- Adolf Hitler, the Fuhrer of Nazi Germany, remains one of the great enigmas of history despite the large number of studies of his life. His wickedness and brutality appear beyond human reason. Every aspect of Hitler's life has been examined and much has been speculated, as scholars attempt to determine his responsibilities and abilities. The studies of Hitler illustrate a fundamental aspect of historical research--whether powerful individuals make history or are determined by their society. If Hitler alone dictated events in the Third Reich, then the rest of society can avoid taking responsibility. If Hitler rose to power because of a societal problem, then scholars must identify this problem and determine its uniqueness. The study of Hitler must combine social, economic, political, and psychological history. This study examines research on Hitler by Anglo-American authors and notes the key areas of controversy about his life, his ideas, and the conclusions that they have drawn. These key areas include Hitler's family ancestry, his childhood, the character of his mother and father, his economic status in Vienna, the roots of his anti-Semitism, his political skills, his attraction to Germans, his foreign-policy goals, his ability as a war leader, his mental condition, his sexual preferences, his method of death, and his meaning for history. Little agreement can be found among scholars concerning these areas. Because of the failure to explain and comprehend Hitler, he seems inhuman, almost mythical, and the lessons of his life remain incomplete.
- Wood, Laura Matysek.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Texas Christian University, 1996.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 203-213).
Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI Dissertation Services, 1997. 22 cm.
Dissertations and Theses