I had intended to do a "time line" post on the space shuttle Columbia in this space, but that can wait until I get riled up again about it.
There is a debate of sorts going on about Adolf Hitler, between a reader of this blog and myself, but I sincerely hope the debate is joined by other readers with an interest in history after this post; I need some fresh input.
The debate stems from two different interests. My own is mostly my deep interest in history, and her interest MAY stem from an interest in the character development of fictional villains. She can speak for herself. Either way, there is a debate regarding the motivations and circumstances of Adolf Hitler; we speculate on why he turned out like he did. If any of you would like to add to the debate, or mention things I have left out, I hope you will.
For my part, I am trying to put forward and support a theory that Adolf Hitler's rise to power, or his DESIRE to rise to power in Germany, was, originally, at least, more to restore or rescue Germany from its national humiliation from its defeat in World War One, than it was some sort of deranged megalomania or superman complex.
This is one of those subjects that, when you try to find the root causes of this or that part of his personality, you find yourself having to go further and further back in his history. I wanted to find a starting point later than simply his birth. I would have liked to start at the beginning of WWII and simply say Hitler was a German nationalist who hated Jews, but how can you make statements like that without offering some background? After all, it was trying to come up with the backgrounds that makes a "villain" either merely a bad person or a truly evil person that started this debate in the first place.
I think there are 4 points that need to be considered if we are to understand what underlying forces and beliefs drove Hitler, and I don't think being a big man in the eyes of others had much to do with it. I don't think one can kill 6 million people - and many millions more when you count the people killed in the actual fighting - simply because one is on a power trip, or because he was beaten by his father as a child.
1. German nationalism.
2. Hatred of Jews.
3. His interest in war and things military.
4. How - no matter what his beliefs - could such an insignificant person rise to national power.
A few of the things I am going to assert in my assessment of his beliefs, motivations, and his rise to power come simply from Wikipedia articles, but mostly I relied on biographies and "expert" analyses of historians (there are dozens), both online and in my personal library. My historical facts regarding the earlier events leading up to WWI come from C. L. Sulzberger's magnificent account detailing the end of the imperial era, "The Fall of Eagles."
I'm going to stop here at the end of my introduction.