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review 2017-12-26 15:56
The enabling image
The Hitler Myth: Image and Reality in the Third Reich - Ian Kershaw

This is a book that, having read Ian Kershaw's massive two-volume biography of Adolf Hitler (which he wrote afterward), I didn't think I needed to read. Now I realize how wrong I was; this is one of the absolute must-reads for anyone seeking to understand how the Third Reich functioned.


Kershaw's focus in this book is on Hitler's popularity and its role in legitimizing the regime. Using Max Weber's formulation of "charismatic authority," he examines the rise of the "leadership cult" around Hitler, and how it became an important instrument in Nazi rule. This was hardly an original invention of Hitler's, but drew upon leadership cults in German culture from imperial times. Conservative Germans disaffected from the Weimar Republic longed for a strong man to restore Germanys their imperial greatness, while the miseries of the Great Depression led many to seek someone who could deliver Germany from its travails. Hitler's public persona was crafted to satisfy this demand, and was the key ingredient in the Nazis's rise to power.


Hitler maintained this aura as chancellor through careful image management. An important aspect of this was the awareness that its maintenance required association with positive developments. Because of this his appearances were rationed, tied to announcements of economic progress and foreign policy triumphs. By contrast the party itself soon came into popular disrepute through its conspicuous displays of petty corruption. Not only did Hitler rise above this, but his popularity ensured his indispensability to the party -- in short, they needed him in order to maintain their authority.


For all of Hitler's (and Joseph Goebbels's) success in maintaining his popularity, Kershaw sees it as contingent upon circumstances. The gap between economic promises and results was ignored as Hitler scored foreign policy triumphs, while general uneasiness about the outbreak of the war in 1939 was soon dispelled by the military triumphs in Western Europe. Yet Kershaw portrays Hitler as falling victim to the classic flaw of believing his own press, with the failure to bring about a popularly-anticipated end to the war, coupled with the surprise attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, as signaling the beginning of the decline of his stature. With the German people increasingly exposed to the failings and brutality of the Nazi regime, Hitler's popularity plummeted to the point when, by the end of the war, they regarded themselves as much as victims of it as were the rest of Europe.


Kershaw's book is a fascinating study of the role the Hitler image played in Nazi Germany. His analysis helps to explain much about his role for the German people during those years, and how Germans rationalized the terrible developments of those years. If there is a flaw, it's that Kershaw doesn't tie his findings into broader discussions of leadership beyond Weber; his argument about how Germans saw Hitler as unaware of Nazi corruption, for example, was squarely in a tradition of "the courtiers, not the king" rationalizations which have a long tradition in Western history. Nevertheless, this is a enormously important study of the Nazi regime, one that should be interested in this history of modern Germany or the Second World War.

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url 2016-05-05 05:31
Grapples with ‘Mein Kampf’ profits
Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler

A long and somewhat disturbing article in the Boston Globe:

What do you do with the devil’s lucre?


That’s the question Boston-based publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has been grappling with for more than 80 years, as it has quietly disbursed the royalties and profits from “Mein Kampf,” the infamous screed Adolf Hitler composed while in prison following the failed beer hall putsch of 1923.


For the past 16 years, the publisher, which first printed the book in the United States in 1933, has addressed the question by donating hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds from its sale to groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, and Facing History and Ourselves — specialized organizations that have used the funds as a sort of direct moral equalizer, putting them toward Holocaust education or programs that combat anti-Semitism.


Recently, however, the company has quietly decided to change course, shifting its grant-making focus from programs explicitly related to Holocaust awareness and Jewish education to those that promote tolerance more generally. This delicate pivot has become even more complicated locally, as the publishing house has sought to focus the book’s proceeds in Boston, inviting a handful of area institutions to propose projects for funding. At least one — Boston Children’s Museum — has said no, discomfited by the Hitler connection.


To read the rest, click on the link.

