by Hans Baur
London: Frontline Books / Philadelphia: Casemate, 2019. Pp. xii, 244+.
Illus., maps, index. $21.49. ISBN: 1526760762
Reminiscences of Hitler’s Entourage
This memoir by Hans Buar (1897-1993) was first published in Germany in 1956, and appeared in English two years later, and again in 2013, with an introduction by British historian Roger Moorhouse. It has now been reissued by Frontline, as part of a series of memoirs by aides and employees of Hitler, which often throw interesting light on the life of the German dictator, his entourage, and the times.
Baur’s first two chapters carry him through World War I, during which he became an ace with nine victories, and his experiences flying during the early days of commercial aviation. Two more chapters cover his years flying for Hitler, from 1932 onwards, and a final chapter deals with his postwar decade as a prisoner of the Soviets.
While, as in the case of most memoirs from those close to Hitler, there’s no real criticism of the man, and scarcely a hint about the horrors of the Nazi regime, there’s a good deal of interesting material in this book. Bauer gives us a look at the evolution of aviation in the period, air combat in the Great War, and the rise of commercial aviation. And of course, Baur offers us often revealing observations about Hitler, whom he ferried around Germany and the “Greater German Reich” for many years. Baur also gives us looks at various Nazi big-wigs (his account of Goring snacking endlessly during a flight would be entertaining were it not Goring), and Hitler’s household, as well as, many other notables of the day, among them several kings, Mussolini, and more, as well as about life in the final days of the Third Reich and his experience in Soviet custody.
I was Hitler’s Pilot is an interesting read for anyone trying gain some insights into Hitler and his inner circle.
Note: I was Hitler’s Pilot is also available in several e-editions.
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