Hitler’s First Victims documents several aspects of Hitler and the Nazis early rise to power, the opening of the Dachau Concentration Camp near Munich, and the work of a lawyer named Josef Hartinger to file criminal charges against some of the Dachau Camp’s leadership for the murder of four prisoners in 1933. Timothy Ryback’s research and writing offers interesting details of how the Nazis provoked riots and confrontations in order to declare emergency powers and detain perceived opponents of their regime under the guise of arresting them for their own protection. Ryback also does well in documenting how the Nazis took over the bureaucracy and local government systems of different regions and cities in Germany like Bavaria and Munich.
The author is able to pivot from this history of Nazi takeover to the actions of Josef Hartinger who worked for the Bavaria prosecutor’s office and medical examiner Moritz Flamm who both defied the Nazis and investigated some of the early murders and atrocities at the Dachau Concentration Camp. These two individuals visited Dachau and meticulously collected evidence against the staff of the camp. This book is recommended for readers who want to learn more about the bravery of Hartinger and Flamm while also learning about the history of Nazi Germany more specific to Munich and Bavaria.