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Boston, US
Posts: 350


So why ARE we so intrigued by Hitler? For good or for bad, what is it that we want to know about him? Is it akin to our fascination with Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian or Donald Trump? Is it our fascination with the image of pure evil? Is it that we see him as the ultimate “bogeyman,” the Darth Vader/ Voldemort of the twentieth century? Is he responsible for every evil thing that happened in World War II? When one reads Mein Kampf, you are left to wonder: how could someone who writes such convoluted sentences and phrases be so fascinating for so many people?

Janet Flanner was intrigued early on. An American expatriate for much of her life, Flanner traveled to Germany to interview Hitler for a three-part profile in The New Yorker. Ignatius Phayre (a pseudonym) visited Hitler’s lair in the Bavarian Alps and profiled it in the Architectural Digest of the day, the magazine Homes and Gardens.

In fact, are these articles the 1930s equivalents of Oprah/Ellen/The View/”Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” celebrity-infused talk/gossip shows?

Ian Kershaw is without question the preeminent biographer of Adolf Hitler; it’s his 2-volume book you go to if you want to find out whether this rumor or that one is true or bogus with respect to the Führer. His two books (on reserve in the library in connection with the “targeted populations project” delves into every nook and cranny of Hitler’s life.

By reading through these articles and listening to the interview with Ian Kershaw, what ares the big “takeaways” for you re Hitler? Do you understand him any better? Do you think trying to understanding him is a worthwhile pursuit? At the end of the day, in your view, what’s the most important thing(s) to know about Adolf Hitler? And why?

As usual, be sure to respond fully to this post, supporting your observations with specifics from the readings and from class. And be sure to interact with your fellow students—that is, read some of their posts and be sure to respond to what they have to say within your own (and for you early posters, that means returning to this thread!).
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

It is perpetually fascinating to me that people go so quickly from mundane to interesting based on just a few events in their lives. From serial killers to politicians, things about a person's life we wouldn't care about suddenly become need-to-know stuff. A great example of this is what we did in class on Wednesday, Hitler's paintings are totally unremarkable until you learn who did them.

Not much of Hitler's home life really explains what he would go on to later do, with the exception of his father being harsh. Although his time in the military, and discovering he was an eloquent speaker, eventually becoming the face of the Nazi party, likely led to him taking more extreme ideas. We'll never know exactly what happened in his head.

However, all of those things highlight what I think is most interesting about Hitler's life outside of his career: He's completely uninteresting. He's just a failed vegetarian painter who was a momma's boy, with no passions in his life outside of art, which he was only mildly competent at. Ultimately, he really wouldn't have done much with his life had he not gotten into politics. Imagine an alternate universe where Hitler died after being gassed in WWI. We would know almost nothing about him since no one would have bothered to write it down, and no one would care anyway.

I think this mundanity is something we should acknowledge, because it demonstrates that regardless of background, we are all capable of truly awful things. Hitler wasn't inhuman, look at his baby photos, his parents, his art. He was like you and me, but at some point something changed. I think trying to understand him is a noble pursuit, but to a certain extent. It's the difference between researching the psychology of serial killers and watching a documentary with morbid fascination; One seeks to understand, the other wants to fetishize.

Posts: 16

It seems to be a common human trait to want to understand how other people ‘tick’ — especially the morbid fascination with people who did horrible things. It becomes a question, for some, of whether or not any one individual could follow the same path and inflict the same damage, or if this person was even human at all. This is especially true of Adolf Hitler. It’s like people are frantic to find the why of what he did, the tragedy that must have been in his life for him to break so many millions of others. That, since he is a villain and since humans are complicated, there must be an explanation as to why.

