The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler: Leading Millions Into The Abyss

Recording from Laurence Rees’ talk for CVHF, Monday, 24th June 2013.

Adolf Hitler was an unlikely leader – fuelled by hate, incapable of forming normal human relationships, unwilling to debate political issues – and yet he commanded enormous support. So how was it possible that Hitler became such an attractive figure to millions of people? That is the important question at the core of this talk by award-winning filmmaker and historian, Laurence Rees. The Holocaust, the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the outbreak of World War 2 – all these cataclysmic events and more can be laid at Hitler’s door. Hitler was a war criminal arguably without precedent in the history of the world. Yet, as many who knew him confirm, Hitler was still able to exert a powerful influence over the people who encountered him. In this absorbing talk, based on the work done for his acclaimed BBC series, Laurence Rees examines the nature of Hitler’s appeal, and reveals the role Hitler’s supposed ‘charisma’ played in his success.