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Hitler's Niece ePub download

by Ron Hansen

  • Author: Ron Hansen
  • ISBN: 0786223057
  • ISBN13: 978-0786223053
  • ePub: 1116 kb | FB2: 1278 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Genre Fiction
  • Publisher: Thorndike Pr (February 1, 2000)
  • Pages: 538
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Votes: 390
  • Format: mobi lit mbr lrf
Hitler's Niece ePub download

Hitler first saw his niece at a Sunday-afternoon party after the June baptism in the Alter Dom cathedral in Linz.

Hitler first saw his niece at a Sunday-afternoon party after the June baptism in the Alter Dom cathedral in Linz. Angela heard four hard knocks on the front screen door and found Adolf on Bürgergasse in front of the Raubal house, looking skeletal and pale in a high, starched collar and red silk bow tie and the ill-fitting, soot-black suit he’d worn at his mother’s funeral in December; his wide, thin mustache so faint it seemed penciled on, his.

Home Ron Hansen Hitler's Niece. She took the book from him and saw Adolf’s signature inside the front cover. Oh yes, Pretzsche said, but so were a hundred others. Ancient Rome, yoga, hypnotism, astrology, phrenology, the Eastern religions, Wotan.

Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ron Hansen is the bestselling author of the novel Atticus (a finalist for the National Book Award), Hitler's Niece, Mariette in Ecstasy, Desperadoes, and Isn't It Romantic?, as well as a collection of short stories, a collection of essays, and a book for children. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Ron Hansen lives in northern California, where he teaches at Santa Clara University.

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Hitler's Niece - Ron Hansen. Hitler first saw his niece at a Sunday-afternoon party after the June baptism in the Alter Dom cathedral in Linz.

Hitler's Niece - Ron Hansen.

Hitler's Niece tells the story of the intense and disturbing relationship between Adolf Hitler and the daughter of his only half-sister, Angela, a drama that evolves against the backdrop of Hitler's rise to prominence and power from particularly inauspicious beginnings. The story follows Geli from her birth in Linz, Austria, through the years in Berchtesgaden and Munich, to her tragic death in 1932 in Hitler's apartment in Munich.

Ron Hansen (born December 8, 1947) is an American novelist, essayist, and professor. Hitler's Niece (1999).

Describes the disturbing relationship between Adolf Hitler and his niece Geli Raubal, whose affair with Hitler ended in her untimely and unexplained death at the age of twenty-three.
This is a NOVEL, a work of fiction. However, Ron Hansen has done a great deal of research for his fascinating work. Right before this I had read Ronald Hayman's biography, "Hitler and Geli." Many of the details agree. Angelika (Geli) Raubal was Hitler's half niece, daughter of his half sister Angela. Angela Hitler Raubal was born to the second of their father's three wives and Adolph to the third. She is not as well known as Eve Braun Hitler. Adolph for many years claimed that Geli was the one great love ove his life, other than Stefanie Isak. Geli died of a gunshot wound on September 18, 1931. It has been debated whether or not it was suicide or murder since that time. Geli is forgotten, despite Hitler's well known attachment to her. Eva is remembered because she married him and died with him.

At any rate, this is a fascinating study of the young girl with whom Hitler had a very bizarre relationship, and should drive the reader to read an actual biography of this interesting and unfortunate, and potentially abused young woman. A fascinating read, well worth the time. As a work of fiction, some license has been taken, as the auther admits. But never the less, this is a very engrossing novel that could send the reader looking for additional information. A novel in which you learn something. Who would have thought?
On Hitler's Niece and writing historical fiction