Hitler did not have an overtly tragic upbringing; he did not suffer. He had a mother who he loved. His house that he lived in as an adult was a relatively standard one of the area, as Ignatius Phayre points out. He, like so many others, was rejected from art school in Vienna. He was wounded, like many, in the war. He was a vegetarian. He had likes and dislikes that were known, like the fact that apparently he had a ‘sweet tooth.’ In fact, there’s nothing, based on these observations, that makes him anything other than unremarkable. And that is the thing that I think we should pay attention to. The fact that that much inhumanness, that much cruelty, wasn’t some ‘monster in the dark.’ It was something much worse. It was a regular human being who made those decisions.

I have complicated feelings on whether or not trying to understand him is a worthwhile pursuit. I believe that he’s a cautionary tale. He’s a warning that human beings are capable of that much hatred, that much violence, that much inhumaneness, all while continuing about their mundane lives.

But it’s a similar vein to attempts to understand serial killers. It’s almost like a question of if they deserve that kind of focus. That documentary after documentary is made about how twisted humans can be, often without the consent of the victims, and it still always seems as if there’s no common link. Or, rather, there is a common link: A decision. Spreading hate is a decision. Breaking the world is a decision. And the reason why I have mixed feelings is the fact that it frustrates me to no end that sometimes working to understand someone better can lead somewhere very dangerous, to something romanticized. It’s important to study him responsibly, to look at the facts and not get distracted by a narrative, a ‘what-if.’

I certainly agree with StaphInfarction’s point on how mundanity is important to understand how people are capable of horrible things.

Posts: 15

Why Are We So Intrigued By Hitler?

With every new "psychopathic" story released to the public, the first thing which happens nearly every time is extensive research on this person's background. Whether studying a school shooter to see if they were a victim of bullying, or a racist to see how their parents raised them, we can never settle for the possibility that nothing needs to spark atrocity, because we are all capable.

What I find so scary is that Hitler grew up just like you and me. He had his hobbies, very much loved his mother, had a sweet tooth, and even got rejected from his dream school in Vienna. What makes Hitler's story so special is just how unspecial it is. There is no clear cause for why he thought so sick and twisted, no clear motive for the willingness to kill millions, no reason for the absence of guilt despite all his wrong-doings. Before WWII, Hitler was a nobody, he was irrelevant, and we wouldn't know his name.

Imagine this: when Hitler was gassed in WWI and taken as a prisoner, the British kill him, just as Hitler would have done to them. Would WWII still happen? Would someone step up for the Nazi party with the same passion and leadership that Hitler had? Most likely not.

What I have taken from learning of the normality of Hitler's background is that no one needs an excuse for their wickedness. When humans, specifically Americans, look into the background of the perpetrators in acts of violence, it sometimes leads to sympathy, a near excuse for their acts because "they had a rough upbringing". IT DOESN'T MATTER! We are all capable of doing horrendous things, and we shouldn't need reasoning for why Hitler thought the way he did.

I agree with someepiphany with the feeling of uncertainty on whether understanding Hitler is a worthwhile task, and that he should rather be used as evidence that no one needs a cause or reason for being evil.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 11

When you first learn about the Holocaust in school, it is hard to comprehend. The fact that human beings can commit these acts of one another, killing millions of innocent people just because of who they are. And when you go more in depth, and learn the name “Adolf Hitler”, it is hard not to be curious. How can a single person be so evil, so purely bad, to have caused so much pain, suffering, and death? Was he born like that, or did something happen to him during his childhood? Maybe it was because of WW1, which messed him up in some way, or maybe it was because he was rejected from art school. All these questions are simply the human mind trying to justify how a human being, just the same as all of us, could commit such terrible acts.

