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Hitler, My Neighbor: Memories of a Jewish Childhood, 1929-1939

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  50 reviews
An eminent historian recounts the Nazi rise to power from his unique perspective as a young Jewish boy in Munich, living with Adolf Hitler as his neighbor.

Edgar Feuchtwanger came from a prominent German-Jewish family--the only son of a respected editor and the nephew of a best-selling author, Lion Feuchtwanger. He was a carefree five-year-old, pampered by his parents and
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Other Press (NY) (first published 2013)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  252 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it

"He's right in front of us, outside his building...I can see he's cut himself shaving, as my father sometimes does. He has blue eyes. I didn't know that. You can't see that in photos. I thought his eyes were completely black. I've never seen him so close up. He has hairs in his nose, and a few in his ears. He's shorter than I thought."—Edgar Feuchtwanger, aged 6

Gah! What a memoir! It's just about perfectly written. Through sensory memories, Feuchtwanger takes us back to his quiet, upscale neigh
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Truly a unique insight into Hitler’s Nazi Germany through the eyes of a child that lived across the street from Hitler. A Jewish Child that also recalls the changes made in textbooks, curriculum, and teachers as Hitler gained power and their family fell from societal grace. Very well written. Very much enjoyed it.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I didn't really find the book as interesting as I thought it would be. It isn't particularily well-written, which also makes the book a little dull despite it being about a very serious topic. I didn't feel like I got any more insight into Hitler's life or how it was to live during WW2 either. I'm not trying to downplay WW2, I'm simply saying that this book as a literary text is not that good.
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vi følger en liten gutt på 5år som bor tvers over gaten for verdens mest kjente Adolf i 10år, med alle de utfordringer dét bærer med seg i årene fra 1929 til 1939.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
ANOTHER perspective on the lead-up to WWII, from an observant, engaged boy from age 5 to 15. His life is filled with a close, loving family, girlfriends, mansions, summer vacations...everything for a well-to-do family. Edgar Feuchtwanger walks us through his feelings and experiences as his untroubled, happy life comes to an end. He is the only son of a respected Munich editor and the nephew of best selling author Lion Feuchtwangerthe who is the only person to out-sell Hitler's Mein Kampf. But Ed ...more
Cel Kila
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

La première chose à savoir en commençant ce livre, c'est que c'est un témoignage réel. D'un enfant juif qui a réellement vécu en face d'Hitler pendant les années précédant la Grande Guerre. Il a assisté à l'ascension de cet homme, tout en pouvant observer le regard inquiet de ses parents.

Le père d'Edgar est un éditeur, son oncle est un écrivain plutôt connu à l'époque. Ils sont tous deux plus ou moins actifs dans l'opposition au moment de l'arrivée d'Hitler au pouvoir. Actifs par les mo
The main theme of this book sounds like something a Jewish comedienne in the 1960s could have created. ("Hey, did I tell you Hitler lived across the street from me when I was growing up in Germany during the 1930s? Seriously, it's true! Ask my mother! I can't tell you how many times she told me 'Do not trample on the flowers in Herr Hitler's yard'!") Of course, being a Jewish child living so close to Hitler was anything but funny during the 1930s, yet this is not a book of constant fear or terro ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Even if the author has become an esteemed historian since the days portrayed here, there is no denying this is an awkward read. It is one part warm-hearted reportage of his childhood, full of lovely girl friends and mansions galore; one part a study of the literary bent of his family, including his uncle Lion who was about the only person to out-sell Hitler's Mein Kampf; and the major part a portrayal of life when the chief Nazi is living in a converted mansion over the road from you. That part ...more
Michelle Kidwell
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Hitler, My Neighbor
Memories of a Jewish Childhood, 1929-1939
by Edgar Feuchtwanger, Bertil Scali

Other Press

Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 07 Nov 2017

I am reviewing a copy of Hitler, My Neighbor through Other Press and Netgalley:

In 1933 the joy of Edgar Feuchtwanger untroubled life comes to an end. He is the only son of a respected editor and the nephew of best selling author Lion Feuchtwanger, but he is a Jew and in 1933 when Hitler is named Chancellor his family looses all rights.

Edgar was on
Bien que ce livre soit écrit à la première personne, ce n'est pas Edgar Feuchtwanger qui l'a écrit, mais un journaliste d'ailleurs très talentueux, qui rend le récit de l'enfance d'Edgar, ce petit garçon qui observe Hitler de chez lui, très vivant et réel. Le ton évolue au fur et à mesure de la montée du nazisme et de la puissance d'Hitler. Edgar, enfant confiant et choyé par les siens se met peu à peu à avoir peur. Vingt fois, j'ai eu envie de secouer ses parents et de leur demander ce qu'ils a ...more
Excellent read. Fast paced, historical in content. Worth the read. Would recommend as reading material for middle school students. If you like WWII history you will enjoy this book.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One thing (..amongst a lot of others) that has always baffled me regarding WW2 is.. why did so many jews not leave the Reich? this book, in many ways, discusses just that. I still got frustrated as in wanting to shake them into survival mode, but one of the best parts of this book is how it broadened my perspective as to why jews were desperate to stay in Germany despite bring told they were rats that should die. the father is sent to a concentration camp for a while, and even after that he hope ...more
John McDonald
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What struck me as much as anything about this small and powerful memoir were how the quotes from Adolph Hitler's Mein Kampf displayed at the beginning of each chapter, written almost 80 years ago, seemed to parallel to the word much of what Donald Trump says, not about Jews, but about immigrants and people from the countries he considers "shitholes." As most things not destroyed moved in cycles, it is unsurprising that someone like Trump would make an appearance on the leadership stage. What is ...more
Razvan Zamfirescu
Spicuiri din recenzia finala care se gaseste pe blogul meu


