Raimund Pretzel (27 December – 2 January ), better known by his pseudonym The manuscript of Defying Hitler, discovered posthumously by his son, Oliver Pretzel, is a memoir of the Nazis’ rise to power, as witnessed by Haffner. In Sebastian Haffner fled from Germany to England with his Jewish wife (“the story of a German”), translated into English now as Defying Hitler. “Defying Hitler” by Sebastian Haffner. A newly discovered memoir by a German classified as “Aryan” describes the insidious early spread of.

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Other editions – View all Defying Hitler: I am with Haffner on that: They were in uniform and of course marching behind a flag with a swastika on it as part of their training. The dictatorship is not upon us, and nobody is going to the modern Dachau. Preview — Defying Hitler by Sebastian Haffner. Any book, memoir or not, written after the war necessarily suffers from hindsight perception, so contemporaneous material is particularly interesting. Inhe returned to Germany and became a distinguished historian and commentator.

The best part about it is the fact that it yitler to answer two very important questions: And as I say, historical comparisons should be gently handled, especially Hitlerian ones. Detail of book cover Germany: I’m not familiar with Haffner’s later work which includes haffnet books as “From Bismarck to Hitler” and “The Meaning of Hitler” but “Defying Hitler” is not an embarrassment to anyone who values hafgner and reason.

Sebastian Haffner – Wikipedia

The book is presented much like a diary recounting the author’s life at specific times in Germany between WWI when he was a small child and when the Nazi regime began to If you are like me and you’ve always wondered just how an insane madman like Adolf Hitler came to power in a modern country like Germany then read Defying Hitler.


Haffner is unsparing in his analysis of the German character in general that allowed Nazism to gain a foothold, and of his own defects. But it was interesting to read about Hitler’s rise to power from the perspective of a German youth who did not believe in Hitler’s ideals. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Then he can go to Paris and write his doctoral dissertation. Apr 15, Brian Leach rated it it was amazing Shelves: To Haffner, this is his own personal original sin and the sin of his profession, which he strives hard to understand and explain but not excuse. An excellent book which I have recommended to many people, and to which I have referred when discussing the subject of right wing dictatorships systematic take overs of the judiciary Written in and unpublished untilSebastian Haffner’s memoir of the rise of Nazism in Germany offers a unique portrait of the lives of ordinary German citizens between the wars.

They were in uniform and of course marchin A brilliant and clear examination of the rise of Hitler and the Nazis to power in s Germany. We see this same type of job loss and isolation today in America, Hydra-headed and gathering steam but not yet incapable of having its heads cut and cauterized.

The second, and longer, part of the book covers the events ofwith the central theme, perhaps, hitlrr how what was perceived as impossible by all right-thinking people in Germany became possible overnight, and because it was perceived as impossible, nobody pushed back.

May 18, Bonnie rated it it was amazing.

Defying Hitler

The beginning seemed to me to be rather clunkily written. This account is completely relevant today is these times of surging populism, and shows how liberties are eroded one at at time, rather than all at once.


Haffner is considered as one of the most successful German authors in the history of the 19th and 20th century ihtler for a broad, nonacademic audience. And at the book’s end Haffner never finished writing itHaffner sees how easy it is to get swept up in the spirit that was taking over Germany. If Haffner’s tone sounds superior, remember that those words were written by a German who had seen no willingness to resist Hitler either inside or outside his country.

If I waved the flag how could I have refused, in the context?

Discover what to read next. View Full Version of PW. What a dark time it must have been hit,er they came to grips with the new realities of their world.

Return to Book Page. This period covers the post-World War I violence; hyperinflation and economic collapse; and economic recovery. During the Second World War in England Haffner was interned for several months in and released only after publication of his first book in English, Germany: It’s devying wonderful story that I would recommend to anyone that is the bit interested in that period.

Raimund Pretzel 27 December — 2 Januarybetter known by his defyin Sebastian Haffnerwas a German journalist and author. This intimate self-portrait stands with Victor Klemperer’s two-part memoir, I Will Bear Witnessas evidence that the personal can offer insight into hitller political tragedy of Nazism. I thought what I witness in America was as bad as can get. Of note is what the author calls the boycott of Jews which prevented them from working, owning businesses, etc.