The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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When we try to formulate a conception of Adolph Hitler as the German 
people know him we must not forget that their knowledge of him is 
limited by a controlled press. Many thousands of Germans have seen 
him in person, particularly in the past, and can use this experience 
as a basis for their individual conception of him.

Hitler, from a physical point of view, is not, however, a very imposing 
figure  - certainly not the Platonic idea of a great, fighting Leader 
or the Deliverer of Germany and the creator of a New Reich. In height 
he is a little below average. His hips are wide and his shoulders 
relatively narrow. His muscles are flabby; his legs short, thin and 
spindly, the latter being hidden in the past by heavy boots and more 
recently by long trousers. He has a large torso and is hollow-chested 
to the point where it is said that he has his uniforms padded. From a 
physical point of view he could not pass the requirements to his own 
elite guard.

His dress, in the early days, was no more attractive. He frequently wore 
the Bavarian mountain costume of leather shorts with white shirt and 
suspenders. These were not always too clean and with his mouth full of 
brown, rotten teeth and  his long dirty fingernails he presented rather 
a grotesque picture. (F. Wagner) At this time he also had a pointed 
beard, and his dark brown hair was parted in the middle and pasted down 
flat against his head with oil. Nor was his gait [00010026.gif Page 21]
that of a soldier. "It was a very ladylike walk. Dainty little steps. 
Every few steps he cocked his right shoulder nervously, his left leg 
snapping up as he did so." (279)

He also had a tic in his face which caused the corner of his lips to 
curl upward. (485) When speaking he always dressed in a common-looking 
blue suit which robbed him of all distinctiveness. At the trial 
following the unsuccessful Beerhall Putsch Edgar Mowrer, who saw him 
for the first time, asked himself:
          
"Was this provincial dandy, with his slick dark hair, his cutaway coat, 
his awkward gestures and glib tongue, the terrible rebel? He seemed 
for all the world like a travelling salesman for a clothing firm." (642)

Nor did he make a much better impression later on. Dorothy Thompson, 
upon her first meeting, described him in the following terms:
           
"He is formless, almost faceIess, a man whose countenance is a 
caricature, a man whose framework seems cartilaginous, without bones. 
He is inconsequent and voluble, ill poised, and insecure. He is the 
very prototype of the little man." (307)

Smith (289) also found him "the apotheosis of the little man", funny 
looking, self-conscious and unsure of himself.

It may be supposed that this is only the judgment of American 
journalists who have a different standard of masculine beauty. 
However, while testifying as a witness in the-law court in 1923, 
Professor Max von Gruber of the University of Munich, and the most 
eminent eugenist in Germany, stated: [00010027.gif Page 22]

"It was the first time I had seen Hitler close at hand. Face and 
head of inferior type, cross-breed; low receding forehead, ugly 
nose, broad cheekbones, little eyes, dark hair. Expression not of a 
man exercising authority in perfect self-command, but of raving 
excitement. At the end an expression of satisfied egotism." (575)

A great deal has been written about his eyes which have been described 
in terms of almost every color of the rainbow. As a matter of fact, 
they seem to be rather a bright blue - bordering on the violet. But 
it is not the color which has attracted people, but rather their depth 
and a glint which makes them appear to have a hypnotic quality. One 
finds stories like the following recurring over and over again in the 
literature. A policeman who is noted for his antipathy to the Nazi 
movement is sent to a Hitler meeting to maintain order. While 
standing at his post Hitler enters:

"He gazed into the police officer's eye with that fatal hypnotizing 
and irresistable glare, which swept the poor officer right off his 
feet. Clicking to attention he confessed to me this morning: 'Since 
last night I am a National Socialist. Heil Hitler.'" (Fromm, 369)

These stories are not all from the Nazi propaganda agencies.
Very reliable people, now in this country, have reported
similar incidents among their own personal acquaintances. Even
outstanding diplomats have commented on the nature of his eyes
and the way in which he uses them when meeting people, often
with disatrous effects.

Then there are the others, like Rauschning, who find his look
staring and dead - lacking in brilliance and the sparkle of
genuine animation. (257) We need not dwell on his eyes
[00010028.gif Page 23] and their peculiar quality, however,
since relatively few Germans have come in such close contact
with him that they could be seriously affected by them.

