EVERY TIME YET another book appears on Hitler's last days it is tempting to ask: what more is there to learn? Less and less is the answer. Everything there is to know about the last days has been fled, published, exhaustively examined. The more fanciful speculations have been overturned. Hitler never was spirited away, or replaced by a double. The things that cannot be said with certainty (did Hitler shoot himself in the temple, or through the mouth?) will now never be established. We have reached the end of the trail.
Joachim Fest, author of one of the earliest and most successful biographies of Hitler, has nonetheless decided that one more trawl through the squalid demise of Hitler's dictatorship is worthwhile. He has almost nothing new to say, though it is perhaps a relief for once not to confronted with startling