Crossing Hitler

The man who put the Nazis on the witness stand
Author(s): 
Hett, Benjamin Carter
ISBN: 
9780195369885
Date published: 
November 2008
Hardback
Price: 
£14.99

Crossing Hitler is a biography of the German trial lawyer Hans Litten (1903-1938), who dedicated his brief career to an uncompromising struggle against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, and suffered accordingly in Hitler's concentration camps. Through the prism of this one remarkable advocate, the book explores the rise of the Nazis, the vibrant criminal courts of the Weimar Republic, and the terror of Nazi rule in Germany after 1933. During the trial of four Nazi paratroopers in 1931, Litten grilled Hitler in a merciless three-hour examination, forcing Hitler into multiple contradictions and evasions and finally reducing him to helpless and humiliating rage. Two years later Hitler was in power, and Litten was sent to in concentration camps of the Third Reich, where he worked on translations of medieval German poetry and operated as a one-man university. After five years of torture and hard labor, Litten gave up hope of survival, and took his own life 1938.