Adolf Hitler, born April 20, 1889, refused to follow in his father’s steps as a civil servant. Instead, he pursued a career as an artist. He failed his entrance exams to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna at age 18 and again the following year. Despite producing numerous drawings, Hitler’s talents were limited to edifices and scenery. His career choice was unsuccessful because he lacked the ability to include detailed illustrations of human subjects in his portraits. By the age of 25, with no real passion, he was homeless and lived in men’s shelters.
With the start of World War I in 1914, he found renewed purpose and entered the war where he achieved the rank of Lance Corporal. Just prior to the war’s end, Hitler was hospitalized after exposure to mustard gas. Although he had access to a gas mask, it didn't fit over his massive moustache and he inhaled the deadly poison. For this reason, he fastidiously kept his moustache small which later became his trademark. After Hitler recuperated and discovered Germany had surrendered, he never recovered from the shame his country didn't pursue victory at all cost.
When the war ended in 1918, Germany was cited as the aggressor nation and assessed massive penalties through the 1919 Treaty of Versailles:
1) Reparations of approximately $270 billion dollars (current value);
2) Redistribution of German lands (including Poland) to other countries;
3) Reduction of the armed forces to 100,000; and,
4) Prevention from establishing any armed forces to defend its borders.
In addition to degrading morale, Germany was bankrupt, food scarce, and jobs sparse. This
set the stage for German unrest and gave rise to several political groups attempting to gain control. Hitler’s first attempt at a German political coup in 1923 was disastrous and his "Brown Shirts" were ridiculed as common thugs. Hitler was imprisoned for insurrection and utilized the time to write Mein Kampf (My Struggle.) Living off the proceeds from his book, Hitler decided his path to greatness involved politics. His efforts were beneficial and he became Germany’s Chancellor—with support from his “Brown Shirts” to run interference. With the death of President Hindenburg in 1934, Hitler assumed the position of Fuhrer (Germany’s leader.) He abolished the title of President and ended the establishment of any political parties, or elections, outside the Nazi regime. After almost two decades of being demoralized, unprotected, high unemployment rates, and poverty-stricken (including effects from the global Great Depression), Germans were ripe for a savior.
Hitler presented opposing views of the “New Germany” to the world. In 1936, the Berlin Olympics depicted Berlin as a quaint and picturesque city with well-dressed, happy, and caring citizens. Overseeing the Olympics, with the first Olympic Torch Relay reminiscent of the ancient Greek games, was Adolf Hitler surrounded by swastikas and an enthusiastic nation bordering on idolatry.
Beginning November 9, 1938, two nights of horror dubbed Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), targeted the destruction of Jewish synagogues, homes, and stores. Glass filled the streets and Jewish-owned businesses were marked with the Jewish star and "Jude" painted below as a warning for others to stay away. Although many were filled with disgust at the overt display of anti-Semitism, many Germans were intent on being restored to their former power and stability. They looked to Hitler who made their dreams a reality by re-conquering Poland on September 1, 1939 (separated from Germany by the 1919 Versailles Treaty.)
The gravitational pull of Hitler was his posturing and promises of glory—relief of economic failings and re-acquiring lands removed by the 1919 treaty while rebuilding their military strength. His popularity over competing regimes (reduced to rubble by Hitler's ruthless tactics), grew as economies prospered with the buildup of factories for combat units and battle armaments. Hitler’s “Final Solution” to rid Europe of all Jews provided him with an unlimited supply of forced, free labor which furthered the Nazi cause. Compliance with his ultimate goals and beliefs, Hitler surrounded himself with men who dedicated allegiance to Hitler, not Germany.
Hermann Goering, a flying ace in World War I, was placed in charge of the Luftwaffe—initially successful in combatting the Royal Air Force. He gradually became a member of Hitler’s inner circle and was the de facto head of the Nazi regime upon Hitler’s death.
Hermann Goering (WW1) Hitler & Goering
Joseph Goebbels was a master propaganda artist—a monster capable of atrocities never before seen. With his slim stature, thinly pursed lips, soulless eyes devoid of compassion, and limping gait, he was a small man who required adoration to augment his low self-esteem. He was perfectly suited for Hitler's plan to incite violence and division among the German people while propagating a steady diet of lies and disinformation.
Silence for fear of retribution further legitimized hatred spewed by Hitler and the Nazi party. The "Great Lie" became an accepted truth while humanity and decency demurred into luxuries none could afford. A cabal of six news barons in the US and UK were privy to Hitler's demonic acts; however, in the interest of greed, and other unknown reasons, they engaged in a silent conspiracy. This assured the world was kept in the dark about the source of Hitler's rise to power and depraved anti-Semitic actions enforced by the Nazis. With only one German newspaper and sole ratio station to promote anti-Semitism, “The Great Lie” became readily accepted as fact; and, any opposition to the lie was quickly eliminated. To reinforce their objectives, books were banned with book-burning rallies beginning in 1933 to subvert any subjects that didn’t align with Nazi precepts.
Book Bans 1933
Known only to a privileged few outside of Germany, the feverish pride in Germany's return to power and glory motivated normally reticent Germans to acquiesce as Nazi zealots paraded through the streets. Germany's willful ignorance, overpowered by fear, continued as their country devolved into madness. Hitler reinforced Goebbels's falsehoods in well-choreographed speeches with such commanding authority and conviction that everyday Germans accepted his oft-repeated venomous lies as the truth. Hitler’s ability to captivate audiences and augment his mystique with torch-filled night rallies served to solidify his position within the German hierarchy and its people.
Nazis in America: Hitler’s influence was not limited to Germany as Nazism spread to America. On February 20, 1939 New York City’s Madison Square Garden hosted a Nazi rally sponsored by the German-American Bund (pronounced Boon′d.) The rally was led by Fitz Kuhn who referred to himself as the American Fuhrer, a designation Hitler despised and saw as a personal affront. Kuhn touted the Bund assisted out-of-work Germans in securing employment. Scenes downplayed anti-Semitic beliefs were fostered by the Bund with rallies set in a picnic setting of bonhomie while American and Nazi flags were prominently displayed side-by-side. Additional newsreels portrayed large Bund rallies in leading cities such as Chicago, New Jersey, Texas, and Long Island. American membership in the Bund grew to an estimated 25,000, although some claimed membership was 50,000 despite propaganda brochures professing membership of 250,000. (Refer to Time Travel section of Paradox Forged in Blood.)
The world watched in amazement as Hitler's armed forces captured multiple countries in rapid succession by fighting without sleep for several days. This new phenomenon known as the Blitzkrieg War was due to a secret weapon employed liberally by the Nazis. A drug-fueled fighting force with increased alertness and stamina for days was the result of Pervitin (today known as crystal meth.) By the war’s end, soldiers were devastated by addiction to narcotics no longer available.
Reprint with permission of Jan Weller
Hitler espoused qualities seen in other dictators such as Mussolini (and Stalin who joined the Allied forces during World War II.) A cruel narcissistic bully, Hitler believed only his opinion mattered. He would rather be defeated than admit he was wrong or others were more intelligent—traits leading to Hitler’s downfall and suicide in an underground bunker on April 30, 1945.