Reading through Janet Flanner’s article is incredibly strange, as it is filled with the most boring and normal facts. Hitler likes this specific restaurant, he loves movies, he has many female friends with whom he discusses politics and only one close male friend. Every single fact discussed in that article can be flipped or turned to try to explain his actions, to try to understand why the Holocaust happened in the first place. In any other context that 16 page article would be pretty boring. Sure, the last few pages describe more of his political actions and beliefs, but for most of it, it describes how he “likes places he’s familiar with”, or “has no gift for intimacy”. People travel to his home in the Alps, trying to find some sort of “evilness” in his home decorations, or architecture. But it is boringly normal, a house in some beautiful nature with nice art and fancy bedrooms. When people want to understand something that really has no known answer, like what made Hitler, Hitler, they really just have to throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks. There’s even a whole person, Ian Kershaw, that has dedicated his whole life to studying him.

While important to understand history, it seems completely wild that a single person has devoted his life just to study a single person. How much information about a person do we really need to understand the situation? Did we need to know everything about his childhood? Looking at it realistically, something probably happened to Hitler that made him into the man that killed millions of people. Maybe it happened during his childhood, maybe it happened when he was rejected from art school, maybe it happened when he was injured in WW1. But that doesn’t really matter. There are probably people like Hitler out there that are angry and hateful and want to blame other people for all of their problems, but their existence isn’t crazy. There will always be people like that, and the importance isn’t really to know why they’re like that, but to make sure that they don’t come into power. The important thing to learn about Nazi Germany isn’t what happened to Hitler in his childhood, it’s understanding how he came to power, why people were so onboard with his message, and how he actually committed genocide.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

Why are we so intrigued by Hitler?

Like most people, Hitler seems like a product of his environment. As outlined in the New Yorker profile, Hitler was in poor health from childhood and was wounded in WWI. Flanner explains that "like many partial invalids, he … compensated for his debilities by developing a violent will and exercising strong opinions." I do believe that toxic masculinity and deep-rooted insecurity contributed to his extreme personality and angry temperament. As we discussed in class, this insecurity of his physical state was coupled with his rejections from art school as a young adult. Art was his raison d'etre, so to be rejected from his dream school twice probably damaged his ego and caused him to overcompensate in other parts of his life. Flanner drew a connection between these rejections and the developments of his pro-German and anti-semitic ideas. After the rejections, he began to read extensively and fell down an extreme pipeline. Hitler exemplifies why education is extremely important–it is very easy for young adults to fall down pipelines similar to this and develop extremely harmful ideas about the world. It is also notable that Hitler was celibate and not married until a few hours before his suicide. He probably channeled his sexual impulses into other parts of his life, contributing to his anger and hatred. He also, to me, seems to be a narcissist. Flanner reflects that "in over sixteen years; struggle for power and its maintenance, the fuhrer [was] loyal only to one man–Adolf Hitler." He had one of his loyal friends, one of the original Nazis, and all his friends executed without a second thought. An absolute disregard for others and could explain how he was able to commit crimes against humanity and order millions of ruthless deaths.

Through the sources, I think I understand Hitler better, but there is really no way to fully understand how someone could commit such atrocious acts. By examining his past, we can identify factors that likely had an effect on his development, but millions of people have disabilities, have been rejected from university, or have been the victim of a toxic environment, but they have not established authoritarian governments under which 6 million innocent Jews have died.

I think that it is extremely important to psychoanalyze significant figures like Adolf Hitler. He changed the course of history and was the leader of one of the greatest crimes against humanity, so we must try to limit the possibility of the creation of another Hitler. We know what he did, but it is also important to know why he did it.

I think that the most important thing to know about Adolf Hitler is that, in the grand scheme of things, he was just a normal man. Even his home was normal; Ignatius Phayre described it as a modest house in the Alps that "any merchant…might possess." Hitler was a human just like anyone else and shows that anyone, no matter their background, is capable of extreme evil.

But to answer the question, as discussed by Ian Kershaw, our intrigue with Hitler is a perverse fascination because he represents "what can be done with the massive power that he was able to wield and how such an unlikely figure could ever come to wield it."

