Adolf Hitler had a difficult upbringing filled with losses and disappointments. As a very young child, he was closely attached to his parents, however this relationship changed drastically by adolescence. From that point onwards, Hitler suffered from a series of parental rejections and a lack of recognition. His mother tended to focus her attention on her younger son, Edmund. At the same time, his father was often absent from the family home, reportedly travelling for business a lot and leaving Adolf feeling neglected and rejected.
Hitler’s poor socialization is often attributed to his poor upbringing. He was an odd child, who refused to speak and play with other children and withdrew further into himself when his younger brother was born. By age 18, he had just two close friends and could not be said to be well liked by his peers. It’s thought that this lack of socialization has contributed to his distorted views of people, his ability to create hate, and lead Nazis in a way that ultimately led to their defeat.
Poor Mental Health
Hitler’s mental health was also widely considered to be impaired due to his unapproachable personality and lack of empathy for others. It is believed that he suffered from paranoia and depression, as well as inadequate emotional development. He was known to become very aggressive in his writing and speeches and was known to struggle to form trusting relationships. His mental health was never officially diagnosed, however it is widely believed that this was due to his unhappiness with his own life, coupled with his poor upbringing.
With a poor upbringing and lacking mental health, it is no surprise that Hitler became emotionally unstable. His speeches during World War 2 represented this instability, becoming increasingly aggressive, paranoid and, ultimately, desperate. His lack of balance and control over his emotions also contributed to his downfall, as his irrational thought processes and behaviour meant that he made many mistakes in his decision-making. It is attributed to this emotional instability that his Third Reich ultimately crumbled.
The effects of Hitler’s problems are still being felt today, more than 70 years after his death. His ideology has been adopted by far-right political parties and organisations, thus continuing to propagate intolerance and corruption around the world. The other lasting effect of his troubled upbringing is that it serves as a reminder to us of the life-long consequences of childhood trauma and parental neglect. This serves as an important reminder to parents around the world of the responsibility they have in upbringing their children.
The Psychological Explanation of Hitler’s Rise to Power
From a psychological perspective, there have been numerous studies into what motivated Hitler and why he was able to be successful in his rise to power. It is believed that his broken childhood combined with his crippling fear of rejection, inspired him to create a powerful and unified regime where his own flawed ideologies could reign supreme. It is theorized that his primary goal was to achieve acceptance and recognition, something he had been denied throughout his childhood. His craving for power and recognition of course, ultimately led to the disaster that was World War 2.
Public Perception of Hitler
The public perception of Hitler has drastically changed since his death, from admiration to revulsion. He is now widely thought of as a cruel and hateful leader, responsible for one of the biggest atrocities in human history. His legacy has become synonymous with fascism, racism and genocide. He is a reminder to us all of the danger of corrupt and dictatorial leadership, and the immense power of hate.
Hitler’s legacy and his influence on world history can not be underestimated. His policies and ideologies led to what is considered the most devastating war in human history, causing the deaths of millions of people. He is rightfully blamed for the Holocaust, and it’s thought that he personally ordered the extermination of six million Jews. His incompetence as a leader, combined with his extreme hate, ultimately brought Germany and the entire world to its knees.
The reverberations of Hitler’s legacy can still be felt today in the form of modern extremist movements. His ideologies of hatred, bigotry and arrogance remain alive in various parts of the world, taking many different forms. Radical ideologies like Fascism, Neo-Nazis and the KKK still persist in some parts of the world, and Hitler’s actions have sadly acted as a blueprint for future extremist movements.
Although his ways of thinking and actions are widely looked down upon today, evidence of his political rhetoric and style still remain. The use of public speaking and targeted language to manipulate emotions remain widely used in political campaigns, although the degree of its use is not as extreme as it was during Hitler’s rule. His speeches have gained infamy for their aggressive rhetoric, emotional triggers and powerful language.
The Neo-Nazism Phenomenon
The Neo-Nazism phenomenon is an unfortunate spin-off from Hitler’s legacy. Right-wing political parties and organisations around the world continue to use Nazi propaganda and rhetoric to gain power and manipulate public opinion. The aims of their movements differ from the original Nazi movement, yet still espouse similar ideals. The memory of Hitler’s crimes against humanity still serve as a reminder of the danger of allowing hatred and intolerance to spread.
It is the task of informed activists to oppose the ideologies and movements of Hitler’s legacy. Through grass-roots campaigns and open political dialogues, activists across the world have the power to challenge and prevent the spread of far-right extremism. Through this they can mobilize those with shared views and challenge the ideas that Hitler used to manipulate people and create his oppressive regime.