Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-02-2018, 01:54 PM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mesa, Ariz.
Posts: 4,324
"Heil Hitler" [Hitler's actual popularity in Germany]

So, I was contemplating cults of personality this week for... reasons, and of course considered the ultimate cult of them all, Adolph Hitler and the rise of the Nazis. Was there really that much spontaneous adulation of the man going around? At a rally, sure, all their buttons are being pressed by Goebbels but -- as our old movies show -- did the highest-ranking members of the OKW literally could not enter or leave a room without the stiff-arm salute and a guttural, "Heil Hitler!" to, I dunno, remind them who their boss is? Did either Lutheran or Catholic families sit down to dinner and end the blessing with a hearty HH instead of an Amen?

Are there any contemporary reports from the period which detail they everyday life of your ordinary German that mentions this? Just how popular was this Hitler guy, anyway?
  #2  
Old 10-02-2018, 02:24 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,972
As far as captivating people and inspiring adulation, that is what Leni Riefenstahl later claimed: "He radiated something very powerful", etc. What with the rallies and propaganda, it seems he was indeed a popular guy, not that people were not trying to assassinate him by the 1930s.

Hailing victory and/or Hitler were indeed totally compulsory by 1933.
Quote:
The salute became an ordinary way of life. Postmen used the greeting when they knocked on people's doors to deliver packages or letters. Small metal signs that reminded people to use the Hitler salute were displayed in public squares and on telephone poles and street lights throughout Germany. Department store clerks greeted customers with "Heil Hitler, how may I help you?" Dinner guests brought glasses etched with the words "Heil Hitler" as house gifts. The salute was required of all persons passing the Feldherrnhalle in Munich, site of the climax of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, which the government had made into a shrine to the Nazi dead; so many pedestrians avoided this mandate by detouring through the small Viscardigasse behind that the passage acquired the nickname "Dodgers' Alley" (Drückebergergasse).

Children were indoctrinated at an early age....

Last edited by DPRK; 10-02-2018 at 02:24 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-02-2018, 02:42 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 30,132
Indoctrination is part of it. But citizens also had to go along with idol-worship if they knew what was good for them. Enforced adulation of the Supreme Leader has been a standard feature of totalitarian societies.

One bizarre example I ran across in recent reading was that in 1930s-40s Japan, whenever movie newsreels mentioned the Emperor Hirohito, everyone in the audience was supposed to stand and remove their hats, on pain of arrest. The kicker was that the newsreels never actually showed the Emperor (that would have been disrespectful, or some such).
  #4  
Old 10-02-2018, 04:11 PM
ftg's Avatar
ftg ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 17,680
Note that the order to replace the standard military salute with the Hitler salute came 4 days after the July 20th, 1944 plot happened. So up to that time it would have been optional among the military and probably mainly used when saluting Hitler and other high Nazi officials.

Hitler wasn't very popular overall at first when he was running for office. Maybe a third of the people sort of liked him. Once things turned around economically his popularity rose. With the easy victories over Poland, France, etc. he became insanely popular.

The German people had been through a lot with the post-WWI economic and social chaos. Hitler was a "strong man" that they had been awaiting. (The whole Führer thing.)

Propaganda built on their natural inclinations: "One People, One Nation, One Leader". So he embodied them and their country. Which got into some really scary stuff, psychologically speaking. Cults of personality are really bad things, as history has proven over and over.
  #5  
Old 10-02-2018, 04:24 PM
bonzer bonzer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NW5
Posts: 3,107
Tilman Allert's (short) book The Hitler Salute: On the Meaning of a Gesture is pretty much exactly a go at addressing this question.
  #6  
Old 10-02-2018, 11:48 PM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 2,763
There was a documentary on the prewar German TV service, mainly about experiments with programme styles and formats, but inevitably including announcers cheerily opening the evening's schedule with a "Heil Hitler":

