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ALEXANDER KIMEL - HOLOCAUST UNDERSTANDING & PREVENTION

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HITLER THE MAN

Written by Alexander Kimel - Holocaust Survivor.

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Despite outward appearance of strength and determination the picture of Hitler emerging from the memoirs of Nazis, indicates a weak man, driven by his passions, a paranoid coward, completely detached from reality. Hitler was a confused anti-intellectual, a megalomaniac with a tremendous contempt for the average man, a supreme opportunist who believed in his messianic mission, hating democracy and dreaming about war. A master terrorist, who believed that terror and brutality can solve all the problems of a society.

All the disastrous decisions affecting millions of people, like going to war he made alone, in complete secrecy, guided by his "instinct" or rather compulsions. Using German gullibility and respect for authority, and clever propaganda reinforced with terror he developed a unique symbiosis with the German people, he attained a Godlike statue, used to spread violence, death and destruction.

CONFUSED ANTI-INTELLECTUAL

Wagener, one time associate of Hitler and member of the inner circle, describe Hitler as a half-educated, self-taught man laden with prejudices, with preference for pseudo-science, with a penchant for spinning out theories. What he expounded had far-reaching implications but was based on a small, usually very questionable factual foundation. When he spoke, his words would engulf his listeners like an overpowering flood.

Wagener in his memoirs states that Hitler had a low regard for intellectual qualities:

"Intellect, if you take a close look, is the atrophy of natural instinct.... Intellect has nothing to do with human intelligence and knowledge. Most people confuse them.... The Jew cannot refrain from showing off his supposed intellect. Sometimes what he says sounds quite brilliant, sometimes it even is brilliant".
"Hitler never sketched out his ideas at his desk but elaborated them in the course of conversations or discussions, did not give any clear sphere of responsibility, or autonomy of action, and frequently changed his mind....So it came about quite naturally that truly outstanding men did not carry long in Hitler's entourage and that inevitable he found himself surrounded by simpletons, mindless scum, and flatterers."
Rauschninng quotes Hitler saying:
< "We must distrust the intelligence and the conscience and must place our trust in our instincts.

WEAKNESS AND PASSIVITY

Hitler was known for his temper, and despite outward appearance, he was a weak scared person, lacking personal courage, who never visited the front, staying behind in comfortable conditions. He was always guided by his passions and emotions or rather by his inner tensions and conflicts. Hitler never visited bombed out German cities, he always travelled at night in a limousine with tightly drawn curtains.

On July 25, 1943 Goebbels wrote in his diary:

  • "..These letters keep asking why the Fuhrer does not visit the distressed air area, why Goering isn't to be seen anywhere, and especially why the Fuhrer does not for once talk to the German people to explain the present situation. I consider it very necessary that the Fuhrer do this...
  • During the famous putsch, Hitler behaved cowardly; after the first shot was fired he run away and later was picked up by the police in Haefstangles house. It was Goering the stood up during the skirmish and was wounded. Hitler's close associate Rauschning states in his memoirs:

    Hitler is timid and sensitive. He has to force himself by much preparation to put on a bold front; then he becomes aggressive.....He lives in a world of insincerity, deceiving and self-deceiving. But hatred is like vine to him, it intoxicates him. .....Hitler is exacting, spoiled, avaricious, greedy. ...he is incapable of working. He gets ideas, impulses, the realization of which must be feverishly achieved and immediately get rid of. ...Nothing about him is natural.....Hitler seem a man of tremendous will power, but the appearance is deceptive. He is languid and apathetic by nature, and needs the stimulus of nervous excitement to rouse him out of his chronic lethargy to a spasmatic activity.

    Hitler had frequent nightmares, during which he foamed at the mouth, panting and stammering in uncontrolled fury: " I won't have it! Get rid of all of them! Traitors!" He was an alarming sight, his hair disheveled , his eyes fixed, and his face distorted and purple. I feared the he would collapse, or have an apoplectic fit. Suddenly it was all over.

    DETACHED FROM REALITY

    Hitler was completely detached from reality, instead to adjusting his assumption to reality he tried to adjust reality to his perception. During the initial stages of the war with Russia he assumed that the Russians are finished, and despite to the intelligence reports to the contrary, he did not change his assumption , until it was to late.

    Gen. Halder the German Chief of Staff, commented in his dairy on Hitler's detachment from reality:

    "Hitler's decisions had ceased to have anything in common with the principles of strategy and operations as they have been recognized for generations past. They were the product of a violent nature following its momentary impulses, which recognized no limits to possibility and which made its wishdreams the father of its acts"....FCNA 1942, P.50

    Halder told also how Hitler lived in his fantasy world:

    "Once when a quite objective report was read to him showing that still in 1942 Stalin would be able to muster from one to one and quoter million fresh troops in the region north of Stalingrad and west of the Volga, not to mention half a million men in the Caucasus, and which provided proof the Russian output of front-line tanks amounted to at least 1,200 a month. Hitler flew at the man who was reading with clenched fists and foam in the corners of his mouth and forbade him to read any more of such idiotic twaddle "...Ibid, p.52.

    MEGALOMANIA

    Megalomania is defined as extreme over-evaluation of oneself. Hitler was a mega-megalomaniac. When the Austrian Chancellor, Schuschnigg, visited Hitler to discuss the Austrian German agreements, Hitler bragged: "I am the greatest German in all history!... I have reached the most a German leader has ever reached in German history."

    SULKINESS AND CHANGE OF MOOD

    Hitler was known for his outbursts, temper and sulkiness. Wagener comments about Hitler: "[He] could fly into an indignant rage, whereby the vein on his forehead from the top oh his nose to his hairline swelled and grew blue in almost terrifying way, and his voice cracked , so it seemed that he would fear for his life-and for our own as well....The attacks however were infrequent and Hitler himself was afraid of them- particularly since afterwards he always collapsed and had to ta medication to calm himself.... I am certain that it was the expression of a morbid compulsion, connected somehow with a glandular malfunction.

    Hitler's mood fluctuated between blackest depression and uncontrollable rage. Among intimate friends, Hitler let himself go. I often heard him shout and stamp his feet. The slightest contradiction threw him into rage. People began to be afraid of his incalculable temper.

    He behaved like a combination of a spoiled child and a hysterical woman. He scolded in high, shrill tones, stamped his feet, and banged his fist on tables and walls. He foamed at the mouth, panting and stammering in uncontrolled fury.


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