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The Prisoner of Ottawa: Otto Strosser

By: Douglas Reed (432.1/35881)
Publisher: Alden Press

On April 29th, 1953, the correspondent The Times reported from Bonn: 'The administrative court of North Rhine-Westphalia, sitting at Cologne, today ruled that Dr. Otto Strasser, who organised the "black front' against Hitler and is at present living in Canada, was entitled to return to Germany.'

Douglas Reed first introduced Otto Strasser to English-speaking readers in a book published about the time of Dunkirk, and considered him then, on his record, to be the strongest candidate for the leadership of a Germany once liberated from Hitler. The pesent book tells, for the first time, the full story of the astonishing sequel since the war ended Strasser, the only leading German politician who actively fought Hitler, has been arbitrarily banned from his homeland by the American, British, Canadian, French and West German Governments, acting in concert. While the first leader of the Gestapo and Brownshirts are both active and important again in West Germany, Hitler's foremost adversary has been in effect outlawed in a remote Nova Scotian hamlet, condemned to struggle with penury.

Douglas Reed suggests that Strasser was detained, in fact, under concentration camp law, and thinks that his treatment, apart from its moral aspect, presages worse errors of Western policy towards Germany than those which caused the debacle of 1918-39; and he writes as the author of a famous book about that period. The story he tells is one of adventure and escape as dramatic as any that has come out of the last two eventful decades.

July 2008

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