https://youtu.be/FPT-kaqVMwM
  #7  
Old 10-02-2018, 11:53 PM
Sloe Moe Sloe Moe is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 366
You'd wonder why Hitler didn't adopt the Prussian salute, given the Army under him reverted to Prussian traditions. I'm just guessing that traditional Prussian might recall sympathy for the old empire. Wilhelm II and von Mackensen were still around at the time of Hitler's ascension.
  #8  
Old 10-03-2018, 12:16 AM
Colibri's Avatar
Colibri Colibri is online now
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 40,119
Title edited to better indicate subject. Please use descriptive thread titles.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
  #9  
Old 10-03-2018, 02:06 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 2,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloe Moe View Post
You'd wonder why Hitler didn't adopt the Prussian salute, given the Army under him reverted to Prussian traditions. I'm just guessing that traditional Prussian might recall sympathy for the old empire. Wilhelm II and von Mackensen were still around at the time of Hitler's ascension.
He was presenting himself as a social revolutionary as well as a nationalist. The Hitler salute was called the "German greeting", as distinct from anything implying the dominance of any particular part of German: all German Volksgenossen in one single community. Don't forget his initial power base was Bavaria, the long-term rivals of Prussia; and likewise, a substantial opposition element was among the Prussian aristocracy and gentry, including the military.
  #10  
Old 10-03-2018, 11:11 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mesa, Ariz.
Posts: 4,324
I've always maintained there wasn't anything particularly deficient about the German character post-WWI; we could have fallen into the same trap ourselves, given the right circumstances. Bue given that, I've tried imagining a large chunk of US society going around with some sort of odd gesture and "Hail Kennedy!" or "Hail Reagan!" to name a couple of our more popular presidents, and failing. Lately, though, I can see this happening, and I am a bit afraid.

Last edited by DesertDog; 10-03-2018 at 11:12 AM.
  #11  
Old 10-03-2018, 11:30 AM
Colibri's Avatar
Colibri Colibri is online now
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 40,119
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
Lately, though, I can see this happening, and I am a bit afraid.
Moderator Note

Let's refrain from political commentary in GQ.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
  #12  
Old 10-03-2018, 01:02 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Home of the haggis
Posts: 29,417
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
So, I was contemplating cults of personality this week for... reasons, and of course considered the ultimate cult of them all, Adolph Hitler and the rise of the Nazis.
Stalin and Mao would like to disagree with you: the ultimate cult of the 20th century was Marx (as variously interpreted).
  #13  
Old 10-03-2018, 01:11 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 14,054
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Stalin and Mao would like to disagree with you: the ultimate cult of the 20th century was Marx (as variously interpreted).
Some joker in the communist world referred to those posters of the heads of -in order - Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin - as "the history of shaving".
  #14  
Old 10-03-2018, 10:37 PM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: republic of california
Posts: 5,508
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swingjugend

Submitted for your consideration
__________________
Just another outlying data point on the bell curve of life
  #15  
Old 10-04-2018, 12:08 AM
Asuka Asuka is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Stalin and Mao would like to disagree with you: the ultimate cult of the 20th century was Marx (as variously interpreted).
Yeah from everything I read Stalin did have a much more intense cult of personality around him, either because people were so afraid of what he could do or people who legitimately thought he was the greatest man of all time. There is the famous story of how after the Nazi invasion Stalin fully expected his top generals to have removed him from power for not doing anything about it but instead he was shocked to find everyone was still incredibly loyal to him.
  #16  
Old 10-04-2018, 12:35 AM
Flyer Flyer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,090
Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertDog View Post
So, I was contemplating cults of personality this week for... reasons, and of course considered the ultimate cult of them all, Adolph Hitler and the rise of the Nazis. Was there really that much spontaneous adulation of the man going around? At a rally, sure, all their buttons are being pressed by Goebbels but -- as our old movies show -- did the highest-ranking members of the OKW literally could not enter or leave a room without the stiff-arm salute and a guttural, "Heil Hitler!" to, I dunno, remind them who their boss is? Did either Lutheran or Catholic families sit down to dinner and end the blessing with a hearty HH instead of an Amen?

Are there any contemporary reports from the period which detail they everyday life of your ordinary German that mentions this? Just how popular was this Hitler guy, anyway?
If you watch the old news reels carefully, you'll find that Hitler was a genuinely talented orator.

