Hitler’s Charisma

When we look at images of Hitler addressing an audience, it is hard to believe that anyone ever took him seriously. To modern eyes he looks like a raving nutter, a clown with an absurd mustache and a bad haircut.

Hitler's Charisma

Laurence Rees,  the author of  the book: “Hitler’s Charisma” published in 2012 writes that:  “If Hitler hadn’t existed no fiction writer would ever have dreamed him up. He is just too implausible a figure to have become the leader of a sophisticated state at the heart of Europe in the Twentieth Century

Rees characterizes Hitler as being: “incapable of normal human friendships, filled with rage, full of prejudice and unable to sustain intellectual argument.”

Hitler impersonations are still a part of the comic repertoire more than 70 years after his ignominious suicide in 1945. He was even a figure of fun at the height of his power during WWII,  Charlie Chaplin satirized him brilliantly in his 1940 film “The Great Dictator”

Yet Adolf Hitler managed to become one of the most powerful human beings in the world, he instigated the Holocaust, he destroyed millions of lives and changed the course of history.

We can at least take comfort from knowing that such an unstable, bigoted, immoral racist would never be elected in a modern, sophisticated, 21st century western democracy. Of course he wouldn’t be elected in the UK, Australia or the USA because Hitler reflected the bigotry and corrupt morality of 1930’s Germany.

No we wouldn’t elect Hitler, but we might just elect an unstable, bigoted, immoral racist who reflected the bigotry and corrupt morality of our own society.

Beware of what you ask for, you might get it.