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The University of Southampton

The man who lived opposite Hitler

Published: 10 February 2014Origin: History
Dr Edgar Feuchtwanger

Former history lecturer Dr Edgar Feuchtwanger has returned to the University of Southampton to talk about his career as a specialist in British political history. However, to many people, he is better known as the man who lived on the same street as Adolf Hitler during the 1930s in Munich.

He told a packed lecture theatre of his encounters with the German leader on Grillparzer Strasse and reflected his Jewish family living nearby was lucky not to have been killed. His father was arrested by the Gestapo and detained in Dachau in 1938 following Krystallnacht when fascist paramilitary forces smashed the windows of Jewish-owned stores and synagogues; this event was viewed by many historians as the beginning of Nazi Germany’s persecution of the Jews. The Feuchtwanger family successfully escaped to England after lodging £1,000 with the UK Government through a ‘capitalist visa’.

The historian also spoke about his uncle Lion, a distinguished author and playwright, highly critical of the Nazis, who was a friend of Bertolt Brecht.

Edgar entered academia after studying for his doctorate at the University of Cambridge and taught history at the University of Southampton while researching the 19th century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. He spoke of his experiences preparing and delivering 42 lectures a year.

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