Der Fuehrer

In This Review

Der Fuehrer

By Konrad Heiden
Houghton, 1944
788 pp. $3.00
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Mr. Heiden has devoted much of his life to acquiring and digesting all the available facts about Adolf Hitler -- his family background, his childhood and youth, his war record and early years as a paid agitator, and finally his rise to power. All of these matters are explored in this book with a profusion of detail and brilliant psychological understanding. The analysis is not only of the man, but of his movement and of the economic, social and intellectual disorder on which it fed and finally attained success. Where many will feel that Heiden's explanation breaks down is in his unwillingness to place responsibility for Nazism squarely on the German people or on any important class or group among them. This ability to dodge the necessities of rigorous and honest self-criticism seems to characterize even the German liberals and German Jews that have suffered most at the hands of their countrymen.