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The Last Days of Hitler written in September 1947 by Hugh Redwald Trevor-Roper, a British intelligence officer sent to Berlin to investigate the death of the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler focuses mainly on the circumstances surrounding his death. Through his skills as a detective and investigations, after carrying out his investigations, he therefore remarked that Hitler had caused his demise as well as that of his subordinates and disposed everything off at an unknown location.

Trevor clearly and wittingly reconstructs the last days of Hitler and the nature of leadership of the Nazis in its final days. He clearly shows that Hitler's leadership style was totally dictatorial and therefore creating a state of totalitarian in his country. In this book, it is observed that most of the Nazi leaders, those under Hitler, took their life as they preferred this to being arrested and sentenced to prison for the crimes they had committed (Trevor-Roper, pp.35).

From the interrogations that Trevor and his other officials conducted on the captured and surviving Nazi officials, who were the key eyewitnesses in the bunker, he vividly describes how Hitler and his then mistress Eva Braun came to commit suicide on April 30, 1945 in one of his fortified underground bunkers in Berlin after its invasion by the Russians. His interrogations further showed how there was a growing dissolution in the Nazi regime due to the administrative problems and also personal acrimony amongst the Nazi officials which to a great extent resulted in the failure of the Nazi administration.

In his argument, Trevor is seen to have such finality when it came to his belief that Hitler was dead and no other findings could convince him otherwise. In his book, Trevor (102) argues, "In his last days . . . Hitler seems like some cannibal god, rejoicing in the ruin of his own temples. Almost his last orders were for execution: prisoners were to be slaughtered, his old surgeon was to be murdered, his own brother-in-law was executed, all traitors, without further specification, were to die. Like an ancient hero, Hitler wished to be sent with human sacrifices to his grave; and the burning of his own body, which had never ceased to be the centre and totem of the Nazi state, was the logical and symbolical conclusion of the Revolution of Destruction. The prospect of universal destruction may be exhilarating to some aesthetic souls, especially to those who do not intend to survive it and are therefore free to admire, as a spectacle, the apocalyptic setting of their own funeral. But those who must live on in the charred remainder of the world have less time for such purely spiritual experience . . . ."

The effectiveness of this book to our overall knowledge is acceptable and important as the author gives a detailed encounter of what his findings were. He clearly states what led to the death of Hitler and the demise of the Nazi regime which was seen to be partly as a result of the infighting among the Nazi officials. The information by Trevor is more conclusive as he manages to interrogate a number of officials of the Nazi regime who were arrested and the information they give is of great importance as these were the people who were close to Hitler and they knew quite well the intricacies of the Nazi regime (Hugh, pp. 128).

Finally, it is evident that "The Last Days of Hitler," by Hugh Trevor-Roper is absolutely a classic work and a very essential book that reflects on the most important historical accomplishment. The book is tremendous; one that despite of its inadequacies should be read by all students of the World War II. Although it was written so soon after the war itself, Hugh interviews various surviving principles prior to disappearing into the dustbin of obscurity, and he also uses contemporary memories and archives efficiently prior to being misplaced and forgotten.  This is a book that is essential and anyone with a serious interest in knowing the history during this period can easily access. The book is well worth the effort.

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