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|   12 September 2012

Following Hitler

My new book, The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler, is now available in bookshops and online – though the BBC TV series I’ve made based on the book won’t transmit until later in the autumn, with the exact date soon be confirmed.

And I mark the occasion with a couple of thoughts about this famous picture of serried ranks of Germans standing like robots at the Nuremberg rally. It’s an image that is convenient for many today – it seems to show the followers of Hitler as automatons. But the truth is that the system of government Hitler created was more chaotic than ordered. Far from showing the Germans as robots, he demonstrated the immense initiative and invention that existed in them. So much so that Hitler’s charismatic leadership released feelings of enormous excitement and opportunity in large numbers of Germans.  Unfortunately for the world, those qualities were often directed at murder and destruction rather than artistic creation or humane invention.

But the substantive point remains. Hitler offered those who followed him release from the moral restraint of conventional civilization. He freed the beast that lurks within…

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One Response to “Following Hitler”

  1. Bill Greene says:

    Wait until the unemployment in the U.S. is 15% and the current \leader\ continues to blame \Big Business\ as the root of the problem. He has already given people the impression that they can be irresponsible (\free\ health care, 99 weeks of unemployment, endless welfare, free cell phones etc.) and still get taken care of by the government.

    Unless the present U.S. government comes to it’s senses and starts cutting spending the likes of a very destructively charismatic leader could emerge in the United States with dire consequences for the world.