Richard Overy

More by Luck Than Judgement

The Trial of Adolf Hitler: The Beer Hall Putsch and the Rise of Nazi Germany

By

Macmillan 455pp £25 order from our bookshop

In 1945, as the Second World War came to an end, the Allies planned to put Germany’s leaders – including Adolf Hitler, if he could be captured alive – on trial. This would not be easy. The American prosecution team drafted a memorandum entitled ‘The Trial of Adolf Hitler’ in order to imagine what it would be like and what problems might be faced. They were well aware that this would not be Hitler’s first trial and they worried that he might use the court as he had done the last time he was in the dock, in 1924: as an arena in which to justify what he did and perhaps revive Germany’s flagging ultra-nationalism. In the end, Hitler’s suicide was a relief. Even then, Soviet mischief kept alive the idea that Hitler was not dead and might suddenly turn up, in the process frustrating the prosecution of the other Nazi war criminals.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Circumspect, slyly reticent, and oleaginously smooth' From the Archive: John Banville reviews Andrew Motion's mys… ,
    • With our February issue about to go to press, enjoy a slice of LR history - Hilary Mantel on Joan Haslip's biograph… ,
    • What did London look like in the 6th Century? Rory Naismith's 'Citadel of the Saxons' tries to answer that questi… ,
    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,