The young Irmgard Paul, out walking with her mother in their home town of Berchtesgaden in the late 1930s, remembers being told that, thanks to the large groups of SS men guarding Germany’s messianic leader in his mountainside retreat above them, they lived ‘on a mountain free of crime’. This small but horribly ironic story is just one of many poignant recollections which make it worth reading this candid memoir of a childhood spent, literally, in Hitler’s shadow.
By now it is a brave publisher who ventures to produce yet another intimate view of the Third Reich. The bookshops are drenched with them, re-hashed, re-packaged and increasingly predictable. But this remarkable book is a little gem. The picture it gives of a remembered childhood spent in the town