I agree with deviouseggplant24's point that a person's upbringing can provide reasoning for someone's acts, but can't excuse them. I think someepiphany makes a good comparison between our fascination with HItler and with serial killers. For some reason, we are obsessed with society's most evil because we just have to know what would lead someone to commit such atrocious acts.

swiss cheese yeezys
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

Why do we obsess over Hitler

I think that peoples fascination with Hitler comes from a place of wanting to understand why? We all know how he started WW2 and the Holocaust, but there is such a disconnect in our minds of not only witnessing and participating in those horrible events, but being the cause of them. It is similar to our fascination with serial killers and other such criminals who commit acts that we would consider inhuman and evil. We are so obsessed with the idea that people are born good and there is a reason people commit evil actions.

In psychology and media, people often turn to childhood trauma to seek for the root cause of later evil. However in Hitlers case, there is no obvious trauma or reason for his later actions. He grew up in a relatively happy household with a stable childhood. He served in WW1 but as a message runner, not a trench fighter directly. He was rejected from art school and bounced around for a while. He was just another man in a crowd, which is the most horrifying part. He could have been the man you sat next to on the train one day, and the dictator of one of the most brutal regimes in history a few years later. But during his rise to power he put on a facade of another politician, being covered in the early 30’s as a rising politician in a broken Germany. I feel that the biggest takeaway is there is no why for his actions, he had an ordinary life with minor disappoints in his life. After hearing Ian Kershaw's description of his life, I struggle to see Hitler as anything more than a spoiled, bitter man who had failed at all his ambitions in life. After realizing he had oration skills he took advantage of them to prey on the lingering postwar anger of the people of Germany to advance himself and take revenge on the world he felt had wronged him. I feel that understanding peoples actions can be important to understanding them as a person, but with Hitler it is irrelevant due to the actions he partook in. He made the decision to target the Jewish population, as well as to attempt to eradicate them from the face of the earth. Understanding is for people who commit small crimes or misdemeanors, not people who have committed some of the greatest atrocities in human history.

I feel that the most important things to know about Hitler is what he did and how. The why is irrelevant, there can be no reasonable explanation for what he did. It is important to know the damage he caused, the people he hurt, and how he was able to accomplish these unimaginable horrors.

Curious George
Boston, MA
Posts: 17

Why are we so intrigued by Hitler?

If you ask anyone who the reincarnation of the devil is, the answer is almost always Hitler. But he isn't the devil, he was human just like any of us. That is why many are interested in every detail of his life, not in the way we watch Keeping up with the Kardashians, but the same reason why there are online communities based on Bundy and Netflix's new Dahmer series. From Janet Flanner, I learned that Hitler did not smoke or drink and was celibate and vegetarian. He loved art, films, candy and had trouble sleeping. But this starving artist can be any New Yorker and does not sound like the same person responsible for the Nazis and WWII. Aside from his strage parental history, he seemed like a completely normal person. In fact, it was shoscking for me to learn that he was most exposed to anti-semitism and the idea of the Ayran race when he was almost 20 in Vienna, so he wasn’t taught these values growing up.

To be honest, he kind of sounded like a loser who no one paid attention to until they were in their worst moments. Directly after WWI, Germany was no longer the wealthy country they once were and people were facing unheard of levels of poverty and unemployment. He just happened to be incredibly dogmatic. As Flanner stated, Hitler was never the smartest, brightest, or strongest person in the room. He was just able to lead those people in a way that gained massive support. He found that he could convince Germans that he is the most important person by exacerbating Europe’s antisemitism that had been cultivating for thousands of years.

Do we need to know every tiny detail of his life? Probably not, but I do think it is important to study his background to understand that he was human. All of his terrible actions and those committed by Nazis were made by humans, showing what we are capable of. Even before WWII, people weren’t too scared because they thought he was crazy and believed humanity was above it, but clearly, anything is possible and we need to learn from history.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

Hitler according to the articles had very human likes and dislikes. He had a very specific diet which I find odd which included being vegetarian, avoiding macaroni, only one slice of bread, and focusing on his greens which was explained in the New Yorker article. He was a celibate man and also enjoyed automobiles, art, literature, architecture, greenery, etc. How can this person who seems to have normal interests be so evil and full of animosity?

