The book, My Battle against Hitler: Faith, Truth, and Defiance in the Shadow of the Third Reich by Dietrich Von Hildebrand, translated and edited by John Henry Crosby with John F. Crosby is one of the most interesting and inspirational works I have ever read. The book was designed with a reader like me in mind – someone who loves history but needs explanations about names and background events. I found myself caught up in the personal story as well as thoroughly mesmerized by the social implications not just for this particular epoch in history but for all of humanity throughout history―including our world today. This is a book I would highly recommend to anyone interested in a gripping biography as well as a social commentary.
The design of the book, which included a very helpful introduction, caught my attention immediately. I was so interested in fleshing out the behind the scenes pictures that I read every note with care and I was relieved that Mr. Crosby saw fit to identify everyone Von Hildebrand mentioned and clarify what certain events referred to. I never found myself at a loss to understand what was happening. In fact, the whole thing read like a suspense novel.
The personal story of Dietrich Von Hildebrand’s life was very engaging and inspirational. I want to get a full biography of his life to fill in the later years where this book necessarily left off. I loved the fact that actual articles and excerpts of his work were included in the last section. I took notes and found myself in awe of this man’s profound understanding and love of humanity. The struggle against evil that Dietrich Von Hildebrand undertook was no small challenge, and it certainly did not offer him many material benefits. He suffered a great deal for his convictions, yet in the end, he was a richer man than those who opposed him.
The struggle against tyranny―physical, mental, as well as spiritual―is still in play today and if Dietrich Von Hildebrand were alive now he would undoubtedly be reiterating much the same arguments but using different titles. Instead of National Socialism & Fascism, he might be arguing against the dangers of liberal agendas and individualism carried too far. He certainly would warn us against losing touch with our Christian ethos and the truth of who we are as children of God.
Already I have several people asking to read the book― once I am willing to let it go. This will be a resource for inspiration and thought-provoking family discussions for years to come. Thanks to the two Mr. Crosbys for bringing this work to light and for helping us to remember the best humanity has to offer.