For several years, while he served in the Danzig senate, Hermann Rauschning discussed matters of religion, politics, and race with Hitler. Increasingly alarmed by Hitler’s plans to achieve global power, Rauschning resigned from the senate and assembled his transcriptions and notes taken during these conversations. While much has been written about Hitler’s psychological makeup, most of it has been derived from external and posthumous analysis, while the rest of the direct accounts are from the war years. This account begins in 1932, before most of the world was fully aware of Hitler’s destructive potential.
Nora Levin, a widely read Holocaust writer, named Rauschning “one of the most penetrating analysts of the Nazi period.” Many prestigious historians, including Leon Poliakov, Gerhard Weinberg, and Robert Payne, have improved the quality of their own writing with choice quotations from these ideas and frank statements of plans that were kept from the German public at the time.
Pelican has published several other books of the era that focus on the Nazi campaign to expunge all traces of religion or religious thought from politics through a thorough campaign against all religion. Hitler Came for Niemoeller, by Leo Stein, is an account of Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoeller’s eight-year imprisonment and his struggle to preserve the church from the hands of a murderous juggernaut. The Persecution of the Catholic Church in the Third Reich, published in 1941, provides dramatic proof of the Catholic Church’s resistance to Hitler’s persecution of Catholic individuals and institutions.