductive here or simplistic or frivolous, but I’m convinced that one of the reasons why we don’t recognise Hitler is that he’s sexually a void,” he said.


Martin Amis’s latest novel, The Zone of Interest, is set during the Holocaust (Rex)

“Sexuality is one of the ways we recognise each other: knowing whether someone is married or gay or whatever it might be.

“In Hitler studies there are three schools of thought about his sexuality.

“One is normality, which I think you can boot out for consideration immediately. Can you see Eva Braun relishing a post-coital cigarette? Can you imagine Hitler’s tender foreplay, him being a considerate and energetic lover? No, you can’t begin to imagine. So I would say normality is out.

“Asexuality is the other one, the third one is perversion… There are no real clues about his sexuality except that he wouldn’t take his clothes off even for his physician and he was also fanatical about cleanliness, which suggests to be asexuality plus.”


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Can you tell your Churchill from your Hitler?

October 9th, 2014

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Deborah Devonshire interview: Elvis, Hitler and the Mitford sisters

September 26th, 2014

‘I still go on writing to Diana in my head because she is the person I had a particular affinity with. We understood what one another thought before we thought it.’

People who have met Deborah Mitford have often remarked on the way she talks. How she says ‘lorst’ for ‘lost’ and ‘gorne’ for ‘gone’. Indeed, to read some descriptions you would think she could scarcely utter a vowel without becoming marooned on top of it for several weeks. But what seems more striking is the contrast between the way she speaks and the way she writes. In conversation, she expresses herself with great economy and clarity, albeit punctuated by sudden bursts of flattery – ‘You are so right!’ ‘Absolutely spot-on!’ Yet to read the sisters’ letters is to be plunged into a torrent of gushing adjectives, underlinings and elaborate nicknames. While Unity may have been the champion gusher here – ‘The Führer was heavenly,’ she writes at one point – Deborah doesn’t lag far behind. In a letter to Diana in prison – along with her husband, Oswald Mosley, Diana was locked up for being a Nazi sympathiser – Deborah wrote, ‘I do so long to see your cell.’

The youngest of the Mitford girls, Deborah was brought up at the family home in the Cotswold village of Swinbrook until she was 16. While her sisters couldn’t stand the place, Deborah loved it and was devastated when the family moved out. Almost 40 years later, in 1971, Deborah wrote to Nancy, ‘It broke my heart. Nothing had ever taken its place and nothing ever will … Worse than anything that has happened since, the loss of three babies, my four greatest friends being killed in the war – nothing has saddened me like the going from Swinbrook.’

‘Did I write that?’ she says now, her eyes widening in surprise. ‘That was going very far. But I think there was a sense that it was the end of childhood for me. An air of harmony prevailed at Swinbrook that didn’t prevail afterwards.’

A year later, Jessica Mitford [Decca] – two and a half years older than Deborah – caused a scandal by eloping to Spain with Esmond Romilly. The couple subsequently married, but Romilly was killed in action in 1941. Up to this point, the two youngest Mitfords had been particularly close, but there’s a sense that their relationship never fully recovered from the shock and betrayal Deborah felt at the time.

‘I think that’s true. It nearly did, but not quite. One of the reasons was that Esmond Romilly so hated all of us – and possibly me and Bobo [Unity] above all because we were so close to Decca. I think he saw me as an extra horror. And I really couldn’t stand him,’ she says with uncharacteristic venom. ‘He was one of those people who’s electric, of whom I’ve seen several in my life. But he was electric in a horrible way. Everything seemed so negative. He was dishonest, a liar, all those things … But of course Decca absolutely adored him and it was the great tragedy of her life that he was killed.’

The great irony here, given Deborah’s feelings towards Romilly, is that the Daily Express reported that he had run off with her, not Jessica. As a result, the paper had to pay Deborah £1,000 for ‘compromising her prospects of marriage’.

‘That really was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. Just wonderful: £1,000 was a huge sum of money in those days.’

Did she feel that her marriage prospects had been compromised?

‘Oh, I don’t think I considered that very much.’

At almost the same time as Jessica eloped with Romilly, Diana Mitford married Sir Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists. They married in Goebbels’s living-room with Hitler in attendance – Hitler, with a typically immodest flourish, gave the couple a signed photograph of himself as a wedding present.

Meanwhile Unity had become hopelessly infatuated with Nazism in general and Hitler in particular. While Deborah does not seek to excuse what Unity did, she clearly hopes that publication of the letters might make people see her in a more sympathetic light.