Whatever effect Hitler's personal appearance may have had on the 
German people in the past, it is safe to assume that this has been 
greatly tempered by millions of posters, pasted in every conceivable 
place, which show the Fuehrer as a fairly good-looking individual 
with a very determined attitude. In addition, the press, news-reels, 
etc., are continually flooded with carefully prepared photographs 
showing Hitler at his very best. These have undoubtedly, in the 
course of time, blotted out any unfavorable impressions he may have 
created as a real person in the past. The physical Hitler most 
Germans know now is a fairly presentable individual.

 The only other real contact the overwhelming majority of people 
have had with Hitler is through his voice. He was a tireless 
speaker and before he came to power would sometimes give as many as 
three or four speeches on the same day, often in different cities. 
Even his greatest opponents concede that he is the greatest orator 
that Germany has ever known. This is a great concession in view of 
the fact that the qualities of his voice are far from pleasant - 
many, in fact, find it distinctly unpleasant. It has a 
rasping-quality which often breaks into a shrill falsetto when he 
becomes aroused. Nor is it his diction which makes him a great 
orator. In the early days this was particularly bad. It was a 
conglomeration of [00010029.gif Page 24] high German with an 
Austrian dialect which Tschuppik (517) describes as a "knoedlige 
Sprache". Nor was it the structure of his speeches which made him a 
great orator. On the whole, his speeches were sinfully long, badly 
structured and very repetitious. Some of them are positively painful 
to read but nevertheless, when he delivered them they had an 
extraordinary effect upon his audiences. 

His power and fascination in speaking lay almost wholly in his 
ability to sense what a given audience wanted to hear and then to 
manipulate his theme in such a way that he would arouse the emotions 
of the crowd. Strasser says of this talent:

"Hitler responds to the vibration of the human heart with the 
delicacy of a seismagraph... enabling him, with a certainty with which 
no conscious gift could endow him, to act as a loudspeaker proclaiming 
the most secret desires, the least permissible instincts, the 
sufferings and personal revolts of a whole nation." (576)

Before coming to power almost all of his speeches centered around 
the following three themes: (1) the treason of the November criminals; 
(2) the rule of the Marxists must be broken; and (3) the world 
domination of the Jews. No matter what topic was advertised for a 
given speech he almost invariably would wind up on one or more of 
these three themes. And yet people liked it and would attend one 
meeting after another to hear him speak. It was not, therefore, so 
much what he said that appealed to his audiences as how he said it.

Even in the early days Hitler  was a showman with a great sense of 
the dramatic. Not only did he schedule his [00010030.gif Page 25]
speeches late in the evening when his audience would be tired and 
their resistance lowered through natural causes, but he would always 
send an assistant ahead of time to make a short speech and warm the 
audience up. Storm-troopers always played an important role at these 
meetings and would line the aisle through which he would pass. At 
the psychological moment, Hitler would appear in the door in the 
back of the hall. Then with a small group behind him, he would march 
through the rows of S.A. men to reach the speaker's table. He never 
glanced to the right or to the left as he came down the aisle and 
became greatly annoyed if anyone tried to accost him or hampered 
his progress. Whenever possible he would have a band present and 
they would strike up a lively military march as he came down the aisle.

When he began to speak he usually manifested signs of nervousness. 
Usually he was unable to say anything of consequence until he had 
gotten the feel of his audience. On one occasion, Heiden (499) 
reports, he was so nervous that he could think of nothing to say. 
In order to do something he picked up the table and moved it around 
on the platform. Then suddenly he got the "feel" and was able to go 
on. Price (241) describes his speaking in the following way:

"The beginning is slow and halting. Gradually be warms up when 
the spiritual atmosphere of the great crowd is engendered. For he 
responds to this metaphysical contact in such a way that each 
member of the multitude feels bound to him by an individual link 
of sympathy." [00010031.gif Page 26]

All of our informants report the slow start, waiting for the 
feel of the audience. As soon as he has found it, the tempo 
increases in smooth rhythm and volume until he is shouting at the 
climax. Through all this, the listener seems to identify himself 
with Hitler' s voice which becomes the voice of Germany.

