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July 30, 2012

Letters to Hitler reveal how shaky his popularity was at times

London: Letters to Adolf Hitler from ordinary Germans, unearthed in a Russian archive, shed a whole new light on life under the Nazis. The letters, which have been published, reveal how Hitler’s National Socialists carefully managed their popularity. But they also show how shaky Hitler’s grip on power was at times and how unpopular the war was among the masse, the Daily Express reported. And there are letters from Jewish people protesting directly about his policies. Chillingly, support for anti- Semitic policies was received from many ordinary Germans as early as 1930. But a letter from one Jewish man showed how integrated into society they were and how discrimination surprised them. Heinrich Herz wrote: “What I cannot say I am satisfied with is the one-sided treatment of thousands of my co-religionists, whose feeling and thinking are just as German as mine. “How much I should like to help build up my beloved Fatherland, if only an opportunity to do so were offered me,” he added. As war approached, correspondents asked for peace. By 1945, declarations of support fell to zero. “Everyone knows about the Nazis, but this is from a different perspective. Some letters are totally fawning, but you get the impression from the others that he could easily lose his approval,” said Dr Victoria Harris, the English editor of Letters To Hitler, published by Polity. “The biggest lesson I learned was how shaky his popularity was. What is chilling is that you can see how he built his support,” she stated. The correspondence goes up to Hitler’s last days in his bunker.

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