Hitler

The star-struck Claretta, Mussolini’s last love. According to her diaries, he radiated a ‘god-like potency’ and a ‘bull-like’ magnetism

Seducing Mussolini

25 February 2017 9:00 am

As a child in fascist Italy, Clara Petacci (known as Claretta) was dutifully adoring of Benito Mussolini and the cult…

An inmate of Auschwitz in the early 1940s

A singular horror

28 January 2017 9:00 am

How did the Holocaust happen? What lessons can be learned from it? Philippe Sands wonders whether anything similar could happen again

Why is the world crumbling in anger and terror?

21 January 2017 9:00 am

America’s global hegemony from 1944 onwards has led to a world now riven by hatred and terror, says Jonathan Steinberg

‘The Four Elements’, before 1937, by Adolf Ziegler, which hung above Hitler’s fireplace

Was Nazi art really that bad?

14 January 2017 9:00 am

Bad men and bad politics don’t necessarily equal bad art. So perhaps it’s time to reassess Hitler’s taste in painting, says William Cook

The full horror of the siege of Leningrad is finally revealed

31 December 2016 9:00 am

Stand aside, Homer. I doubt whether even the author of the Iliad could have matched Alexis Peri’s account of the…

Astrid Lindgren during the second world war. By 1945 she was suffering from depression and insomnia

Astrid Lindgren’s second world war diaries make for crisp, painful reading

22 October 2016 9:00 am

There’s a glorious scene in Astrid Lindgren’s first Pippi Longstocking book in which her fearless, freckled heroine strides to the…

Blitzkrieg and Benzedrine: the German High Command were all as high as kites

8 October 2016 9:00 am

Norman Ohler is rather hard on the Nazis, for compared to what our little group got up to in the…

Just two of many controversial Games: Hitler’s racist jamboree in Berlin (above right); and the Stockholm Olympics, in which the brilliant Native American Jim Thorpe — sometimes regarded as the greatest athlete of all time — was stripped of his gold medals

The modern Olympics have always been a fiasco

30 July 2016 8:00 am

There’s nothing new about lying and cheating at the Olympics. Scandal has dogged the Games for well over a century, says David Horspool

The waggle-dance of the honeybees

Bees, Nazis and the Nobel prize: the amazing life of Karl von Frisch

25 June 2016 8:00 am

The Dancing Bees is a romantic title, evoking fantasy and fairy tale rather than scientific rigour, but actually this book…

‘The ring upon thy hand’, illustration for ‘Siegfried and the Twilight of the Gods’, Arthur Rackham (private collection)

How to get more out of Wagner's Ring

18 June 2016 9:00 am

The political trigger for the Ring was the 1849 Dresden uprising, when the young freedom fighter Richard Wagner financed the…

What the world looked like after my brain haemorrhage

28 May 2016 9:00 am

When your mind suddenly goes wonky, you may be the one person who doesn’t realise that there is something wrong…

Potrait of the Week: prisons to be ‘academies’and West to arm Libya

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Home In the Queen’s Speech, the government made provision for bills against extremism and in favour of driverless cars, drones,…

How capitalism really works

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Deirdre McCloskey has been at work for many years on a huge project: to explain why the world has become…

Save the innocent swastika!

12 March 2016 9:00 am

There is a nice row of swastikas at head height in Burlington Gardens, behind the Royal Academy. They are carved…

Nimoy and Shatner in ‘The Man Trap’, the first episode of Star Trek (September 1966)

Close encounters on the starship Enterprise

5 March 2016 9:00 am

For a show with a self-proclaimed ‘five-year mission’, Star Trek hasn’t done badly. Gene Roddenberry’s ‘Wagon train to the stars’…

Always prone to depression: David Astor c.1946

David Astor: the saintly, tormented man who remade the Observer

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Before embarking on this book, Jeremy Lewis was told by his friend Diana Athill that his subject, the newspaper editor…

Happy early days: Erika and Klaus in 1927

Was Klaus Mann all Thomas Mann's fault?

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Thomas Mann, despite strong homosexual emotions, had six children. The two eldest, Erika and Klaus, born in 1905 and 1906…

Why must David Cameron insult Oxford, when it gave him so much?

6 February 2016 9:00 am

In 2000, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, accused Magdalen College, Oxford, of class bias in failing to…

The Emperor Maximilian I by Bernhard Strigel

The Holy Roman Empire has been much maligned

23 January 2016 9:00 am

The Holy Roman Empire has been much maligned over the centuries. In fact it worked remarkably well, says Jonathan Steinberg

Ferdinand Porsche, the inventor of the Doodlebug and the Panzer tank, was treated with rare deference by Hitler, bordering on idolatry

Ferninand Porsche: from the Beetle to the Panzer tank

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The aggressive character of the famous German sports car, in a sort of sympathetic magic, often transfers itself to owner-drivers.…

Members of the Hitler Youth clear debris after an air raid on Berlin, August 1944

The swastika was always in plain sight

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Ordinary Germans under the Third Reich did have wills of their own, argues Dominic Green. Most actively embraced Nazi ideology, and were aware of the extermination of the Jews. As the war worsened for them, what did they think they were fighting for?

What does it really mean to have a tyrannical father?

24 October 2015 9:00 am

What was it like, asks Jay Nordlinger, to have Mao as your father, or Pol Pot, or Papa Doc? The…

From top left: Lucian Freud, Rudolf Bing, Stefan Zweig, Walter Gropius, Rudolf Laban, Max Born, Kurt Schwitters, Friedrich Hayek, Fritz Busch, Frank Auerbach, Emeric Pressburger, Oskar Kokoschka

German refugees transformed British cultural life - but at a price

3 October 2015 9:00 am

German-speaking refugees dragged British culture into the 20th century. But that didn’t go down well in Stepney or Stevenage, says William Cook

What drove Europe into two world wars?

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Sir Ian Kershaw won his knight’s spurs as a historian with his much acclaimed two-volume biography of Hitler, Hubris and…

Hans Asperger at the Children’s Clinic of the University of Vienna Hospital c.1940

Did Hans Asperger save children from the Nazis — or sell them out?

12 September 2015 9:00 am

Simon Baron-Cohen wonders whether the humane Hans Asperger may finally have betrayed the vulnerable children in his care in Nazi-occupied Vienna