Jersey Authors Recast the Hitler Story

A fictionalized account in the new novel "Wolf" sheds a different light on the dictator’s rise to power.

Authors Herbert J. Stern and Alan A. Winter want to set the record straight about Adolf Hitler. Despite all that has been written about history’s most malevolent dictator, Stern and Winter say there are misconceptions about his rise to power.

With their new book, Wolf (due February 11 from Skyhorse Publishing), the authors, both New Jersey residents, provide a fictionalized account of Hitler’s early years, grounded in historical documentation.

“The research that we did was an eye opener,” says Winter. “The history books didn’t quite get the story right…We tried to depict the history more accurately.”

Stern gained substantial knowledge about Hitler while serving as a judge on the postwar U.S. Court for Berlin. (He later served as U.S. District Court judge in New Jersey.)

[RELATED: How a Kid from Hoboken Revolted Against Nazism]

In Wolf, Hitler’s story is told through the eyes of a fictional confidant, Friedrich Richard, who befriends the future dictator while both are recovering from wounds incurred during World War I. Hitler—called Wolf by his friends—is recovering from hysterical blindness; Richard suffers from amnesia. He tags along as Wolf builds his following.

Along the way, the book reveals details of Hitler’s friendships (real and fictional) and his troubling lust for young women. “It tells an accurate story in a human way, through the eyes of people,” says Stern.

As Wolf’s notoriety grows, those around him are faced with a moral dilemma: Should they support this dynamic leader who promises to “make Germany great again,” or turn away because of his anti-Semitism and the mob violence he condones?

Richard embodies this conflict. He is there, says Stern, “to eventually do what many of us fail to do, which is to make the moral choice at the end of the day.”

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