‘The terrible things that happen when you put writers in charge’

Dictator Literature by Daniel Kalder. OneWorld Publishing, £10.99 Daniel Kalder is a very funny writer who specialises in Russian history and literature and has an eye for dark humour, the latter probably a necessity for the former. His latest book is a work of literary criticism with an unusual twist: studying the output of Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and Mao, as well as some of the lesser tyrants of the 20th century. All were awful people; most were also awful… Read on

Hitler’s children and the sins of the fathers

The Hitlers used to live near to me in Highgate, north London. Quiet family, kept themselves to themselves; weren’t terribly keen on the Jews, as far as I remember. Bridget Hitler, the Führer’s Irish sister-in-law, and her son, the improbably named Scouse-born William Patrick Hitler, lived in England after her husband Alois Hitler had been deported as an undesirable alien, most likely a pimp. (While one of the stranger immigration ironies of history is that the judge at Adolf Hitler’s 1923… Read on

Is there a moral difference between Nazis and Communists?

Is there a moral difference between Nazis and Communists?

From Telegraph blogs Outside my local supermarket on Friday there was a man running a petition against the closure of the local hospital’s A&E department. Volunteering my signature, I noticed in his other hand a newspaper with a hammer and sickle on the front. I was a bit taken aback. “Are you a Communist?” I asked, unaware these people still existed. “Yes, but this has nothing to do with any political party”. Oh good, I said, and signed, vaguely worried… Read on