As the German people know him
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 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 faceless, 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:
"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 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 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 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
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
And Hitler let them have it. NEWSWEEK (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
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 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
"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
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.
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 of 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.
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 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 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 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
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
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, that 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)
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.
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)
"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
A Rhenish group of German "Christians" in April, 1957, passed this
"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
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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