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Lineages of Fascism
on 19 September 2007
Brigitte Hamann's fascinating trawl through the maelstrom of Viennese political life in the early 20th century sets the scene for the emergence of a new form of virulent racial politics. It's quite astonishing to discover just how overt the racial and ethnic hostilities were during this period of central european history - the perfect forcing ground for aspiring political animals learning the power of rhetoric to manipulate and control the newly enfranchised masses. Hitler couldn't have had a better schooling in the art of demagoguery and political thuggery.
Dr Hamman successfully teases out the various half truths and mythologies concerning young Hitler's sojourn in Vienna and gives a more plausible account of his unorthodox schooling and ideological development. The testimony of various character witnesses are examined to give a more nuanced portrait of the young Hitler and the process whereby this diabolical genius was able to exploit the insecurities and fear engendered by by war and social breakdown.