‘She had such qualities: she was totally truthful, totally loyal and she could be very funny. Physically, she was beautiful in a funny sort of way. Everything was too big. She had the most enormous navy-blue eyes, an absolutely straight nose and very bad teeth because she had lived on mashed potato for a year and a half when she was a child. But she was just taken over by this fascination for Germany and all that went with it. I think she had this tremendous naivety which turned into ideological commitment.’

On the day war broke out, Unity tried to commit suicide by shooting herself in the head. She survived, but only just. Hitler arranged for her to be taken to a hospital in Switzerland where Deborah and her mother went to collect her.

‘It was an absolute nightmare. We caught the train from Calais to Bern. I can remember the shock of seeing her very clearly. She had lain unconscious for weeks and the bullet was still inside her. Her hair was completely matted and she couldn’t bear anyone to touch her head. It was as if she had become an enormous child. The journey back was terrible. Every time the train stopped suddenly, she was in agony.’

Severely brain-damaged as a result, Unity needed constant care – she died nine years later, in 1948. ‘I don’t think there was ever any realistic expectation that she would make a recovery. The bullet had destroyed quite a lot of the brain. Afterwards, she developed these enthusiasms for various religions. Like her old enthusiasm, but not so violent, of course. She was a Christian Scientist, then a Roman Catholic … everything that came along.”

Nine months after the outbreak of war, in June 1940, Diana and Oswald Mosley were interned. They would almost certainly have been locked up anyway, but their cause wasn’t helped by Nancy Mitford telling an official at the Foreign Office that she thought her sister was ‘an extremely dangerous person’. Diana did not discover this until 10 years after Nancy’s death.

Does Deborah think that Diana would ever have been able to forgive Nancy if she had known?

She gives a long sigh. ‘I wonder … They adored each other underneath, but I just don’t know.’

When Diana was in Holloway Prison, Deborah would visit her every few weeks. ‘She was allowed visitors for half an hour a fortnight. Most of the time she saw her children, but my mother and I used to go sometimes. I did long to see her cell, but instead we saw her in this filthy, dirty, visitors’ room with a wardress always there. Diana absolutely adored one wardress who became a great friend. But the others weren’t so easy. I don’t know if they picked on her. She was certainly an outstanding figure there, so they might have done.’

With one sister imprisoned for being a Nazi sympathiser and another who was so besotted with Hitler that she shot herself, one might assume that some stigma would have stuck to the Mitford name during the war. Deborah, though, insists that she was never aware of any. ‘I mean, I’m sure there must have been, but I certainly never lost any friends as a result. They were just very sad for all the horrible things that had happened.’

‘What did you think of Oswald Mosley?’

‘Oh, I loved him,’ she says without hesitation. ‘He was very ready to be amused and to laugh at whatever was going on. And he had these now non-existent, old-fashioned good manners – just like Uncle Harold [Harold Macmillan]. In fact, I remember a dance here at Chatsworth, not so long after the war. Sir Oswald was here and so was Uncle Harold. At the time there were one or two people who were not prepared to meet Sir Oswald. But Uncle Harold, who of course had been an old adversary, took him by the arm and together they walked round the whole house together. I’ve always thought that was a very nice thing to have done.’

Throughout her life – but especially when she was young – Deborah passed herself off as being less intelligent than her sisters. Not that everyone was convinced; Diana believed that while most people pretend to have read books that they haven’t, Deborah pretended not to have read books that she had.

This diffidence – and her lack of interest in politics – marked her out as a natural peace-keeper in the family. By the mid-1940s, there was plenty of peace-keeping to be done. Her parents had separated, partly as a result of the strain of looking after Unity, while Jessica and Diana were estranged, owing to political differences – Jessica became a member of the American Communist Party in 1944.

‘It wasn’t a role I particularly sought. But I have always hated rows, and there were heaps of them. I used to try to stop them. Very priggish of me, I suppose.’

Why priggish? ‘Well,’ she says wafting a hand. ‘Just trying to stop things from happening.’

As for Nancy, the oldest Mitford sister, her personal fortunes ran in a diametrically opposite direction to her professional ones. A successful novelist and historian, she fell hopelessly in love with a very ugly yet unstintingly unfaithful Frenchman called Gaston Palewski. ‘He was a complete wastrel, really. Very charming, but you’d rather die than say you found him prepossessing.’

