The `Hitler Myth': Image and Reality in the Third Reich
Hitler's personality alone can scarcely explain his immense popularity and political effectiveness during the 1930s and `40s. Behind his strong hold over the German people lay the hopes and perceptions of the millions who adored him and consequently imbued him with larger-than-life characteristics. Based on secret popular opinion reports compiled by both the Nazis and their political enemies, this study of the Nazi state charts the creation, growth, and decline of the "Hitler Myth." Kershaw demonstrates how the manufactured Führer-cult formed a crucial integrating force in the Third Reich and acted as a vital catalyst in attaining Nazi political aims. Translated from German, this book affords readers a chilling look at how these masters of propaganda built on the beliefs, phobias, and predjudices of the day to create a popular image of Hitler that was at great odds with reality.