I find it slightly weird how everything from his routine is known and described from his diet to daily routines and tidy habits. I know more about his daily life but I wouldn’t say I understand him better because it is hard to understand a psychopath.

Many people find it so interesting to learn more about the habits of a person like Hitler because he was quite unique in a very bad way. Kershaw explained that people are fascinated by Hitler due to how significant he was in the 20th century in marking the “darkest side of civilization”. Even though I think it is not worthwhile to understand Hitler people continuously try even to this day.

I think Hitler’s time in Vienna impacted him significantly with his art and inspiration but also with his antisemitism and ultimately his path which could have been in the arts but ended up being in politics. Ultimately knowing his background and nitty gritty of his day and exchanges is interesting to some and helps people understand his motives in a way. I personally feel that his actions and decision making that led to genocide and the deaths of millions is so unexusable that knowing this info is not substantial and no where near justifies his actions.

I agree with Curious George in the way Hitler seems to be a big loser. Others did not pay attention to him and dismissed him. It should have stayed that way but he was manipulative and an opportunist that used propaganda to convince a mass of people to follow his ideas.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

After reading all of this information about Hitler, I honestly can’t say I understand him any better. I don’t think I ever will understand Hitler and I have no desire to, no curiosity about his life or motives or thoughts or anything like that. I certainly know a lot of facts about him now, some of which I knew and some of which I didn’t. I think, honestly, that you could write two volumes of an autobiography about anyone, if you were trying hard enough. In the end, Hitler didn’t do the things he did because he was vegetarian, or because he was neat, or because he didn’t smoke. Any and all of these things are just as likely to be traits in someone objectively morally good as well as someone objectively morally corrupt. I think it's more valuable to learn about the people he hated, that he killed, because those people are actually worth thinking about.

That being said, I understand why there is such an interest in him. People tend to be very interested in morbid things. The most interesting thing, the biggest takeaway, is that Hitler is human. It is so tempting and even justified to call him inhuman or a monster, but that takes away from the fact that anyone could be Hitler. Not literally, metaphorically. Hatred is uniquely human, and any bigoted person put into a position of power, if they could be convincing enough, could do what he did. The politics and the economic situation of Germany at the time certainly helped him, and it helped that he had made connections. But anyone could do this. We’ve seen extremists take power during desperate situations time and time again. So, I don't think it's worth it to study every aspect of Hitler’s life. I don't think anyone who doesn't smoke and is single and is vegetarian should give off red flags, because none of that makes someone an evil, deplorable dictator. I think it's harmful, in fact, to blame Hitler’s actions on any of these things, because anyone could become as dangerous as him, if they were hateful enough. There is almost nothing special about Hitler as a person, and citing his interests or traits or friends as a source of his actions ignores the very real pipeline that anyone could go down. Anyone could become Hitler - this is the most important thing to learn from Hitler.

Reading through some of my classmate's posts, it seems they share the same ideas as me. Hopefully, the fact that most people understand that anyone could become as evil and terrible as Hitler will make people more aware of the rise of fascism in their country and be more able to recognize the signs of someone going down a pipeline.

Posts: 14

Human curiosity is a driving force in daily life. We wonder about things that intrigue us and always want to find out more. Hitler has always been a “hot topic”, the reason being is that he’s a terrible person. The genocide that Hitler forced is something that we’ll have to live with forever. Seeing how a human being was capable of doing such a horrendous thing makes us just want to know more about t; how did he live life before the genocide? Were there any signs of him being a bad person or being violent before the genocide?

