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Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

Related: >Nazism - WWII

Holocaust, WWII

Mussolini and Hitler

“Anybody who paints and sees a sky green and pastures blue ought to be sterilized.” --Adolf Hitler


Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 - April 30, 1945) was the Führer (Leader) of Nazi Germany and of the National Socialist German Workers' (Nazi) Party. From 1933 to 1945 he was also Chancellor of Germany, head of government, and state. A gifted orator with a profound personal presence, Hitler is regarded as one of the most significant leaders of world history. The military-industrial complex he helped create pulled Germany out of the post-World War I economic crisis and, at its height, controlled the greater part of Europe. The brutal embrace of total war by all sides in World War II resulted in a savage destruction of Europe and the deaths of an estimated 50 million people. The Racial policy of Nazi Germany (which included what is now called the Holocaust) resulted in the deaths of millions and the displacement of millions more. In the end he died by his own hand in a Berlin Führerbunker, Germany in ruins around him and his enemies closing in, the Red Army only a few blocks away.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler [Jul 2004]

1945 [...]

On 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide as Russian shells exploded in the Chancellery garden above. It was twelve years and three months since he had become dictator of Germany. He had appointed Admiral Karl Dönitz President of Germany, but one week later the German armed forces surrendered unconditionally on 7 May 1945. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II#European_Theatre [Aug 2004]

As a Painter

After a while the money he had inherited from his aunt ran out, and for the next several years he lived in relative obscurity as a painter. He would paint scenes copied from postcards, then sell his paintings to merchants. He did this simply to make money, he did not consider his paintings as any kind of high art. Contrary to popular myth, he made a good living as a painter, making more money than if he had a regular job as a bank clerk or schoolteacher, and having to work far fewer hours. During his spare time he often attended operas in Vienna's concert halls, especially Norse mythological operas by Richard Wagner. He also spent much time reading. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler#Vienna_and_Munich [Jul 2004]

Degenerate Art [...]

After “cleansing” German museums of 16,000 works of art, Hitler opens the exhibition Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) to condemn and defame Modernist artists. He proclaims, “Anybody who paints and sees a sky green and pastures blue ought to be sterilized.”.

Third Reich

The Third Reich is an anglification of the German expression "Das Dritte Reich", and is used as a synonym for Nazi Germany. The term was introduced by Nazi propaganda, which counted the Holy Roman Empire as the first Reich, the 1871 German Empire the second, and its own regime as the third. This was done in order to suggest a return to alleged former German glory after the perceived failure of the 1919 Weimar Republic.


When asked who was the most evil figure of the 20th century, most people would say Hitler. Though Stalin killed even more millions of people, for years little detailed evidence of his crimes was available in the West, while we have all seen films of Hitler's concentration camps, and innumerable books documenting the Nazis' crimes. Today, however, a deluge of evidence about the bloody horrors of Stalin's rule is emerging from Russian archives, and a new book reveals some of the most dreadful documents from the Soviet purges of the Thirties. Here we reprint the death cell letter of one of Stalin's former acolytes, Nikolai Bukharin. --George Walden, http://www.yale.edu/annals/Reviews/review_texts/Walden_on_Getty_Ass._Newspapers_10.22.99.html


  1. Mein Kampf (1925) - Adolf Hitler [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The angry ranting of an obscure, small-party politician, the first volume of Mein Kampf was virtually ignored when it was originally published in 1925. Likewise the second volume, which appeared in 1926. The book details Hitler's childhood, the "betrayal" of Germany in World War I, the desire for revenge against France, the need for lebensraum for the German people, and the means by which the National Socialist party can gain power. It also includes Hitler's racist agenda and his glorification of the "Aryan" race. The few outside the Nazi party who read it dismissed it as nonsense, not believing that anyone could--or would--carry out its radical, terrorist programs. As Hitler and the Nazis gained power, first party members and then the general public were pressured to buy the book. By the time Hitler became chancellor of the Third Reich in 1933, the book stood atop the German bestseller lists. Had the book been taken seriously when it was first published, perhaps the 20th century would have been very different.