Not knowing German is in some ways almost a benefit, because you can concentrate on his technique.
  #17  
Old 10-07-2018, 06:09 AM
Kobal2's Avatar
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 17,207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloe Moe View Post
You'd wonder why Hitler didn't adopt the Prussian salute, given the Army under him reverted to Prussian traditions. I'm just guessing that traditional Prussian might recall sympathy for the old empire. Wilhelm II and von Mackensen were still around at the time of Hitler's ascension.

Because he loathed the Prussian elites, and the Prussian elites loathed him right back.



To Hitler & his clique of former non-commissioned officers, the Prussian nobility embodied the failed, limp-wristed right wing that (due to various factors mostly sprung out of his diseased mind) failed to bring about Germany's manifest greatness and superiority in WW1 and even got him and his friends gassed and then lost and sure, it was also all because of Them Jews somehow (nobody ever accused Nazism of making any goddamn sense) but still, fucking Prussians, man.
As for Prussians & the German aristocracy in general, they very much disliked this crass little arrivist with no name, no fortune, no breeding, no religion and no manners.



It was a mutually hateful alliance of convenience against the Left (and not just the Communists, but parlamentarians and democrats in general), so it's not surprising that among the military the most open and explosive (literally) opposition to Hitler's cronies came from names like "(Graf) Von Stauffenberg" or "Von Tresskow".
__________________
--- ---
I'm not sure how to respond to this, but that's never stopped me before.
  #18  
Old 10-07-2018, 12:17 PM
EinsteinsHund's Avatar
EinsteinsHund EinsteinsHund is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NRW, Germany
Posts: 2,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
As for Prussians & the German aristocracy in general, they very much disliked this crass little arrivist with no name, no fortune, no breeding, no religion and no manners.
Hindenburg famously called Hitler the "Bohemian private".
__________________
And if my thought-dreams could be seen
They’d probably put my head in a guillotine
  #19  
Old 10-07-2018, 01:41 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
SDSAB
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: my Herkimer Battle Jitney
Posts: 78,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
...One bizarre example I ran across in recent reading was that in 1930s-40s Japan, whenever movie newsreels mentioned the Emperor Hirohito, everyone in the audience was supposed to stand and remove their hats, on pain of arrest. The kicker was that the newsreels never actually showed the Emperor (that would have been disrespectful, or some such).
One Japanese teacher famously died going back into a burning schoolhouse to retrieve the portrait of the Emperor.
  #20  
Old 10-07-2018, 04:26 PM
nightshadea nightshadea is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: a condo in hell 10th lvl
Posts: 3,468
Theres a picture of the parade they had when he took over Austria where there was an little old lady waving flags and shouting the heil as tears were rolling down her eyes

Apparently if it didn't look like you were celebrating you were drug off and possibly not being seen again ...……….

I assume it was the same in germany ..
  #21  
Old 10-08-2018, 04:51 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 2,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
Theres a picture of the parade they had when he took over Austria where there was an little old lady waving flags and shouting the heil as tears were rolling down her eyes

Apparently if it didn't look like you were celebrating you were drug off and possibly not being seen again ...……….

I assume it was the same in germany ..
With a "blockwart" in every apartment building or group of houses, it was easy to report on who wasn't displaying flags or suitably prescribed levels of enthusiasm or involvement in "encouraged" activities. Not necessary to drag people off to concentration camps most of the time, just maybe arrange a visit from the local party officials to indicate how life could become very difficult if you weren't getting on with your neighbours....