This is all in keeping with Hitler's own conception of mass psychology 
as given in MEIN KAMPF where he says:

"The psyche of the broad masses does not respond to anything weak 
or half-way. Like a woman, whose spiritual sensitiveness is determined 
less by abstract reason than by an indefinable emotional longing for 
fulfilling power and who, for that reason, prefers to submit to the 
strong rather than the weakling - the mass, too, prefers the ruler 
to a pleader."

And Hitler let them have it. NEWSWEKK (572) reported:

"Women faint, when, with face purpled and contorted with effort, 
he blows forth his magic oratory."

Flanner (558) says:

"His oratory used to wilt his collar, unglue his forelock, glaze 
his eyes;  he was like a man hypnotized, repeating himself into a frenzy."

Yeates-Brown (592) :

"He was a man transformed and possessed. We were in the
presence of a miracle."

This fiery oratory was something new to the Germans and
particulary to the slow-tongued, lower-class Bavarians. In
Munich his shouting and gesturing was a spectacle men paid to
see (216). It was not only his fiery oratory, however, that
won the crowds to his cause. This was certainly something new,
but [00010032.gif Page 27] far more important was the seriousness 
with which his words were spoken.

"Everyone of his words comes out charged with a powerful current of 
energy; at times it seems as if they are torn from the very heart of 
the man, causing him indescribable anguish." (Fry, 577)

"Leaning from the tribune, as if he were trying to impel his inner 
self into the consciousness of all these thousands, he was holding the 
masses and me with them under a hypnotic spell... It was clear that 
Hitler was feeling the exaltation of the emotional response now surging
up toward him... His voice rising to passionate climaxes... his words 
were like a scourge. When he stopped speaking his chest was still 
heaving with emotion." (Ludecke, 164)                          

Many writers have commented upon his ability to hypnotize his 
audiences. Stanley High (455) reports:

"When, at the climax, he sways from one side to the, other his 
listeners sway with him; when he leans forward they also lean forward 
and when he concludes they either are awed and silent or on their 
feet in a frenzy."     

Unquestionably, as a speaker, he has had a powerful influence on the 
common run of German people. His meetings were always crowded and by 
the time he got through speaking he had completely numbed the 
critical faculties of his listeners to the point where they were 
willing to believe almost anything he said. He flattered them and 
cajoled them. He hurled accusations at them one moment and amused 
them the next by building up straw men which he promptly knocked down. 
His tongue was like a lash which whipped up the emotions of his 
audience. And somehow he always managed to say what the majority of 
the audience were [00010033.gif Page 28] already secretly thinking but 
could not verbalize. When the audience began to respond, it affected 
him in return. Before long, due to this reciprocal relationship, he and 
his audience  became intoxicated with the emotional appeal of his oratory. 
(Strasser, 295)

It was this Hitler that the German people knew at first hand. Hitler, 
the fiery orator, who tirelessly rushed from one meeting to another, 
working himself to the point of exhaustion in their behalf. Hitler, 
whose heart and soul were in the Cause and who struggled endlessly 
against overwhelming odds and obstacles to open their eyes to the 
true state of affairs. Hitler, who could arouse their emotions and 
channelize them towards goals of national aggrandizement. Hitler the 
courageous, who dared to speak the truth and defy the national 
authorities as well as the international oppressors. It was a sincere 
Hitler that they knew, whose words burned into the most secret recesses 
of their minds and rebuked them for their own shortcomings. It was the 
Hitler who would lead them back to self-respect because he had faith in them.

This fundamental conception of Hitler made a beautiful foundation for 
a propaganda build-up. He was so convincing on the speaker's platform 
and appeared to be so sincere in what he said that the majority of his 
listeners were ready to believe almost anything good about him because 
they wanted to believe it. The Nazi propaganda agencies were not 
slow in making the most of their opportunities. [00010034.gif Page 29]

Hitler, himself, had provided an excellent background for a propaganda 
build-up. From the earliest days of his political career he had 
steadfastly refused to divulge anything about his personal life, past 
or present. To his most immediate associates he was, in reality, a 
man of mystery. There was no clearing away of unpleasant incidents to be 
done before the building-up process could begin. In fact, the more 
secrecy he maintained about his personal life the more curious his 
followers became. This was, indeed, fertile ground on which to build 
a myth or legend.