After watching “Ian Kershaw on the Charlie Rose show” I learned a lot about Hitler's upbringing and his rise to power. Hitler's independence and manhood were tested from a young age when his father died; he was tasked with having to become the man of the house. This new responsibility caused him to focus less on school and just changed him into a person who lives more in a fantasy world; he always went to watch plays instead of going to school. Hitler's violent characteristics never really showed in his youth, he didn’t seem to be much of a troublemaker. But as he got older his resentment towards the world grew. After multiple rejections from art school and his mother dying his resentment started growing; he was saved by the first world war. After the war was when he started getting heavily into politics. Politics showed Hitler that people were willing to listen to him and he gained this image of himself.

In short, Hitler was a product of his environment. And although he is now associated with a devil-like complex at the end of the day he’s a human like the rest of us. Biblically speaking, in the eyes of God he’s a sinner like the rest of us and he’s not “worse” than us, which seems totally unfathomable considering all his wrongdoings. We’re fascinated with Hitler because we tend to be interested in morbid things. For example, when you see things about serial killers or mass murderers you always tend to wonder how people are capable of doing such horrible things.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

As witnessed by the 3 part profile on him by Janet Flanner back in 1936, there was already a strong curiosity about Hitler even before the public became aware of the Holocaust. Post-World War 2, I think much of the fascination with Hitler come from wanting to understand how a person could almost single handedly carry out plans that go against our most basic sense of humanity. We want to be able to understand why he did the things he did because it’s terrifying to not be able to figure out what it is that caused such evil. We want an explanation in order to try and be able to point to something and call it out so that we can try and root out that factor in the future. I think Hitler has also caught the curiosity of so many like Janet Flanner because of the way he rose to power. Hitler held no significant prominence in Germany before his rise, and didn’t come from wealth. There was nothing formulaic about they way in which he went from powerless to one of the most powerful people in the world. Flanner’s intense focus on the most seemingly mundane or simple details about him really demonstrates how unlike other leaders he was. This particular unusual-ness about him that doesn’t fit into any particular category of “strange” is what makes him so mysterious, therefore fueling curiosity about how and why he was able to do what he did.

I don’t think I necessarily understand him any better other than that he was, in many ways, just another person like anyone else. I think that is really the biggest takeaway. The intense curiosity we have with Hitler is so driven by finding out what made him different because we don’t want to think about the possibility that a “regular” person would be capable of carrying out the same kind of horrors. I think there’s definitely something valuable in understanding the how and why of Hitler himself, but in many ways I think it’s more important to understand how he was able to convince so many people of his goals. As can be seen in the way Flanner and Kershaw describe him, and even in the description of his home, there is no easy way to predict who will or won’t do horrible things. Even if we did know, it’s not effective or accurate to go around overanalyzing every single person on the Earth the way we’ve done to Hitler to find out who would or wouldn’t do the same things. Instead, I think we need to focus on the mentality around Hitler and the way he influenced others rather than how he himself was influenced. It’s easier to recognize an ideology than an individual. As we’ve seen with Naziism, ideologies long outlast their original leaders, even when they are universally seen as horrific. Even if it takes a special person to lead such a group, it’s ordinary people who allow them to gain the influence and power to act on those beliefs. Therefore, I think the most important thing to understand about Hitler, and what we should really be focusing on, is not why he is the way he is, but how he was able to use what he had around him to gain prominence and convince so many people to follow him and believe in him.

I think Staphinfarction’s point that we’ll never really know what was going on in Hitler’s head is really important. We have devoted decades to analyzing any potential link to why he made the decision to allow such horrible things to occur, and could easily continue to do so for decades more. However, despite how much we try, we can never really know the why of what he did, but we can know the “how”, and I think that is even more important.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

Why are we so intrigued by Hitler?

