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Edgar Feuchtwanger

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Edgar Joseph Feuchtwanger OBE (born 28 September 1924) is a German-British historian.

Life and work


Feuchtwanger was born in Munich. He is the son of Erna Rosina (née Rheinstrom) and lawyer, lecturer, and author Ludwig Feuchtwanger, and a nephew of novelist and playwright Lion Feuchtwanger, who was a vocal critic of Hitler and the Nazis. His family is Jewish.[1] As a child, he lived with his family in Munich near the private residence of Adolf Hitler on Grillparzer Strasse.[2] From 1935 to 1938, he attended the Maximiliansgymnasium[3] in his hometown.

Feuchtwanger was 14 when the Gestapo arrested his father on 10 November 1938, part of the coordinated pogrom known as Kristallnacht, which included the detentions of 30,000 Jews in Germany and Austria, the deaths of 91, and the widespread ransacking of Jewish-owned stores and synagogues. Edgar's father Ludwig was then imprisoned at the Dachau concentration camp, and 14-year-old Edgar's sense of security crumbled.[4]

When his father was released six weeks later, the family considered relocation options. They dismissed Palestine and Prague[5] and ultimately managed to obtain entry visas to Britain, and in February 1939, Edgar boarded a train bound for London. His father accompanied him as far as the Dutch border, and then returned to Germany to finish arrangements for him and his wife to follow. In May of that year, the family was re-united in England. From 1944 to 1947, Edgar studied at Magdalene College in Cambridge, where he received his doctorate in 1958. From 1959, he taught history at University of Southampton,[6] until he retired in 1989.[7] In 2003, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit.[8]

In 2012, Feuchtwanger co-authored a book with French journalist Bertil Scali describing his childhood brushes with Hitler entitled Hitler, mon voisin: Souvenirs d'un enfant juif[9] it was published in English in the US as Hitler, My Neighbor in 2017.[10] Feuchtwanger has also published an autobiography describing his experiences during the "Third Reich" and the post-war years, entitled I Was Hitler's Neighbour,[11] in 2015.

Feuchtwanger was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to Anglo-German understanding and history.[12]

Published works

  • Disraeli, Democracy and the Tory Party. Oxford University Press, 1968.
  • Prussia: Myth and Reality. Oswald Wolff Limited, 1970.
  • Upheaval and Continuity: A Century of German History. London: Wolf, 1973.
  • Gladstone. Macmillan, 1975.
  • The Soviet Union and the Third World. Macmillan, 1981. (with Peter Nailor).
  • Democracy and Empire: Britain, 1865–1914. Edward Arnold, 1985.
  • From Weimar to Hitler: Germany, 1918-33. Palgrave Macmillan (2nd Revised edition, 1995) ISBN 0333640527
  • Disraeli. Bloomsbury USA, 2000.
  • Imperial Germany 1850-1918. Routledge, 2001.
  • Bismarck. Routledge, 2002. Second edition: Routledge, 2014.
  • Albert and Victoria. Hambledon Continuum, 2007.
  • Hitler, mon voisin: Souvenirs d'un enfant juif (with Bertil Scali). Éditions Michel Lafon, 2013 (in French).
  • Hitler, My Neighbor (with Bertil Scali). New York: Other Press, 2017.[5]


  1. ^ "Edgar Feuchtwanger: A Jewish childhood on Hitler's street". BBC News. 9 November 2012.
  2. ^ "I Was Hitler's Neighbour". History Today. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Home". maxgym.musin.de.
  4. ^ "Former Jewish refugee recalls his neighbor from hell: Hitler". The Times of Israel.
  5. ^ a b Ghert-Z, Renee. "Hitler's Jewish neighbor lived under Nazis' noses, is now locked down in the UK". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  6. ^ "The Bloke who Lived Opposite Hitler". University of Southampton. 6 February 2014. Archived from the original on 5 May 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Edgar Feuchtwanger Aktuelle Autobiographie" (in German). Offizielles Portal zum Internationalen Lion Feuchtwanger-Jahr. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  8. ^ Lanchin, Mike (9 November 2012). "Edgar Feuchtwanger: A Jewish childhood on Hitler's street". BBC News. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  9. ^ "'Hitler, mon voisin: Souvenirs d'un enfant juif'". Éditions Michel Lafon, with Bertil Scali (in French). 2013.
  10. ^ "Hitler, My Neighbor". Other Press. Other Press, with Bertil Scali. 2017.
  11. ^ 'I was Hitler's Neighbour'. Bretwalda. 2015. ASIN 1910440000.
  12. ^ "No. 63218". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2020. p. N11.