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Hitler: A Study In Tyranny by Alan Bullock Watch

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    I was fortunate enough to read all 806 pages of Alan Bullock's famous "Hitler: A Study In Tyranny", which is considered the authoritative biography of Hitler, originally published in 1952 (my version was a revised copy first printed in 1962). I picked up a copy from my school library and had a good month or so's reading.

    I am impressed by the wealth of research in the book so soon after the fall of the Third Reich. I can only begin to speculate on the time and energy which went into Bullock's project (looking through archives, travelling to and from Germany to access certain documents, etc). However, it's a job well done, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants an introduction into the person of Adolf Hitler and the nature of his regime.

    We start with the young Hitler - his upbringing under a distant and uncompromising father and a doting and devoted mother. We see his journey to Vienna, determined to become an artist, then an architect. We get quotations from Hitler which romanticise his youth as one of exceptional poverty and hardship, conquered only by Hitler's determination. We see how he develops his hatred for the Jews and Slavs through his harsh experiences in the city of Vienna.

    We see him transition from a Viennese dosshouse and the plagues of paupery to being a soldier in WWI, his life now full of meaning and purpose as he fights for the cause of Germany. Then comes 1918, and defeat. An enraged invalid Hitler, blinded and helpless on his hospital bed, swears revenge on those who have wrought defeat upon Germany: the November criminals, the Jews, the Marxists, the bankers, all those who conspired to destroy the Fatherland. Now discharged from hospital, Hitler is listless and unemployed. Bullock speculates on Hitler's intellectual habits: "...nowhere is there any indication of the works he read. Nietzsche, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Schopenhauer, Wagner, Gobineau? Perhaps."-p.48.

    We see Hitler journey to Munich, where he becomes a member of Anton Drexler's nationalist political party, which he seizes the leadership of, through guile, bullying and persuasion, turning it into the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP in German, or Nazi in English). On his quest to build the national-socialist movement, we see all manner of quacks, scoundrels, bullies, cheats, pseudo-intellectuals and basically the dregs of human society following Adolf Hitler and joining the Nazis, notably Ernst Roehm, an ex-soldier, mercenary and thug, who founds Hitler's SA, and Alfred Rosenberg, a so-called "philosopher" whose exaltation of disgusting and absurd racial myths gives an "intellectual" veneer to Nazism that would make Houston Stewart Chamberlain blush. We see his adventures in Bavaria, partaking in barroom polemic and honing his skills of oratory, plotting the downfall of the government in Berlin, which culminates in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch.

    In the year of our Lord 1923, we see Adolf Hitler, the failed schoolboy, the social outcast, the Vienna pauper, leading an army of thousands of angry and determined Nazis in an attempt to overthrow the government in Berlin, co-opting the government of Bavaria in his dastardly attempt. It all falls apart when Hitler and co meet determined resistance from troops loyal to the government, causing the failure of the putsch. Beaten by trickery, treachery and, to a certain extent, a loss of will, Hitler is tried and imprisoned for treason, yet uses his trial as a platform from which to spread his poisonous vision to a wider audience. Now something of a national hero, he does not even serve his full sentence, but is released after several months, in the meantime dictating that sordid and infamous political manifesto known as Mein Kampf.

    Released from prison, Hitler builds up the movement from scratch, having deliberately connived from within prison to keep the party divided, weak and leaderless, unable to bear the thought of it enjoying success without him. Now he is set on a path of "legality", of legitimately winning power, but he is happy to flout the law as far as he can get away with it. We follow Hitler's long journey of nine years from prison to power, and how, at every step of the way, the docile and unassuming German Establishment, when faced with an opportunity to crush his nascent and dubiously-legal movement, fails and gives him yet more time, allowing him to grow in power, importance and popularity. We see how internal intrigues within the inner circle of the Presidency catapult Hitler into office, and how this is only made possible by the acquiescence of men like Hindenberg, Schleicher and Papen, all who believe that they can control this wild, vengeful and power-mad lunatic, to their cost.

    By 1933 Hitler is Chancellor. By 1934 he is Führer, with the approval of the now dead Hindenberg and a submissive army. His political opponents, including the Catholic Centre Party, crumble before the force of threats, blackmail and quasi-legal measures, as well as organised SS thuggery. In June of that year Roehm, Strasser and other troublesome rivals are viciously removed from the scene, including the man who originally contrived to get Hitler into power - General Schleicher, who is shot in front of his house by men acting on the orders of a man he thought he could control.

