Hitlerite obsession

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by von Poop, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    There was an interesting little chat program on BBC TV(I think) last night.
    On it David Starkey and Anthony Beevor (with sue Perkins and another chap) discussed whether we're all 'absolutely obsessed' with Hitler and Hitlerism. (I think inspired by Hitlers passing birthday.) Starkey was his provocative self and claimed there was absolutely no need for Yet another book about Hitler and expressed his horror at yet more archival material on ww2 coming to light. Beevor was more conciliatory yet thought the point had some merit. He also said a Guards Veteran aquaintance of his claimed the German Army weren't much to look at, rather grubby in fact, or percieved as anything more 'stylish' or even 'attractive' until Hollywood took over a decade later. Beevor also touched on the bother and even 'abuse' that modern Germans had encountered in the UK in relation to the second war. It was interesting stuff but i'm still looking for the transcript I believe the BBC makes available.

    Are we all simply obsessed with the Nazi's, Hitler in particular, and the second world war?
    Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
    Cheers,
    Adam.


    (JUST EDITING ON: The Program was in fact 'The Last word' on Channel 4)
     
  2. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    If there weren't at least some people out there 'obsessed' with it, the only thing most people would know about it was that Hitler was German and we were at war with them. There's far more to it than that and society as a whole has to remember what was so close to happening in europe's recent past.

    Besides, isn't the point that if nobody was interested the BBC wouldn't waste it's money on the program? And if the interest is there, why shouldn't it be discussed?
     
  3. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    I wouldn't say I'm obsessed but I am very interested in most things WWII. Of course there going to be people who take things too far, there always is.
     
  4. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    So i should stop wearing the WRAF uniform then?
    There are obsessives in every area of life, just that those in the WW2 arena tend to take it way too far. However, having a healthy interest in such a major part of our histories, and one that changed the world irrevocably and is still having an effect is no bad thing. If you understand the cause you have a chance of mending it.
     
  5. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Well, he's the poster boy for unrefined evil and unrestrained murder, so the obsession with him will never really go away.

    The difference between him and other tyrants is that Hitler was captured on radio and newsreels, and there's plenty of footage of him delivering one of his patented tirades to vast and adoring crowds at some Nuremberg Party Rally.

    There is also the unending puzzle...what made him tick?

    How did he do it? Why did he do it? Why did this lousy artist and common laborer have such a grip on Germany? How did this nut with the dustbug-moustache take over Germany and all Europe? What was the source of his virulent anti-Semitism.

    Other villains are easier to explain...Stalin the paranoid. Idi Amin the syphilitic. Duvalier, Marcos, and Honecker were cynical greedheads. Mafiosi are just greedy thugs. Jeffrey Dahmer was a psychotic. Osama Bin Laden is a religious zealot. But Hitler is harder to figure out.

    There is also a "Hitler industry," which was seen at its high point (or nadir) when his faked diaries landed on the scene in 1983. Newsweek magazine had the gall to say that it didn't matter if the diaries were real...as they would be a chance for people to confront their fears about themselves and each other.

    The magazine took a beating for suggesting that Adolf's intimate words were a chance to practice pop psychology, and it "didn't matter" if they were real or fake. But for two weeks, Adolf's forged words occupied the world media stage. I remember how the supermarket tabloids, holding 50-year-old copyrighted articles in their files, dusted off first-person ghostwritten pieces by Hitler's photographer, maid, and butler, on the inner workings of the Reich Chancellery, and slapped them on the cover as if they too were startling new discoveries.

    Most accounts of the Battle of Berlin seem to focus on Hitler's last week in the bunker, which is unfair to the German and Soviet troops and Berlin citizens caught in that deathtrap. We have also seen a small industry of books and articles about Hitler escaping the bunker, and the various survival myths. Bormann, too.

    Another factor in new stuff about Hitler has been the efforts to correct the errors and weaknesses of the earlier biographies, like Alan Bullock's (1952) or David Irving's (the acolyte). Ian Kershaw is about the best we have.

