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Hitler and Geli by Ronald Hayman

Hitler and Geli

by Ronald Hayman

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Fascinating look at a different side of Hitler, his relationship with his niece Geli, who committed suicide in his apartment. The background on his family and how he distanced himself from his background shows a lot about his character and the indifference he showed towards most people throughout his life. ( )
1 vote Transflake | Nov 1, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0747535124, Paperback)

Accomplished playwright and biographer Ronald Hayman has written an imaginative account of the tormented affair between Adolf Hitler and his niece, Geli Raubal, in Hitler and Geli. Contending that historians have not adequately explored "the most important relationship in Hitler's life," Hayman argues that Geli's mysterious death in 1931 fully unleashed the Führer's hunger for power and destruction. He maintains that the connection between Hitler and Geli was characterized by Hitler's sadomasochism, a perversion that drove the dictator toward extremes of jealous cruelty (in addition to arousing within him a desire to be urinated upon, kicked, and verbally abused). Geli indulged his appetites, but she also soothed his loneliness: "She could give him something that no other man or woman could ever offer--the opportunity to relax. She was his only friend." With Geli's death, Hayman concludes, Hitler couldn't find the release he craved, and his sexual preoccupations, no longer confined within his relationship, began to define the authoritarian structures of the Reich.

Hitler's life seems to beg for a psychoanalytic explanation. Indeed, when he boasts about himself, as in the following passage, it is difficult not to draw the same psychoanalytic conclusions as Hayman:

I never feel tired when my storm troopers and soldiers march past me and I stand at this salute. I never move. My arm is like granite, rigid and unbending. But Goering can't stand it.... He is flabby. But I am hard.
Although readers will find a more comprehensive social, medical, and psychological portrait in Fritz Redlich's Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet, Hitler and Geli nevertheless examines a strange part of Hitler's life that has been largely neglected.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:29 -0400)

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