Who was Hitler?

Who was Hitler?

Adolf Hitler as child (ca.1890)

"He's different from all the rest of the family." - Mother Klara Hitler, quoted by August Kubizek.

Who was Hitler?

Class photo in Linz, 1900/01

"He was definitely talented, albeit also lopsided, and while not violent, he was considered rebellious. He was not hardworking either." - Dr. Eduard Huemer, Hitler's French teacher. (Adolf Hitler is at the top right of the picture.)

Who was Hitler?

Adolf Hitler self-portrait

"All his relatives considered him to be a no-hoper who shied away from all hard work." - August Kubizek, Adolf Hitler's boyhood friend.

Who was Hitler?

Hitler as a corporal in the First World War

"I have never uncovered what caused Hitler's fanatical hatred towards Jews. The experience with Jewish officers during the World War could not have contributed much to this." - Fritz Wiedemann, Lieutenant in the List Regiment.

Who was Hitler?

Commemorating the Beer Hall Putsch (ca. 1929)

"They had only one virtue: obedience. On order, they were to be used for everything, trained to follow the man and capable of anything. Hitler's Brownshirts were recruited from the dissatisfied and unsuccessful, the ambitious, the ones filled with envy and hatred, from all classes - ready for murder and violence." - Carl Zuckmayer, German dramatist.

Who was Hitler?

Adolf Hitler (1933)

"The people of the upper class want to get close to Hitler. My grandfather had an apt formula for these changeable kind of people: 'You spit in their eyes and they'll ask you if it's raining.' "- Bela Fromm, German-Jewish journalist, January 29, 1932.

Who was Hitler?

Chancellor Hitler officially takes power from President Hindenburg, 1933

"I was not mistaken for a single moment about the fact that the Nazis were enemies - enemies for me and for all that was dear to me. What I was completely wrong about, however, was what terrible enemies they would be." - Sebastian Haffner, journalist, Memoirs.

Who was Hitler?

Joseph Goebbels speech, 1936

"I go to the party reception in the old town hall. Huge bustle. I report the situation to the Führer. He decides: 'Withdraw police forces. Let the Jews feel the fury of the people.'"- Joseph Goebbels, diary, 10 November 1938.

Who was Hitler?

Hitler in Bayreuth (1938)

"I can safely say that before I left for San Francisco, I had learned of the intention of Hitler to destroy incurable patients - not just incurable mental diseases - in the event of a war. As a motive, he said that they were unnecessary eaters." - Fritz Wiedemann, Nazi Party Adjutant to Adolf Hitler until January 19, 1939.

Who was Hitler?

Hitler on Obersalzberg (undated)

"I am firmly convinced that neither England nor France will enter into a general war." - Adolf Hitler before his army generals on Obersalzberg, August 13, 1939.

Who was Hitler?

Albert Speer and Adolf Hitler, 1938

"Throughout the war, Adolf Hitler never visited a bombed city." - Albert Speer, Reich Minister of Armaments and War Production.

Who was Hitler?

Adolf Hitler

"I know that many perceived that Hitler had changed after Stalingrad. I didn't see it that way." - Rochus Misch, sergeant in the SS Escort Command of the Führer

Who was Hitler?

Hitler after the failed assassination attempt in the Wolf's Lair, 1944

"There I saw Hitler, who looked questioningly at my distraught expression. He quietly said, 'Linge, someone has tried to kill me.'" Heinz Linge, Adolf Hitler's valet.

Who was Hitler?

Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring, 1944

"I know the war is lost. Their superiority is clear. I'd like to shoot myself in the head now. [But] we do not give up. Never. We can go down. But we will take a world with us." - Hitler at the end of December 1944 to his adjutant Nicolaus von Below.

Who was Hitler?

Newspapers report death of Hitler, 1945

"One feels Hitler's death is just rather pointless now. He should have died some time ago. I wonder how many people comfort themselves with thinking he's frizzling." - Naomi Mitchison, Scottish writer

The question "Who was Hitler" is the subject of Hermann Pölking's widely-read book, and now an epic documentary comprised of countless quotations from contemporaries of Adolf Hitler. Here is a selection of quotes.