Posts Tagged ‘Hitler’

* Lew’s review of … The Myth of the Twentieth Century by Alfred Rosenberg

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 30, 2013

Rosenberg & Hitler

This is Rosenberg’s incomprehensible, unreadable and I think mostly unsuccessful attempt to cast Hitler’s hatred in more scholarly form. He ranges pretentiously over a wide variety of topics with no regard for connection, consistency or truth. UTTER GARBAGE. Some examples …

• Greedy for the goods of this world, the Jew moves from city to city, from land to land, and remains where he finds the least resistance to his parasitical business.
• The Jew sought domination and, until 1933, seemed stronger than us.
• Where any kind of wound is torn open in the body of a nation, the Jewish demon always eats itself into the infected part and, as a parasite, it exploits the weak hours of the great nations of this world.
• The emancipation of the Jews followed from the preaching of the insane idea of human equality.
• Every German and non German living in Germany who through word, writing and action makes himself guilty of insulting the German people will, depending upon the gravity of the case, be punished with imprisonment, jail, or death.
• the so called old testament must be abolished once and for all as a book of religion.
• England had conquered south Africa for the Jewish diamond dealers … It had handed over control of all financial transactions to Jewish bankers … It had allowed the opium trade to fall increasingly into Jewish hands.

Rosenberg reveals a fundamental fear of Jews,

based on what I read as a clear sense of his own inferiority,

much like Hitler’s.

In the eyes of Rosenberg (and Hitler), all Jewish accomplishments must be viewed as the result of an evil worldwide conspiracy to take advantage of the good German (Christian) people.

Only by exterminating the Jews like plague bacilli

can the German people flourish.

• The law of the coming Reich will sweep here with an iron broom. It will fulfill the words of Lagarde concerning Jews. He said that one cannot convert plague bacilli, but must render them harmless as quickly as possible.



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* Lew’s review of “The Coming of the Third Reich” by Richard Evans … research for CHOOSING HITLER, Lew’s novel-in-progress

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 15, 2013

evans - coming of 3rd reich - cover

A brilliantly clear and comprehensive exposition of the complex events of 1930-32 which led to the appointment of Hitler as Reich Chancellor on January 30, 1933, corresponding exactly to the next chapter(s) I will be writing in my novel-in-progress CHOOSING HITLER.

Evans paints a heartbreaking scenario of the many opportunities

(albeit with hindsight)

whereby Hitler could have been stopped.

These include …

… Nov 1932 vote was a disappointment to NS leaders … they had gathered splinter party votes but had not made inroads into Social Democrat or Centre Party voters … a feeling (among NS leaders) that NS vote may have peaked … Goebbels: “we won’t get to an absolute majority this way … something must happen … the time for (electoral) opposition is over … now deeds!” … Goebbels and Hitler agreed that, if they stuck to a parliamentary route to power, the stagnation of their vote suggested that the situation might start to slip out of their grasp … Hitler’s only open route to power was to get appointed Chancellor

… the unwillingness of the Centre Party (Catholic) and the Social Democrats (socialist) to work together … NS now (Nov 1932) had less seats (196) than the combined two Marxist parties – Communists (100) + Social Democrats (121) = 221 … Centre Party had 70 seats … the Nazis were jubilant at the failure of the Social Democrats and trade unions to respond to the Papen coup … Goebbels wrote in his diary … “They have missed their big chance. It’s never going to come again.”

… the arrogant assumptions by the military and some industrialists that Hitler could be used but also controlled … Schleicher: if Hitler establishes a dictatorship in Germany, the army will be the dictatorship within the dictatorship … Papen: within two months we will have pushed Hitler so far into a corner that he’ll squeak

… the evident peaking of the Nazi electorate … the NS vote (Nov 1932) fell from 13.7 million to 11.7 … seats fell from 230 to 196 … in local elections held in Thuringia (in Dec 1932) the NS vote plummeted by 40% from the previous July … NS was virtually bankrupt

This is where the Nazis stood on Jan 1 1933.

Yet just 30 days later, Hitler was Chancellor.

What made this turnaround possible was the fact that parliamentary government no longer functioned in Germany. The country was run by Presidential decree, exercised through an appointed Chancellor. Hindenburg, in his 80s and after 7 years as President, was tired and declining. He never considered democratic alternatives. There was no effective leadership from the more moderate parties.

