The Man Who Annoyed Hitler

The BBC has an interesting piece about Hans Litten, a young Jewish lawyer who infuriated Adolf Hitler, but who’s been largely forgotten by history. His left-wing sympathies caused him to be overlooked in the post-war West, while his criticism of Stalinism kept him out of the spotlight in the Soviet Union. Litten attempted to bring criminal charges against members of the Nazi party’s SA wing after they attacked a dance hall frequented by communists and killed three people in 1931.

In the Berlin courtroom, Adolf Hitler’s face burned a deep, furious red.

The future dictator was not accustomed to this kind of scrutiny.

But here he was, being interrogated about the violence of his paramilitary thugs by a young man who represented everything he despised – a radical, principled, fiercely intelligent Jewish lawyer called Hans Litten.

The Nazi leader was floundering in the witness stand. And when Litten asked why his party published an incitement to overthrow the state, Hitler lost his composure altogether.

“That is a statement that can be proved by nothing!” he shouted.

Litten’s demolition of Hitler’s argument that the Nazis were a peaceful, democratic movement earned the lawyer years of brutal persecution.

Hans Litten: The Man Who Annoyed Adolf Hitler   [BBCNews]


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