Sunday, September 14, 2003

Nothing Like a Nice Bit of Lebensraum

This really must be seen to be believed - a Home and Gardens spread on Berchtesgarden from the 1930s. What is stranger still is that it seems to have been done with Hitler's full cooperation. I'd have taken it for a parody if it didn't all seem so genuine. This just goes to show how good Hitler was at marketing himself to the world as just a "regular Hans", as concerned with home improvement as your average suburban do-it-yourselfer. We flatter ourselves when we imagine that we'd be able to recognize another such monster if he were in our midst today - this guy got 44 % of the German vote in 1933, and the great majority of those who voted for him weren't rabid* antisemites..

*Which isn't to say that they didn't hold anti-semitic attitudes - most Germans of the time did, as did very large percentages of people throughout the "civilized" world, including Britain and America. Let us be grateful that we never got the chance to find out whether the English-speaking countries harbored their own large numbers of willing collaborators in genocide.