Hitler obviously hated a lot of people, and posterity has repaid him in kind. Other than Jimmy Carter he’s clearly history’s greatest monster. Continuing my way through Kershaw’s brilliant two-part biography, he doesn’t seem to actually like and respect anyone; even those he gets on with he either exploits or holds himself aloof from.
Was there anyone who could talk to the Fuhrer as a respected equal, without risking their safety? Did he regard anyone from history as greater than him?
The only person he seems to have really loved is his doting mother. There’s also Eva Braun, but by marrying her he signed her death warrant and at times he seems embarrassed by her or just patronises her.
Bonus question: What would he have thought of today’s Neo-Nazi skinheads who revere him? My own take is that these kind of thugs would remind him of the SA he brutally cracked down on in 1934.
Well, aside from the ego-stroking—and depending on how much the amphetamines were affecting his judgement that afternoon—I can’t imagine his professional opinion would have been super high about the second group to join the “sacrifice me when I become a political liablity!” goon’s club.
'Course, maybe he would have thought they were awesome. I mean, he was known for thinking that about a lot of things that had really, really bad results.
IANAΨ, but psychologically, Hitler was probably a fairly ordinary Sociopath, but happened to be clever and disciplined enough, and in right enough places at right enough times, to acquire power. Sociopathy is not uncommon and ia fairly well understood, comprising a population of several millinin the USA alone. It is very likely that a few American sociopaths are in conspicuous positions of power, but an intelligent sociopath is very skilled at keeping his pathology hidden from public view.
A Sociopath is so self-centered, that he is basically unfamiliar with the concept of liking or respecting or having any sentiment at all about anybody other than themselves. That, however, does not stop them from fleetingly mentioning that they have a certain respect or liking for another individual who has said or done something that helps them further their own social view. But in another day, they would just as quickly victimize that same person.
His teenage friend and roommate August Kubizek who Hitler treated very. He persuaded Kubizek’s father to allow “Gustl” to attend music school instead of later taking over the family upholstery business. After a separation of two decades, the two met in 1938 where Hitler offered him a job as conductor. Kubizek declined and Hitler insisted on paying for Kubizek’s three sons education at the Anton Bruckner Conservatory. Hitler also had Kubizek twice as his guest at the Bayreuth Wagner Festival, which was sheer bliss for Kubizek (I think Kubizek had broader musical tastes than Hitler, such as Guiseppe Verdi whom Hitler dismissed as fit only for organ grinders with trained monkeys).
About a dozen of people have been said, at some time or another, to have used the informal “Du” when addressing der Führer.
Röhm is one. Others include Goebbels, August Kubizek, Hermann Esser, Christian Weber, Julius Streicher, Dietrich Eckart and Max Amann.
Apart from those mentioned upthread, Hitler certainly respected Hans Hörbiger, too.
I recall reading somewhere that Hörbiger once even told Hitler to “shut your mouth” (Maul zu!) in face-to-face conversation, and lived to tell the tale. Googling the quote, though, leads to disreputable sources, so the anecdote might not hold water (no pun intended).
Oh and he certainly seems to have come to respect Stalin towards the end there…
I’m surprised Streicher got away with addressing Hitler as ‘du’, I always heard that Hitler considered him to be a coarse vulgarian.
I’m not surprised this guy got away with telling Hitler to STFU if true, that moustache commands respect. Although he did die before Hitler became Chancellor so maybe that’s why.
What about Heinz Guderian? Towards the end when he was the Only Sane Man he got into shouting matches with the Fuhrer few would get away with. Maybe Hitler didn’t like him but he must have respected him if he let him argue with him like that, and live to tell the tale.
Hitler apparently liked Hiroshi Oshima, the Japanese ambassador to Germany. Oshima was a right-wing general and he admired Hitler and the Nazis. Hitler, in turn, seemed to enjoy Oshima’s company. They shared similar views but Oshima, being Japanese, was outside of Nazi politics. He was somebody Hitler could relax around and talk to about the situation in the world and the direction the war was going in.
Which turned out to be a huge advantage to the United States. Oshima, while Hitler’s friend, was also the Japanese ambassador. So he reported back to Tokyo all the stuff that Hitler told him, including his military plans. And the United States had broken the Japanese code and could read it all. As a result, the Americans often had a better idea of what was happening in Germany than many high-ranking Germans did.
Hitler seems to have been quite friendly with Heinrich Hoffmann. Early party member, personal and then party photographer. He introduced Mr. Mustache to Eva Braun.
Outside of family members (including Eva’s mother) and a secretary, he didn’t leave anything to any persons in his will. It assumed that Eva would die at the same time as him and presumably many of his “business” associates would soon die as well so he didn’t bother to leave anything to them, it would appear.
I wonder if there is an older will known to exist? That would say more about who mattered in his life.