Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book of Choice: Hitler's Vienna

I've been reading about the 3. Reich and Hitler in particular for a long time now, but for some reason I never came across Brigitte Hamann's book "Hitler's Vienna". The book concentrates on Hitler's years in Vienna as a young man and brought up many new findings when published.
It's a good read for anyone interested in Hitler, but it's also a fascinating source for people who want to learn more about Vienna at the beginning of the century (1908-1913). Hamann introduces the reader to many people who greatly influenced the public life of that time, like Karl Lueger and also paints a vivid picture of the living conditions of the working class (and those who tried in vain to find work - unemployment was frighteninly common). I love to learn about how "normal" people lived during history and I think I enjoyed that most about this book.

Hamann also wrote a biography of Winifred Wager which I found very interesting - the story of the Bayreuth Festival is fascinating and at times absolutely absurd. Winifred Wagner also was a great supporter of Hitler and until her death in 1980 never got tired of declaring her adoration for him as a person - she did not support the politics of the Nazis in general, but Hitler as a person was a whole different matter for her. If you have a chance to see the interview she gave Hans-J├╝rgen Syberberg, then do it, it's intriguing.
The Wagners, like the Manns, are a gift to any biographer and this is certainly a book you should read when you want to learn more about them.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for visiting my blog! It's always nice to meet another librarian. I look forward to reading about your library experiences.
    All the best,