If you want to know about Hitler's life, then read Ian Kershaw's Hitler: A Biography (W. W. Norton & Company, 2010). If you want to find out as much as possible about the history of the Nazi movement and Hitler's role in it, then read Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives by Alan Bullock (Knopf, 1992). But if you want to get a sense of who Hitler was a human being, I encourage you to read a very well written historical novel by Ron Hansen called Hitler's Niece (Harper Collins, 1999).
Hansen traces Hitler's abnormal psychology from the perspective of Angela Maria ("Geli") Raubal (1908-1931), his half niece. Geli is intelligent, beautiful, full of joie de vivre and untouched by the political obsessions anti-Semitic hatred of her uncle and his cronies. She maintains an ironic distance from Hitler's fanatical followers--Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Göring, Alfred Rosenberg and others--who also appear in the novel. Compared to her, however, they're wooden characters in a farce, much as they were in real life. These vain men are fawning and obsequious, hungry for power and always ready to not merely follow, but also anticipate Hitler's orders and wishes.
By the author's own admission, however, the novel doesn't adhere strictly to historical facts. It is only inspired by them, particularly by Bullock's book Hitler and Stalin, which Hansen states provoked his fascination with Geli Raubal. (Author's Note, 307-308) The novel describes Geli's life, from beginning to end; from birth to tragic death. We find out that her father died at the young age of 31, leaving her mother, Angela, to take care of three kids (Geli, Leo and Elfriede) with almost no source of income. After seeing that Geli, at seventeen, had bloomed into a lovely young woman, Hitler invited her to be his housekeeper and companion. Her mother gladly accepted this unorthodox arrangement, in the hopes of making possible a better lifestyle for their family.
Becoming Hitler's companion, caretaker, maid and eventually his mistress, Geli catches a glimpse of the inner workings of the Nazi party and its key players' rise to power. Above all, Hitler's Niece shows us, up close and personal, how a psychopath capable of genocide "falls in love." Even after her death, Hitler called Geli the love of his life. Neither Eva Braun, his doting life companion, nor any other woman could compete with his obsession with Geli.
Geli Raubal spent six years either living with Hitler or being in frequent contact with him. For a period of time, she lived in his Munich apartment while she studied medicine and took music lessons. She also accompanied him to the opera, cinema, and the many other social functions he attended. The plot of the novel hinges on their sexual tension and on Geli's psychological trauma as she becomes, increasingly against her will, his sexual partner in a sordid, sadomasochistic relationship that sickens her and intoxicates him. The more she tries to escape, the more possessive, dependent and desperate he becomes. As the narrator states, "She was his escape, his torpor, his surrender to the vacillation and passivity that were increasingly part of his nature" (220).

Need and obsessive desire, however, don't imply love. For love to exist, the lover has to be able to consider, empathize with and fulfill the beloved's own needs, as a separate individual. Hitler can't do that. He "loves" his niece like a man who is incapable of real love. His idea of flirtation is bragging incessantly about himself. His idea of "affection" is engaging in perverse and demeaning sexual rituals. His idea of respect for women gives way to a fundamental misogyny and traditionalism that require them to serve him, and his idea of passion is possession and control of the object of his desire.
Hitler demands to know at all times where Geli is, what she is doing and with whom. He retains the freedom to see other mistresses--including Eva Braun--but keeps a tight leash on Geli, discouraging other suitors. Once Emil Maurice, Hitler's good-looking Corsican chauffeur begins dating Geli, Hitler finds a pretext to dismiss him. "She is with me," Hitler snarls when another man, Schirach, asks his permission to take out Geli on a date. (244)
Caught in the vortex of her uncle's overpowering addiction to her, Geli cannot escape the misery that dominates her life. When she expresses her distress, her friends turn their back on her and even her mother would rather, essentially, prostitute her to "Uncle Alf," "the patriarch" of the family, rather than face poverty again. At the end, Hitler's Niece adds an interesting but largely speculative twist to the story. Although the official version is that Geli committed suicide in 1931, in the novel, Hitler, realizing that he can no longer master his niece, beats her, breaks her nose, and then shoots her. His entourage quickly covers up the murder and presents it to the police and the press as an act of suicide. This adds an intriguing element of mystery to the plot, turning Hitler's Niece into a detective story. But the novel's main strength remains the psychological aspects of the drama. Hansen helps us see that is not much difference between Hitler the public man, who could order the murder of millions of innocent people, and Hitler the private lover who could destroy the object of his desire rather than risk losing her.
Given this novel's many strengths, it's surprising to me that Hitler's Niece received some scathing reviews, particularly from The New York Times. In "Springtime for Hitler, in love with his niece," Michiko Kakutani offers a lengthy plot summary and then dismisses the novel as a poor representation of history which takes away from the gruesome reality of Hitler's "public crimes, crimes that tragically were not speculative imaginings of a novelist, crimes that have been consigned to the margins of this inept and voyeuristic novel" (NYT, September 7, 1999).


