Geopolitics in Principle and Practice

Geopolitics in Principle and Practice

Geopolitics in Principle and Practice

Geopolitics in Principle and Practice

Excerpt

Adolf Hitler believed that he was the man of destiny of the second quarter of the Twentieth Century. (Figure 8) He is the most hated man in the world among the United Nations, while he is the most admired man in the Third Reich among the elite of the Nazis. Adolf Hitler alone is largely responsible for the German military machine of today. He alone has made the decisions of when and where to utilize this machine. He alone is the executive power of a militant, imperial, victorious Germany. The temptation is obvious to compare the Little Corporal of the Nineteenth Century with the World War corporal of the Twentieth. Both were products of revolution--the French Revolution creating human rights, the German Revolution destroying them. Both rose from the masses and poverty to unprecedented power. Neither was a native of the state in which he assumed power--Hitler was born in Austria, while Napoleon saw the light of day in Corsica. Both were realists, seeking to organize Europe along lines favorable to their own philosophies. Great Britain and Russia gave Napoleon fifteen years to organize Europe; the United Nations may not give Hitler that amount of time to carry out his ideas. Those who seek to follow in Napoleon's footsteps cannot escape the ultimate, fate of the "man of destiny." Although the careers of the two men are similar in many respects, their personalities vary greatly.

The early life of Adolf Hitler is a story that does not possess the elements of drama but rather of mediocrity. He was born in the Austrian town of Braunau-am-Inn on April 20, 1889. His father, an Austrian customs official, was the illegitimate son of Maria Schicklgruber. He took the name of his supposed father very late in life. The young Adolf was the son of the third wife of Alois Schicklgruber. The political opponents of the Führer in the early 1920's derived pleasure from shouting "Heil Schicklgruber!" Hitler's father died in 1903, and his mother died four years later. At seventeen he went to Vienna, where he lacked sufficient talent to achieve success in art and architecture. Reduced to a building-trades helper in a hostile city, he formed some of his principal ideas as he asserted before the Munich Court of 1924: "When I was seventeen I came to Vienna, and there I learned to study and observe three important problems: the social question, the race problem, and, finally, the Marxist movement. I left Vienna a confirmed anti-Semite, a deadly foe of the whole Marxist world outlook, a pan-German in my political ideas."

In 1912 he went to Munich, where he managed to earn a living by painting picturepostcards. Hitler hailed the outbreak of the First World War as a godsend. In the . . .

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