NUMBER 30: Adolf Hitler
As I move into the home stretch of my 39 people, places and things for the 39 years I have spent on planet earth, this entry may yet be my most controversial choice. Now, I have to start out and declare that, in no way do I condone the actions of Adolf Hitler. What I do find fascinating about him is his rise to power and rapid decline over little more than two decades. Leaving an indelible mark on our world, I was always curious as to why and how a man with such ruthless ideals could rise to power and convince his people that wiping out millions of innocent civilians could ever be the right thing to do?
What’s fascinated me were the loyal servants who stood by his side over such a long period of time. I remember vividly a history teacher at school, Mr Douglas, who opened us up to the possible reasons why the German people took such a shine to Hitler. You can’t argue against the fact that he got potential followers onside by the promise of a greater Germany that included modern schools, super autobahn’s, solving the high unemployment rate and returning the economy to the heady days of previous generations. When you research these elements a little further, you can understand why his appeal was so far reaching to so many.
Perhaps my fascination with how people tick is why the sordid types such as Hitler intrigue me so? I’ve always been interested in the bad eggs of our world. Why do they go down their evil pathways? Why do serial killers murder without fuss? Why do politicians steal from their people whilst hiding behind false lines? Why do men and woman who operate large corporations happily allow child workers to be exploited? It’s a fascinating topic that I suspect we will never have the answers to despite our best efforts?
There are always going to be hysterical madmen trying to enforce their views on the masses. It’s up to us, as respectful human beings to deter these types and their right wing supporters as best we can. Perhaps we need to learn more about our past to help us understand our future?