    So Adolf is a permanent feature of our society. He's an unsinkable subject, like the Titanic. He refuses to die, like Custer standing on that hill.

    And 60 years later, Mel Brooks won 11 Tony Awards by making Adolf look stupid on the Broadway stage.

    I don't think we'll ever learn anything new abuot him, but people will keep trying to explain him.
     
  6. Warulfsdottyr

    Warulfsdottyr Junior Member

    If there weren't at least some people out there 'obsessed' with it, the only thing most people would know about it was that Hitler was German and we were at war with them. There's far more to it than that and society as a whole has to remember what was so close to happening in europe's recent past.

    Besides, isn't the point that if nobody was interested the BBC wouldn't waste it's money on the program? And if the interest is there, why shouldn't it be discussed?

    hitler wasn german ! he was austrian and got his german pass in 1933 when he became president !!:cop:
    the austrians sent us this crazy guy because of 1866 (german humor)

    he was born in braunau and his real name was Adolf Schicklgruber- he changed his name later .
     
  7. Warulfsdottyr

    Warulfsdottyr Junior Member

    Well, he's the poster boy for unrefined evil and unrestrained murder, so the obsession with him will never really go away.

    The difference between him and other tyrants is that Hitler was captured on radio and newsreels, and there's plenty of footage of him delivering one of his patented tirades to vast and adoring crowds at some Nuremberg Party Rally.

    There is also the unending puzzle...what made him tick?

    How did he do it? Why did he do it? Why did this lousy artist and common laborer have such a grip on Germany? How did this nut with the dustbug-moustache take over Germany and all Europe? What was the source of his virulent anti-Semitism.

    Other villains are easier to explain...Stalin the paranoid. Idi Amin the syphilitic. Duvalier, Marcos, and Honecker were cynical greedheads. Mafiosi are just greedy thugs. Jeffrey Dahmer was a psychotic. Osama Bin Laden is a religious zealot. But Hitler is harder to figure out.

    There is also a "Hitler industry," which was seen at its high point (or nadir) when his faked diaries landed on the scene in 1983. Newsweek magazine had the gall to say that it didn't matter if the diaries were real...as they would be a chance for people to confront their fears about themselves and each other.

    The magazine took a beating for suggesting that Adolf's intimate words were a chance to practice pop psychology, and it "didn't matter" if they were real or fake. But for two weeks, Adolf's forged words occupied the world media stage. I remember how the supermarket tabloids, holding 50-year-old copyrighted articles in their files, dusted off first-person ghostwritten pieces by Hitler's photographer, maid, and butler, on the inner workings of the Reich Chancellery, and slapped them on the cover as if they too were startling new discoveries.

    Most accounts of the Battle of Berlin seem to focus on Hitler's last week in the bunker, which is unfair to the German and Soviet troops and Berlin citizens caught in that deathtrap. We have also seen a small industry of books and articles about Hitler escaping the bunker, and the various survival myths. Bormann, too.

    Another factor in new stuff about Hitler has been the efforts to correct the errors and weaknesses of the earlier biographies, like Alan Bullock's (1952) or David Irving's (the acolyte). Ian Kershaw is about the best we have.

    So Adolf is a permanent feature of our society. He's an unsinkable subject, like the Titanic. He refuses to die, like Custer standing on that hill.

    And 60 years later, Mel Brooks won 11 Tony Awards by making Adolf look stupid on the Broadway stage.