I think that I am very surprised at some of Hitler's tendencies and routines. After reading the special feature from Home and Gardens about him, I was shocked at half of the things he did. How the color scheme of his house was so light and airy, despite all of the darkness he caused. Him owning canaries also seemed very odd. It would be one thing if a designer decorated his house like this, but he himself was the decorator and architect of his house. After seeing all of the paintings and drawings by him in class, it truly shocked me how much a piece of art/media/literature can differ from the artist/writer/author themself. They all seemed so beautiful, and I was surprised that they weren't more famous, until I found out who they were painted by.

It seemed as though Hitler wanted everything as dainty and pretty as can be; having cut flowers and music in his home, all to hide the true ugliness he created. It was very surprising to find out that he is vegetarian, apparently against animal cruelty… but not against human cruelty?? It was also shocking to me that he didn’t drink or smoke, ever. According to the Charlie Rose Interview, most of Hitler’s career can be seen as an attempt to reverse the Revolution of November 1918. Ian Kershaw, a historian from the University of Sheffield, wrote a book about Hitler’s life and career, called “Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris”. I agree that Hitler was one of the most central figures, if not THE most central figure in the 20th century.

After reading the New Yorker article on Hitler from 1936, some of his characteristics and personality traits really confuse me. He was referred to as a “self-conscious” man…If you are self-conscious – how do you expect people to think about you after you kill over 6 million people?? Judging people on their hereditary traits, biology, and other uncontrollable factors. He seemed to have an unusual childhood and family background, especially with his parents and grandparents, as we learned in class. Also, him associating the US with Jews is a little illogical. The US is known for being pretty diverse, and being a country made up of immigrants. Additionally, some international newspapers were banned in Germany, and Hitler relies on private foreign agents for international information and intel.

In my opinion, I think that understanding his persona is worthwhile, to some extent. I feel like knowing these interesting facts about him made me think of him a little differently, and affected my psychological opinion on him. However, I in no way believe that trying to “understand” him more will justify any fraction of what he did.

At the end of the day, I think the most important things to know about him are his personal life, such as his childhood, previous jobs, relationships, and mental aspects, such as him being “self-conscious”. Other things, such as his dietary preferences, aren't as essential to trying to decode Hitler.

I agree with bd1010's thought that most people try to remove Hitler from the Holocaust, and think of him as someone that isn't human. But in reality, we have to think about how Hitler himself, who was responsible for this, was human, and so were all of the other people responsible. This was caused by someone just like us, humans, not extra-terrestrials or something else.

Dorchester, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

I think to answer your first question, in my own opinion we are so fascinated with Hitler mostly because the things he did were so documented and there is so much reading, pictures, and survivor accounts of the horrific things he did, that people are not really able to dismiss it, compared to a genocide that had happened in Africa. Hitler had no past accomplishments in life before he came to power and committed the atrocities he did, so that just makes it 10x scarier for anyone, because it just really proves the point that you really don’t know your neighbors and you really don’t know everyone's intentions. Like, when we were looking at his paintings in class, none of us assumed it was his, and we all picked favorites but when we did know it was his, we all turned away in disgust, because he is not known for his past life but rather for his time as a person in power.

After reading those articles, hearing about his youth story in class, and listening to the interview, I just see Hitler as a very small and pathetic person. Before hearing about who he was before he came to power, I always thought that these signs of his dominance and hatred would have shown from when he was a teen or young adult, but after hearing about his failed attempts of getting into art school and him running away from being enlisted, I truly just see a scared man. His youth and home story does throw me off a bit, because I thought there would be signs hinting at what might have been going on in his head, but instead it really just tells me that if he had not gotten into politics he would have been a failed artist and probably nothing. And honestly it is a scary thought to me, like what if Hitler had gotten into art school and became a successful artist, what would or wouldn’t have happened?

I agree with ‘StaphinFarction’, in their last paragraph where they said “ this mundanity is something we should acknowledge, because it demonstrates that regardless of background, we are all capable of truly awful things”. It really just elaborates on my points from above, that you really don’t know what people are capable of and what little moment in someone's life can really do to them, or how it can alter their character.

Viewing all 14 posts