JF Ptak Science Books Post 1336
It is difficult to think of Hitler as just some guy sitting behind a desk. But there he is, in 1931, sitting behind a desk with an enormous, pleated lamp sitting next to him, just Hitler in the paranoid-position (back to the corner of the room able to see anything that moves but being still in a secure position), at the edge of a big room with tall ceilings and a few chairs, looking a little grandmothery--if the grandmother wore a swastika armband. But this is 1931, and Hitler was in the developed stages of amassing votes and power, outfitting his political organization in uniforms and along military lines, drinking deeply of his hateful autobiography/social road map, biding his time. He was still years away from the nation-destroyer he would become, looking small here, looking like a human being.
Its a good thing to be reminded of the common basis of people who became Gargantuan monsters, before their human nature was replaced by the horrifica of their thoughts and deeds, setting them apart from the rest of us. The point in fact though is that Hitler and Pol Pot and Stalin and Mao and the other people-eaters of this century were "people" too. To make them somehow extra-human is to relieve ourselves of the responsibility of them; that what they have done was somehow outside the sphere of human ability. They were just people, though people with no humanity.
The Nazis were sprung of the simplest elements--fear, hope, hate, revenge, and of course delusion. But simple. Part of the earliest mass of NSDAP literature, the stuff that helped fuel Hitler, was printed in this little shop. One jackbooted man is doing the typesetting, another other running one of the tabletop presses. Two guys, a few machines, a paper cutter, a few trays of type. A dynamic speaker. One radiator. One light bulb.
And of course someone willing to listen, as well as a greater mass of someones who chose to hear but not do anything about what it was they heard.