Two examples that come to mind:

- a formal denunciation in the 1930s of a neighbour who didn't use the Hitler greeting, kept strange friends and peculiar hours. The records showed who made the denunciation (and this particular TV programme interviewed her fifty years later)
- something I saw in the Resistance Museum in Amsterdam - a record of a court case under the occupation for someone who refused to contribute to the official "Winter Help" campaign: https://actresist.wordpress.com/2017...-in-captivity/
  #22  
Old 10-08-2018, 03:21 PM
Inigo Montoya's Avatar
Inigo Montoya Inigo Montoya is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
Posts: 14,755
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
The salute became an ordinary way of life. Postmen used the greeting when they knocked on people's doors to deliver packages or letters. Small metal signs that reminded people to use the Hitler salute were displayed in public squares and on telephone poles and street lights throughout Germany. Department store clerks greeted customers with "Heil Hitler, how may I help you?" Dinner guests brought glasses etched with the words "Heil Hitler" as house gifts.
I can't see anything like this happening America without becoming an ironic joke almost immediately. The least supportive becoming the most zealous applicants with a barely visible wink-wink, for instance.
  #23  
Old 10-08-2018, 04:01 PM
ftg's Avatar
ftg ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 17,680
Came across this quote on Wikipedia on The Meaning of Hitler by Raimund Pretzel (pseudonym Sebastian Haffner)

"Haffner argues that on gaining office in 1933, Hitler achieved many 'miracles' in economic and military policy. 90% of Germans approved." (Going up to 1938.)

Note that 'miracles' in quotes. There was a lot of financial shenanigans and what not going on to make it seem like things were really getting better. It wasn't going to last.
  #24  
Old 10-09-2018, 10:34 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 20,244
From what I understand, after the Nazis won 37% of the vote in 1932, they instituted a lot of government terror tactics and propaganda to build their base for the 1933 elections. Despite it, they still only won 44% of the vote in 1933.

So I don't know the exact answer, but in the last election before the dictatorship when the Nazis were using terror and propaganda, they still had a minority of the population on their side.

I don't personally think Nazi germany is a good example of a cult of personality. I'd say that Stalin in the USSR or Kim Il Sung in North Korea are better examples. They were both deranged, inept, selfish leaders who are widely loved by the people there.

If you want to learn about a cult of personality I'd read up on them instead.
  #25  
Old 10-10-2018, 04:00 AM
PatrickLondon PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 2,763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
From what I understand, after the Nazis won 37% of the vote in 1932, they instituted a lot of government terror tactics and propaganda to build their base for the 1933 elections. Despite it, they still only won 44% of the vote in 1933.
If memory serves, they actually lost ground between the two elections of 1932, while the Communists if anything increased their support. That might explain why the other rightwing forces took the gamble of letting Hitler in, and made the mistake of thinking they could moderate him.
  #26  
Old 10-11-2018, 05:40 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 9,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
From what I understand, after the Nazis won 37% of the vote in 1932, they instituted a lot of government terror tactics and propaganda to build their base for the 1933 elections. Despite it, they still only won 44% of the vote in 1933.

So I don't know the exact answer, but in the last election before the dictatorship when the Nazis were using terror and propaganda, they still had a minority of the population on their side.

I don't personally think Nazi germany is a good example of a cult of personality. I'd say that Stalin in the USSR or Kim Il Sung in North Korea are better examples. They were both deranged, inept, selfish leaders who are widely loved by the people there.

If you want to learn about a cult of personality I'd read up on them instead.
Yes, although Hitler was elected he never had a majority and really never had the support of the middle class. Well until they started beating everyone up but by that stage there were no elections.

I'm not sure about hating the elite- certainly he had no time for certain of them and would never have supported the Kaiser returning- but overall the industrialists benefitted.

However Von Manstein - probably the best General of the war was never a Nazi and thought Hitler a fool. There was plenty of opposition (the White Rose for example) but little could be done.
  #27  
Old 10-11-2018, 07:52 AM
ftg's Avatar
ftg ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 17,680
In the early days the Nazis were anti-industrialist. Remember the "Socialist" part of the name? But people like Göring were constantly bringing their rich friends around to put pressure on Hitler ... and bring in much needed money. By the 30s Hitler was officially okay with them. He rewarded them quite well once he got into office. Money trumps ideology.
  #28  
Old 10-12-2018, 01:27 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 9,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
In the early days the Nazis were anti-industrialist. Remember the "Socialist" part of the name? But people like Göring were constantly bringing their rich friends around to put pressure on Hitler ... and bring in much needed money. By the 30s Hitler was officially okay with them. He rewarded them quite well once he got into office. Money trumps ideology.
Hitler had many contrasting ideas. I don't know that I would say he was anti industrialists but certainly always anti communist. I believe the Socialist bit was pretty much a cover for his wanting a dictatorship on his terms and to compete with the Social Democrats (in other words to give him a platform). After his failed push he was smart enough to realise he had to operate through the system as it was so goodnight Brownshirts- hello SS. (Took quite some time and a Depression).

