A Child of Hitler

By Alfons Heck,

Book cover of A Child of Hitler: Germany in the Days When God Wore a Swastika

Book description

In this starkly candid account of one boy's indoctrination into the Hitler Youth, we see a side of Nazism that has been little recorded. This autobiographical account is a rare glimpse at World War II from a German boy's viewpoint.

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Why read it?

2 authors picked A Child of Hitler as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Heck’s plain-spoken memoir of his indoctrination into Nazism as a young boy and his time in the Hitler Youth and the German military is powerful and honest. Long after he’d left Germany as an adult, Heck continued to grapple with his own complicity in the regime and his fervent beliefs in its goals. The Hitler Youth was particularly adept at tapping into young boys’ yearning to be heroes. Heck explains the lingering effects of his indoctrination, noting that, “Despite our monstrous sacrifice and the appalling misuse of our idealism, there will always be the memory of unsurpassed power, the intoxication…

From L. Annette's list on German complicity and resistance in WW2.

I found this book fascinating and incredibly useful when doing the research for my own novel. It is the memories of Heck growing up under the Nazi regime. It is always good to bear in mind such books are written with hindsight and in retrospect rather than contemporaneously, but I found this to be seemingly an unflinching account. It gives a real flavour of what it must have been like to have been carried along by and brainwashed into, the Nazi system of beliefs at a time when nobody had any idea what was to follow. For anyone interested in…

From Louise's list on Nazi Germany.

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