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Adolf Hitler Navnet er synonymt med et af de værste diktaturer i historien, med folkemord og Anden Verdenskrig.
Han forårsagede ubeskrivelige lidelser for millioner af mennesker. Man er på én gang fascineret og frastødt, og
ønsker svar på spørgsmålet: Hvordan kunne det gå til?
I Hitler fortæller Ian Kershaw om Hitlers liv fra fødslen i Østrig til selvmordet i det udbombede Berlin. Om hvordan en så bizar særling
som Hitler kunne tage magten i Tyskland; et moderne, kompliceret, økonomisk udviklet og kulturelt fremtrædende land. Og om hvordan
Hitler udøvede sin magt ved hjælp af store demagogiske evner og et sikkert blik for, hvordan han hensynsløst kunne udnytte sine
We surely need books like Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners that examine German society as a whole in an effort to understand how Hitler came to power and held it for so long. But we also need classic, political biographies that focus on the dictator himself. Kershaw's book, the first volume of a projected two-part biography, pays some attention to how ripe a demoralized Germany was for demagoguery after the Treaty of Versailles, but the author's focus is on Hitler and his political career--the decisions he made as he rose to power and those he made once he attained it. What distinguishes this effort is the extent of documentation as Kershaw, a professor of history at the University of Sheffield, exploits the full Goebbels diaries and texts of early Hitler speeches only recently made accessible. Also notable is the portrait Kershaw draws of Hitler as surprisingly remote from the thuggery, greed and corruption of his followers, high and low, even as he actively encouraged the development of a cult of personality. Kershaw closes with an examination of Hitler's remilitarization of the Rhineland, a fait accompli made possible by the timidity and disarray of Germany's supine neighbors. Had the French marched, Hitler said later, "we would have had to withdraw... with our tails between our legs." By 1936, Kershaw writes, events had substantiated Hitler's hubris. A "nemesis" (subtitle of the next volume) would in reality not emerge before 1941. Kershaw's massive work (made somewhat too massive by some repetition) is valuable for the rigor with which it portrays Hitler not as some supernatural evil force ejected into history from beyond but as a thoroughly natural figure--evil, surely, but historically evil. Photos.