    Beyond the anger, hatred, bigotry, and self-aggrandizing, Mein Kampf is saddled with tortured prose, meandering narrative, and tangled metaphors (one person was described as "a thorn in the eyes of venal officials"). That said, it is an incredibly important book. It is foolish to think that the Holocaust could not happen again, especially if World War II and its horrors are forgotten. As an Amazon.com reader has pointed out, "If you want to learn about why the Holocaust happened, you can't avoid reading the words of the man who was most responsible for it happening." Mein Kampf, therefore, must be read as a reminder that evil can all too easily grow. --Sunny Delaney, Amazon.com

    In 1922, just four years after the war to end all wars, an unknown Austrian then living in Bavaria planned a pamphlet to be called Settling Accounts. In it he intended to attack the ineffectiveness of the dominant political parties in Germany which were opposed to the new National Socialists (Nazis). In November 1923, Adolf Hitler was jailed for the abortive Munich Beer Hall putsch along with men willing and able to assist him with his writing. With the help of these collaborators, chief among them Rudolf Hess, the pamphlet became a book. Settling Accounts became Mein Kampf, an unparalleled example of muddled economics and history, appalling bigotry, and an intense self-glorification of Adolf Hitler as the true founder and builder of the National Socialist movement. It was written in hate and it contained a blueprint for violent bloodshed. When Mein Kampf was published in 1925, it was a failure. In 1926 a second volume appeared. it was no more successful than the first. People either laughed at it or ignored it. They were wrong to do so. As Hitler's power increased, pressure was put on all party members to buy the book. Gradually this pressure was extended to all elements of the German population. Soon Mein Kampf was even being passed out to newlywed couples as a gift. Ironically, and frighteningly, by the time Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933, what has been considered by many to be the most satanic book ever written was running neck and neck with the Bible at the top of the German bestseller lists. In his excellent introduction to this definitive American translation of Mein Kampf, Konrad Heiden writes: "For years Mein Kampf stood as proof of the blindness and complacency of the world. For in its pages Hitler announced -- long before he came to power -- a program of blood and terror in a self-revelation of such overwhelming frankness that few among its readers had the courage to believe it ... That such a man could go so far toward realizing his ambitions, and -- above all -- could find millions of willing tools and helpers; that is a phenomenon the world will ponder for centuries to come." We would be wrong in thinking that such a program, such a man, and such appalling consequences could not reappear in our world of the present. We cannot permit our selves the luxury of forgetting the tragedy of World War II or the man who, more than any other, fostered it. Mein Kampf must be read and constantly remembered as a specimen of evil demagoguery that people whenever men grow tired of thinking and acting for themselves. Mein Kampf is a blueprint for the age of chaos. It transcends in historical importance any other book of the present generation. In his translation Ralph Manheim has taken particular care to give an exact English equivalent of Hitler's highly individual, and often awkward style, including his occasional grammatical errors. We believe this book should stand as the complete, final, and definitive English version of Hitler's own story of his life, his political philosophy, and his thwarted plans for world domination. Translated by Ralph Manheim with an introduction by Konrad Heiden. A compilation of Hitler's most famous prison writings of 1923--the bible of National Socialism and the blueprint for the Third Reich. --Book Description

  2. From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film (1947) - Siegfried Kracauer [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    A landmark, now classic, study of the rich cinematic history of the Weimar Republic, From Caligari to Hitler was first published by Princeton University Press in 1947. Siegfried Kracauer--a prominent German film critic and member of Walter Benjamin's and Theodor Adorno's intellectual circle--broke new ground in exploring the connections between film aesthetics, the prevailing psychological state of Germans in the Weimar era, and the evolving social and political reality of the time. Kracauer's pioneering book, which examines German history from 1921 to 1933 in light of such movies as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, M, Metropolis, and The Blue Angel, has never gone out of print. Now, over half a century after its first appearance, this beautifully designed and entirely new edition reintroduces Kracauer for the twenty-first century. Film scholar Leonardo Quaresima places Kracauer in context in a critical introduction, and updates the book further with a new bibliography, index, and list of inaccuracies that crept into the first edition. This volume is a must-have for the film historian, film theorist, or cinema enthusiast. --Princeton University

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