… after 1930 election, Reichstag virtually unmanageable … 107 brown-shirted, uniformed Nazis joined 77 well-organized Communists … raising incessant points of order, chanting, shouting, interrupting, demonstrating their total contempt for the legislature at every juncture … power drained from the Reichstag … every session ended in an uproar … soon came to seem pointless to meet at all … after Sept 1930 only negative majorities were possible .. in Feb 1931, Reichstag adjourned itself for 6 months – did not return until Oct … from July 1932 to Feb 1933, Reichstag convened for 3 days in 6 months

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* Lew’s review of “Hitler and the Collapse of Weimar Germany” … research for CHOOSING HITLER, my novel-in-progress

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 8, 2013

Broszat-Hitler & Weimar

A clear, crisp and perhaps the most complete account of the last days of the Weimar Republic. Covers all of the intrigues between Hitler and the leaders of Weimar – Hindenburg, Bruning, Schleicher, and Papen. Shows clearly both the slippery slope that led to totalitarian dictatorship and the series of opportunities to prevent it, lost one by one due to a lack of imagination, an inability to compromise, and an absence of political energy. When opposed to Hitler’s relentless and, it must be admitted, brilliant political propaganda, organization, and maneuvering, the more moderate forces just gave up. Perhaps they under-estimated Hitler’s ability and his evil, or perhaps they just didn’t have it in them to keep fighting, or both.

There are other lessons for us today …

… Chancellor Bruning was convinced Germany’s public finances could only be put in order again if the country went through a long period of utmost parsimony and public expenditure cuts … these programs were not successful … There were demands heard from the German public to address the financial crisis with the help of public works programs and deficit spending policy … these demands were ignored by Weimar, but were later implemented by the Nazis.

LMW: sound familiar? The policies of austerity during economic downturn are just as futile and counter-productive today as they were in 1930s Germany.

… local elections in Thuringia on Dec 4 1932 were catastrophic for the Nazis … lost 15% from previous election … membership cards were being returned … intra-party criticism was mounting … party finances were in a precarious state … there was mounting tension within the Nazi movement.

LMW: the Nazi electoral support may well have peaked. Had Weimar hung on a little longer, it might have survived. But less than two months after that disastrous election loss, Hitler was Chancellor.


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* Lew’s review and extracts from “Why Hitler Came Into Power” … research for my novel-in-progress tentatively titled CHOOSING HITLER

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 5, 2013

why hitler came into power - cover

This is a fascinating report, drawn from essays written by Nazi members in 1934, in response to a contest organized by a Columbia University professor. The timing is just after Hitler took power and well before his intentions to murder the Jews of Europe were as clear as they later became.

As I enter the phase of my new book where my main German character is “drawn” into the Nazi world, these statements by others who decided to become Nazis are invaluable sources of understanding. One of the challenging aspects of my novel-in-progress [“Choosing Hitler”] is to write in a manner that accurately and honestly shows the enthusiasm of those who were drawn to Hitler when I myself am filled with repulsion and hatred for every aspect of Hitler and those who supported him.

Here are some of the hundreds of notes I have taken from this excellent but little known book …

… the racial doctrine advocated by the NS was equally important to the principle of leadership in underpinning the ideology of the movement … there were three main tenets … one was the belief in the biological superiority of the “Germanic” race … Second was the opinion of that racial purity is the basis of national health and that intermixture of races is the source of all social decay … Third is the claim that the Jews are an inferior race and that their influence on the economic, political, and cultural life of Germany, past and present, is responsible for everything that was and is evil

… The tendency to interpret personal experiences in a fashion that made Jews the culprit … the prevalence of anti-Semitic literature in Germany … the acts of violence perpetrated against Jews … have for their background a tradition which is at least 1000 years old

… The spread of the NS movement depended largely upon adequate promotion … modern advertising psychology was utilized to produce mass effect … the sheer bulk of the propaganda effort was remarkable … the party propaganda covered Germany with a thoroughness that made its doctrines known in almost every home in every city and throughout the countryside

… People who supported Hitler were primarily influenced by the belief that they were backing a winning contender … this confidence was supported by the superiority of the NS organization over that of all other parties … it was better coordinated and disciplined and show greater vitality and driving power … its military aggressive nature appealed to many …

Hitler had a twofold function … he was the chief executive, the planner, and organizer … he also played the role of prophet of the movement … he commanded unquestioned allegiance to his person and through this personal allegiance inspire members with loyalty and devotion to the movement

Hitler’s followers submitted themselves to him willingly and unquestionably … to them he was a prophet whose pronouncements were taken as oracles … he was a hero whom they naïvely trusted to perform the impossible if it were necessary … he was seen as a man of superhuman power with a special star guiding his destiny

… If we won Germany was saved … if we were defeated a gate would open in the East and Moscow’s Red hordes would swarm in and plunge Europe into night and misery


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* research for my novel-in-progress tentatively titled “CHOOSING HITLER”

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 12, 2013


Several friends have expressed an interest in the research I am doing for my novel-in-progress, tentatively titled CHOOSING HITLER.