The Nazi propaganda machine devoted all its efforts to the task of 
portraying Hitler as something extra-human. Everything he did was 
written up in such a way that it portrayed his superlative character. 
If he does not eat meat, drink alcoholic beverages, or smoke, it is 
not due to the fact that he has some kind of inhibition or does it 
because he believes it will improve his health. Such things are not 
worthy of the Fuehrer. He abstains from these because he is following 
the example of the great German, Richard Wagner, or because he has 
discovered that it increases his energy and endurance to such a degree 
that he can give much more of himself to the creation of the new German 
Reich.  Such abstinence also indicates, according to the propaganda, 
that the Fuehrer is a person with tremendous will-power and 
self-discipline. Hitler himself fosters this conception, according 
to Hanfstangl, who, when someone asked him how he managed to give up 
these things, replied: "It is a matter [00010035.gif Page 30]
will. Once I make up my mind not to do a thing, I just don't
do it. And once that decision is made, it is taken for always.
Is that so wonderful?"

The same is true in the field of sex. As far as the German
people know he has no sex life and this too is clothed, not as
an abnormality, but as a great virtue. The Fuehrer is above
human weaknesses of this sort and von Wiegand (494) tells us
that he "has a profound contempt for the weakness in men for
sex and the fools that it makes of them." Hanfstangl reports
that Hitler frequently makes the statement that he will never
marry a woman since Germany is his only bride. However, Hitler
with his deep insight into human nature, appreciates these
weaknesses in others and is tolerant of them. He does not even
condemn them or forbid them among his closest associates.

He is also portrayed in the propaganda as the soul of
kindliness and generosity. Endless stories that illustrate
these virtues are found over and over again in the literature.
Price (236) cites a typical example: an attractive young
peasant girl tries to approach him but is prevented from doing
so by the guards. She bursts into tears and Hitler, seeing her
distress, inquires into the cause. She tells him that her
fiance had been expelled from Austria for his Nazi principles
and that he cannot find work and consequently they cannot get
married. Hitler is deeply touched. He promises to find the
young man a job and, in addition, completely furnishes a flat
for them to live in, even down to a baby's cot. Every attempt
is made to present him as extremely human, with a deep feeling
for the problems of ordinary people.[00010036.gif Page 31]

A great many writers, both Nazi and anti-Nazi, have written 
extensively about his great love for children and the Nazi press 
is certainly full of pictures showing Hitler in the company of little 
tots. It is alleged that when he is at Berchtesgaden he always
has the children from the neighborhood visit him in the
afternoon and that he serves them candy, ice cream, cake, etc.
Phayre (225) says, "Never was there a middle-aged batchelor
who so delighted in the company of children." Princess Olga
reported that when she visited Hitler in Berlin and the topic
of children came up during the conversation, Hitler's eyes
filled with tears. The Nazi press had made extremely good use
of this and endless stories accompany the pictures. Likewise,
a great deal is written about his fondness for animals,
particularly dogs. Here again, there are numberless pictures
to prove it is so. As far as dogs are concerned, the
propaganda is probably fairly near the truth but it goes far
beyond that point in other respects. One writer even went so
far as to attribute his vegetarianism to his inability to
tolerate the thought of animals being slaughtered for human
consumption (405). Hitler is pictured as an "affable lord of
the manor", full of gentleness, kindliness and helpfulness,
or, as Oechsner puts it, he is the Great Comforter - father,
husband, brother or son to every German who lacks or has lost
such a relative (668).

Another trait which has received a great deal of comment in
the propaganda build-up is Hitler's modesty and simplicity.
His successes have never gone to his head. At [00010037.txt
Page 32] bottom he is still the simple soul he was when he founded 
the Party and his greatest Joy is to be considered as "one of the boys". 
As proof. of this they point to the fact that he has never sought a 
crown, that he never appears in gaudy uniforms or does a great deal 
of entertaining. Even after he came to power he continued to wear his 
old trench coat and slouch hat for a time and when he donned a umiform it 
was always that of a simple storm-trooper. Much was written about his 
fondness for visits from early acquaintances and how he loved to sit 
down in the midst of his busy day in order to talk over old times. 
There was really nothing he liked better than to frequent his old haunts 
and meet old friends while he was in Munich, or to take part in their 
festivities. At heart he was still a worker and his interests were 
always with the working classes with whom he felt thoroughly at home.