He also had some Jewish "friends" he used to flog his replica paintings.

Anyway, to get back to the original question he was enormously popular in the late 30's- not so much in 1944. There is no doubt he had a very good touch for touching public sentiment and surrounded himself with people - such as Goebbals and Borman- who would see what he wanted was translated. And of course Himmler was instrumental in getting his loathsome racist wishes enforced.
  #29  
Old 10-12-2018, 02:47 AM
rat avatar's Avatar
rat avatar rat avatar is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 4,566
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
In the early days the Nazis were anti-industrialist. Remember the "Socialist" part of the name? But people like Göring were constantly bringing their rich friends around to put pressure on Hitler ... and bring in much needed money. By the 30s Hitler was officially okay with them. He rewarded them quite well once he got into office. Money trumps ideology.
Hitler’s party was “socialist” only to take advantage of the propaganda value of the word, and and the same with “workers” at best. But it can be argued that perhaps they copied from others and didn't purposefully plan for that being as much of a draw from the left as it was.

Otto Strasser was a kicked out because he was supporting “democracy and liberalism.” for assuming they were actually a "thing" in the eyes of the Nazis.


To be honest Hitler probably didn't understand economics to know the difference at the time and he probably liked the propaganda and used the terms. Complete subjugation of the economy is required to attempt his large scale economically counterproductive xenophobic policies in an attempt to create an economically independent ethno-state.

But any claims Nazis actually were leftists or socialists are pretty hard to justify with the history.

Nazi-Germany and Stalin's USSR can probably be described as populist movements but not much more is related past that.

Last edited by rat avatar; 10-12-2018 at 02:50 AM.
  #30  
Old 10-12-2018, 04:31 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 9,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by rat avatar View Post
Hitler’s party was “socialist” only to take advantage of the propaganda value of the word, and and the same with “workers” at best. But it can be argued that perhaps they copied from others and didn't purposefully plan for that being as much of a draw from the left as it was.

Otto Strasser was a kicked out because he was supporting “democracy and liberalism.” for assuming they were actually a "thing" in the eyes of the Nazis.


To be honest Hitler probably didn't understand economics to know the difference at the time and he probably liked the propaganda and used the terms. Complete subjugation of the economy is required to attempt his large scale economically counterproductive xenophobic policies in an attempt to create an economically independent ethno-state.

But any claims Nazis actually were leftists or socialists are pretty hard to justify with the history.

Nazi-Germany and Stalin's USSR can probably be described as populist movements but not much more is related past that.
I can't disagree with anything you say- you summed it up pretty well. Actually Hitler did very little at all apart from trying to dictate to the professional staff what the military forces should be doing. He would give a broad outline of his wishes and his toadies would carry them out as they interpreted it "Working towards the Fuhrer".

You can't visit the past but it is sad the way things turned out. Bismarck had said "Germany should never fight another war" before being sacked and then you get crazies like Wilhelm and Hitler (okay Hitler was Austrian).
  #31  
Old 10-12-2018, 07:25 AM
ftg's Avatar
ftg ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 17,680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
After his failed push he was smart enough to realise he had to operate through the system as it was so goodnight Brownshirts- hello SS. (Took quite some time and a Depression).
The Beerhall Putsch was in 1923. The Brownshirts were already being called the SA by that time. They continued to be a core part of the organization for many years after. The only big change before the Night of The Long Knives (1934) was in 1931 when Röhm was brought back and he started putting friends in charge, etc.

The Brownshirts operated the same way from the 1923 to 1934. So the putsch had nothing to do with their fall (their underwent a temporary renaming to avoid the Nazi party ban at the time).

