Louis Snyder Annapolis native was authority on Nazi Germany

December 07, 1993|By New York Times News Service

Louis L. Snyder, an Annapolis native who was an authority on the rise and fall of Nazi Germany and the author of more than 60 books, died Nov. 25 at the Princeton, N.J., Medical Center. He was 86 and lived in Princeton.

The cause was cholangitis, an infection of the bile ducts, said his physician, Dr. Louis Jourdain.

A retired University Professor of History at the City College of New York, he was the author most recently of "Hitler's Elite" (1989). It dealt with such high-ranking Nazis as Field Marshal Hermann Goering, SS leader Heinrich Himmler, Julius Streicher and Col. Otto Skorzeny, the daredevil pilot who plucked Benito Mussolini from a mountain prison fortress.

"From its beginnings the Nazi movement attracted more than its share of unprincipled hangers-on," the author concluded. He called Goering a "deadly Falstaff," Himmler a mass murderer and Streicher, the publisher of a virulent Nazi paper, a "pornographer and sadist."

He also wrote "Encyclopedia of the Third Reich: Varieties of German Nationalism" (1976), "Roots of German Nationalism" (1978) and "Diplomacy in Iron" (1985).

His first book, written under the pen name Nordicus, was the prophetic "Hitlerism, the Iron Fist in Germany," published in 1932, the year before the Nazis came to power in Berlin.

He was born in Annapolis and was a cum laude graduate of St. John's College there. He earned his doctorate at the University of Frankfurt-am-Main in Germany in 1931. Following post-doctoral work at Columbia University, he started tutoring at City College in 1933. He was appointed a professor in 1953 and retired in 1977.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ida Mae Brown Snyder.

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