The Memoir of Hitler’s Valet
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Turns out Der Führer wasn’t such a bad guy.

So we learn from this unrepentant stiff-armed salute of a book by Hitler’s valet. Linge, who died in 1980 after having served a few postwar years in the Gulag, did more than check Hitler’s jacket for dandruff and shine his jackboots. He proudly writes that all of Hitler’s servants were under his command. He is just as proud that he was also a loyal SS officer and a former student of civil engineering, making him a prime audience for Hitler’s military speculations and grandiose dreams of becoming a world-renowned architect—the career path, we learn, that Hitler would have chosen had destiny not taken a hand. Linge is observant. He writes that Hitler’s first country house had a garden so small that the corpulent Hermann Göring threatened to crowd out other guests, and he wonders how Martin Bormann knew that Rudolf Hess had parachuted into England, a bit of intelligence that not even Hitler, it appears, possessed. Linge is also staunchly loyal to the Führer, observing without apparent irony that anyone who was not ran the constant risk of disappearing into a concentration camp. Of modest interest to historians—though not news—is Hitler’s unfulfilled desire to make peace with England, the better to march into Russia unimpeded, and his detestation of Franco, as when he said, “Had I known the true state of affairs I would not have used our aircraft to return to the Spanish aristocracy and the Catholic Church their medieval rights.”

A slight book in defense of Hitler—a rarity outside white-supremacist circles.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60239-804-7
Page count: 244pp
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2009