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The Young Hitler I Knew
Softcover book. 257 pages
Stock Number: 0975
This fascinating memoir by Hitler’s close friend during his formative teenage years provides a unique first-hand look at the character, temperament and values of a major historical figure. August Kubizek’s candid memoir is the most important source of information about the future German leader’s personality and family life during his young adulthood.
The two first met in 1904 while they were both looking for standing room at a performance in the opera house in Linz, Austria. Hitler was 15 years old. A shared passion for music was the foundation of their friendship, which deepened over the next four years. The author credits Hitler for encouraging him to pursue his musical career.
The two teenagers often talked for hours on end, each confiding to the other his hopes and dreams. Kubizek describes the young Hitler as intelligent, curious, unselfish, perceptive, considerate of others, and somewhat shy – but also capable of outbursts of passion and eloquent expression.
The two later moved to Vienna, the metropolis of the great Austro-Hungarian Empire, where they shared a cramped room. Making use of the piano that took up much of their small quarters, they tried to write an opera together. Not long after the 19-year-old Hitler tried unsuccessfully to gain admittance to art school, he moved out of their lodgings -- without leaving a forwarding address. It was only 30 years later -- in 1938, when Hitler was chancellor of Germany -- that the two met again in person.
The conversations recalled by Kubizek, and his observations about Hitler and his personality, are entirely consistent with all other reliable sources of information about Hitler’s youth and family life. In an introduction for this edition, British historian Ian Kershaw affirms the importance and “intrinsic value” of this memoir. Although he is highly critical of Hitler, Kershaw writes that “Kubizek’s book rings true in the portrait of Hitler’s personality and mentality.”
With index and eight pages of photos and illustrations.
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