Hitler not such a monster after all?

What do you think of Daniel Eatock’s “modern” version of Adolf Hitler (pictured)? He actually looks quite striking, does he not? Follow the link and you’ll see a similar treatment of Winston Churchill too.

Whenever we see Hitler on TV, he’s rendered in slow motion and we hear the droning, threatening music. The message is extremely unsubtle: This Man Is A Monster.

I think it’s dangerous to depict Hitler that way.

Yes, of course Hitler was a monster. But if we ever need to deal with another charismatic, psychotic, genocidal maniac there won’t be some invisible orchestra playing the theme from Jaws so we can spot him. We’ll have to figure it out for ourselves.

That’ll be tough. Just as Hitler and his mates used the best media technology and techniques of their age to craft their public image, any new Hitler-esque politician will do the same. Their PR agency will craft an image we can relate to. If they’re a Rising Star of politics, the magazines will commission photo shoots — and it’ll all look something like this photo.

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Stay alert, ye nameless, toiling animals

Hindsight is wonderful. When we look back at, say, World War II, TV documentaries cover the rise of Hitler in a few minutes. It’s easy to forget that Hitler was head of the National Socialist Party from 1921, fully 12 years before he became Chancellor in 1933. And it was another 6 years before WWII officially kicked off with the invasion of Poland.

I’ve often wondered what that all looked like for people living it in real-time. And oddly enough, three articles in the Sydney Morning Herald this weekend got me thinking about how that relates to the big global issues today.

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