Deborah herself was luckier in love. In 1941 she had married Andrew Cavendish – he became the Duke of Devonshire when his father died in 1950. Marriage also brought her very close to the Kennedy family. ‘I knew Jack as a teenager because his parents lived round the corner when his father was the ambassador in London. He was a sort of dancing partner of mine. Then Andrew’s brother married his sister, Kick [Kathleen]. And then Jack suddenly became President. He was the only politician I have ever known, and I’ve known quite a lot, who could laugh at himself. And he did – loudly. That was so attractive.’

She attended Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961, then saw a good deal of him a few months later when an exhibition of drawings from Chatsworth was put on in Washington. ‘He came to the opening of the exhibition. Everyone was amazed, especially me. Apart from anything else, it was right in the middle of the Cuban missile crisis. Besides,’ she adds drily, ‘museums weren’t exactly Jack’s line. I don’t think he’d ever set foot in the place before.’

When Andrew’s father died, he and Deborah inherited Chatsworth, with its 175 rooms, 21 kitchens and 17 staircases. Together, they did the house up and transformed it into a hugely successful business – it took them 24 years just to clear the death duties incurred by the estate.

Eighteen months ago, after Andrew’s death, she moved out so that their son, Peregrine, could take over the house. How did she feel leaving Chatsworth? ‘Odd. That’s really the best word to describe it. But it was high time for a change there, and for me. I’d been there for almost 50 years and I was getting jolly old. Fortunately, I had this lovely house to move into, and I can say quite honestly that I adore it here.’

‘You are the last Mitford sister.’

‘Yes.’

‘Is that a very lonely feeling?’

‘Well, when Diana died it was. Awful … and as I say, I still mentally write letters to her. But you know life goes on. I’m so lucky with my children and grandchildren – I’ve got 15 great-grandchildren – so there’s plenty on, if you know what I mean.’

In the Dowager Duchess’s downstairs lavatory there is a large poster of Elvis Presley gazing down from the shiny silver-papered wall. There are other bits of Elvis memorabilia dotted round the house, too – photographs, a roll of cloth with his image printed on it. Deborah may not have discovered Elvis until she was in her sixties, but once smitten there was no holding her back – another symptom, perhaps, of the Mitford sisters’ tendency towards hero-worship.

‘I turned on the telly one day and there was a programme about him. Suddenly, I saw genius – simple as that. I’ve been to Graceland twice, you know. Wonderful place; I can’t recommend it highly enough.’

If she could choose to have tea with either Elvis or Hitler, which would it be? She looks at me in astonishment. ‘Elvis, of course. What an extraordinary question.’

It’s time for her to go back to her house and be photographed. But rain has started lashing down outside, so hard that it’s pock-marking the lawn. I suggest we stay where we are until the rain has eased off. Deborah is having none of it. ‘Why don’t we run?’ she suggests. And run she does, bounding across the wet grass in great scissoring strides.

‘The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters’, ed Charlotte Mosley (Fourth Estate), is available for £23 plus £1.25 p&p from Telegraph Books (0870 428 4115; www.books.telegraph.co.uk)

READ: Zoe Heller on the glorious pleasures of reading Nancy Mitford


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Grandson of Hitler assassination plotter in bid to reclaim estate confiscated by Nazis

July 20th, 2014

The prince, 50, says his grandfather was imprisoned, tortured and forced by the Gestapo to sign a legal declaration ultimately handing over control to his land to Heinrich Himmler. Despite the circumstances in which the document was signed its legal standing is accepted by officials today and treated like “a document signed today in a lawyer’s office”.

He said: “They are saying well the wording in this document is okay, he signed it, so what’s the problem?

“If my grandfather hadn’t signed they would have murdered his entire family, so there was no option.”

The July 20 plot involved a series of high ranking Germany army officers, including Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, who was played by Cruise in Valkyrie. Prince Friedrich III hosted meetings of the conspirators on his estates.

On July 20 1944 Stauffenberg planted a bomb in a suitcase under a table in Hitler’s headquarters, known as the “wolf’s lair”, in what is now Poland. The bomb exploded, but Hitler escaped with little more than a burst eardrum.

Stauffenberg and about 5,000 other people were executed in the following days. Prince Friedrich believes his grandfather was kept alive by chance – because he was the uncle of the Swedish crown princess and Himmler was attempting to negotiate a truce with the Allies with the help of Sweden’s royal family.

He says that his father fought for the land and property from the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 until his death in 2006. The family bought back Castle Baruth, its seat in the state of Brandenburg in eastern Germany, shortly after the wall came down.

In 2003 the family reached a settlement with German authorities to reclaim a large part of his grandfather’s estate.

