18 November 2012, 10:06

Hitler is back?

Hitler is back?

Recently the name of Adolf Hitler, the former leader of National Socialism, who drew the German people and the whole humankind into the bloodiest war of the XX century, which burned the lives of 60 million people, has more and more often appeared in mass media.

Hitler's name has been surfacing here and there in different context. In Austria the tomb stone on Hitler's parent's grave was destroyed, since it had turned into a place of worship of neo-Nazi and extremists. Turkey banned the video with Germany's Reichkanzler advertising men's shampoo. In India the owner of a men's clothing store called his store with the Fuhrer's name in order to draw customers, causing the Jewish community of Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat to appeal to have him change the store sign.

Last summer, the Italian prosecutors received a signal that some wine trader sold wine in bottles with the labels depicting the portraits of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The prosecutors started investigation based on the complaint filed by an American couple, whose relatives died in Oswenzim. In Great Britain the bed linen that had belonged to the creator of the Third Reich was sold at an auction for 2000 pounds.

Even in Germany itself the interest in the dictator does not disappear. Two years ago in Berlin in the German History Museum an exhibition took place entitled «Hitler and the Germans. United people and crimes». Every new generation is bothered by the questions: how could it happen that Hitler got to power, what kind of person he was, what were the reasons for his cruelty, what effect his personality had on the people around him?

German filmmaker Nico Hofmann is once again ready to investigate those reasons in his new saga about Hitler. The TV series will show the Fuhrer's life beginning with 1914 and ending with his inglorious death after the fall of Berlin in 1945. The German publication Spiegel online, which by the way has a monthly „wake fort he devil“, reports about this risky project. There is always an newsworthy event: political debates around the Fuhrer’s family estate in Austria (whether to demolish it, let people live there or turn it into a monument) or an art exhibition in one of the galleries in Great Britain, where one can play golf with Hitler.

Where does this never-ending interest towards Hitler's personality and his surroundings come from? Did Adolf Schicklgruber really have a certain dark charisma, which to this day attracts both scientists and ordinary people?

This is the subject of our conversation with Professor Doctor Hans-Henning Schröder, a German historian and political scientist from the German Institute of International Politics and Security.

«On the one hand, the film about Rommel is still a film about resistance. You know, Hitler forced him to commit suicide. We are talking about a soldier, who went all the way from a supporter to an opponent of Hitler. Rommel is the central character of the film; he is still very popular in Germany, perhaps because his son was the mayor of Stuttgart.

The era of the Third Reich is still being investigated, hence, the figure of Rommel, who took a very complicated path. On the other hand, there is still potential for the far-right radicals in Germany. According to the latest research, about 9% of the Germans support the far-right radical ideas, while in the Eastern regions this figure in even higher – 16%. Such people support the ideas of national patriotism and have anti-democratic views. Such a situation is typical not only of Germany, but also of other countries. Naturally, in Germany the government's efforts are aimed against this phenomenon».

The British daily newspaper Daily Mail in its questions and answers section announced that over 39 187 books were written about Hitler, while 85 640 books were written about Napoleon. But Napoleon died 191 years ago, while Hitler 67 years ago. If the interest for Hitler does not decrease, he can easily breach the gap. And given all this, I would like to ask about Hitler's book „Mein Kampf“. Mass media report that it can be published again. Is that so?

«German law, including Bavaria, which owns the rights to this publication and uses its rights to prohibit its further publishing anywhere in the world, forbids publishing this book. However, the international law limits copyright to a term of 80 years. At the end of 2015 this term will be over, after which anybody will be able to publish the book. And now the German government is looking for a way to prevent this process in the future».

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