Hitler is also a man of incredible energy and endurance. His day 
consists of sixteen and eighteen hours of uninterrupted work. He is 
absolutely tireless when it comes to working for Germany and its future 
welfare and no personal pleasures are permitted to interfere with the 
carrying out of his mission. The ordinary man in the street cannot 
imagine a human being in Hitler's position not taking advantage of
his opportunity. He can only imagine himself in the same position 
revelling in luxuries and yet here is Hitler who scorns them all. 
His only conclusion is that Hitler is not an ordinary mortal. 
Phillips (868) reports the case of a [00010039.gif Page 33] young 
Nazi who once confided to him: "I would die for Hitler, but I would 
not change places with Hitler. At least when I wake every morning I 
can say, "Hail Hitler!", but this man, he has no fun in life. No 
smoking, no drinking, no women! - only work, until he falls asleep 
at night!"

A great deal is made of Hitler's determination. It is pointed out 
over and over again that he never gives up once he has made up his 
mind to attain a particular goal. No matter how rough the road, he 
plods along in unswerving determination.  Even though he receives 
serious set-backs and the situation appears to be hopeless, he never 
loses faith and always gets what he goes after. He refuses to be 
coerced into compromises of any sort and is always ready to assume 
the full responsibility for his actions. The great trials and 
tribulations through which the Party had to pass on its way to power 
are cited over and over again and all the credit is given to 
Hitler and his fanatical faith in the future. 

Even his refusal to permit ordinary scruples to get in his way is 
given as a sign of his greatness. The fact that he did not communicate 
with his family for over ten years becomes a great virtue since it meant 
a severe deprivation to the young man who was determined to make 
something of himself before he returned home!

A great deal of publicity has also been given to his breath of vision, 
ability to penetrate the future and his ability to organize both the 
Party and the country in preparation for obstacles they will have to 
overcome. According to the [00010040.gif Page 34]
propagandists, Hitler is the soul of efficiency and has an
extraordinary power of resolving conflicts and simplifying
problems which have stumped all experts in the past. In fact,
his infallibility and incorruptibility throughout are not only
implied but openly stated in no uncertain terms.

He is also a person of great patience who would never spill a
drop of human blood if it could possibly be avoided. Over and
over again one hears of his great patience with the
democracies, with Czechoslovakia and with Poland. But here, as
in his private life, he never loses control of his emotions.
Fundamentally, he is a man of peace who desires nothing quite
so  much as to be left alone to work out the destiny of
Germany in a quiet and constructive manner. For he is a
builder at heart and an artist, and these prove that the
creative and constructive elements in his nature are
predominant.

This does not mean, however, that he is a coward. On the
contrary, he is a person of outstanding courage. His way of
life is proof of this, as well as his enviable record during
the last war. A great many stories about his decorations for
bravery have been circulated and particularly for his
outstanding heroism when he was awarded the Iron Cross
first-class. The fact that the stories of his performance vary
from one time to another does not seem to disturb the people
in the least.

Fundamentally, according to the Nazi press, Hitler is a man of
steel. He is well aware of his mission and no amount of
persuasion, coercion, sacrifices or unpleasant duties can
[00010041.gif Page 35] persuade him to alter his course. In the face 
of all sorts of disasters and disagreeable happenings and necessary 
measures, he never loses his nerve for a moment. But he not
hard in human qualities. He places loyalty and justice as the two 
of the greatest virtues and observes them with scrupulous care. 

Loyalty means so much to him that the inscription over his door at 
Berchtesgaden reads, "Meine Ehre heisst Treue". He is the acme of 
German honor and purity; the Resurrector of the German family and home. 
He is the greatest architect of all time; the greatest military genius 
in all history. He has an inexhaustible fount of knowledge. He is a man 
of action and the creator of new social values. He is indeed, according 
to the Nazi propaganda bureau, a paramount of all virtues. A few typical 
examples may illustrate the extent to which they are carried in their 
praise of him.

