34 pages 1 hour read

Address Unknown

Fiction | Novella | Adult | Published in 1938

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Historical Context: Germany in the 1930s

Address Unknown is framed as a series of letters between two German friends writing during the 1930s against the backdrop of the Nazi Party seizing power in Germany. Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party, who rose to power in the 1930s and became the dictator of Germany. He played a key role in the events leading up to World War II and the Holocaust. After Germany’s defeat in World War I, the country was left devastated and economically ruined by the Treaty of Versailles (1919), which imposed harsh reparations and territorial losses on Germany. The country was also beset by political turmoil and struggled to maintain stability amid rising unemployment and social unrest. In this context, Hitler promised to restore Germany’s pride and prosperity.

Hitler’s political career began in the early 1920s, when he joined the fledgling National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or Nazi Party, and quickly rose through the ranks. In 1923, he attempted to seize power in the Beer Hall Putsch, a failed coup that resulted in his imprisonment. During his time in jail, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, a book that laid out his authoritarian vision for what he saw as a “racially pure” state.