As books on the Third Reich still pour out, the Germans must wonder if they will ever be rid of Adolf Hitler, for everything German is still measured against him. We cherish our stereotypes, and the Fascist German and the collaborating Frenchman are a macabre but oddly comforting pair of nasty foreigners. More seriously, the enormity of w h at the Nazis did still hampers German efforts in international politics, and even in literature and art. Will Germany ever be seen as a normal country again, puzzled younger Germans must ask, as new revelations make the Nazis seem even worse or prove how very popular they were?
Part of this problem is the fascination of Hitler himself. The historian Ian Kershaw has said that Hitler had no personality outside politics, implying that we shouldn’t waste time on the trivia of his extracurricular activities. But of course,