posts 16 - 22 of 22
niall5
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 26

Originally posted by no name on March 17, 2022 13:58

I think we are fascinated in the same way that true crime podcast listeners are criminals. Flanner’s New Yorker article is both like an Oprah Show segment and a 60 minutes segment about Hitler, as there are elements of celebrity gossip rhetoric in it. However it is more like interviewing somebody so exclusive like a British Royal Family member. The strangest thing is Hitler being a vegetarian, is just so absurd and ironic, I verbally laughed at it. Ian Kershaw said it perfectly that Hitler was a madman and that saying he was removes him from the blame. Hitler isn’t void of emotions or empathy, which makes what happened even scarier in my opinion and it is the most important thing to know about him. Him not being insane means as Ian Kershaw said “shows us what we’re capable of as human beings”. It is important to study him and his psychology and life to see what makes him tick and how he took the path he did, not so much the personal life choices he does. All it took for times of desperation and a charismatic leader like Hitler could manipulate an entire population with fear of anyone. As ms freeman says “Nazis were the greatest plagiarizers ever” and we can see that in Hitlers formative years, he threw bits together of different sources, forming this makeshift kind of messy fascist ideology just like his government was. Another piece of evidence is he was predictable in his moves, that his government could run without him holding it with an iron fist, leading the "quasi-chaotic" conclusion that Kershaw has. People don't want to acknowledge the duality of Hitler because it messes with their view on him including myself.

The question i have is: Did these readings at any point make anyone feel any pity or sympathy for him? for me i did have a brief feeling of hesitation and pity, but otherwise not at all



I talked about true crime podcasts too. It is definitely important to talk about our societies weird fascination with horrible atrocities. On some level we do need to learn about them, and it is our responsibility to know the extent of such atrocities to prevent them from happening again, but tat the same time is is perverse how much we dive into them.

Camm230
South Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

Why are we so intrigued by Adolf?

If anyone could understand why Adolf did what he did that person would be rich. It seems like the discussion we had at the beginning of the year about Jeremy Strohmeyer, according to his friend he didn't seem like the type of person who would commit such an awful crime, but he did. Looking at Hitlers life he doesn't seem like the person who could commit such atrocities but he did. As a society we want to take people like Hitler and make them the "ultimate boogeyman", but the scariest part is that they're not biologically half monsters, or the reincarnation of the devil. They had to eat and function, and have a house or a family. I think it would also be somewhat comfortable for society to say that Hitler was insane, or has some villain backstory, but he really doesn't. I think we are so intrigued by Hitler is after studying what he did, we want to say that he was an exception, he had something evil in him no other human could possibly have, but what is important to note is he didn't. He's not like Voldemort or Darth Vador, who had some "evil magic" influencing them. The point of studying him is to find what human qualities made such an awful person, who could come up with the idea to commit a genocide of an entire people. We also like to think something like this could never happen again, but turn on the news everyday there are murders, currupt politians, or people dehumanizing other people, Hitler is an exteme example of all of this and was public about it, where now a lot of this is either swpt under the rug, or so many things happen so often we often hear of an atrocity that happened within the past few days and move on to the next thing of the day.

There is no excuse for what Hitler did, but it's important to note he wasn't under some evil spell, he was biologically a human, and in order to prevent another atrocity, we need to study the people that committed them to understand how a human society could have let this happen.

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 27

I think that people are so intrigued by Hitler because he was one of the most powerful people in history. How does a person get so powerful? Adolf Hitler rose to power very quickly and managed to murder millions of people. Under his rule, his soldiers brutally murdered innocent people as well. He is so intriguing because we all wonder how he was powerful enough to do this. In Ian Kershaw’s interview, he said how Hitler had “a deep-seated, lasting sense of revenge—something you don’t come across in history too often.” This could help explain why his geneocide was so popular. His leadership style must have helped him get to that point. I do not associate our curiosity with Hitler with our obsession with certain celebrities such as the Kardashians . We obsess over celebrities in a good way because they are inspirational, cool, or/and successful. Hitler was not inspirational. He was evil and destructive. In the same interview with Ian Kershaw, he mentioned that, “People with medical backgrounds have examined the evidence and rejected the idea that Hitler was insane.” We can conclude from this that Hitler was in fact pure evil and not insane or challenged. People are fascinated by pure evil because it is something you don’t see in real life often. It is horrifying to me how he was such an unexpected candidate (someone who isn’t even insane) to be able to commit geneocide. It is also mind boggling because no one truly knows why or how he did what he did.

