Plac Where the Sea Remembers

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Plac Where the Sea Remembers

By | November 2012
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Hitler's vitriolic beer hall speeches began attracting regular audiences. He became adept at using populist themes targeted at his audience, including the use of scapegoats who could be blamed for the economic hardships of his listeners.[91][92][93] Historians have noted the hypnotic effect of his rhetoric on large audiences, and of his eyes in small groups. Kessel writes, "Overwhelmingly ... Germans speak with mystification of Hitler's 'hypnotic' appeal. The word shows up again and again; Hitler is said to have mesmerized the nation, captured them in a trance from which they could not break loose."[94] Historian Hugh Trevor-Roper described "the fascination of those eyes, which had bewitched so many seemingly sober men."[95] He used his personal magnetism and an understanding of crowd psychology to his advantage while engaged in public speaking.[96][97] Alfons Heck, a former member of the Hitler Youth, describes the reaction to a speech by Hitler: "We erupted into a frenzy of nationalistic pride that bordered on hysteria. For minutes on end, we shouted at the top of our lungs, with tears streaming down our faces: Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil! From that moment on, I belonged to Adolf Hitler body and soul".[98] Although his oratory skills and personal traits were generally received well by large crowds and at official events, some who had met Hitler privately noted that his appearance and demeanour failed to make a lasting impression.[99][100]

Early followers included Rudolf Hess, former air force pilot Hermann Göring, and army captain Ernst Röhm. Röhm became head of the Nazis' paramilitary organisation, the Sturmabteilung (SA, "Stormtroopers"), which protected meetings and frequently attacked political opponents. A critical influence on his thinking during this period was the Aufbau Vereinigung,[101] a conspiratorial group of White Russian exiles and early National Socialists. The group, financed with funds channelled from wealthy industrialists like Henry...
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