Also, their fall had more to do with Hitler being uneasy with Röhm and his use of the group and nothing to do with "operating within the system". The Nazi's were the system by that time.
  #32  
Old 10-12-2018, 07:52 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 9,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
The Beerhall Putsch was in 1923. The Brownshirts were already being called the SA by that time. They continued to be a core part of the organization for many years after. The only big change before the Night of The Long Knives (1934) was in 1931 when Röhm was brought back and he started putting friends in charge, etc.

The Brownshirts operated the same way from the 1923 to 1934. So the putsch had nothing to do with their fall (their underwent a temporary renaming to avoid the Nazi party ban at the time).

Also, their fall had more to do with Hitler being uneasy with Röhm and his use of the group and nothing to do with "operating within the system". The Nazi's were the system by that time.
Well I disagree. After the push and his time in the slammer Hitler had time to rethink his strategy. The Brownshirts/ SA had so many members that Hitler could not disasocciate himself with them. That is one of the reasons the SS was formed- initially as bodyguard for Hitler- but also as a parallel force (something Hitler was fond of). The SS was initially a target for the Brownshirts and the police had to rescue them at times but eventually they became strong enough to take on the murder of Rohm.

Buy yourself a copy of The SS- A New History by Adrian Weale.
  #33  
Old 10-12-2018, 08:32 AM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 6,471
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
Propaganda built on their natural inclinations: "One People, One Nation, One Leader". So he embodied them and their country. Which got into some really scary stuff, psychologically speaking. Cults of personality are really bad things, as history has proven over and over.
Could you go on about that psychologically scary stuff? It seems relevant and non-obvious.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
After his failed push he was smart enough to realise he had to operate through the system as it was so goodnight Brownshirts- hello SS. (Took quite some time and a Depression).
Count me equally confused as FTG. You say that after the push (putsch?), he realized he had to work through the system, "goodnight Brownshirts" and "hello SS" and that this took enough time for the Depression to happen.

The Beerhall Putsch happened in 1923, the SS were founded in 1925, the Depression started in 1929 and the Night of the long knives was in 1934. I'm having a difficult time matching the chronology and I don't see how relying on the SS constitutes working through the system since the SS were not part of the government at that time.
  #34  
Old 10-12-2018, 10:54 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mesa, Ariz.
Posts: 4,324
I can't find it this morning (dammit!) but last night I was watching one of the Steven Spielberg films that are part of the Holocaust Memorial collection. It dealt with the Nazi rise to power and mentioned in passing that in 1936, the government -- fully autocratic at the time -- demanded all Germans who were part of a long list of jobs sign a loyalty to Hitler. Not Germany itself, not the founding documents of the nation, not the government, not even the NASDP itself, but Hitler, the individual.

It included with the military forces (naturally) and government workers, but went on to include the police and practically anyone wearing any kind of uniform, even tram drivers and street sweepers. Needless to say, teachers were included as well. IIRC in all, some 40% of German workers were included.
  #35  
Old 10-12-2018, 12:32 PM
Corry El Corry El is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,104
His 'actual popularity' varied over time. As a bunch of posts have pointed out, when there were reasonably free and air elections in Germany pre 3rd Reich, Hitler's popularity varied from low (joke, even) in the 1920's to significant support short of a majority at the time he gained power. Once the Nazi's implemented an authoritarian/totalitarian state then it's like other such cases, how exactly popular were/are the Communists or particular leaders in Russia or China over the decades? When there's vicious repression of existing opposition it's hard to tell, when the regimes have had decades to indoctrinate successive generations what does it actually mean? Although, of course, the Nazi's didn't last long enough to have that much of the latter phenomenon, a large part though not all the population remembered the time before them.

Anyway, seems hard to say how to quantify the exact path of support of Hitler. It's more or less common sense that it was pretty high ca. 1940 with a number of years to work on the population with propaganda, arguably significant improvements in the average person's economic situation, and objective fact of major military victories especially against France which had humiliated Germany. And likewise it's hard to believe it didn't decline from that as the war turned disastrous. But I wonder what even the best historical research could offer to quantify that except more and better anecdotes.

