anton

The latest addition to my website is Oskar Maria Graf‘s Anton Sittinger [Anton Sittinger]. This book, first published in 1937 (in London) tells the story of the rise to power of the Nazis, as seen through the eyes of Anton Sittinger, a postal inspector in Munich, who retires to the country in 1929. He is thoroughly egotistical, bullying his wife, Malwine (who becomes a committed Nazi) and refusing to get involved in anything political, as it is inappropriate for a civil servant, as he says, though what he really wants is stability and, more importantly, his own well-being and comfort. We follow him from 1917, when World War I is a major inconvenience for him, though he does manage to hoard some gold, via the social upheavals after the war in Munich, to his retirement to the country, where he still sits on the fence, as the Nazis gradually indulge in their brutal acts and, eventually, come to power. Graf makes no bones about the fact that it is the Sittingers who are to blame for the rise of the Nazis (and for the rise of similar dictatorships in other countries), due to their inaction and utter self-centredness. Surprisingly the book has not been translated into English but, if you read German it is a fascinating account of the rise to power of Hitler, seen through the eyes of an ordinary German.