    Now Hitler sets about tightening the noose, granting himself sweeping powers and taming the last major dissident voices in the military until WWII. He sets about re-arming and breaching the provisions of Versailles. In 1935 the Saar is seized back for Germany. In 1936, the Rhineland. In 1938, Austria and the Sudetenland. In March 1939, Czechoslovakia, and subsequently, Poland. At each step of the way he is obliged and unchallenged, but Poland is deemed a step too far. War is joined. The world is plunged into a years-long conflict that will end with Hitler's death and Germany's destruction. But in the heady days of the Blitzkrieg of 1940 and the sweeping successes of Operation of Barbarossa in 1941, Hitler's eventual defeat and death was far from certain. For that we have to thank Hitler's own incompetent strategic tinkering and inability to listen to his generals, something which has ensured the preservation of Western civilisation from a veritable lunatic.

    It is a chilling and engrossing piece of work which warns us just how much the world can be endangered when the wildest of men, with the most evil and twisted of visions, attain supreme power.
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    I've had this book on my shelf for a while now. I think I'll go off and read it
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    (Original post by jamestg)
    I've had this book on my shelf for a while now. I think I'll go off and read it
    Hope you enjoy it
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)

    Released from prison, Hitler builds up the movement from scratch, having deliberately connived from within prison to keep the party divided, weak and leaderless, unable to bear the thought of it enjoying success without him. Now he is set on a path of "legality", of legitimately winning power, but he is happy to flout the law as far as he can get away with it. We follow Hitler's long journey of nine years from prison to power, and how, at every step of the way, the docile and unassuming German Establishment, when faced with an opportunity to crush his nascent and dubiously-legal movement, fails and gives him yet more time, allowing him to grow in power, importance and popularity. We see how internal intrigues within the inner circle of the Presidency catapult Hitler into office, and how this is only made possible by the acquiescence of men like Hindenberg, Schleicher and Papen, all who believe that they can control this wild, vengeful and power-mad lunatic, to their cost.

    By 1933 Hitler is Chancellor. By 1934 he is Führer, with the approval of the now dead Hindenberg and a submissive army. His political opponents, including the Catholic Centre Party, crumble before the force of threats, blackmail and quasi-legal measures, as well as organised SS thuggery. In June of that year Roehm, Strasser and other troublesome rivals are viciously removed from the scene, including the man who originally contrived to get Hitler into power - General Schleicher, who is shot in front of his house by men acting on the orders of a man he thought he could control.

    Now Hitler sets about tightening the noose, granting himself sweeping powers and taming the last major dissident voices in the military until WWII.
    So what do you do about it and when do you do it?

    Is it when offered the title Augustus? Is it when Parliament is told, "In the name of God go?" Is it when the First Consul seeks to be crowned Emperor? Is it when the President seeks to be crowned Emperor? Is it when one of many kings is proclaimed Emperor in his defeated enemy's palace? Is it when the President orders his attorney to sack the man investigating him and when he refuses, orders his deputy to do the same, and then with the deputy refuses to do so, orders the third in line to do the sacking?

    Lets go on to this week. Is it when the defeated incumbent President refuses to go?

    So now let us invoke Godwin's Law. Is it when a President refuses to be accompanied by the press 24/7 or is it when the President bullies an industrial company to build a car plant where the President wills it, or when a President unconstitutionally bans Muslims from the country, or when the President makes a deal with a hostile power because of personal interest?
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    (Original post by Onde)
    I've not read this, but I thought Ian Kershaw's biography was good.
    I want to read Kershaw's biography too at some point.
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    I'm reading sections of it and it's brilliant. Ian Kershaw's works are also extremely good.
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    (Original post by Cato the Elder)
    ...

    It is a chilling and engrossing piece of work which warns us just how much the world can be endangered when the wildest of men, with the most evil and twisted of visions, attain supreme power.
    Have you read Two Hundred Years Together by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn? I understood there was widespread fear in Germany & the Catholic Church about the Bolsheviks and the threat of a similar brutal revolution in Germany given the prominent jewish role?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...5/russia.books

    Also, Gilad Atzmon, a jewish writer, notes:

    On March 24, 1933, The Daily Express (London) published an article announcing that the Jews had already launched their boycott against Germany and threatened a forthcoming "holy war". The Express urged Jews everywhere to boycott German goods and demonstrate actively against German economic interests.

    The Express said that Germany was "now confronted with an international boycott of its trade, its finances, and its industry....in London, New York, Paris and Warsaw, Jewish businessmen are united to go on an economic crusade."
    Jewish texts tend to glaze over the fact that Hitler's March 28 1933, ordering a boycott against Jewish stores and goods, was an escalation in direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership.
    http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/jude...ad-atzmon.html

    And today Germany is still totalitarian in terms of punishing dissidents who investigate whether claims about gas chambers were war-propaganda (eg. Max Planck Scientist Germar Rudolf found the cyanide levels in the claimed homicidal gas chambers were negligible. In contrast they were high in the delousing chambers where clothes were disinfected for typhus. He was sent to prison for publishing those results).
 
 
 
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