Cu mâna mea mi-am făcut-o pe asta, e clar. Deși scria pe spatele cărți că Feuchtwanger avea 5 ani când Hitler a devenit vecinul său și 15 când a părăsit Germania, chiar am crezut că este un volum cât de cât serios. Dar de unde…

Feuchtwanger scrie exact așa cum aș scrie și eu dacă aș fi avut bunici care ar fi trăit în Germania nazistă. Probabil că mi-ar fi spus că ei știau ce rău îi Hitler, cât de
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Because seen through a child's eyes, it really wasn't what I would have expected. He didn't seem much worse than any unfriendly neighbor. The atrocities we KNOW we're experienced by so many lead me to imagine that being a neighbor would have been like being in a torture chamber.
Jeanne Moran
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. I love memoirs, and the recollections of a Jewish boy who lived across the street from Hitler in 1930's Munich may well be unique in the literary world. Be aware though, much of the book involves his life after his immigration to England in '39, so the title alone doesn't give an accurate profile of the book's total content.
Kirk G. Meyer
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is a chilling look into how people were reacting to the rise of Hitler. And how a country slowly turned against the Jewish people. All through the eyes of a small boy whose innocence disappear over the course of ten years. It is an eerie sight into today’s world as well.
Robin Case
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quick, intimate recount of a young man who grew up in the same neighborhood as Adolph Hitler at the same time. It is a very personal insight into a time and place. The writing is well done.
Sue Gross
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it
seen from a child's point of view, Hitler lived across the street from Edgar, from his age of 5 to 15
tells history on the way
As the daughter of a survivor who lived and worked for members of the educated upper class Jewish community in Munich, of which the author was a member, I picked up this book wanting to learn more about life in that community at the time when the Nazis rose to power. The book was disappointing in that respect.

Despite being written by an eminent British historian, this book read more like a vanity piece than a work of history or autobiography. It basically consists of name dropping with a few sto
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Chilling book, particularly the intro to each chapter with an excerpt from Hitler's Main Kampf, progressing through his belief changes, so I would assume progressing through his book. Feuchtwanger is now 92. He was able to escape to Britain on a visa months before WW2 started, with his parents coming just months later. He has lived in England since, and became a historian and academic. The book is filled with poignant memories of a comfortable and social childhood growing up in Munich during the ...more
Lea ★
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
ARC provided by the publisher VIA NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Hitler, My neighbor is a novel, originally published in French (Hitler, mon voisin – Souvenirs d'un enfant juif ), in 2013, revolving around a young boy who lived in Munich, very near to the house where Adolf Hitler lived at the time. The timeline covers one part of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (early 30's) in Germany.
In his memoir, Freuchtwanger describes his brief childhood encounters with the Führer d
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very moving, and a reminder of the day-to-day lives that were being lived as Hitler, whose house was just across the street from the author's family home, was systematically destroying the comfortable, cultivated world that he inhabited. This is the book's strength: the intimate details of life for a prosperous, even celebrated, Jewish family in 1920s and 30s Munich, as they confront the incomprehensible fact that they are in serious danger in their own beloved country. Feuchtwanger, who has wri ...more
The book is a memoir of the author’s childhood as a German Jewish boy who lived in the same Munich neighborhood as Hitler. The structure is anecdotal and combines the story of his maturing from a young child to teenager with the horrors faced by himself and his family. His parents, who were intellectual, affluent, established and considered themselves German, chose to stay in Munich despite their fear of Hitler and how German society was changing, not applying for visas until after Kristallnacht ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Written from the point of view of the child that he was during the hardest years of the Nazi regime in Germany, this memoir is an interesting account of dramatic events. Children do have a particular memory and emotional awareness, therefore such a memoir is an important testimony for reconstructing that historical time. The vicinity with a horrendous criminal and the story of the encounter through the eyes of a Jewish kid make the story even more interesting. A recommended read to anyone intere ...more
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

Feuchtwanger had a unique childhood living in the apartment complex across from Hitler's during the 10 years he rose to power. The translation seems well done and preserves the childlike voice of the author without much trouble. There are occasional interjections that seem awkward, but overall it's a very interesting read that I couldn't put down. I would definitely recommend this book to middle school and high school students
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this book fascinating. It’s written from the perspective of a young boy; one who spends his childhood looking out on Hitler’s Munich home. It reads like the diary entries of a child, with lots of recalled dialogue and conversations of the adults (his parents and other influential Germans and dignitaries) that surround him. It makes for a fast read in that sense. But the intimate look at who Hitler is and how he affects the Jewish family living literally under his nose is unlike anything ...more
Carrie Brang
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't impressed initially although this story is well written. When about halfway through, I didn't want to put it down. Reading to the buildup of the beginning of the Jewish desegregation from the general population, forces the reader to truly understand what it was like for the victims of the hateful propaganda being put out. It allows you to see how a manipulative and extremely powerful leader can assert themself upon a weak minded and vulnerable people and bring about swift, wrong and unj ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
The author of this book grew up as a child of a wealthy German Jewish family, in an expensive apartment in Munich Germany, across the road from Adolf Hitler. He recalls his childhood and the times he saw his infamous neighbor.

It is quite the story to tell, but it felt a bit manufactured to me. I certainly can't remember discussions from when I was six years old in such detail. In such a scary time to be Jewish, the family were lucky to be able to survive intact when so many around them perished.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recollections of someone who, as a child in a well-educated and successful Jewish family, lived across the street from Adolph Hitler. The years: 1929-1939. He describes the reaction of most of the citizens to Hitler's rise - and gives great insight to those of us who ask, "How could that happen?!!" A lot of parallels to today's political climate, both in our country and across the globe.
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