I completely disagree with Kakutani's harsh assessment and standards of evaluation in this case. The role of historical fiction is not to convey history accurately or in great detail. That is what (nonfiction) history books do. In my opinion, the role of historical fiction is to do exactly what Hitler's Niece does so well: namely, find inspiration in real historical events to imagine the mindset, emotions and desires of its key figures. Often only more marginal characters, such as Geli Raubal, or Hitler's niece, can give us a three-dimensional picture of the monster whose acts have marred the pages of history.

Claudia Moscovici, Literature Salon
The ever versitle Ron Hansen strikes again. One change of pace after another from his 'Mariette in Ectasy' to 'Isn't it Romantic,' the first a study religious devotion in a turn of the century convent and the second a contemporary screwball comedy and this, an examination of the BEAST seen through the eyes of one of his very few relatives, a niece of his half-sister.

It concentrates on the period between late 1919 and early 1930 and is based on biographical details spun by the novelist's creative imagination into a tale of obsession, confusion, and colossal egotism. Hitler is almost human on occasion, but often playing a role to elicit the response he wanted from individuals at this early stage of his career: Pandering to some, bullying others, reasoning with a few, briefly avuncular.

I have never read anything about or by this the most famous man of the twentieth century, Adolph Hitler, so it was all new to me. The messianic self-confidence from the early 1920s on that he was Germany (‘Du bist Deutschland,’ as Rudolph Hess always said), punctuated by lapses into exhaustion and doubt (human weakness) followed by a resurgence of manical energy.

The fulcrum of the novel is the niece Angela 'Geli' Raubal's seduction by his aura, the prestige, and material wealth he increasingly commanded with his periodic moods of sexual attraction to her and then revulsion from her. She became a canary in gilded cage. Spoiled and then abused by turns, and at crucial moments lacking the will to break away when that might still have been possible.

This tension allows the author to offer a biography of Hitler, the man, through these crucial years. He had at the start an iron self-control in public, and volcanic temper tantrums in private, but as his successes piled up, the line between public and private became porous for he discovered that he could get away with everything and still be hailed a genius. The temper tantrums were unleashed in his tirades.

Hansen gives us Rudolph Hess, Jospeh Göbbles, Hermann Göring, and others, all mesmerised by Hitler's charismatic personality. 'Charisma' is a tried and trite word these days, and I never to use it, yet there is no doubt it applied here. Hess and the others simply melt in Hitler's presence, losing their wills and personalities. It is a thought-provoking supposition.

The same applies to the thousands in the audiences of his harangues, though at a greater distance, they too are also compelled, lifted out of themselves by his exhortations. Hansen shows all of this, disgusting as it is, to be genuine, authentic. There is no cynical or instrumental calculation to explain their adherence, obedience, and the ensuing terrible deeds.

Long before he became Chancellor this man Hitler had a power over people that was tangible though invisible. There is the mystery at the core that continues to fascinate. After all the explanations of time and circumstances are exhausted there is still that element left that defies conventional, rational explanation.

Yes, there were aristocrats, financiers, and industrial barons who thought they could manipulate this rabble rouser to combat the menace of communism, and then discard him, but they, too, as they drew nearer to him soon enough willingly submitted to him. Scenes in which Hitler seems almost by intention to turn on his magnetic gaze -- think Superman engaging his X-Ray vision -- and bring to heel a millionaire, a full general, an heiress, a professor, a titan of industry, all his intellectual, organisational, and social superiors, each bowing down to this corporal without an education, with a grating Austrian accent, with a crude manner, spouting a message of the crudest vitriol is .... astounding. ,There can be no other explanation but that word 'charisma.' As an illustration of that phenomenon the novel is a case study of that C Factor. ('Charisma,' for those who have not been paying attention.)

