born 1969, studied history, classical archaeology and primeval and ancient history in Vienna. He is an exhibition curator, an advisor for radio broadcasts and TV documentaries and directs scientific research projects. He also teaches at the Department of Contemporary History of the University of Vienna. Leidinger has published widely and is head of the Vienna branch office of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Kriegsfolgenforschung. Most recently published by Residenz Verlag: “Habsburgs schmutziger Krieg” (2014). He has co-authored the book “Hitler - prägende Jahre” with Christian Rapp.
Going beyond psychological speculation, the authors close a gap in historical research by portraying Hitler's family, childhood and youth in its social and cultural context. Focusing on Hitler's time in Braunau through to his experiences in Vienna, they offer an insight into his character traits and ideological imprints. The book closely examines Hitler's personal background as well as his social environment. National fanaticism, race hatred and anti-Semitism had become firmly established in society long before Hitler and the National Socialists started their ascent. Hitler's radicalised rhetoric could only gain potency when his audience already knew what he was speaking of. Taking a fresh look, Leidinger and Rapp detail Hitler's childhood and youth from a new angle.
New research on the darkest chapter of World War I: the authors examine the strategies and calculations employed by the Habsburg ruling elite. They show how the war, which began with the main aim of destroying Serbia, was allowed to get out of hand, with no consideration of the losses. And what happened in the zones occupied by the Imperial armies? Were Austro-Hungarian forces responsible for war crimes?
This book sheds a shocking light on chains of command, prejudices, and escalating violence towards suspects, civilians and ‘administrated masses’. A disturbing panorama of the Habsburg Empire’s path to downfall.
Die vielen Gesichter des Geheimdienstchefs Maximilian Ronge
Maximilian Ronge was the last director of the Austrian k.u.k. monarchy’s secret service. His career shows several similarities to the one of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, who headed the German military intelligence service under the Nazi regime. Ronge was an important figure in the time of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and also later, when Austria had become a republic. He used his extended networks of spies against “all kinds of traitors”, secessionists, socialists and Bolsheviks. Before 1938, no spy in Austria could possibly evade him. Even after being released from the Dachau concentration camp, Ronge continued his activities. After the end of WW II, he cooperated with the American occupants to set up a new secret service in Austria.
These are only a few milestones in Ronge’s career. In the course of his life, this man has served many masters, but at heart he remained loyal to his emperor.
Finding out about Ronge’s behind-the-scenes activities required meticulous research, since he not only was an expert in espionage and intrigue, but also a master in covering his tracks.
The two historians Verena Moritz and Hannes Leidinger, however, give full account of this extraordinary life, and Ronge’s grandson Gerhard Jagschitz provides a private insight. A book that will cause a stir!
Alfred Redl, officer of the Austrian general staff under Franz Joseph I. and in his majesty’s secret service, sold explosive military secrets of the Habsburg empire to Russia, Italy and France to pay for his extravagant lifestyle and love life. His suicide, however, averted the final solution of this scandalous case of espionage that affected half of Europe – stuff that myths and legends are made of...
100 years later, Verena Moritz and Hannes Leidinger went on a fascinating search for clues:
What information was sold? Was Redl the head of a whole network of secret agents? What was his motivation? How has this treason influenced World War I? The two historians unearthed sensational material from the archives and shed light on one of the most mysterious chapters in Austrian history.