Revealing biography of one of the twentieth century's most controversial figures; and the first significant biography to have been published since the subject's death
Leni Riefenstahl is one of the most fascinating and controversial personalities of the twentieth century. Best known as 'Hitler's filmmaker', Riefenstahl made two documentaries, OLYMPIA and TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, acknowledged to be among the greatest films ever made. But they are insidious glorifications of the Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Drawing on new primary sources - recordings of Riefenstahl herself, interviews with her colleagues and intimate friends - Steven Bach puts the lie to her lifelong portrayal of herself as an apolitical artist who knew nothing of the Holocaust, firmly denying her connection to the Nazi regime. The facts speak for themselves: Riefenstahl's passionate involvement with the Nazis from their earliest days; the secret agreements that financed her career and supported her in later life; her visits to concentration camps and use of slave labour courtesy of the Third Reich - and more. This is an exceptional work of historical investigation, an objective but unsparing appraisal of a woman of great talent who was corrupted by ruthless ambition.
Bach's book might be called exemplary, except that that word is too cold for the excitement he generates . . . Powerful and enlightening - SUNDAY TIMES
Meticulous - DAILY TELEGRAPH
Not only powerful but also remarkably exciting - SUNDAY TIMES
Bach systematically and thoroughly chronicles a life so full of contradictions and denials it almost makes you want to scream . . . A superb work - OBSERVER