In David Fraser's 'Knight's Cross: the Life of Erwin Rommel' (1994, p. 433) is an occasion when the war is going badly Rommel is scheduled to go to Berlin, a trip he welcomes because, he said, he would warm himself by the Füher's radiance. It is a wistful, school-boy-with-a-crush kind of remark made by a decent man who knew better and yet even he could not help himself. Rommel, like so many others, near or far, was hopelessly and helplessly in love with one Adolph Hitler.

Back to 'Hitler's Niece,' there are many memorable scenes and events. Perhaps the best, for this reader, is the description of one of Hiler's early speeches. Hitler is tight as a spring beforehand, nervous, angry, best avoided. He takes ten pages to the rostrum microphone in the hall with a crowd of three thousand. We later learn that on each page is a bullet point in 10-15 words or so as a cue. He begins... The tirade mounts, it is becomes ever more explicit about what the problem is what is to be done about it, and that Hitler alone sees the problem clearly and is willing to act on it with the merciless violence necessary to cleanse the body politic.

He rants for more than two hours. The reaction is spontaneous and tumultous. This is early in his career, there is nothing coerced about the response as would be the case later. He has electrified a nerve shared by members of this crowd - the western nations are eating Germany and Germans alive through their despicable agents - the Jews, Jews and Communist are one and the same, wicked orientals and the crowd's response is galvanic. The poor, the uneducated, the impoverished veterans, the manual labourers, these are the meek and they are being disinherited of their earth. For these, his is the voice.

After his speech he is whisked away to his car, where he is seen to be drenched in sweat, reeking of vile emanations, exhausted, pale, his gaze unfocussed, twitching in throes. This description reminded me of Biblical accounts of John the Baptist channeling God’s will. It nearly killed John, but do it he must. Hitler, also, seems to be a messenger sometimes.

Some were resistent to his appeal like Geli herself, and they paid the price, but they seemed ever fewer.

Surprising to this reader was the cunning with which at times Hitler suppressed his compulsive urge to preach anti-semitism in an election campaign so as not to frighten off the voters. But by that time, like the racism that inhabits contemporary American politics, it was so well embedded that it need not be said for it was communicated by code. The red star of communism was also the Star of David. To attack communism was implicitly to attack Jews even if they were not mentioned.

False notes, there are a few. The most striking to me was the way Emile at the end seemed not to be bothered by Geli's death.

Minor missteps? I wondered about the reference to a crossword puzzle in 1927 when the first crossword did not appear in the ‘London Times’ until 1930, and the crossword was an Anglo-American invention and it would have taken time to migrate to Germany. There is also a reference to a zinfandel-coloured carpet. I stopped at this, because the zinfandel grape skin is black and the use of it as a wine grape is American. (Yes, I know it has a long history and has been used in Croatia for centuries as a blender, but I doubt a German in 1927 would reach that far for a colour.) I also found jarring the reference to Kaiser rolls and Ferragamo shoes. The Kaiser roll is Austrian and may be named for a baker, not The Kaiser, and more generally called Vienna rolls. Salvatore Ferragamo started making shoes in Florence in 1927 and went bust in 1933, to be reopened in the 1950s, leaving me unsure that Geli could buy such shoes in a shop in destitute Munich in 1928.

One contrast to Hitler of these pages is his contemporary Charles De Gaulle who also felt himself to be the saviour of his country and with a kingsize sense of his own importance as a result, and yet he seems modest, even self-effacing in comparison. I read Jean LeCourture's three-volume biography of Le Grand Charles years ago. De Gaulle did not use up people and then murder them when it was convenient as Hitler often did, like Ernst Röhm and perhaps Geli, among many others.
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