girlboss16
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 27

Originally posted by no name on March 17, 2022 13:58

I think we are fascinated in the same way that true crime podcast listeners are criminals. Flanner’s New Yorker article is both like an Oprah Show segment and a 60 minutes segment about Hitler, as there are elements of celebrity gossip rhetoric in it. However it is more like interviewing somebody so exclusive like a British Royal Family member. The strangest thing is Hitler being a vegetarian, is just so absurd and ironic, I verbally laughed at it. Ian Kershaw said it perfectly that Hitler was a madman and that saying he was removes him from the blame. Hitler isn’t void of emotions or empathy, which makes what happened even scarier in my opinion and it is the most important thing to know about him. Him not being insane means as Ian Kershaw said “shows us what we’re capable of as human beings”. It is important to study him and his psychology and life to see what makes him tick and how he took the path he did, not so much the personal life choices he does. All it took for times of desperation and a charismatic leader like Hitler could manipulate an entire population with fear of anyone. As ms freeman says “Nazis were the greatest plagiarizers ever” and we can see that in Hitlers formative years, he threw bits together of different sources, forming this makeshift kind of messy fascist ideology just like his government was. Another piece of evidence is he was predictable in his moves, that his government could run without him holding it with an iron fist, leading the "quasi-chaotic" conclusion that Kershaw has. People don't want to acknowledge the duality of Hitler because it messes with their view on him including myself.

The question i have is: Did these readings at any point make anyone feel any pity or sympathy for him? for me i did have a brief feeling of hesitation and pity, but otherwise not at all



Responding to your question, I also felt a little weird while reading through these readings. I didn't feel pity for him, but I felt confused and amazed. Hitler came from a regular seeming life, aspiring to go to art school and growing up in predominantly Austria. He had nothing chronically wrong with him, which is why I also felt a bit hesitant while reading these readings. I kept wondering why Hitler did what he did.

curioushuman
US
Posts: 15

why are we so intrigued by Adolf?

I think our fascination with Hitler should not be seeing him as a celebrity like Kim Kardashian and certainly not like Beyoncé, but is similar to that of Trump since he was a political leader with a lot of similar views about who should be in power and who the best kind of people in our society are. I think the image of pure evil is really fascinating to many people because it is so hard to fathom how someone can treat others so horribly and have such hatred for a group of people for their race, religion, etc. I do think we kind of see him as this ultimate bogeyman and this man responsible for all of the Holocaust and World War II because it can be easier and more simple to blame something like that on one person, even though Hitler was definitely not solely responsible for all of the horrors since one person can not do that by themself. He was able to do everything he did because people followed him and bought into his beliefs. He was definitely a horrible person and had many convoluted ideas that he wrote about in Mein Kampf as well as how he took ideas from so many other places and turned them into something to oppress others. Trying to understand him and looking at his life could possibly help to understand how someone’s life could take such a course as his did. I did not know before that he got rejected from art school twice or even thought about what his home looked like. I think knowing these things can help us understand Hitler a little better, for example things that tell us how he got to becoming dictator and his anger from the first World War and his sense of revenge. I think trying to understand him better is a worthwhile pursuit because though we’d like to think nothing like the Holocaust or another World War could happen today, he was after all just an aspiring artist before he was a dictator. It is important to take away from Hitler how someone can be so charismatic and lead a country to commit terrible atrocities so we can prevent future leaders like him from doing the same. Furthermore, appeasement did not work and I worry about the Russian invasion of Ukraine right now and what might happen. I think a lesson we can learn from looking into Hitler’s life is to expect that something like the Holocaust or on a smaller scale could be attempted and it is our responsibility to do as much as we can to stop it.

android_user
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

Why are we so intrigued by Adolf?

