How Hitler Was Made: Ger­many and the Rise of the Per­fect Nazi

  • From the Publisher
May 4, 2018

How did an obscure agi­ta­tor on the polit­i­cal fringes of ear­ly-20th-cen­tu­ry Ger­many rise to become the supreme leader of the Third Reich”? Unlike many oth­er books that track Adolf Hitler’s career after 1933, this book focus­es on his for­ma­tive peri­od – imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing World War I (19181924). The author, a vet­er­an pro­duc­er of his­tor­i­cal doc­u­men­taries, brings to life this era of polit­i­cal unrest and vio­lent con­flict, when forces on both the left and right were engaged in a des­per­ate pow­er strug­gle. Among the com­pet­ing groups was a high­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed net­work of eth­nic chau­vin­ists that dis­cov­ered Hitler and groomed him into the leader he became.

The book also under­scores the impor­tance of a post-war social­ist rev­o­lu­tion in Bavaria, led by earnest reform­ers, some of whom were Jew­ish. Right wing extrem­ists skewed this brief exper­i­ment in democ­ra­cy fol­lowed by Sovi­et-style com­mu­nism as evi­dence of a Jew­ish-Bol­she­vik plot. Along with the per­ni­cious stab-in-the-back” myth, which mis­di­rect­ed blame for Ger­many’s defeat onto civil­ian politi­cians, pub­lic opin­ion was primed for Hitler to use his polit­i­cal cun­ning and ora­tor­i­cal pow­ers to effec­tive­ly blame Jews and Com­mu­nists for all of Ger­many’s problems.

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