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ID: 2554
Hitler's Interpreter
SCHMIDT, Paul-Otto

Category: History

London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1951.


Edited by R. H. C. Steed. First English edition; 8vo; original boards. Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon's copy with his bookplate loosely-inserted. Annotated and highlighted in pencil throughout by Eden, with extensive notes on the rear end papers. The front free endpaper is inscribed by Eden in pencil, "Sent to me by Schmidt. A.E." Paul-Otto Schmidt (1899–1970) was an interpreter in the German foreign ministry from 1923 to 1945. During his career, he served as the translator for Neville Chamberlain's negotiations with Adolf Hitler over the Munich Agreement, the British Declaration of War and the surrender of France. Sir Nevile Henderson, British Ambassador in Berlin until the outbreak of war thought that Schmidt showed showed considerable courage of a negative kind in that, despite his very special position, he resisted pressure to join the Nazi Party until 1943 ... I think Schmidt might fairly be described as an enlightened, cosmopolitanised German nationalist, and find it a little hard on him that we have to hand him down to posterity as 'Hitler's Interpreter' and not, perhaps more aptly, as 'Stresemann's Interpreter' - a title to which he has at least an equal claim." Eden though in turn was critical of Henderson on page 86 "& yet he was pathetically pro-German". A fascinating document. A very good copy with a little wear to the extremities.

Price £1250.00

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