The biggest take away that I got from this is that Hitler was well known amongst the public for his charisma and his diet, for some reason. Both the New Yorker and the Homes and Garden article fixate on his vegetarian diet, but something that didn’t sit right with me is that Ian Kershaw seemed very “as-a-matter-of-fact” with his answers for the interview. He talks about how Hitler was almost detached from the persecution of those in the concentration camps, and how it was all from people trying to please Hitler, or interpret what he wanted. I think this is a deflection of blame, even if Hitler never gave an exact order, he knew exactly what was going on and he knew how far people would follow him and his rule.


I feel as if I don’t understand him any better than I did before. These articles give me very little insight on why he felt compelled to exterminate any Jews, disabled people, the Roma and Sinti, and anyone from the LGBTQ community. They simply show me his way of life and his habits, not his real reasoning and drive for starting another World War. I have to admit the Homes and Gardens article was very telling when talking about his charisma and his effect on people; the person who wrote the article made him seem “larger than life,” but at the same time the author found different parts of his day-to-day that made him seem more relatable to a common person. I wouldn’t say I understand him any better, but I would say I understand he has the same effect on someone just like a celebrity would have.


I believe trying to understand him is a worthwhile pursuit, and by learning these facts it’s interesting to see that he wasn’t a monster like most of us think, although he did commit monstrous actions. Learning about his life is humanizing, but also extremely scary because when you see articles and articles of a “normal person” who is a vegetarian, has a quaint country house, and enjoys talking to the people who work for him, it’s hard to picture someone like that being the root of a second world war and a devastating genocide. It’s nerve racking to think that someone so human can commit such atrocities, but then again we have seen time and time again the effect power has on people from history, and from our celebrities today.


At the end of the day I don’t think I value learning that Hitler was a vegetarian, that he sold his water-paintings for extra marks, or that he enjoyed staying at his humble mountain home in the Alps, but I do value learning about the influence Hitler had over people at the time. Like Donald Trump, Hitler captivated the public and people aimed to please him since he was treated like a celebrity figure. It’s interesting to see his effect on people, like how Kershaw said that people were just trying to please him when they created and used the concentration camps, and the tone of the Homes and Garden article seemed to be in awe with his every movement. I believe that it is important to see his influence rather than an answer to a question like, “what is Hitler’s favorite color?”

android_user
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

Originally posted by pinkskittles on March 15, 2022 08:47

I have been doing research about the Holocaust and Hitler in school and on my own. However, out of everything that I have read, heard, and seen I haven’t ever learned about his house/personal life or anything to do with his mental illness. I am in no way excusing what he did because it was absolutely horrific and unexplainable. It is said in one of the articles that, “People with medical backgrounds have examined the evidence and rejected the idea that Hitler was insane”, which explains everything but at the same time I think it can be easily concluded that he was insane. In regards to people following him and being under his reign, “There was considerable systematic disorder in the administration and government”, so there were a lot of issues with the government system. It also wasn’t a democracy, he had all the power and I am sure that people didn’t think anything else other than to follow him. Yes, there were people that were against him but when you talk about the people who followed his orders, it goes back to the whole concept of power and fear. People were scared to go against him. Similar to Putin, he is in power and yes there are people that are going against him, but at the same time he is so high in power that people are fearful of what will happen if they don't listen. If you try to protest against him, you're sentenced to jail. Also, with the Armenians, if they said that they didn’t believe in the Turks' religion they were killed. Still, the holocaust isn’t comparbale to anything else, it was a genocide and the things that happened are unspeakable. At the end of the day, you could “try to understand him”, maybe if you're a big believer of mental illness being the fault for his doings, but I am not and I don’t think it is an excuse or a valid reason. The most important thing and probably most useful would just be to know how he got his power, and everything he did so we can do our best to make sure nothing like it happens again.

I completely agree with your post, and I also didn't know much about Hitler's personal life, even though it feels like I've been learning and doing research on him for the past couple of years. It's interesting to connect the influence of Hitler to the influence of Putin, but I understand the purpose it serves in showing how fear influences a person's train of thought. It is unfortunate to say that a lot more people agreed with Hitler's views and it wasn't solely based on fear. But I certainly agree with you when you talk about how the Holocaust cannot be compared to any other genocide.

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