Now Prince Friedrich is fighting to win back the remaining properties and land, which he says amounts to up to around 19,000 acres. The estate mainly comprises forestry and includes two manor houses currently under the ownership of local authorities.

The estate falls within the remit of two separate local authorities within Brandenburg – Cottbus and Potsdam, just outside Berlin.

Last month at a hearing at an administrative court in Cottbus, Prince Friedrich was told that evidence about the prince’s grandfather including expert testimony from Antony Beevor, the Second World War historian, would not be admitted because it was for the court to judge the historical circumstances of the case.

Last week the court rejected the claim. The prince said he had expected the result because the court refused to accept “any of the evidence we submitted.”

Separately Prince Friedrich’s claim in Potsdam was rejected by the county’s administrative court, which ruled that his grandfather had handed over control of his estate in a legal transaction and denied that he was a victim of Nazi persecution. Instead it said that the measures taken against his grandfather, including imprisonment, were simply of an “investigative nature”.

He has now lodged an appeal at Germany’s federal constitutional court in Karlsruhe.

Meanwhile, Natascha Engel, a German-born MP who chairs the backbench business committee, has written to Lord Astor, the defence minister, asking if he can aid the prince’s efforts.

Lord Goldsmith also urged the Foreign Office to provide “every assistance possible” to help locate evidence which might satisfy the court and “help settle this case once and for all.”

Prince Friedrich said: “What is being done here flies in the face of the constitution – not [allowing us] to present evidence and disregarding the historical circumstances blatantly. We have protested that we have been denied a fair hearing, which is the minimum we can say.

“We are confident the judges at the constitutional court will have the wisdom to recognise this and correct the mistakes made by the lower courts. If not, Germany will – after 70 years – still not have learnt the lessons from its troubled past.”

The claims are being defended in court by the Federal Office for Central Services and Unresolved Property Issues. A spokesman declined to comment.


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One in five Britons thinks the country fought Hitler in World War I

June 27th, 2014

More than half (57%) knew that Britain became involved in the First World War because of a treaty with Belgium to defend it in the event of an invasion.

Knowledge of the country’s leadership was sketchy, with one in ten believing Winston Churchill was Prime Minister at the start of the conflict.

Only 36% correctly answered that the prime minister was Herbert Henry Asquith, while 34% guessed it was David Lloyd George, whose premiership started during the war.

Areas in which respondents were most knowledgeable were when the First World War took place (90%), what the term The Allies refers to (92%), and the fact that British and German soldiers once marked Christmas Day by playing a game of football (85%).

However, 1% of those polled believed the troops gave each other tours of their trenches, while eight people surveyed believed they gathered to watch a screening of the Great Escape.

People in the East Midlands are the most knowledgeable about the war, according to the research, getting an overall 70% of correct answers. Londoners were found to know the least, with only 63% of right responses.

Those from Scotland (68%) were slightly more successful than respondents from England (66%) and Wales (64%).

People aged 55 and over were the most knowledgeable, with 72% of correct answers, while more men than women answered correctly to each of the nine factual questions they were asked

The research also found that only one in 10 people believed the First World War is the most important British history subject for children to learn about at school, ranking behind topics such as the Second World War, the history of the monarchy and the Magna Carta.

The Times WWI Centenary Facsimile research also revealed a gender divide in First World War knowledge, as more men than women knew the correct answer for each of the nine factual questions they were asked (72% of correct answers compared to 60%).

Rose Wild, archive editor of The Times, said: ”These results demonstrate that although many people are aware of some basic facts about WWI, there is much more to be learnt.”


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Germany’s interest in Adolf Hitler at record levels

May 2nd, 2014

Another film dealt with Hitler’s decision to ban traditional Rhineland Catholic carnivals. Germany’s public ZDF Info channel was found to have screened 109 documentaries on Hitler this year alone.

Robert Bachem, its director said: “As history is one of our main fields of interest, it is not surprising that we run many programmes about National Socialism.”

Sociologists have attributed the rise of interest in Hitler and the Nazis to the fact that the majority of today’s Germans have had no experience of the Second World War, are less ashamed of the period than previous generations and more eager to learn about it.

They point out that most of today’s Germans had family experience of the war only through parents or grandparents.

In many German families, the Second World War remained a taboo subject for decades after 1945.

However, this aspect is now also under scrutiny. A rash of new books by German authors in their fifties and sixties have sought to lift the lid on their families’ dark past.

In several cases the authors have been shocked to discover that their parents were dedicated, and sometimes brutal, Nazis.


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