Fest, Joachim C. 1926-2006

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Fest, Joachim C. 1926-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born December 8, 1926, in Berlin, Germany; died September 11, 2006, in Kronberg-im-Taunus, Germany. Journalist and author. Fest was a respected reporter, newspaper editor, and author most remembered for his histories of Nazism and his biography of Adolf Hitler. The son of a teacher who lost his job for opposing the Nazis, Fest joined the Wehrmacht as a teenager primarily because he was afraid of being forced into the more sinister Waffen SS. Captured during World War II, he spent most of the conflict as a prisoner of war. Afterwards, he attended universities in Freiburg, Frankfurt, and Berlin. From 1953 to 1968, he worked as an editor and then as editor in chief for German radio and television stations. He started freelance writing in 1968 and then joined the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in 1973. He was publisher and editorial director there until his 1993 retirement. Although Fest published books on a wide range of subjects, including opera, travel, and history, his books on Hitler and other Nazi figures remain his most prominent. Among those available in English translation are Third Reich: Portraits of the Nazi Leadership (1970), Hitler: A Biography (1974), Plotting Hitler's Death: The Story of the German Resistance (1996), Speer: The Final Verdict (2002), and Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich (2004). The especially popular Hitler biography is notable in that it focuses on the years 1929 to 1939, paying much less attention to the actual war years.



Chicago Tribune, September 13, 2006, section 2, p. 11.

New York Times, September 13, 2006, p. C13.

Times (London, England), September 13, 2006, p. 72.

Washington Post, September 15, 2006, p. B7.