Source: www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2016/04/30/boston-publisher-grapples-with-mein-kampf-profits/zgFxVGBpfPx98xKchc382L/story.html
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review 2015-10-15 00:00
كفاحي - Adolf Hitler,أدولف هتلر,لويس الح... كفاحي - Adolf Hitler,أدولف هتلر,لويس الحاج لا أعرف إن قمت بتقييم هذا الكتاب قهل سيحسب ذلك تقييماً لشخصية أدولف هتلر نفسه
أم لكتابه؟
لهذا سأترك هذه المراجعة بلا تقييم وأحتفظ برأيي لنفسي
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text 2015-03-28 20:46
Jason sale!
I Killed Adolf Hitler - Jason
Werewolves of Montpellier - Jason
The Iron Wagon - Jason
Pocket Full of Rain and Other Stories - Jason
The Last Musketeer - Jason
Tell Me Something - Jason
You Can't Get There from Here - Jason
The Living and the Dead - Jason
Jason Conquers America - Jason
Meow, Baby! - Jason

Jason is a Norwegian cartoonist.   He first came to my attention when I realized he'd drawn the art for I Killed Adolf Hitler.   I was intrigued.  


His treasury is 52% of at Comixology here.


I'm tempted, because he's got a very distinct style and I've heard amazing things from him.   In the end, $100 is expensive for someone I've never read, so I won't end up getting it, but I figured in case anyone else knew of Jason, and was interested in collecting his books, here's the place to start. 

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review 2015-01-07 00:00
Mein Kampf
Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler Alright, here is the thing. When you're a German, reasing this is NOT part of your curriculum. Why not? Because in Germany you are not allowed to buy this book. Or steal it. Or give it away as a present. It is okay to OWN it. Which is fine. If it flies through your open window and lands on your desk. Because yes, you can inherit it. But if you're a little firm in history, you know it is not bloody likely that all those issues people had to own in 1933 still exist in all our cellars and attics. They don't.

Still, I wanted to read it. As a history student, as part of the temporary staff at the historical site of Auschwitz, as an interviewer of concetration camp surivors, I wanted to know. I wantd to understand. Which is definitely not what happened. Because this book does not HELP understanding national socialism.

If you want to understand it better, let's start with all the books about racial ideology. And not the more modern versions, but the versions written before the 1930s. That's where you can start. Then you can go on and delve into the political situation in Germany and Europe in general, at least starting with 1871. If you don't know why this year is so significant, start there. I'm aware not everybody can talk to survivors, or visit the historical sites, but if you can and you're interested in national socialism, go there. And definitely read up on the Hitlers. The family history of Adolf Hitler is essential, even though it is not as deeply researched as other parts of this puzzle.

So, what can "Mein Kampf" do for you? Why is it important? Why read it? Honestly? It gives you an inkling of what was going on in Adolf Hitlers head. Which is one messed up place. The ideals, the ideas, the opinions. It might as well be anthoer universe he lived in. As far as understanding him goes? I'm not sure that is at all possible. Especially because Hitler might have been an impressive speaker, as a writr not so much. Or at all, for that matter. It is worse in German, but the translation is its own can of worms. Punctuation was not his friend, same goes for structure, tenses, word order and consistency.

Sentences go on and on, line after line, until you haven't seen ending or beginning of a new sentences after almost two pages. No, I'm not exaggerating. The concepts don't make sense in and on themselves, but with this kind of writing? You have to read some of the pages again, and again, and again, and even then you might not have a clue what Hitler is talking about.

All in all, I'm giving it one star. And this one star is for it's value as a primary source. Those are rare, and as a historican you value them deeply. But as a "normal" reader, just interested in history or national socialism this is not necessary to read. There are other sources with broader perspectives, better writing and language and most of all actually have some historical facts and actions thrown in. Better for understanding the time period a little better. Because "Mein Kampf" might be a ot of things, but understandable is not necessarily one of them.
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