Segments in this Video

Hitler as Charismatic Figure (03:21)


During the 1930s, Adolf Hitler was a beloved, charismatic leader who was believed to have the best interests of the German people at heart.

Hitler in WWI (02:24)

At age 24, Hitler barely supported himself as a painter in Munich, bitter that his dreams of becoming an artist had failed. He fought in WWI, and his fellow soldiers described him as peculiar.

Anti-Semitic Freikorps (02:11)

Germans were humiliated by their WWI defeat in 1918. Paramilitary groups, led by future leaders of the Nazi party, formed to fight predominantly Jewish revolutionary groups.

Crystallization of Hitler's Beliefs (01:38)

In 1919, Hitler trained as a propaganda expert and gave right-wing speeches to his fellow soldiers. It was at this time that he seems to have solidified his anti-Semitic beliefs and political ideology.

Hitler's Early Speeches (02:46)

Hitler joined the German Workers' Party and became known as a right-wing orator, often casting blame for Germany's strife on the Jewish people. He was known for his ability to connect with an audience.

Hitler Compared to Hermann (02:08)

German history was full of legends about powerful leaders, like Hermann, from whom the Nazis drew inspiration. Heinrich Himmler believed Hitler would take after Hermann.

Beer Hall Putsch Propaganda (02:32)

In 1923, the Nazis marched on Munich, which resulted in gunfire with the police. Hitler mythologized the event by making heroes out of the fallen Nazis and filming the funeral ceremony.

"Mein Kampf" (01:45)

Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf" while in prison in 1924. In it, he articulated his vision for a perfect world and "pure" race. One 1930s propaganda film (shown here) reflects this vision.

Building the Nazi Party (03:15)

In 1924, Hitler set out to rebuild the Nazi party upon his release from prison. His style and efforts had polarizing effects, and in 1928, the Nazi party earned only 2.6% of the vote.

Germany in Economic Crisis (03:12)

In 1929, the German economy crashed, and unemployment soared. As conflict broke out between Nazis and Communists, Hitler openly called for the destruction of democracy.

Appointment as Chancellor (02:41)

President Hindenburg initially refused to name Hitler Chancellor, but certain German aristocrats favored Hitler and the Nazis over Communists and supported his appointment in 1933.

Oration as Chancellor (01:41)

In 1933, Hitler addressed the nation as Chancellor and made the audience wait in silence for his speech (seen here), after which he called upon Germany to be self-sufficient.

Concentration Camps (01:33)

The Nazi storm troopers controlled concentration camps under Hitler's reign, imprisoning and torturing those were declared "enemies" of the state.

Hitler's Betrayal of Nazi Sturmabteilung (04:59)

As Chancellor, Hitler escaped blame for the stormtroopers' brutality while simultaneously benefiting from it. Realizing he could turn popular disdain for the SA in his favor, he arranged for the arrests and murders of storm trooper commanders in 1934.

Hitler as Head of State (00:59)

People began to see Hitler as leader of the nation, not just of the Nazis. In 1934, every member of the German Armed Forces was forced to swear an oath to him.

Experiencing Hitler Through Film (03:07)

The 1934 Nazi rally in Nuremberg was filmed for a documentary, in which Hitler was depicted as a godlike figure. People who saw the film in cinemas were able to experience a carefully crafted version of Hitler.

Popularity & Adoration (03:17)

Hitler was careful to oppress and persecute groups toward whom there was already existing prejudice, so most Germans were not at risk. Young people were taught to adore Hitler.

Hitler as a Messiah (03:16)

Those close to Hitler experienced a surge in loyalty and adoration as Hitler gained power. Many people believed he was ignorant of the Nazis' misdeeds, and he protected himself with that myth.

Public Charisma vs. Private Character (02:13)

Hitler accomplished a legendary rise in power and popularity, despite the unchanged hatred and absence of empathy at his core.

Credits: Dark Charisma of Hitler: Part 1 (00:43)

Credits: Dark Charisma of Hitler: Part 1

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The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler: Part 1

Part of the Series : The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



Adolf Hitler seemed an unlikely leader--fuelled by anger, incapable of forming normal human relationships, and unwilling to debate political issues; such was the depth of his hatred that he would become a war criminal arguably without precedent in history. Yet this strange character was once loved by millions. How was this possible, and what role did Hitler's alleged 'charisma' play in his success?

With the help of testimony from those who lived through those times, archival film (including color home movies), and specially shot documentary footage, this film reveals how Hitler managed to turn from a "peculiar" nobody into the chancellor and Führer of the German people.

This is the first episode in a three-part series written and produced by Laurence Rees, who won a BAFTA for his series Nazis: A Warning from History and a Grierson Award for Auschwitz: the Nazis and the 'Final Solution'. (50 minutes)

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL55141

ISBN: 978-0-81609-206-2

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

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