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On Hitler's Mountain: Overcoming the Legacy of a Nazi Childhood by [Irmgard A. Hunt]
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On Hitler's Mountain: Overcoming the Legacy of a Nazi Childhood Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 105 ratings

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Length: 306 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From Publishers Weekly

Hunt's moving, unsettling memoir is part of a literary and historical trend: examining the lives of ordinary Germans during WWII. She was born in 1934 in an intriguing locale—Berchtesgaden in Bavaria, where Hitler set up his headquarters. In fact, in one of her most compelling stories, Hunt recalls sitting in Hitler's lap during a 1941 visit, "suspiciously studying his mustache, his slicked-back, oily hair... while at the same time acutely seeing the importance of the moment." In remarkable detail, she relates the normal parts of childhood (the birth of a sister, going to a new school) interspersed with the extraordinary events (e.g., Hunt's father was one of the first German soldiers killed during the war) of the time and place. The older members of her family and others in the village had vastly differing reactions to Hitler. The author (who now lives in Washington, D.C.) remembers how some teachers said, "Heil Hitler," while others preferred more traditional greetings. She also shows how Nazism pervaded day-to-day life. Although she portrays herself as uncomfortable with the regime, she pushed to join the Hitler Youth, only to leave it in the final months of the war. Those looking for an explanation of the Hitler phenomenon will be disappointed, but readers who want a richly textured memoir of a German girl during WWII will find it here. B&w photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Hunt, a former executive of various environmental organizations, currently resides in Washington, D.C. She was born and raised in Berchtesgaden, a Bavarian village at the foot of Hitler's mountain retreat, the Eagle's Nest. At the age of three, she was embraced by Hitler on one of his periodic forays into the village. Hunt was only 11 when the war ended, so the "eyewitness" account cannot provide much personal insight into life under the Nazis. However, this is primarily a family memoir in which Hunt, through the experiences of her parents and grandparents, tries to explain (but not justify) why "moral and honorable" Germans tolerated or even supported the Nazis. Her parents, traumatized by the rampant unemployment and hyperinflation of the interwar years, saw in Hitler a hope for stability and regeneration. Despite the protestations of her staunchly anti-Nazi grandfather, Hunt's parents closed their eyes to the deepening depravity. Hunt's later recollections of life under occupation and her personal struggles to cope with the legacy of her parents' generation make this a poignant, valuable account. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
105 customer ratings
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Reviewed in Canada on January 25, 2018
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Reviewed in Canada on July 18, 2014
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Reviewed in Canada on April 27, 2015
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Reviewed in Canada on January 13, 2010

Top international reviews

Derek smith
4.0 out of 5 stars ... helps to understand the trauma everyone suffered in this terrible time. An important read
Reviewed in Australia on September 1, 2015
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JulieS
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well-written and interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 3, 2016
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Urszula Szulakowska
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2015
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johnn
5.0 out of 5 stars an account of civilian life in Germany in a place which was not strategically important
Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2015
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Anthony Crudo
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading!!
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2015
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Best_Legend
5.0 out of 5 stars The Eagle's Nest atop Berchtesgaden, Hamster Trips, & Adolescence of a Admirable Lady
Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2014
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C. M Mills
5.0 out of 5 stars Irmgard A. Hunt's poignant, sad, thought-provoking and beautifully written memoir of growing up on Hitler's Mountain
Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2014
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Lori
5.0 out of 5 stars so good
Reviewed in the United States on February 8, 2015
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Jewels
5.0 out of 5 stars A piece of German history
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2018
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Sandy Nathan
5.0 out of 5 stars A very high quality read in every dimension
Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2015
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Jamie and Heather Hejduk
4.0 out of 5 stars Why would good, normal people allow Hitler to rise to power?
Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2019
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Lola
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read. I just moved back from Bavaria a ...
Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2017
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kitchenwitch
5.0 out of 5 stars Good autobiographical accounting
Reviewed in the United States on December 18, 2014
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Nina
3.0 out of 5 stars not in Berlin where the family would have had a good view of what was going on with the war ...
Reviewed in the United States on July 5, 2014
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chris green
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey all should understand
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2015
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