This fascinating book was written by Hitler's good friend Heinrich Hoffmann, who lived through the period of the Third Reich armed with a camera and a talent for taking revealing photographs. Hitler trusted him absolutely, and he was one of the very few in whom the Fuhrer confided, speaking of things he would share with nobody else. Hoffmann took more than 2.5 million photographs during his career, many of which were not published before appearing in this book - and some of which were censored by Hitler as 'bringing into disrepute' his own and Stalin's images. Based on personal knowledge, rather than on rumour or supposition, this book offers one of the most fascinating social documents of the 20th century.
Heinrich Hoffmann (1885–1957) was a German photographer, art dealer, art collector, and magazine publisher, and for many years one of Adolf Hitler's intimate circle. Historian Alan Bullock succinctly described him as an "earthy Bavarian with a weakness for drinking parties and hearty jokes" who "enjoyed the license of a court jester" with Hitler. Hoffmann joined the Nazi Party on 6 April 1920. After Hitler took over the party in 1921, he named Hoffmann his official photographer, a post he held for over 25 years. None but Hoffmann was allowed to take pictures of Hitler, and even Hoffmann was forbidden to take candid shots. His photographs formed a significant part of Hitler's propaganda campaign to present himself and the Nazi Party as a significant mass phenomenon. Later, Hoffmann's book, "The Hitler Nobody Knows" (1933) was important in Hitler's strenuous effort to manipulate and control his public image. After about 1941, Hoffman began to fall from favour, primarily because Martin Bormann (Hitler's personal secretary) did not like him. Hoffmann was arrested by the US Army in 1945, tried and sentenced to 4 years for war profiteering. Upon his release in 1950, he settled in the small village of Epfach in the Munich area, where he died seven years later.
Our book is in generally good condition, though its protective dust jacket (unclipped) has suffered quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. The book itself is bound in red cloth, with slightly faded gilt titles etc on the spine, and some minor signs of shelf wear (top & bottom of spine, minimally bumped corners). Inside, the binding is firm and there are no loose pages. The endpapers are decorated with reproductions of doodles by Hitler himself. The pages are all clean and clear, if slightly yellowed generally. There are numerous B/W photographs scattered throughout the text. A fascinating record of a still much-studied period.