Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Review: The Day We Had Hitler Home by Rodney Hall

I first encountered this one more than ten years ago, when it formed part of the book list for an Australian Literature class I was taking at university. The concept is as brilliant as it is memorable. What if, at the conclusion of World War One, a young Adolf Hitler (who was temporarily blind due to injuries,) stepped on the wrong boat and eventually found himself in New South Wales? What follows is not only the story of how a solidier (who may or may not have been Hitler, Hall never quite lets on,) is quietly returned to Germany by the Australian family who finds him, but also a coming of age tale and a study on the many complex elements that would eventually give rise to World War Two. The prose is a little highbrow and there are a number of subtleties that can be easily missed, but it is still an interesting musing on an important time in history--Germany in the period between the two world wars.