Updated 12/9/2019 @11:55 a.m.
Let's begin at the end, a madman sacrificing everyone, including those closest to him; women, children, military leaders, even his lover. No life or mission mattered more than his own - even after he came to recognize that his ill-fated vision of the world would surely end.
"Cowards! Incompetents!..." no one in his party could sufficiently do what was needed to win his war against the world; having overestimated human tolerance for his vainglorious vision.
Indeed, world leaders marshaled their resources to confront the challenge of an existential crisis concerning the future of humanity - bringing hope in the face of horror and fear.
In the end, tucked in a bunker, with his rants and ramblings, the world came for him. Steeped in his madness, engulfed in the magnitude of his lustful ambitions and indifference toward a world he set himself over; no daylight, unreasonable, and defiant. Even this, loyalty permitted.
After him, heroic nations scoured the world for the those who thought they had escaped with their passions for purity and prejudice.
In hindsight, I wonder how many of his "cowards and incompetents," would have chosen to end it before it all began? Before they were forced to join him in the final days of delusion inside of a bunker.
Module 9 | Prompt
- In the early days of what would become a brutal reign of terror, did Adolf Hitler's political allies know of the risks they were unleashing upon their lives and the world?
- Though many saw Hitler's mental decline, why did so many choose to believe he was well enough to lead Germany to victory?
- When test of loyalty led to executions among his leadership, why didn't anyone stop Hitler from his reign of terror?
"...the situation had taken a turn for the worse. ... Hitler had learned that Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, had given the Allies an offer of immediate surrender—an offer they promptly refused. Outraged, Hitler demanded that Himmler—once his close and powerful compatriot—be arrested. Then Hitler heard of the death of Benito Mussolini, his counterpart in Italy. Executed and defiled by an angry mob, the dictator’s end was a powerful warning about what might be in store for the man who had promised his now-devastated country an endless empire" (Blakemore, 2015).
"Everyone in the bunker waited nervously" (Walker, 2017).
"With Germany lying in ruins after six years of war, and with defeat imminent, Hitler decided to take his own life. [...]
'I myself and my wife – in order to escape the disgrace of deposition or capitulation – choose death'"(The Last Picture of Adolf Hitler, n.d.).
"The former nurse revealed in [an] interview that Hitler was almost paralyzed with paranoia as the end neared... 'By the end, he didn't trust anyone any more - not even the cyanide capsule he swallowed,' she is quoted as saying..." (Former Nurse Tells of Hitler's Last Days, 2005).
"Finally, there is enough evidence to suggest that Hitler demonstrated features of palilalia. B Dahlerus, a Swedish businessman, came in close contact with Hitler in 1939 and observed, ‘Suddenly Hitler, stopped and stared into space. His voice became hollow and his whole behavior seemed quite abnormal. He said, ’ If there is a war, I will build U-boats! U-boats! U-boats! ... I will build airplanes! Airplanes! Airplanes! ... I will build airplanes! Airplanes! Airplanes!’ Lieberman, however, adds that whether this was an instance of Hitler's oratorical skill and rhetorical flourish is difficult to make out.
Judging by descriptions of the symptoms from those who were close to him [...] The nature of his personality raises serious questions whether he truly suffered from the nonmotor symptoms of Parkinsonism as well. Paranoid delusions, persecution mania, and selfish and narcissistic attitude characterized him to his final days and contrasting attitudes towards the Jews and animals point towards a serious personality disorder, as suggested by a number of researchers. It is difficult to assess how much damage did amphetamine and other curious agents prescribed ... caused to him. [...] Hitler's numerous written accounts, points towards the idiopathic nature of his illness. [...] the alleged neurological problems of Adolf Hitler, if any, who was by every analysis, one of the most significant characters in the 20th century - and whose rise and fall changed the course of world history forever." (Bhattacharyya, 2015).
In The Pre-War Era
"...the Gestapo, at least in the pre-war period and the early days of the war, generally operated in accordance with the law, ... the Gestapo always investigated denunciations of individuals by the public. ... 26 percent of all Gestapo cases began with a denunciation of, usually, a neighbor or family member. While few such cases resulted even in imprisonment, much less death, the advent of war predictably brought less tolerance of dissent..." (Foy, 2017).
See Interdisciplinary Resources for references.
- Blakemore. E. (2015). Adolf Hitler's Last Days. Mental Floss. Keywords: Hitler, World War II
- Bhattacharyya K. B. (2015). Adolf Hitler and His Parkinsonism. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, 18(4), 387–390. Keywords: Adolf Hitler, hitler, idiopathic Parkinson's disease, Parkinsonism, post-encephalitic, post-encephalitic Parkinsonism
- Former Nurse Tells of Hitler's Last Days. (2005). DW. DW Academie. Keywords: Germany, German, Hitler, Nazi, World War II, Goebbels, Erna Flegel, Bunker, Berlin, Adolf, Führer, Suicide
- The Last Picture of Adolf Hitler. (n.d.). Rare Historical Photos. Keywords: Hitler, Germany, Suicide, Hitler's Will
- Foy. D (2017) The Myth of Hitler's Secret Police. Intelligence In Literature and Media. The CIA. Keywords: Gestapo, Reichstag, Hitler, World War II, Germany, Homosexuals, Prostitutes, Juvenile Delinquents, Street Gangs, Gypsies, the Long-Term Unemployed, Jews, Concentration Camps
- Walker. P. (2017). Adolf Hitler's 'Last Body Guard' Reveals What Happened In The Nazi Leaders Final Minutes In The Berlin Bunker. Independent. Keywords: Hitler, Bunker, Nazi Germany, Eva Braun, Suicide
I'm still reviewing research for my next podcast, but will update Module 9's blog throughout the month.
Video via YouTube by MSNBC