Hitler family Hitler's father Alois Hitler Sr.
To see this content you need to install Flash player 10 or above. To what extent do you think that the individual character and personality and leadership of Adolf Hitler was crucial in what happened, in Poland and in the war happening at all?
He was crucial both to the timing and the manner of these things unfolding and to the character of the rabidly racist and ideological project. But Hitler was not alone, and you have to remember that. However, they balked, perhaps, when it came to the more violent physical manifestations of that racism when it comes eventually to what they call the 'Final Solution'.
I think the vast majority of people in the old Germany, away from the borders, first of all were initially terrified, and did not want to go back to war. Do you think that actually they, to some extent, 'lucked' into the victory over France?
Yes, I mean, if you look at the military manoeuvring and the difficulty of part of the German invasion, the fact that they actually made it through and that they came out the way they did was extraordinary.
And why do you think that the Germans might well have emerged the victors from the war pre-Barbarossa? On the other hand, I think it was by no means over.
My own view is that you cannot actually predict how things could have gone in different circumstances there, and had Hitler stopped short, at what might have looked like a traditional war of territorial reorganisation in Central Europe, he might have had more chance of coming out with some kind of a settlement without going for the doomed scenario that we actually got.
What would be the scenario in which you imagine he might well have emerged the victor? Well, you see, so many of these things are hypotheticals.
I think the difference between Chamberlain and Churchill was the crucial moment where things could have gone quite differently, if Churchill had not come on board as leader at that point. We could have had Elser being successful in the previous November in bumping Hitler off in the Beer Hall inso many things could have been different.
So Hitler's not going to win. There would also have probably been some kind of settlement required which might or might not have entailed military conflict.
Had it not been for Hitler there might have been some other kind of revision. To what extent would you agree with people who say Hitler imagined what was going to happen much later on - the extermination of the Jews in particular - in fact imagined all this from the early Twenties?
On the other hand, that is not to say that that is the explanation of the 'Final Solution'. In other words, if you use that to say he had a plan, he intended it all along, it was the unfolding of the plan, that is not the way it took place.
My view on that one is that Hitler was undoubtedly murderously anti-Semitic. He was murderous in all sorts of other respects as well, for example bumping off the leadership of the SA inso murder was always a weapon for Hitler; a legitimate weapon.
The notion, however, of ridding Germany of the Jews was, for a long time, seen rather differently. That is very late. That is a much more complex process than is implied by the notion of 'a plan' which is going to be realised when the time is right. Is it a helpful way to look at it, as some people do, and think that Hitler always wanted 'rid' of the Jews, and what form that 'getting rid' of would take would vary from time to time?
I think that is slightly simplistic.
At what point in that journey do you think we can say that Hitler makes a decision that there will be total extermination? The second is the notion of how can we do it more efficiently?
You can talk about September and the use of Zyklon B gas in Auschwitz for the first time and the experiment with that. What do you think? I think that there are certain key moments when decisions are taken.
He uses the word Befehl, so he has the sense that there has been a Befehl at some time for the special treatment of the Jews.
Is it in terms of a specific moment or is it a cumulative process with lots of separate decisions cumulatively building up to the visible taking of people to be gassed? I find it very difficult to say there is a moment because I think there are many, many such moments. Some people might try and say that because Hitler is spending most of his time engaged in trying to win the war, the question of Jewish policy is left to a large extent to others.
Because he is the legitimation that is always used. I mean, the Fuehrer is the legitimatory figurehead for all of this, and whenever we look at any particular instance it is always what the Fuehrer wishes which is the legitimatory fig-leaf around the whole thing.Role of Adolf Hitler LAURENCE REES: To what extent do you think that the individual character and personality and leadership of Adolf Hitler was crucial in what .
Adolf Hitler never held a regular job and aside from his time in World War I, led a lazy lifestyle, from his brooding teenage days in Linz through years spent in idleness and poverty in Vienna. But after joining the German Workers' Party in at age thirty, Hitler immediately began a frenzied.
Adolf Hitler (German: [ˈadɔlf ˈhɪtlɐ] (listen); 20 April – 30 April ) was a German politician, demagogue, Pan-German revolutionary, and leader of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei; NSDAP) who rose to power in Germany as Chancellor in .
Part 24 of a complete online history, The Rise of Adolf Hitler - From Unknown to Dictator of Germany, at The History Place. Hitler Becomes Dictator After the elections of March 5, , the Nazis began a systematic takeover of the state governments throughout Germany, ending a centuries-old tradition of local political independence.
Hitler lost the election in , but he gained the support of important industry leaders. Here, Hitler speaking on April 4, Credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike Germany This. On this day in , Adolf Hitler, already chancellor, is also elected president of Germany in an unprecedented consolidation of power in the short history of the republic.
In , German.