“He lives down in a ribcage in the dry leaves of a heart.”
I saw Downfall in college. I took a class about the Holocaust, and at the end of the semester, I guess to wrap things up, we watched Hitler, Eva Braun, Goebbels, and Goebbels wife and children, all kill themselves in a bunker. It sent chills down my spine. It was so bleak and ugly. Indescribably terrible. It’s always stuck with me.
This book disturbed me. It read like horror. A reverse Dorian Gray. Hitler sold his soul to the devil, but instead of a picture showing the decay of his soul, he was cursed with the corrosion of his vileness in any mirror he had the disadvantage to look into.
By the end of the war Hitler was taking over 150 tablets a week, cocaine, and meth. German soldiers were doped to keep them awake so they could blitzkrieg France and Russia. Hitler, with false bravado attained from taking uppers, took complete command of his army, and made absurd orders that ultimately led to Germany’s downfall.
Hitler was crazy. But as Norman Ohler specified: he had been crazy from the beginning, and the drugs did not make him the evil sonofabitch he was. They were just an unpleasant additive.
This book was great in a terrible way. I listened to it and the baritone of the narrator lent itself to the tone of the book. I would highly recommend reading this book. Even if you feel you’ve exhausted every avenue of WWII history, I think you’ll find something new in this book. Also, as so many countries are surging further right in their political attitudes I think it’s important to see the degradation- body and soul, of one of the most evil men in history.