Scrapbookpages Blog

June 1, 2013

Hitler’s Jewish neighbor in Munich had a better car, a home library, and his uncle’s novel sold more copies than Hitler’s deadly dull book

German Jewish historian Edgar Feuchtwanger has written a new book entitled “Hitler My Neighbor: a Jewish Boy’s Memories,” about how his family lived across the street from Adolf Hitler in Munich from 1929 to 1939, before they were forced to leave Germany.

Edgar was just 5 years old when Hitler moved into an apartment across from his family on Grillparzer Street in Munich. Edgar’s uncle was the famous writer Lion (pronounced Leon) Feuchtwanger who had written a historical novel in 1925, entitled Jew Süss.  (Jud Süss was also the title of a film made by the Nazis.)

Edgar’s father, Ludwig Feuchtwanger, was one of the Jews who was rounded up on Kristallnacht in November 1938 and sent to Dachau for a couple of weeks.

Hitler leaves Landsberg prison in his car that was not good enough for the Jews

Hitler leaves Landsberg prison in his car that was not good enough for the Jews

In an article about the book, this quote reveals how the Feuchtwanger family looked down on Hitler:

The Feuchtwanger family drew some comfort from the observation that their car was fancier than Hitler’s, and that “Jud Süß” (Jew Süss), Uncle Lion’s 1925 historical novel based on the life of an 18th century Stuttgart court Jew, still outsold “Mein Kampf.” [Lion Feuchtwanger’s book], as Edgar notes, recounts how “in the past, other upstarts have inspired the crowd to massacre our ancestors in our own country.” […]

Edgar’s father also noted with disdain that to avoid being importuned by worshipful female admirers, the “coward” Hitler put Winter, his housemaid’s name, on the building directory instead of his own. Having fought in the trenches in World War I on the German side, as did Hitler, Ludwig Feuchtwanger, Edgar’s father, failed to see why the politician should be “afraid of his own shadow,” to which Uncle Lion replied:

“Ah yes, the trenches! [Hitler] whines about them all through his deadly dull tome, ‘Mein Kampf.’ He moans. He laments. He screams. One can imagine him writing the book while rolling around the floor like a brat.”

Hitler’s presence on Grillparzer Street was seen by the Feuchtwangers as a canny move to blend into a comfortable neighborhood, as if he were nothing more than an upwardly mobile leader. Yet the Feuchtwanger family was not deceived, nor were their house employees, including Rosie, Edgar’s nanny.

After the Nazi rise to power in 1933, the danger became even clearer, although the Feuchtwanger family was stymied about where to find refuge. Edgar’s father made a special trip to relatives who lived in Talpiot, a neighborhood in southeast Jerusalem established in 1922, yet reported that the conditions of life there were too difficult, and feared that young Edgar would not receive a satisfactory education. […]

In 1939, Edgar was put on a train for England, armed with a few English phrases learned in a hurry, including “How do you do?… How old are you?… I am a Jew.” Once safely in England, he notes, he would no longer be required to use the last phrase in response to any interrogation by officials. Although his parents and uncle would also reach safety, not all of the Feuchtwanger family would be so fortunate. Some of them would be murdered in concentration camps, at the behest of their evil neighbor.

It is very clear that Hitler was not good enough for the vastly superior Feuchtwanger Jews.  Hitler wanted to unite Germany into a nation for ethnic Germans, who would work for the good of the country; he did not want Germany to be a geographical region of diversity in Europe, ruled by the superior Jews, who worked only for themselves. Germany had a long history of persecution of the Jews before Hitler came along.

Hitler didn’t have a Jewish Communist nanny, as little Edgar did.  Hitler wrote a “deadly dull” book about how Germany was betrayed by the Jews during World War One, not a popular novel about a famous Jew.

Hitler rode though the streets in a Mercedes as crowds cheered

Hitler rode though the streets in a Mercedes as crowds cheered

After Hitler became the Chancellor of Germany, he rode through the streets in a Mercedes, a German made car.  To this day, many Jews will not buy a German car, especially a Mercedes.