Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Crossing Hitler

Been busy over last few days speaking to the makers of the forthcoming BBC drama, The Man Who Crossed Hitler. Fascinating, tragic and little-known historical episode. In 1931, Hitler was called as a witness in the Eden Palace dance hall trial. The case had been brought against several brownshirts who had shot up some communist rivals.

In the midst of a near civil war and daily killings, the incident itself was unremarkable. Hitler himself had not been present, but the Berlin courtroom provided a rare opportunity for him to be put on the stand and cross-examined about his ideology and whether he was indirectly culpable. Unfortunately the move backfired and it merely gave licence for the Nazi leader to grandstand before a partisan gallery.

Hitler never forgot his interrogator that day, the young lawyer Hans Litten, whose father was a converted Jew. He died in Dachau.

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