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...where one must note that Speer coloured his reminiscences, too, to make himself appear an all-naive intellectual drawn in by the devilish charm of Hitler, rather than a spineless man with ambition.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 at 02:09:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He wasn't exactly the only one who found Hitler persuasive, and many of these were not particularly ambitious. It's too easy to suggest that Hitler was obviously a fool/bad guy and that nobody could have sincerely supported him, even at the beginning.

For an intelligent study of how Hitler drew on existing elements in German culture, see "Hitler, the fuhrer and the people":

"Professor Stern has done a pioneering study of the rhetoric of Nazism, a rhetoric that coupled words and action. He examines the speeches, writings, and conversations of Hitler and places them in the context of traditional beliefs of the society into which Hitler, the "ideal outsider," made his way."

http://www.amazon.com/Hitler-F%C3%83%C2%BChrer-J-P-Stern/dp/0520029526

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Aug 28th, 2009 at 06:56:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's too easy to suggest that Hitler was obviously a fool/bad guy and that nobody could have sincerely supported him,

Stop your horses, no one was suggesting that. I talked about Speer, about whom you apparently haven't read enough.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Aug 29th, 2009 at 03:57:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe you should have indicated what I ought to read - in addition to your opinions. I have read his autobiography, though a long time ago. As I recollect it,  he doesn't present Hitler as mesmeric, but just as very convincing that evening. In fact he condemns himself, not for being easily hypnotised by Hitler, but for having been irresponsible. He says that, especially as  a university lecturer, he ought to have read up on the Nazis, read Hitler's Mein Kampf critically, before taking such a decision.

Whatever his motives I don't find it implausible that he was genuinely impressed by Hitler - my basic point - he was not alone in this. Let's take another university lecturer, the eminent British historian, Arnold Toynbee, you can't accuse him of careerist motives in relation to Hitler, nor was he an uncritical admirer of Hitler before meeting him, as the beginning of the following quotation illustrates, so his opinion is more convincing, and his opinion, as far as Hitler's ability as a speaker is concerned, was very positive (thus making it plausible that Speer too was genuinely impressed):

toynbee hitler

The Avoidable War: Pierre Laval & the politics of reality, 1935-1936 By J. Kenneth Brody, p. 215

http://books.google.com/books?id=0u-1Q-UoeQMC

 

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Sep 1st, 2009 at 05:06:58 PM EST
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