Artist Within the Warlord

What I learned about Adolf Hitler from Hermann Giesler

Published by carolyn on Wed, 2018-02-21 12:51

By Carolyn Yeager

THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING ADOLF HITLER'S BEHAVIOR AS A PEACE AND WAR LEADER lies in this sentence, quoted by Hermann Giesler from August 1943, after the devastating air attack on Hamburg. Hitler said, recalling his decision not to attack the remaining British troops at Dunkirk in 1940:

It didn't agree with my character to step on the one who lays on the ground.

He saw the British as essentially defeated, and that they must themselves recognize that fact. He followed up with this: “After awhile I had to rethink. I was mistaken—magnanimity will not be recognized. What you see there [in photos of the Hamburg victims] is destructive brutality. Again and again one tries not to believe this, now I know—no mercy.” (p50)