New book gives insight into life around Hitler


BONN -- Adolf Hitler did not want cakes or baby girls named after him, failed to pay his dues to the Alsatian dog owners' club and believed Jesus was not a Jew, according to a book that goes on sale in Germany this week.

Based on previously unpublished letters, receipts and notes from Hitler's chancellery, 'Die Rueckseite des Hackenkreuzes' -- 'The Reverse Side of the Swastika' -- paints a portrait of corruption, greed and sycophancy in the corridors of Nazi power.


The book, written by Beatrice and Helmut Heiber, is due to go on sale in bookstores across Germany this week.

It tells of Hitler's fury upon learning Hermann Goering had looted valuable art works in Vienna before the fuehrer himself got to pick the best of the lot and his anger upon hearing of Joseph Goebbels' illicit affairs.

Some of the documents quoted in the book seem both macabre and laughable. The leader of a Nazi youth group who had written to Hitler was told the fuehrer 'wishes to inform you that he is convinced that Christ was not a Jew.'


Shortly after Hitler seized power in 1933 his aides were swamped with presents for the fuehrer, according to the book.

A thank-you note reprinted in the book expresses Hitler's gratitude for a barber's gift of a swastika made of human hair. A violin with 245 inlaid ivory swastikas offered by a hotel employee also met with Hitler's approval, as did the accompanying note that read: 'God willing I may once play the violin for my fuehrer.'

A school mistress enclosed a letter in a small package she sent him in October 1938. 'While you were liberating the Sudetenland, I knit these socks for you. Now we both achieved our goals -- you a big one and I a small one.'

One letter was addressed to 'dear, dear Uncle Hitler.'

The fuehrer apparently enjoyed his fan mail, but he was particular about the use of his name. He did not allow parents to name their baby girls 'Hitlerine' after him and, as a letter printed in the new book reveals, would not allow growers to name giant strawberries after him either. A baker was ordered by the Nazi leadership to rename his latest creation, which he had originally called 'Adolf Hitler Tart.'


Requests for the naming of an 'Adolf Hitler Dome' and a 'Hitler Rose' were also turned down.

Hitler loved dogs, but as a claim reproduced in the book shows, he failed to pay his dues to the Alsatian Dog Owners Association.

Martin Bormann, Hitler's private secretary, once asked his boss whether to ban the term 'Hertzian waves' named after physicist Heinrich Hertz who,Nazi investigators discovered, was 'half-Jewish.'

Documents reproduced in the book show the top Nazi leaders liked their little comforts and had nothing against freebies.

In 1941, according to the book, Heinz Frank, governor general of Poland, got 1,000 eggs a month and received huge numbers of fur coats for his wife.

SS leader Heinrich Himmler was delighted when he received from one of his subordinates in Hungary 'silk vests and underpants size 44 (6 times)' and 'a rubber belt, size 42.'

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