* He was, of course, a man better known for burning books than collecting them and yet by the time he died, aged 56, Adolf Hitler owned an estimated 16,000 volumes - the works of historians, philosophers, poets, playwrights and novelists. A passionate reader, his worldview was largely formed by the books he read.
* For more than fifty years the remnants of Hitler's private library occupied shelf-space in climate-controlled obscurity in the rare book division of the Library of Congress in Washington. Timothy Ryback is the first to systematically explore this remarkable collection, as well as several other caches which he subsequently discovered in Europe and elsewhere.
* The volumes in Hitler's library are fascinating in themselves but it is the marginalia - the comments, the exclamation marks, the questions and underlinings - even the dirty thumbprints on the pages of a book he read in the trenches of the First World War - which are so revealing. Together they take us closer to the man and his thinking than ever seemed possible.
* Hitler's Private Library provides us with a remarkable view of Hitler's evolution - and unparalleled insights into his emotional and intellectual world. Utterly compelling, it is also a landmark in our understanding of the Third Reich.
Hitler's First Victims is a fast-paced narrative reconstruction of six dramatic weeks in 1933 that tells the astonishing true story of one man's race to expose the Nazis as murderers on the eve of the Holocaust.
At 9am on 13 April 1933 deputy prosecutor Josef Hartinger received a telephone call summoning him to the newly established concentration camp of Dachau, where four prisoners had been shot. The SS guards claimed the men had been trying to escape. But what Hartinger found - a barbed wire cage in an industrial wasteland, the men's corpses dumped in an ammunition shed, precision gunshot wounds to their heads, all of them Jews - convinced him that something was terribly wrong.
Hitler had been appointed Chancellor only six weeks previously. Soon the Nazis would have a stranglehold on the entire judicial system. Hitler's First Victims is the story of Hartinger's race to expose the Nazi regime's murderous nature before it was too late. It is the story of a man willing to sacrifice everything in his pursuit of justice, just as the doors to justice were closing.
From the author of the widely praised Hitler's Private Library: the remarkable story of Josef Hartinger, the German prosecutor who risked everything to bring to justice the first Nazi killers of the Holocaust.
The prosecution at the Nuremberg trials was charged with proving that the monstrous acts of the SS were not, as the defendants argued, a case of foot soldiers performing "normal duty." A key argument focused on the first killings by SS guards in the Dachau concentration camp in 1933. Now, Timothy Ryback's gripping and poignant historical narrative focuses on those events and on the investigation that followed, which exposed not only the earliest evidence of the machinery of the Holocaust, but also the remarkable courage of Josef Hartinger, a local Munich prosecutor, who openly challenged these first homicidal impulses of the Third Reich. Ryback describes Hartinger's willingness to risk everything in an unflinching pursuit of justice. And he makes clear that while Hartinger's fight couldn't stop the Nazi atrocity, his story suggests how vastly different history might have been had others acted with equal determination and personal courage.