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The Meaning of Hitler is the title of the English translation of the originally German 1978 book Anmerkungen zu Hitler by the journalist and writer Raimund Pretzel, who published all his books under the pseudonym Sebastian Haffner.

The 176-page book analyzes the life and work of Adolf Hitler in a rational, neutral manner and is divided into seven chapters that each treats a different aspect of the man:

  1. Life
  2. Achievements
  3. Successes
  4. Misconceptions
  5. Mistakes
  6. Crimes
  7. Betrayal

The essay-like book contrasts with the detailed, well-referenced, chronological biographies of Hitler by Joachim Fest and Ian Kershaw.


  • Anmerkungen zu Hitler. Fischer Taschenbuch, 1978 Frankfurt am Main ISBN 3-596-23489-1 Kindler Verlag, 1978, Munich, ISBN 3-463-00719-3
  • The Meaning of Hitler ISBN 0-674-55775-1, 1979 English translation translated by Ewald Osers, published by the Harvard University Press [1]
  • The Meaning of Hitler ISBN 1-85799-878-2, 1979 English translation translated by Ewald Osers, published by Orion books, United Kingdom [2]

See also

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