Holocaust lecture

Holocaust lecture - 2/7/08 Hitler: Why are there so many...

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2/7/08 Hitler: Why are there so many attempts to explain Hitler and his dictatorship Paradigmatic quality, paradigm for 20 th century total claim of the state, no other time in history no one manipulated media, gather so many people, and promote ideology and military Fun summer reading Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum—haha Bad Explanations of Hitler o Psychoanalytic explanations, put him on couch after death, but isn’t useful to hin b/c he’s dead o People who explain his desire for power and his destructive impulses b/c he was victim of abusive father, theory of missing testicle so he overcompensated, theory of sexually perversion—wasn’t normal and didn’t have fully developed sexuality, dysfunctional personality, he killed millions b/c he had feelings of inferiority—monocausal. o Jewish prostitute that gave him syphilis, hated his own jewish blood—overly simplistic type of approach for explaining his anti-Semitism. Ever since he emerged on the scene in the 20’s people tried to explain him: o 20’s: Hitler was a political opportunist; he was only concerned with pursuing his own power: he would do whatever it took to get to power, needs of getting there and ideas were all secondary. o Ideology was secondary, power was primary:60’s o Begins in 60’s:preplanned, preordained plan to dominate Europe and kill Jews o Hitler was a political conman, he hypnotized the masses, got them to follow him under false pretenses, convinced people to vote for him against there interests, controlled minds and actions—he was persuasive and very charismatic o He was a demon, a demonic force, inexplicable figure—impossible to use rational analyses of him—out of realm of history into realm of mysticism o Hitler as lunatic madman, he was crazy and therefore we cant explain him But they don’t answer question—why would people follow him He has no real friendships, no real relationships, he was “unperson” What we DO know about Hitler: Unpromising student, little known about early years, mediocre student prone to arrogance and tantrums, said his father beat him—not known for sure. Decided to move to Vienna, wanted to be painter or architect and was rejected twice by school of architecture; his paintings lacked life/figure, but they were technically correct Monthly pension payment after his father died. Was doing fine in Vienna, became informed with radical right and left ideas that were an important part of Vienna Seemed a turning point for him, he derived main political ideas from what he read there Read street literature, claimed he spent a lot of time arguing and reading about politics Became familiar with Social Democracy: SPD—became hateful to him
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He became familiar with communist movement and he learned a lot from them while in Vienna: o learned political value of giving people a SINGLE enemy
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Holocaust lecture - 2/7/08 Hitler: Why are there so many...

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