Analysis of The Meaning of Hitler by Sebastian Haffner

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Analysis of The Meaning of Hitler by Sebastian Haffner The Meaning of Hitler, by Sebastian ]Haffner, is a book which is hard to define. Only 165 pages long, Haffner has crammed more relevant information into this book than many twice its length. He observes Hitler's roller coaster ride through life and the country that he eventually took along. From Hitler's private life to the complete betrayal of Germany, Haffner evaluates the conditions and impetus for Hitler's accomplishments and failures. These include not only Hitler's psyche, but also the political arena of post World War I Europe. Haffner has confronted many issues that have, according to him, been overlooked by other historians, and it is for this reason that the book is suitable for any person interested in the phenomenon that is Hitler. Haffner had a greater reason than surprise theories and new evidence for writing the book though. This is apparent throughout the book and, most notably, at the end. He is appealing to the younger generations of readers, those that did not experience Hitler themselves. It is to this group that Haffner intends to send a message. This will be discussed later. One notable assertion about Hitler's life made by Haffner is the fact that his success as a leader in rallying the populous is buttressed on either side by his failures as a young man on one end and his physical and political destruction of Germany on the other. Haffner argues that Hitler's life always lacked what most lives included. The absence of things like love, friendship, parenthood, an education and occupation lent to his one dimensionality. The resulting ignorance and immaturity was always present in Hitler, even at the peak of his political power. Haffner accounts the absence of any real love interest in Hitler's life along with the fact that he had no real friends in which to confide. In place of this void Hitler substituted politics and became a "nothing-but-politician." Up to 1938 Hitler achieved many things previously thought unachievable that soon after the war. He was regarded by many at that time as one of the great men of Germany. This opinion is later abandoned by most following World War II.

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