    I don't think we'll ever learn anything new abuot him, but people will keep trying to explain him.

    maybe his anti-semitism was caused due to :
    I read that the doctor who combated the sickness/cancer or whatever of his mom which died when he was a youth
    or
    his officer in ww1 did not let him reach an higher rank because of "führungsuntauglichkeit"
    they both were jews
     
  8. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    hitler wasn german ! he was austrian and got his german pass in 1933 when he became president !!:cop:

    Um.... my point exactly! :mellow:
     
  9. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    maybe his anti-semitism was caused due to :
    I read that the doctor who combated the sickness/cancer or whatever of his mom which died when he was a youth
    or
    his officer in ww1 did not let him reach an higher rank because of "führungsuntauglichkeit"

    Actually, he treated Dr. Bloch very well, letting him flee Austria. His resentment toward the Jews seems to have taken root in Vienna, when he could not enter the arts academy, and began reading anti-Semitic pamphlets. He blamed the Jews on his failures as an artist.
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I think we have forgotten he was a human being the same as us.
    He has become something more.
    We have put on him all that is evil and wrong with us humans. A symbol of living evil. Almost as if he was the living embodiment of the Devil.
    For that reason we will be obsessed with him.
    As for his War Machine, there in a massive industry in the worship of it.
    Look at the books constantly being pumped out.
    Try and find a good History of a less well known British unit, bit of a struggle.
    Look for a history of The 45th SS Ukrainian Toilet Cleaning Kompanie in the Summer of 1943 at about 2.30 in the afternoon oh yes loads of stuff.
    I agree with Von Poop, we are obsessed.
    Good? mmmm depends on what a particular individual uses that knowledge of Hitler and the Nazis for.
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Try and find a good History of a less well known British unit, bit of a struggle.
    Look for a history of The 45th SS Ukrainian Toilet Cleaning Kompanie in the Summer of 1943 at about 2.30 in the afternoon oh yes loads of stuff.

    good point.
    In a similar vein. I'm a spod. I sometimes make Plastic kits while escaping the sprogs, If you want a British vehicle the choice is limited, If you want the Most obscure bit of German kit, even if only 5 were ever deployed then you'll probably find it from several different manufacturers. it's all quite odd really.

    It's all very strange.
    And yes, though I didn't say it first off, I think I probably am Obsessed with the Man, how many other world leaders do I have 3 books on specifically dedicated to their death???
    errrr.
    None.
     
  12. lancesergeant

    lancesergeant Senior Member

    Hitler attended Anton Drexler's meetings who preached anti - Jewish/ semitism. Can anyone shed on any light on why the Jews were blamed for Germany's ills. Was there a genuine belief / foundation for this or were the Jews a convenient scapegoat, at the time treated like a social underclass. I am curious as to the core reason for their doctrine- was there any basis in fact. A grain of fact to base it on. What started it all off. Had it been a social undercurrent of thought for some time or any reason better than none. It would be interesting to know what was the cause.
     
  13. Warulfsdottyr

    Warulfsdottyr Junior Member

    well the jewish were always blamed for ills - everywhere..

    to provide an example , the famous french jewish officer Dreyfuß were send to the french concentration camps in french guyana , after he had stolen a bread for his family after wwI.

    even Luther was anti-semitic especially at the end of his life ,- I think this was one of the main reason why protestants were much more nazi-obsessed than katholics.

    I would say that germany was as anti-semitic as most other state before hitler came .
    The new-anti semitism developed at the end of the 19th century cause of some individuals all over europe but many of them in austria - like this priest.

    fact was that jews were very intellectual and more busy which made them quite rich and so many people - especially during the economy crisis in the weimarer republik were envious which at least was one of the main reasons of the strong anti-semitism.

    before the economy crisis anti-semitism wasnt that strong - the greatest backer of Wilhelm II was Alber Balin , a german-jew.And during WWI 170 000
    german jews fought on the german side.
     
  14. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    I think we have forgotten he was a human being the same as us.
    He has become something more.
    We have put on him all that is evil and wrong with us humans. A symbol of living evil. Almost as if he was the living embodiment of the Devil.
    For that reason we will be obsessed with him.
    Good? mmmm depends on what a particular individual uses that knowledge of Hitler and the Nazis for.

