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Account rendered : a dossier on my former self by Melita Maschmann;  translated by Geoffrey Strachan, with a foreword by Lord Russell of Liverpool. - Cultural Heritage Books

Account rendered : a dossier on my former self by Melita Maschmann; translated by Geoffrey Strachan, with a foreword by Lord Russell of Liverpool.


London and New York : Abelard-Schuman, 1965. First American Edition. Hardcover. 223 pages ; 22 cm. $4.00 dust jacket. Foxing to front and rear endpaper. Owner address label on flyleaf. Pages toned. No markings to pages. Binding is firm.

Melita Maschmann
With a Foreword by Lord Russell of Liverpool Translated from the German by Geoffrey Straehan

In January, 1933, when Adolf Hitler seized power in Germany, Melita Maschmann was a schoolgirl of fifteen—intelligent, good natured, idealistic, her education only half completed. A pleasant, very ordinary girl.
Before she was twenty-five, she had become head of the press department of the Bund Deutscher Madel, the girls* section of the Hitler Youth; a high-ranking, trusted member of the Nazi elite, a blindly dedicated servant of the most terrifying mass murder machine in history.

Yet the schoolgirl had not fundamentally changed.

This, therefore, is infinitely more than an autobiography. It is an explanation for the tragedy of Germany, which became the tragedy of the world. It shows without self-exculpation or self-pity how fatally easy it was for a child bored with a strict upbringing devoid of constructive purpose, yet imbued with the nationalism, xenophobia and latent anti-semitism of her parent's generation, to give herself wholly to the ideal of the "rebirth" of a just, prosperous, united and powerful Germany, and to remain loyal to it against all the protests of truth and justice. When she saw Jews, Poles and others suffer for these values, Fiihrerin Maschmann switched off her feelings. To think for oneself or to make moral judgements was immoral in the time of Germany's need.

Her faith in National Socialism remained untouched by its destruction. Only after long years of bitterness, disillusion and nihilistic despair came the slow realization of its terrible contradictions, and the conviction that the end can never justify the means; that love is greater than hate.

Melita Maschmann's story is one of the most important and frightening documents of our time. It not only shows for the first time how millions of individually very normal, stable people can be led into mass insanity, but also how the madness remains as a canker in the mind after it has been destroyed as a collective force; an enduring problem and a warning to those who would build a new world.

Melita Maschmann:
Born Berlin, 1918.
Joined B.D.M. (Girls' Section, Hitler Youth), March, 1933.
Labour Service, East Prussia, 1936-7.
Worked full time for press section, B.D.M., 1937-41: Frankfurt-an-der-Oder I Kurmark (incharge); Wartheland, German-occupied Poland (in charge, unpaid).
In charge, women's Labour Service camps, Poland and Germany, 1941-3.
In charge, B.D.M. press and propaganda division, Reich Youth Leadership, Berlin, 1943-5.
Various war work, including preparation for "Werewolf" (S.S. sabotage) activities, spring-summer, 1945.
Captured and imprisoned by Allied authorities, July, 1945.
Released 1948.
Finally broke with National Socialism in 1950s.
Melita Maschmann is now a writer, journalist and novelist.

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