The Propagander ™ FAQ
Did Hitler Have A Favorite Author?
I well remember the gaunt, pale-faced boy who shuttled backwards and forwards between Linz and Leonding. Hitler was certainly gifted, although only for particular subjects. He lacked self-control and, to say the least, he was considered argumentative, autocratic, self-opinionated and bad-tempered, and unable to submit to school discipline. Nor was he industrious; otherwise he would have achieved much better results, gifted as he was. He reacted with ill-concealed hostility whenever a teacher reproved him or gave him some advice. At the same time, he demanded the unqualified subservience of his fellow-pupils, fancying himself in the role of a leader, and of course playing many small harmless pranks, which is not unusual among immature youngsters. He seemed to be infected with the stories of Karl May and the Redskins.
What was particularly interesting was the lecture evening’s audience. Petit bourgeois and suburban women and men, small white-collar workers, adolescents of both sexes, and even boys. Every one of them is bound to have a subscription to a public lending library, and to have read all sixty volumes of Karl Mays works: the fantastic travel stories and novels, whose authenticity has been doubted so often, and which have been the object of long, bitter legal suits . . . .
May is a seventy-year-old gentleman; a gaunt, old-fashioned figure, with a half-bureaucratic and half-pedagogical head, which is surrounded by short white curls. He alternately puts a pince-nez made of horn, or glasses in front of his cheerful eyes . . . .
May explains his Weltanschauung [worldview] in a rather unstructured and erratic manner. He says he has always striven upward, toward a freer, spiritual world of noblepeople. He alternately calls himself a soul, a drop of water, and--his favorite--a mental-spiritual aviator, and, now and then, reaches under the table for one of the numerous volumes of his collected works, to read more or less philosophical observations, fairy tales, parables, and poems. The strangest thing about what he says is his seriousness, his bathetic and genuine enthusiasm, which has something of a religious kind of enthusiasm about it.
Hitler [in late 1932] wanted to hear about America, where [early Hitler supporter Karl] Luedecke had spent the previous few years in a variety of insignificant jobs and small-time business ventures. He was glad to discover Luedecke's interest in the Karl May cowboy and Indian stories which he had devoured as a boy. He said he could still read them and get a thrill out of them.On occasion during his war, Hitler, the perpetual adolescent, will sometimes refer to the Russians as Redskins, and even present some of his less-motivated generals with copies of certain May works to provide them inspiration. (One imagines Churchill giving a Hardy Boys volume to Chamberlain.) Albert Speer testified that "when faced by seemingly hopeless situations, he [Hitler] would still reach for these stories," because "they gave him courage like works of philosophy for others or the Bible for elderly people."
But the Fuehrer heard talk of Manstein's "risky" proposal and asked him for the details. To Manstein's surprise, Hitler was delighted with what he heard. It not only reinforced his own convictions but contained a number of improvements to his own plan. The supreme command liked Hitler's revised version no more than they had Manstein's. To a man they opposed it but Hitler overrode all objections, deriding opponents as "Schlieffen worshiper," embalmed in a "petrified" strategy. "They should have read more Karl May!"Conclusion: Hitler found in Karl May a favorite author who entertained and inspired him till his dying day; a full collection of May's novels were found in the Fuehrer Bunker.
Copyright © 2011-2013 Walther Johann von Löpp All Rights Reserved Twitter: @3rdReichStudies FB: Horrific 20th Century History