"Zunaechst Hitler sebst: Hitler is der Mann ohne Kompromiss. Vor allem 
kennt er keinen Kompromiss mit sicht selbst. Er hat einen einsigen 
Gedanken, der ihn leitet: Deutschland wieder aufzurichten. Diese Idee 
verdraengt alles um ihn. Er kennt kein Privatlehen. Er kennt 
Familienleben ebensowenig, wie er ein Laster kennt. Er ist die 
Verkoerperung des nationalen Willens.

"Die Ritterschaft eines heiligen Zieles, das sich kein Mensch hoeher 
steken kann: Deutschland!... Hitler... uberracht (durch) seine warme 
Liebenswuerdigkeit. Ueber die Ruhe und Kraft, die beinahe physisch 
von diesem Mann ausstraht. Man waechst in er Naehe dieses Menschen... 
Wie er auf alle Dinge reagiert!... Eisern warden die Zuege und die 
Worte fallen wie Bein... Der klassische Ernst, mit dem Hitler und 
seine um den Fuehrer gescharten Mitarbeiter ihre Sendung nehmen,
[00010042.gif Page 36] hat in der Geschichte dieser Welt nur wenige 
Paralellen." Czech-Jochberg: Adolph Hitler und sein Stab, 1933. (861)

"... such in den privaten Dingen des Lebens Vorbildlichkeit und 
menschliche Groesse ... ob Hitler ... umbraust wird yore Jubelnden
Zuruf der Strassenabeiter, oder aufgewuehlt und erschuettert am 
Lager seine ermordeten Kameraden steht, immer ist um ihn diese 
Hoheit und tiefste Menschlichkeit . . . dieset einzigartigen 
Perseonlichkeit . . . ein grosser und guter Mensch. Hitler ist ein 
universaler Geist. Es ist unmoeglich der Mannigfaltigkett seines 
Wesens mit 100 Aufnahmen gerecht zu werden. Auch auf diesen beiden 
Gebleten (Architecture and History) ist Hitler eine unangreifbare 
Autoritaet. Unsere Zeit wird diesen Ueberragenden vielleicht 
verehren und lieben, aber wird ihn nicht in seiner grossen Tief 
ermessen koennen." Hoffman: Hitler, wie ihn keiner kennt, 1932 (899)

"Hitler is a modest man - and the world needs modest men. Therefore 
the people love him.  Like every good leader, he must be an efficient 
follower. He makes himself the humblest disciple of himself, the 
severest of all disciplinarians with himself. In fact, Hitler is a 
modern monk, with the three knots of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience 
tied in his invisible girdle. A zealot among zealots., He eats no 
meat, drinks no wine, does not smoke. I am told he takes for himself 
no salary but lives privately from the income of his book, `Mein Kampf' 
... Surplus funds he turns back to the S.A. His work day consists of 
eighteen hours, usually, and he often falls asleap in the last hour 
of his work. There have been four woman in his life - but only to help 
him along with service and money . . . He once gave a lecture at 
Bayreuth on Wagner and `Deutsche Liedot' that astounded the musical 
critics and revealed him as a musical scholar of parts ... Sheer 
opportunism never lured him as much as the opportunity to preach 
his doctrines. His quality is Messianic; his spiritual trend is 
ascetic; his reaction is medieval ..." Phillips: Germany Today and 
Tomorrow. (868)

[00010043.txt Page 37]

Hitler not only knows about all these writings but since he has 
always been the gutiding spirit in all German propaganda and usually 
plans the broad lines that are to be followed, it is safe to assume 
that he himself is responsible for the instigation and development 
of this mythical personality. When we look back over the development 
of this build-up we can see clearly that Hitler, from the very 
beginning, planned on making himself a mythological figure. He opens 
MEIN KAMPF with the following passage:

"In this little town on the river Inn, Bavarian by blood and Austrian 
by nationality, gilded by the light of German martyrdom, there lived, 
at the end of the '80's of the last century, my parents: the father 
a faithful civil servant, the mother devoting herself to the cares of 
the household and looking after her children with eternally the same 
loving kindness."

This is the classic way of beginning a fairy tale rather than a 
serious autobiography or a political treatise. In the very first 
sentence of the book he implies that Fate was already smiling on him at 
the time of his birth, for it reads:

"Today I consider it my good fortune that Fate designated Braunau on 
the Inn as the plaee of ay birth."