    Hi Owen.
    I think the reason so many people are fascinated by Hitler is because he was completely human. Here was a man in a position of extreme power who had had all of his safety switches knocked off. He had no limits. He would do anything if he thought it would further both Germany and Nazism.
    Hitler was the embodiment of what humanity is capable of at its darkest. And his very presence brought out what humanity can do in retaliation to stop his actions. It's a double edged sword.
     
  15. plant-pilot

    plant-pilot Senior Member

    Hi Owen.
    I think the reason so many people are fascinated by Hitler is because he was completely human. Here was a man in a position of extreme power who had had all of his safety switches knocked off. He had no limits. He would do anything if he thought it would further both Germany and Nazism.
    Hitler was the embodiment of what humanity is capable of at its darkest. And his very presence brought out what humanity can do in retaliation to stop his actions. It's a double edged sword.

    Okay, Hitler was a power crazed dictator. But much of the blame has to put firmly on the political system that allowed one person, or one party to bypass all the safety systems and unilaterally form a dictatorship.

    Those systems are strongest in the German political system by having a Chancellor and a president that cannot be from the same party and are independent of each other. The UK and US have a two house system. These are the safeguards that are needed to ensure one person doesn't get too powerful.
     
  16. Warulfsdottyr

    Warulfsdottyr Junior Member

    germany has a bundestag and a bundesrat ... I think this might be the same as the cambers.

    america is much more dangerous.. the american president can get much too powerful because they are voted directly
     
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Here was a man in a position of extreme power who had had all of his safety switches knocked off. He had no limits.
    except eating meat.:mellow: (never trust a veggie I say).
    I think the 'Downfall' (or Untergang??) film was successful because it portrayed a Human being. Hitler has become such an (I hesitate to say) 'Iconic' figure that it's very hard to imagine him going to the toilet (go on, imagine it..). The 'home movies' just add to the fascination by increasing the contradiction.
     
  18. Reverend Bob

    Reverend Bob Senior Member

    On the subject of being human, I understand Schicklgruber had a problem with uncontrolable flatulence. Now that had to hard to keep a straight face,
    one smirk and it's off to the Russian front!
     
  19. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Hitler attended Anton Drexler's meetings who preached anti - Jewish/ semitism. Can anyone shed on any light on why the Jews were blamed for Germany's ills. Was there a genuine belief / foundation for this or were the Jews a convenient scapegoat, at the time treated like a social underclass. I am curious as to the core reason for their doctrine- was there any basis in fact. A grain of fact to base it on. What started it all off. Had it been a social undercurrent of thought for some time or any reason better than none. It would be interesting to know what was the cause.

    Anti-Semitism is often called "the oldest hatred," and the origins are very deep in Western tradition. They probably date back to the Crucifixion.

    In modern terms, a lot of anti-Semitism is the result of medieval European laws that barred usury between Christians. Since Christians could not lend money, Jews carved out this profession as a niche, and were able to prosper at it. However, nobody likes pawnbrokers or moneylenders, and thus began the image of the covetous, grasping, money-obsessed Jew, which in turn became the stereotype of the conspiratorial Jewish banker.

    Very sad stuff. There are a number of good books on this subject. "The Coming of the Third Reich" by Richard Evans discusses the German anti-Semitic background in detail. It pre-dated Hitler. It pre-dated the Kaisers.
     
  20. BarbaraHistory

    BarbaraHistory Junior Member

    Very sad stuff. There are a number of good books on this subject. "The Coming of the Third Reich" by Richard Evans discusses the German anti-Semitic background in detail. It pre-dated Hitler. It pre-dated the Kaisers.

    anti-semitism existed in every country having jews..

    it predated in every country because of the things you mentioned above and anothe reason because some clerics blamed the jews for killing jesus christ.

    to say that germany is the origin or the main place before hitler is just not true

    there were and are anti-jewish tendencies in every country I think

    but hitler put the anti-semitism into a new dimension of course.

    by warulfsdottyr
     

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