I organize my books on Goodreads.

  • The books I have read or plan to read are listed in my book category “ch-research.” …


  • Those I have reviewed are listed in the category “ch-reviews.” … 


I welcome additional suggestions.

Here are some of the books I have so far found particularly useful in my research …

  • Warsaw: The Cabaret Years (Nowicki)
  • Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth (Shandler)
  • The Shame of Survival: Working Through a Nazi Childhood (Mahlendorf)
  • Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland (Blobaum)
  • Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy (Weitz)
  • Justice Imperiled: The Anti-Nazi Lawyer Max Hirschberg in Weimar Germany (Morris)
  • State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda (Bachrach)
  • The Catholic Church And Nazi Germany (Lewy)
  • Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter: The Catholic Church and Independent Poland, 1914-1939 (Pease)
  • Life is With People: The Culture of the Shtetl (Zborowski)
  • Stranger in Our Midst: Images of the Jew in Polish Literature (Segel)
  • Munich 1923: The Story of Hitler’s First Grab for Power (Dornberg)
  • When Money Dies: The Nightmare Of The Weimar Hyper Inflation (Ferguson)
  • Bitter Glory: Poland and Its Fate, 1918-1939 (Watt)
  • Address Unknown (Taylor)
  • There Once Was a World: A 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok (Eliach)
  • Poland’s Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present (Michlic)
  • Hitler (Kershaw)
  • Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews (Hoffman)
  • The Catholic Church and Antisemitism … Poland 1933-39 (Modras)
  • On The Edge Of Destruction: Jews Of Poland Between The Two World Wars (Heller)
  • Why Hitler Came Into Power (Abel)
  • The Coming of the Third Reich (Evans)
  • The Face Of The Third Reich: Portraits Of The Nazi Leadership (Fest)
  • The Anguish Of The Jews: Twenty Three Centuries Of Antisemitism (Flannery)
  • Hitler And The Beer Hall Putsch (Gordon)
  • Mein Kampf (Hitler)
  • Hitler, Vol 1: 1889-1936 Hubris (Kershaw)
  • Where Ghosts Walked: Munich’s Road to the Third Reich (Large)
  • Adolf Hitler (Toland)
  • Justice at Nuremberg (Conot)

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* my novel-in-progress receives invaluable assistance from 3 Munich historians & archivists

Posted by Lew Weinstein on July 1, 2012

Dr. Andreas Heusler, Dr. Christian Hartmann (& family), Dr. Guido Treffler

I come asking uncomfortable questions, all of which are crucial to my novel-in-progress dealing with the Nazi years in Germany and Poland …

  • Why did so many Germans support Hitler?
  • What did Cardinal Faulhaber think when he retreated from his early positions opposing Hitler’s antisemitic programs?
  • Did the German population realize what was happening at the death camps?

These questions have no easy answers, and real evidence to support any answer may be difficult or impossible to obtain, and, to say the least, controversial. Yet each of these professional historians and archivists were generous with their time, their opinions, and their reference to sources previously not known to me. I truly appreciate their interest in my work, and hope to call on each for further asssitance as my novel-in-progress moves along.

Dr. Andreas Heusler works at the Munich State Archives, where he is a leading expert on the Nazi years. He is also the author of a major article on the history of Jews in Munich contained in a publication of the new Munich Jewish Center.

Dr. Christian Hartmann works at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Contemporary History), currently as leader of a project to produce a new annotated edition of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. In addition to providing historical perspectives, he, along with his wife and daughter, provided Pat and me with a wonderful Bavarian dinner at his home.

Dr. Guido Treffler works in the archive section of the Archdiocese of Munich, where he has responsibility for the archival records of Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, the Archbishop of Munich from 1921 to 1948, who was perhaps the dominant Catholic figure in Germany during the entire span of the Nazi years.

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* research for a new novel

Posted by Lew Weinstein on June 10, 2012

Defendants in the beer hall putsch trial


I’m busy trying to arrange appointments for our trip to Munich later this month. My goal is to talk with today’s Germans about how and why so many of their ancestors came to support Hitler and his program of exterminating the Jews.

In particular, I hope to speak with one or more Church leaders about the role of the Catholic Church in Hitler’s rise.

This is all research for my new novel, the first section of which takes place in Munich in 1923.


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