As soon as Hitler came to power new weapons for self-aggrandizement 
were put into the hands of the propagandists and they made good use 
of them. Unemployment dropped off rapidly, new and imposing buildings 
were erected with astounding rapidity.

[00010044.gif Page 38] The face of Germany was being lifted at an 
incredible speed. Hitler was keeping his promises; he was accomplishing 
the impossible. Every success in diplomacy, every social reform was 
heralded as world-shaking in its importance. And for each success, 
Hitler modestly accepted all the credit. It was always Hitler that did 
this, and Hitler who did that, provided these acts were spectacular and 
met with the approval of the public. If they happened to meet with 
disapproval, it was always one of his assistants who was to blame. 
Every effort was/made to cultivate the attitude that Hitler was 
infallible and was carrying through his mission of saving Germany.

It was not long before the German people were prepared to take the 
short step of seeing Hitler, not as a man, but as a Messiah of Germany. 
Public meetings and particularly the Nurnburg took on a religious 
atmosphere. All the stagings were designed to create a supernatural 
and religious attitude and Hitler's entry was more befitting a god than 
a man. In Berlin one of the large art shops on Unter dean Linden 
exhibited a large portrait of Hitler in the center of its display window. 
Hitler's portrait was entirely surrounded as though by a halo, with 
various copies of a painting of Christ (High, 453). Notes appeared in 
the press to the effect that, "Als er sprach, hoerte man den Mantel 
Gottes durch den Saal rauschen!" Ziemar reports that on the side of 
a hill in Odenwald, conspicuous as a waterfall, painted on white 
canvas were the black words:

"We believe in Holy Germany 
Holy Germany is Hitler!
We believe in Holy Hitler!!" (763)

[00010045.gif Page 39]Roberts reports:

"In Munich in the early autumn of 1936 I saw colored pictures of 
Hitler in the actual silver garments of the Knights of the Grail; 
but these were soon withdrawn. They gave the show away; they were 
too near the truth of Hitler's mentality." (876)

Teeling (585) writes that at the Nurnburg Nazi Party Rally in 
September, 1937, there was a huge photograph of Hitler underneath 
which was the inscription, "In the beginning was the Word . . .". 
He also says that the Mayor of Hamburg assured him, "We need no priest 
or parsons. We communicate direct with God through Adolph Hitler. He 
has many Christ-like qualities." Soon these sentiments were 
introduced by official circles. Rauschning (552) reports that 
the Party has adopted this creed:

"Wir alle glauben auf dieset Erde an Adolph Hitler, unseren 
Fuehrer, und wir bekennen, dass der Nationalsozialismus der allein 
seligmachende Glaube fuer unser Volk ist."

A Rhenish group of German "Christians" in April, 1957, passed this 
resolution:

"Hitler's word is God's law, the decrees and laws which represent 
it possess divine authority." (550)

And Reichsminister for Church Affairs, Hans Kerrl, says:

"There has arisen a new authority as to what Christ and 
Christianity really are - that is Adolph Hitler. Adolph Hitler ...
is the true Holy Ghost." (749)

This is the way Hitler hopes to pave his path to immortality. It has 
been carefully planned and consistently executed in a step by step 
fashion. The Hitler the German people [00010046.gif Page 40] know is 
fundamentally the fiery orator who fascinated them and this has 
gradually been embroidered by the propaganda until he lie now 
presented to them as a full-fledged deity. Everything else is 
carefully concealed from them as a whole. How many Germans believe 
it we do not know. Some, certainly, believe it wholeheartedly. 
Dorothy Thompson writes of such a case:

"At Garmisch I met an American from Chicago. He had been at 
Oberammergau, at the Passion Play. 'These people are all crazy,' 
he said. 'This is not a revolution, it's a revival. They think Hitler 
is God. Believe it or not, a German woman sat next to me at the Passion 
Play and when the hoisted Jesus on the Cross, she said, 'There he is. 
That is our Fuehrer, our Hitler.' And when they paid out the thirty 
pieces of silver to Judas, she said 'That is Roehm, who betrayed 
the Leader.'" ( 568 ) 

Extreme cases of this kind are probably not very numerous but it 
would be amazing if a small degree of the same type of thinking had 
not seeped into the picture of Hitler which many Germans hold.


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