The young boy who was Adolf had to die and fade before Hitler could be born. And with him was born a myth, a dream and a vision that was to lead millions into a dark abyss. Was Hitler a ‘piped piper’ that led an entire nation into catastrophic decisions, or was he the ‘Führer’ the leader who simply articulated what existed in the collective sub-conscious? A vessel into which millions poured their aspirations?
It is a mistake to judge Hitler by his outward personality which has been often portrayed as mediocre, bizarre, eccentric and downright comic or by the poor grammar and convoluted sentences in Mein Kampf. This is exactly what many did during his time and entirely underestimated the attraction and charisma he held for his ever greater number of supporters. He was a man who invented himself, created his outward persona in response to the pressing needs of the post WW I climate, the humiliation of the German nation and notions of heroic leadership that had long existed in the ‘romantic’ undercurrents of right wing thinking. He modelled himself into the leader that had been long awaited, the ‘man who would come’ – young, dynamic, determined, reflecting modern thought and the values of the trenches.
What was now left was to turn this invention into a myth and this was carried out brilliantly by astute propaganda using the modern technology of the age to complete success.
The two hour tour shall cover these aspects and also discuss the psychological principles that underlie propaganda and influencing. We shall discuss how an entire nation could have gone along with the atrocities against the Jews and other dissidents. We shall explore the question if Hitler was mentally ill. And at last we shall seek to examine universal human thinking that makes this a topic not just of historical, but also of current interest.