Feuchtwanger, Edgar. “Hitler, My Neighbor: Memories of a Jewish Childhood, 1929-1939”, (Translated by Adriana Hunter), Other Press, 2017.
A Unique Perspective on a Neighbor
Edgar Feuchtwanger is a historian who has quite a unique perspective on the Nazi rise to power. When he was a boy in Munich, his neighbor was Adolf Hitler. Feuchtwanger came from a prominent German-Jewish family. He was the only son of a respected editor and the nephew of a best-selling author, Lion Feuchtwanger (one of the intellectuals rescued by Varian Frye). He was a carefree five-year-old who pampered by his parents and his nanny, when Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party, moved into the building opposite theirs in Munich.
Until 1933, young Edgar lived an untroubled life but that was shattered when that year, Hitler was named chancellor. His parents had their rights as citizens taken from them yet they tried to protect their son from the reality of what was going on around him. When young Edgar went to school, his teacher made him draw swastikas, and his schoolmates joined the Hitler Youth.
From his window, Edgar was able to watch events come into being and he was witness to Kristallnacht and the Anschluss. He saw being deported and his father was sent to Dachau. In 1939, on his own, Edgar went to England where he found a new life, had a family and tried to forget the past. However that past returned to him when at the age of eighty-eight, he decided to tell the story of his buried childhood and his infamous neighbor. Here it is right here and unlike anything you have ever read before.