Crossing Hitler : the man who put the Nazis on the witness stand / Benjamin Carter Hett.

By: Hett, Benjamin CarterMaterial type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2008Description: x, 349 p. : ill. ; 24 cmISBN: 9780195369885 (alk. paper); 0195369882 (alk. paper)Subject(s): Litten, Hans, 1903-1938 | Lawyers -- Germany -- Biography | Anti-Nazi movement -- Biography | Criminal justice, Administration of -- Germany -- History -- 20th century | Political participation -- Moral and ethical aspects -- GermanyDDC classification: 943.086092 | B LOC classification: DD247.L58 | H47 2008
Contents:
Prologue: Summoning Hitler -- The Litten Court -- The black mob -- The grizzly, the camel, and the seal-bear -- You must change your life -- Litten & Barbasch -- May day -- The witness -- Political soldiers -- The Eden Dance Palace -- "Murder storm 33" -- Roll commandos -- The oath -- A snag with Hitler -- Verdicts -- The double edge of the deed -- Bülow Square -- Richard Street -- They know what they do -- Underground influences -- Felseneck -- "A dangerous irritant in the administration of justice" -- Expelled -- Threats -- The Reichstag burns -- Sonnenburg -- "Coordination" -- Spandau -- Diels's list -- "I must burden you with my suicide" -- Means of escape -- Madonna in the Rose Bower -- Long knives -- The führer's clemency -- Thoughts are free -- The Jew block -- Isolation -- Passion -- News -- Epilogue: "Only where there are graves are there resurrections" -- Appendix: Hans Litten's cross-examination of Adolf Hitler, May 8, 1931.
Summary: During a 1931 trial of four Nazi stormtroopers, known as the Eden Dance Palace trial, Hans Litten grilled Hitler in a brilliant and merciless three-hour cross-examination, forcing him into multiple contradictions and evasions and finally reducing him to helpless and humiliating rage (the transcription of Hitler's full testimony is included.) At the time, Hitler was still trying to prove his embrace of legal methods, and distancing himself from his stormtroopers. The courageous Litten revealed his true intentions, and in the process, posed a real threat to Nazi ambition. When the Nazis seized power two years after the trial, friends and family urged Litten to flee the country. This the first full-length biography of Litten, the book also explores the turbulent years of the Weimar Republic and the terror of Nazi rule in Germany after 1933. --Publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
DD247 .L58 H47 2008 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001950146
Browsing University of Texas At Tyler shelves, Shelving location: Stacks - 3rd Floor Close shelf browser
DD247.H5 W23 The psychopathic god : DD247 .H5 W434 2010 Hitler's first war : DD247.L55 L55 Savage symphony; DD247 .L58 H47 2008 Crossing Hitler : DD247.P3 B56 Franz von Papen : DD247.R56 G313 1972 The night of long knives. DD247.R58 C35 1972B The myth of the master race :

Includes bibliographical references (p. [287]-339) and index.

Prologue: Summoning Hitler -- The Litten Court -- The black mob -- The grizzly, the camel, and the seal-bear -- You must change your life -- Litten & Barbasch -- May day -- The witness -- Political soldiers -- The Eden Dance Palace -- "Murder storm 33" -- Roll commandos -- The oath -- A snag with Hitler -- Verdicts -- The double edge of the deed -- Bülow Square -- Richard Street -- They know what they do -- Underground influences -- Felseneck -- "A dangerous irritant in the administration of justice" -- Expelled -- Threats -- The Reichstag burns -- Sonnenburg -- "Coordination" -- Spandau -- Diels's list -- "I must burden you with my suicide" -- Means of escape -- Madonna in the Rose Bower -- Long knives -- The führer's clemency -- Thoughts are free -- The Jew block -- Isolation -- Passion -- News -- Epilogue: "Only where there are graves are there resurrections" -- Appendix: Hans Litten's cross-examination of Adolf Hitler, May 8, 1931.

During a 1931 trial of four Nazi stormtroopers, known as the Eden Dance Palace trial, Hans Litten grilled Hitler in a brilliant and merciless three-hour cross-examination, forcing him into multiple contradictions and evasions and finally reducing him to helpless and humiliating rage (the transcription of Hitler's full testimony is included.) At the time, Hitler was still trying to prove his embrace of legal methods, and distancing himself from his stormtroopers. The courageous Litten revealed his true intentions, and in the process, posed a real threat to Nazi ambition. When the Nazis seized power two years after the trial, friends and family urged Litten to flee the country. This the first full-length biography of Litten, the book also explores the turbulent years of the Weimar Republic and the terror of Nazi rule in Germany after 1933. --Publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Hett (history, Hunter Coll.) analyzes the career of Hans Litten (1903-38), a prominent anti-Nazi lawyer. Hett describes how Litten, the son of a Protestant mother from an old Prussian family and a Jewish father who converted to Lutheranism, actively identified with both his Christian and his Jewish roots yet broke with his parents politically. For example, many of his friends were German Jews active in Socialist politics, while one of his favorite intellectual pursuits was the study of Christian art. While Litten despised the German Communist Party, he defended communists who fought street battles with Hitler's storm troopers (SA). During the prosecution of four SA men in 1931, Litten forced Adolf Hitler to the witness stand, embarrassing the Nazi Party at a critical time in its quest for electoral respectability. Hett adroitly explains the workings of the Weimar legal system and challenges the conventional wisdom that the German legal profession was, prior to 1933, so right wing that its transition to Nazism was an easy and logical step. After 1933, Litten was sent to a concentration camp, where after years of abuse he committed suicide. Recommended for all libraries.--Frederic Krome, Univ. of Cincinnati Clermont Coll. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Hett (Hunter College) has written a riveting account of the life of Hans Litten, a left-wing lawyer who, at age 29, represented two workers stabbed by Hitler's Nazi storm troopers. The Eden Dance Palace Trial in 1931 is memorable because Litten called Adolf Hitler as a witness and grilled him for two hours, forcing Hitler to make statements that, had it not been for the intervention of the presiding judge, would have resulted in his perjuring himself. Hett speculates that had Hitler been found guilty of perjury, it might have cost him enough political capital, especially with middle-class voters, to derail his political future and possibly alter the events that resulted in his appointment as chancellor in 1933. In the aftermath of the Reichstag fire in 1933, the SS arrested Litten, charged him with being an enemy of the state, and sent him to the Sonnenberg concentration camp, where he was treated brutally. Subsequently, he was transferred to other concentration camps, culminating in Dachau, where he committed suicide in 1939. Every two years, the German Hans Litten Bar Association presents the Hans Litten Prize to a lawyer who distinguishes himself in defense of democracy and law. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. J. Fischel emeritus, Messiah College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

A former trial lawyer, Benjamin Carter Hett is now Associate Professor of History at Hunter College and the author of Death in the Tiergarten. He lives in New York City.

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