The remarkable story of an SS colonel turned ally on the run during the early years of the Cold War.
Eugen Dollmann was a scholar and member of the SS whose connections among Italian society led to a posting as a liaison officer attached to Mussolini during World War II. In his work as a diplomat and interpreter, he associated with Heydrich, Himmler, and Hitler.
This memoir begins with the surrender of the Germans in 1945 and relates how after Dollmann escaped from the British, a Roman Catholic cardinal helped him by allowing him to hide in a home for drug addicts. Later, Dollmann was provided with false papers by the CIA who enlisted him for the fight against communism.
After he was arrested by the Italian police, the Americans had no alternative but to jail him, and after some months he was transferred to a camp near Frankfurt for "outstanding cases," where some of the prominent Nazis were held. Dollmann was released, but he decided to get back to Italy across the frontiers, which he succeeded in doing only after a series of varied escapades.
In Nazi Fugitive: The True Story of a German on the Run, sequel to his book With Hitler and Mussolini: Memoirs of an Interpreter, Dr. Eugen Dollmann gave further fascinating details of his extraordinary experience, acting as interpreter to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini during World War II. It also gave an inside account of his involvement in negotiations for the surrender of all Axis forces in northern Italy shortly before the war ended. Dollmann’s self-portrait in the subsequent aftermath is reminiscent of postwar films such as The Third Manbut with his beloved Italy as backdrop. Memoir Noir, in other words: dark, pessimistic, yet profoundly atmospheric in its description of a ruined world he had watched riseand fall.” Nigel Hamilton, author of the FDR at War trilogy
SS staff officer Dollmann was connected, cunning, and unscrupulousthe kind of Nazi small fry that regularly slipped through victors’ meshes after 1945. Aided by Catholic clergy and sheltered by American intelligence for what seemed good ideas at the time, he casts welcome, if unpleasant, light on the murky underside of an emerging Cold War.” Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel
This second book of memoirs by Eugen Dollmann, who interpreted for Hitler and Mussolini, includes his gripping role as a mediator in the capitulation of all German troops in Italy. His wry wit, sparkling pen portraits, and indelible memories, enliven an unrivaled access, even to Italian cardinals who hid him after escaping from an allied prison camp. Equally vivid are his reactions to American Secret Service overtures to spy on Russian communists, and an entertaining obsession with Italian noblewomen.” Anthony S. Pitch, author of Our Crime Was Being Jewish
Eugen Dollmann compiled a unique resume during 19301945. A German student of Italian Renaissance history and art, dilettantish resident of Rome, self-ingratiated into the finest families in Italy, he was an enthusiastic Nazi Party member who held the rank of SS-Obersturmbannführer. Having been an Italian interpreter for Himmler, Heydrich, and Hitler, Dollmann became a wanted man at the end of World War II. Here is a memoir of his fugitive experience, which culminated in an abrupt transition from suspected war criminal to anti-communist agent for the CIA. Readers will find no more evocative account of the European twilight between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War.” Alan Axelrod, author of Lost Destiny: Joe Kennedy Jr. and the Doomed WW II Mission to Save London and Patton: A Biography
“Eugen Dollmann, honorary SS officer and interpreter between the German and Italian leadership, shared with thousands of Germans at the end of the war the experience of arrest, imprisonment and interrogation. His account of the post-war years is an ironic reflection on the unraveling of the Third Reich and the search for a new place for Germans in Europe. This is a perspective worth revisiting now that Europe is once again facing crisis.” —Richard Overy, author of Why the Allies Won
“SS Colonel Eugen Dollmann was not one of the most central figures in Hitler’s inner circle, but he certainly was the most dishy. As the Rome-based interpreter who linked together the German-Italian axis during World War II, he had unique access to the Führer and his top henchmen, as well as the decadent milieu surrounding Mussolini. . . . Precisely because he did not drink fully from Hitler’s poisoned chalice, Dollmann was able to observe his masters from a droll distance like the world-weary characters played by George Sanders. This perspective—intimate, but detached—makes his memoirs an utterly fascinating and disturbing reading experience.” —David Talbot, from the foreword