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Thread: Hitler's, or Goebbels', greatest achievement?

  1. #1
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    Default Hitler's, or Goebbels', greatest achievement?

    I'm watching a documentary dealing with Hitler's rise to power.

    It claims that the suicide of Geli Raubal in September 1931 received a lot of adverse German press at the time about his relationship with her, and that in the election campaign in the first quarter of 1932 there was a good deal of adverse German press comment about him personally, including allegations of homosexuality and other personal conduct which contradicted the Nazi superman ideal. I wasn't aware previously that there might have been widespread contemporary publicity about these matters in Germany.

    That may well have contributed to Hitler's loss, but if the press was pursuing those claims in 1931-32 (not sources available to me), then it is remarkable that Hitler wasn't permanently tainted, especially among women.

    What seems even more remarkable is that as a bachelor tainted by those claims he managed to present himself as the head of the Aryan ideal.

    While it is likely that the achievement was Goebbels', I can't think of any other bachelor tainted by claims of perverse sexual and incestuous conduct who could have been 'elected' in a democracy of any sort around that time. I suspect that all, or certainly most, democratic leaders were married in that era, as they are now.

    Assuming that the claims of widespread personal smears in the press are correct, how did Hitler manage to put that adverse public opinion behind him?
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 01-11-2013 at 06:13 AM.
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    Default Re: Hitler's, or Goebbels', greatest achievement?

    It's impossible to say not having been there reading the newspapers, but I suspect the sheer desperation of the populace and the multifaceted tactics employed by the Nazis (not least of which was intimidation) against others and to advance their cause went a long way towards obfuscating the issue of Hitler's (weird) personal life. I also imagine he was far from the only political figure and candidate beset by rumors regarding their sex and family life. Also, I once saw a documentary on Hitler's experience in WWI and many of the rumors regarding his homosexuality were sourced to a fellow soldier that turned out to be a convicted felon and career conman. But most of all the turmoil of economic depression and the fallout from the Versailles Treaty may have gone a long way towards allowing the underbelly to rise to the surface in Germany during the Wiemar Era, and the widespread animosity or apathy towards that gov't may have influenced a certain groundswell support for candidates that were anything but conventional, upstanding political figures. I also have heard part of Hitler's personal appeal to women was that he was a bachelor and this fed into his cult of personality of being "married to the Fatherland". (Perhaps he was homo after all! )...

    But I guess my overall point is that perhaps Hitler's bachelorhood was not seen as a negative at the time, but may well have been a net gain in the sense that it fed into his seemingly mythic status...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 01-12-2013 at 12:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Hitler's, or Goebbels', greatest achievement?

    Frankly, if you were to subtract all the leaders with sexual peccadilloes from history there would be few things to read about. A drive to leadership (in men, at least) has everything to do with ego and ego may have a great deal to with libido as well. Not being a psychologist, I cannot be sure, but being an observer of leadership during seven decades, that's my suspicion. What do they say? Motive + opportunity = ?

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    Default Re: Hitler's, or Goebbels', greatest achievement?

    Frankly, if you were to subtract all the leaders with sexual peccadilloes from history there would be few things to read about. A drive to leadership (in men, at least) has everything to do with ego and ego may have a great deal to with libido as well. Not being a psychologist, I cannot be sure, but being an observer of leadership during seven decades, that's my suspicion. What do they say? Motive + opportunity = ? Not to mention, the fact that power appears to be an aphrodisiac to many ladies.

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    Default Re: Hitler's, or Goebbels', greatest achievement?

    Quote Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
    ...Not to mention, the fact that power appears to be an aphrodisiac to many ladies.
    I've read many times that a guy who is a "leader of men" is almost irresistible to women, something programmed into them during our evolutionary past. Far more so than wealth, looks, toys, etc...

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    Default Re: Hitler's, or Goebbels', greatest achievement?

    I suspect that all, or certainly most, democratic leaders were married in that era, as they are now.
    I'm not sure how you're defining "era, but certainly several US Presidents (including Woodrow Wilson, not too long before the 30's) have been unmarried for at least part of their terms (admittedly, most were widowers, but one remained a bachelor, and another didn't marry until in office). I suspect you'd find similar exceptions among other nations.

    My impression, from reading, of Germany (and Berlin especially) during the 1930s was hardly one of social or sexual conservatism. Some of the live "burlesque" shows seemed excessively raunchy. Also remember the (admittedly heterosexual) sexual mores the Third Reich was able to promote within Germany, without too much difficulty. You also had a variety of well-known homosexuals in the Nazi party right from the beginning: Ernst Röhm being perhaps the most flagrant example. Hitler was also able to use validate his masculinity by pointing to his Iron Cross, etc. Incest might be a much harder thing to get away with, especially if it led to suicide, put I don't know anything about how well publicized that actually was, as opposed to mere rumor.

    What seems even more remarkable is that as a bachelor tainted by those claims he managed to present himself as the head of the Aryan ideal.
    Well, rumors of incest and/or homosexuality are things you can't quite "see." What about taking a short, dark-haired, and non-aquiline featured guy and successfully passing him off as the leader of a race of tall, blond, chisel-featured race of supermen?

    Not being a psychologist, I cannot be sure....
    I'm related to one or two, and dated a third. Believe me, they cannot be sure either!
    "...we have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo (Walt Kelly)

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    Default Re: Hitler's, or Goebbels', greatest achievement?

    Well, they destroyed Germany for starters, ripped it of lots of its territory and they dragged down the lot of Europe with them.
    And what is more is that only now, well for a couple of decades, Germany reclaimed its quality and economic position, including chemical and technical finesse.
    It seems odd to some, but Germany had a less aggressive geopolitical tradition and "label" before Wilhelm II.
    It is nice to have big heavy tanks, it is even nicer not to need them

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