To which I'd just add that the grandma/grandpa in the German family with whom my daughter lived as exchange student there not many years ago became close to her. And her Germany became quite excellent I'm proud to say. They confided they still had some positive feelings for Hitler, 'he was trying to help the German people, at least'.
  #36  
Old 10-13-2018, 06:08 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 9,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
Could you go on about that psychologically scary stuff? It seems relevant and non-obvious.





Count me equally confused as FTG. You say that after the push (putsch?), he realized he had to work through the system, "goodnight Brownshirts" and "hello SS" and that this took enough time for the Depression to happen.

The Beerhall Putsch happened in 1923, the SS were founded in 1925, the Depression started in 1929 and the Night of the long knives was in 1934. I'm having a difficult time matching the chronology and I don't see how relying on the SS constitutes working through the system since the SS were not part of the government at that time.
It's not linear and the time line can be confusing. After the "Putsch" or "push" failed Hitler realised he had to work through the current system as a revolution was not going to hppen given his very small popularity base. However, Rohm and his Brownshirts (SA) had a very much different view in that they wanted a revolution and envisaged a far different system- and way to achieve this. Hence Hitler understood that there had to be a way of marginalising the Brownshirts (SA)which was difficult given their control of weapons and immense base. The SS was formed initially as a bodyguard for Hitler but numbers were small but loyal. As time went by, Hitler gained some political traction but it wasn't until the Depression that he was able to launch an all out attack on the failures of the system and present an alternative Govt (this was on the back of American loans and such becoming less available) and the economy was a mess. (Rohm had gone to Bolivia). Rohm came back on the request of Hitler but was still after a second revolution and power

Eventually Hitler did gain power through the help of the arch conspiratist von Papen but Rohm and the SA were causing trouble and Rohm wanted control of the armed forces which of course horrified the Wehrmacht General Staff and the industrialists who hoped to make a fortune from military contracts. Hitler assured the industrialists that there would not be a second revolution and in the meantime Goering, Heydrich and Goebbals and Himmler were plotting the end of the SA. The SS had grown to a large (not huge) organisation. Hitler had assured the dying Hindenburg he would end the problems and he did- so the Night of the Long Knives.

I know this is convoluted but there was nothing simple about the regime.
  #37  
Old 10-13-2018, 07:29 AM
ftg's Avatar
ftg ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 17,680
I just want to point out that the order and cause of events that Cicero is presenting here are not in line with the basics of what you get from other sources. (Even Wikipedia does a better job!)

E.g., the statement "Rohm came back on the request of Hitler but was still after a second revolution and power" [sic] doesn't fit anything I can find. Röhm came back to head the SA (which included the Brownshirts) in 1931. What "second revolution" happened around that time is beyond me.

I find Cicero's comments quite baffling.
  #38  
Old 10-13-2018, 09:31 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back.
Posts: 27,291
I think that what Cicero is referring to is that Röhm actually was a radical socialist of a populist streak. He thought that once Hitler had gained power by soft-pedalling the "socialism"' in the party, there would be a second, more thorough re-organisation of German society, such as abolishing the Army, which he saw as a continuation of the Prussian aristocratic elite. The SA, a people's army, would replace it. That was Röhm's downfall. Hindenberg and the army would not tolerate that kind of revolutionary nonsense and made that clear to Hitler, who was still trying to consolidate his power and knew he couldn't risk alienating the Army.

So that was the end of Röhm and the SA.
  #39  
Old 10-13-2018, 09:33 PM
Cicero Cicero is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Australia
Posts: 9,230
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
I just want to point out that the order and cause of events that Cicero is presenting here are not in line with the basics of what you get from other sources. (Even Wikipedia does a better job!)

E.g., the statement "Rohm came back on the request of Hitler but was still after a second revolution and power" [sic] doesn't fit anything I can find. Röhm came back to head the SA (which included the Brownshirts) in 1931. What "second revolution" happened around that time is beyond me.

I find Cicero's comments quite baffling.

Maybe rereading Wiki would make it clear- to quote an excerpt "Röhm spoke of a "second revolution" against the Reaktion (the National Socialist label for conservatives). "

I don't find it baffling.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:27 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017