Hitler, My Neighbor
Memories of a Jewish Childhood, 1929-1939
by Edgar Feuchtwanger; Bertil Scali
Pub Date 07 Nov 2017
Edgar Feuchtwanger came from a prominent German Jewish family: the only son of a respected editor, and the nephew of best-selling writer Lion Feuchtwanger. He was a carefree five-year-old, pampered by his parents and his nanny, when Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party, moved into the building across the street in Munich.
In 1933 his happy young life was shattered. Hitler had been named Chancellor. Edgar’s parents, stripped of their rights as citizens, tried to protect him from increasingly degrading realities. In class, his teacher had him draw swastikas, and his schoolmates joined the Hitler Youth.
From his window, Edgar bore witness to the turmoil surrounding the Night of the Long Knives, the Anschluss, and Kristallnacht. Jews were arrested; his father was imprisoned at Dachau. In 1939 Edgar was sent on his own to England, where he would make a new life, start a career and a family, and try to forget the nightmare of his past—a past that came rushing back when he decided, at the age of eighty-eight, to tell the story of his buried childhood and his infamous neighbor.
“An intimate look at the horror wrought by Hitler.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Edgar Feuchtwanger’s captivating memoir brings an enigmatic and terrifying neighbor—glimpsed through a child’s eyes—into the heart of a Jewish family’s home life, where discussions revolve around how to make sense of Germany’s descent into fascism and, ultimately, how to survive it.” —Despina Stratigakos, author of Hitler at Home
“The narrative, presented in a rigorous and pleasant way…harmoniously blends the account of the everyday life of this wealthy, refined, and cultivated Jewish family…and that of political events as they unfolded under their windows.” —Le Figaro