Claus Hant is a German scriptwriter and the creator of a detective series that ran on prime time for over a decade and made German TV history with its audience figures: Der Bulle von Tölz. Hant has also written cinema films, his latest being Der grosse Kater, an adaptation of a novel by Thomas Hürlimann, starring Bruno Ganz (Downfall). For Young Hitler, Hant researched the life of the young man who was to become ‘The Führer’. Not unlike the detective of his TV series, Hant asked inconvenient questions about certain uncommon events in the life of his subject, paying particular attention to crucial turning points, gaps and incongruities in Hitler’s early life story. After years of intense research and incorporating the latest findings of historical science, a storyline emerged that puts young Hitler’s personal development into a new and unexpected perspective. English writers James Trivers and Alan Roche assisted Hant in producing the original English version of the book.
This is the story of the young Adolf Hitler, an insignificant young man from provincial Austria who suddenly emerged as a momentous historical figure and ultimately the very personification of evil. How did that happen? To answer this question, the novel takes the reader into the mind of the man before the monster. 150 pages of intriguing appendices substantiate the novel’s provenance. It tells the story of the seventeen-year-old school drop-out and starving artist; the vagrant who spends years on the streets and in the shelters of Vienna; the Lance Corporal of WWI whose reckless bravery leads him to undergo psychiatric treatment. In the aftermath of that Great War, amongst the ashes of a demoralised and bankrupt Germany, the novel follows the bizarre series of events that culminate in this lonely and eccentric young man becoming ‘The Führer’ of the Third Reich.
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