Svante Nordin

Svante Nordin (b. 1946), professor in History of Ideas at Lund University, is the author of 25 popular works in politics, philosophy and world civilisation. He is a long-time columnist in the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet and in many periodicals. Five times awarded with literary prices, among them Stora fackbokspriset - Sweden’s greatest non-fiction award and once nominated to Sweden’s greatest literary award, Augustpriset.

Photo: Cristopher hunt


Hitler's Munich


Munich during the 1910s – a democratic, art loving, pacifistic city, the city of cabarets and carnivals. After World War I the city will change due to a certain Adolf Hitler, who arrived in town as an impoverished painter. He absorbs the bitter sentiments with the loss of the War, and is after a few years the unchallenged leader of the growing National Socialist Party. As such he will eventually hurtle Munich, Germany, Europe – the entire world – into war.

How could good old Munich foster such a person? Where in this city did Hitler intercept concepts as national socialism, antisemitism, the swastika and the theory of Lebensraum? Where in the city’s netherworld did he encounter his comrades? The mystery grows as researchers have identified Hitler on film rolls from the funeral of the Jewish revolutionary Kurt Eisner from 1919. How could Hitler carry a red armlet in February only to join the future Nazi party in October?

In Svante Nordin’s frescoe Hitler’s Munich we follow the fate of many Munich citizens between 1913 and 1945 – at the beginning mostly intellectuals such as Thomas Mann, Franziska von Reventlow, Bertolt Brecht, Victor Klemperer, but one after another they all disappear, only to be replaced by ominous namnes such as Alfred Rosenberg, Winifred Wagner, Ernst Röhm and Rudolf Hess. In the end, there remains only a few voices against them, such as Cardinal Faulhaber and the Scholl siblings.

Svante Nordin

Original title:
Hitlers München



Original publisher:
Natur & Kultur

Reading material:
Swedish manuscript (final)
English synopsis

360 pages


"It is a highly successful move by Nordin to use a geographical place, and the people who lived there, to portray the major issues that an epoch dealt with. His knowing and confident pen makes it an educational read that without any doubt widen the perspectives. Historian Svante Nordin is one of the most productive writers in Sweden, with a long line of comprehensive historical titles on his conscience, so to speak. One can simply note that Hitler’s Munich lives up to the highly set expectations."

Borås tidning

"Svante Nordin's book is as learned as it is lively, which does not surprise anyone who has read him before. This is a professor who knows how to tell a story."

Dagens Nyheter

"A superb and well documented overview of a dramatic period"


"Well-written and thought-provoking /.../ a multifaceted image of life, art and politics"

Östra Småland

"This presentation is both well-written and interesting and may even give a slightly different explanation of how Hitler's national socialism was formed, at least compared to the common Swedish perspective on the subject. The book also gives cause to continued discussion."