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The destructive rage of Adolf Hitler

It is a long way to the Hitler-has embarked on research. You don't have to go back until the first major biography of the "leader", the English historian Alan Bullock, published in 1952 and could only draw from a small fraction of those sources which are accessible today. Suffice it to scroll in the two-decades-later-released "Hitler" by Joachim Fest, to see how hard it is not only the most of the contemporaries of the third Reich, but also of the research fell, to escape from the negative fascination of the man from Braunau.

Maybe it has taken the distance of two generations, to write about the dictator with the cool sobriety, Volker Ullrich, after eight years of work now complete, this two-volume biography is so impressive.


Ullrich's representation remains close to her protagonists, whose will to war and the decision to make a move in the summer of 1939 was the beginning of the tape. In the months after his 50. Birthday was Hitler when the Germans on a first peak of his reputation; mainly because he had made the Kingdom without war and bloodshed again, "great."

all This – and more still in the collective memory-present memory of the catastrophe of the First world war – explained, that on 1. September 1939 of enthusiasm could be no question, as Hitler proclaimed in front of the hastily folded drummed Reichstag: "Since 5.45 am is now a shot back! And from now on bomb is repaid with bomb."

This was not only untruthful, but also factually wrong. Hitler, visibly exhausted after the days - and nights-long diplomatic tug-of-war that sought to blur the traces of his sole responsibility, was part of an hour.

According to his instructions from the day before, the German invasion of Gleiwitz had started in Poland at 4.45 p.m. after the SS staged "Border incident", among other things, on the transmitter. And in the dawn the air force put the small town of Wielu? in debris and ash.

Ullrich, follows the "leader", who was then in Berlin, however, nearly 400 days on the upper salt mountain, and otherwise in its changing headquarters from one war to the next.

This is not in the sense of a battle of the gradients fixed military history – though it is also a powerful sign about the Situation in Stalingrad or in the "Kursk" is not a lack, but with a clear sense of the racist, destructive rage, the Hitlers Eastern war from the beginning characterized. And he leaves no doubt as to how the military docile genes decentralization of power, according to some inconsequential protests against the first mass crimes of the Einsatzgruppen already on the "Polish campaign", in All of this was.

Central to this Interpretation of the Chapter on "the path to the Holocaust". Based on the research literature, which has grown since Ian Kershaws Hitler biography, once again, significantly, illustrated by Ullrich took, how much of the genocide of the Jews of Europe in the war as a facilitation space.


At the same time, the limits of the biographical access. Because as the decisive player that he was, in fact, is Hitler in this context, it is often only indirectly visible. In the framework of a biography to the point is also, at least for the war years, the history of the relationship between Hitler and the Germans. The had to know Kershaw, was stronger than Ullrich, the company's historical perspective.

Like a red thread runs through the book Joseph Goebbels' Efforts to make the connection between the "leader" and his people, not tearing down. Again and again, and not always successfully, sought the Minister of propaganda to move the de facto submerged "greatest commander of all times" to public appearances and (Radio-)speeches.

Whether and how the "people" reacted to it, and is the author of a small, wisely selected group of observers reports to: Friedrich Kellner, the social democratic justice inspector of the Hessian province, Lore Walb, for Hitler, glowing German language and literature student, but also now familiar voices such as Victor Klemperer in Dresden and Thomas Mann from the exile.

In addition, the behavior of the Germans under the terms of a finally, for you noticeably tougher war with Ullrich just. This is not without reason: this Reflects how little it was up to the "home front" to take on the beginning of the war still influence.

Given the decided lack of military opposition in 1938, and after the Failure of Georg Elser was "from below" to hope for little more, even if Hitler knew instrumentalize the thought of him could come to harm. Ullrich sees it, the Gray of the figure of Hitler, without the noise and Mutterings. He also makes it clear how absurd the speculation about Hitler's "historical Size".

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 08.02.2019, 18:21 PM

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