In 1923, Hitler’s rise to power was just beginning. Known merely for impassioned speeches and dangerous ideology, he would proudly proclaim his vision for Germany to any who would listen. His primary venue of choice? Every bar, tavern or saloon inside of Germany. It was this same year Adolf Hitler: His Life and His Speeches was released. Its author, Baron Adolf Victor von Koerber, was not only a faithful follower of the future Führer but also a decorated war hero and aristocrat whose name held esteem to all those who knew him. The perfect person to pen such a story as Hitler’s rise to fame was bolstered by the German elite.
This book went on to not only tell the highlights of Hitler’s life but lauded him to be like another Savior- Jesus, a risky move considering at the time of the writing Hitler’s “power” was akin to nothing more than an over zealous propagandist.
“Extremes must be fought by extremes. Against the infection of materialism, against the Jewish pestilence we must hold aloft a flaming ideal. And if others speak of the World and Humanity we say the Fatherland – and only the Fatherland!”
It wasn’t until two years later that Mein Kampf was released, moving Hitler from the realm of a sheer propagandist to a potential leader of Germany.
It wasn’t until 2015 when Professor of International Affairs at the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland, Thomas Weber, discovered proof the person who penned the biography was Hitler and not von Koerber. In fact, Koerber eventually rallied against the Nazi party and became a spy for Britain before finding himself later in a concentration camp where he admitted to a fellow prisoner it was Hitler who penned the autobiography.
So why is this important? Here’s what Professor Weber had to say:
“He brings out a book in anticipation of revolution,” Professor Weber said in a Skype interview this week, “and we see here a political operator who understands the political process extremely well and knows how to produce a narrative for the kind of leader only he feels he can be. So he does not have to expressly say, ‘I want to be leader.’ He creates the expectation that others will call him to become the leader.”
While this sort of writing structure is not uncommon by today’s standards, it does shed light on the early rise of Hitler and despite many believing that at this point he did not see himself as a political leader he, in fact, did and had begun his planning much earlier than we previously knew.
“But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.”
~ Adolf Hitler
YouTube Channel: Today I Found Out
Featured image via Biography