I'll try to help clarify a bit without writing a book.
- Germans were already pretty antisemitic
- Hitler was a celebrity, a war veteran who had published his autobiography/political indoctrine after being thrown in prison for treason. Etc
- He had been a professional orator.
- He clawed his way up from nothing, became very politically active, and was essentially the perfect leader: Germany was still sore from WWI, their
economy and pride were badly hurting. Hitler was their phoenix from the ashes.
- The Nazi party staged a coup to gain majority in parliament. Hitler was groomed for leadership.
- They used the Enabling Act to make Hitler what amounted to a dictator. This was an orchestrated takeover.
- We have access to letters and diaries from Goebbels and Himmler, and it definitely wasn't just Hitler bossing them around.
He was Time magazine's man of the year in 1938 and he invaded Poland in 1939. He was a great figurehead - certainly the star of the show, but he had a
full cast and producers and crew behind him.
Hitler also suffered from bipolar disorder (which was actually diagnosed, a whole slew were probably lurking, including PTSD from WWI.). He was
frequently ill, and would have died (from Parkinson's or syphilis, it's unlikely we'll ever know but he was rapidly declining) had he not killed
himself. There's no way that he's responsible for every atrocity of WWII, and while he was a horrible man, it is still awfully easy to point fingers.
He was the most extreme among a group of fanatics. He was loved and respected
but his underlings weren't some kind of zombie mob.
There's plenty more out there but I won't take all the fun out of researching.
Source: many years of reading everything I could get my hands on with web support where memory failed.
Or if you'd like a longer read than mine:
I maintain a neutral approach to research especially with WWII and try not to let the situation muddy my views until I gather enough data. If it's a
topic you're interested in this is just a drop in the bucket.
edit on 7-3-2015 by FireflyStars because: (no reason given)