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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive

Doris Lessing understands Hitler (hat tip to BookNinja):

It takes Doris Lessing just four minutes to come out with something, if not actually controversial, then at least unexpected. It’s about Hitler. She says she understands him. This from a former member of the Communist Party. (She left in 1956, the year of Khrushchev’s speech to the 20th Congress, the one in which he denounced Stalin.) We are talking, I should explain, about Erich Maria Remarque, the author of All Quiet on the Western Front. She recently read another of his books, about three German soldiers who, like Hitler, return from the Great War to the economic chaos of the Weimar Republic. ‘They see people carting millions of marks around in wheelbarrows and, being old comrades, they stand by each other. And as you read that you suddenly understand Hitler.’

Big deal. The rest of the article is fairly interesting. I guess I’m out of touch: I thought everyone understood why Hitler was popular. You lose the war + get unduly blamed for it + owe money to everyone + GDP of 0 = pretty fucking angry population. Of course the Germans rallied behind somebody who promised to make things better, to restore honor to their country, and most importantly, seek revenge.

I’m sure most people would too, sadly.

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