Ron Rosenbaum has intrigued me re: an aspect of Hitler's personality
December 16, 2013 3:59 PM Subscribe
Reading his "Explaining Hitler" a while back, Ron Rosenbaum briefly mentioned reading various explorations of Hitler's personality, one of which touched on the possibility that Hitler was not actually Hitler, but was merely 'acting like Hitler' and was very aware of the gap between real man and created monster. And I just thought he was nuts. While not overly concerned with Hitler himself, I am extremely interested in that idea: that people can be themselves, or other than themselves, or intentionally act like themselves on a long-term and global scale. I feel that way once in a while myself. It is a very hard topic to google, though (or explain, clearly), and my skills are thin. Does anyone know of this literature he referred to or anything similar? Or even what such a thing might be called?
posted by umberto to Religion & Philosophy (18 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Rosenbaum himself only mentioned it in passing whilst describing Claude Lanzmann's refusal to consider any fact about Hitler whatsoever outside of the reality of his deeds. I understand that refusal, but I am curious as to the internal monologue of someone so over-the-top evil. I've re-perused Hofstadter but that doesn't seem like anything he's quite touched on. I have always assumed that rationalization could lead one to self-delude your way out of a lot of things; but the notion that someone could consciously construct a representation that ended up being the historical Hitler is breathtakingly weird. But so are humans. Thanks for anything anyone comes up with.