The Hitler Myth

Historic attachments to heroic leadership combined with a mastery of propaganda techniques to mesmerise Germany into acceptance of the charismatic authority offered by the Führer. 

Hitler miming gestures to a record of his speeches; part of a series of photographs he commissioned in 1925 to aid self-analysis and improve his hold over an audience.For almost a decade after 1933, Hitler enjoyed a remarkable degree of popularity among the great majority of the German people. However dramatic and spectacular his political career, concentration on Hitler's character and personality – in some respects bizarre, in others downright mediocre and wholly unpleasant – can nevertheless do little to explain the magnetism of his popular appeal. Nor can his extraordinary impact on the German people in these years be accounted for satisfactorily by seeing in Hitler's personal Weltanschauung (notably in his obsessions with the 'Jewish Question' and with Lebensraum) a mirror image of the motivation of Nazism's mass following. Recent research has done much to qualify such assumptions, suggesting too that even deep into the period of the dictatorship itself Hitler's own ideological fixations had more of a symbolic than concrete meaning for most Nazi supporters.

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