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Seeing Hitler in real life

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Seeing Hitler in real life

Old 31st Aug 2020, 15:07
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Plenty of people saw Hitler. I mean, there are videos of him talking to huge crowds. In Vienna, he held an anschluss speech from the hofburg palace balcony (heldenplatz). Many people saw him, but it kinda wasn’t really a thing to brag about after ww2.

Also, the part about hiding from nazis is a bit strange. Brother was enlisted - so they were not jewish, right? They were also not hiding, or he would not have to go, right?

but really, what’s the obsession with seeing a politician from that era with her own eyes? I once saw Gorbachow with my own eyes, less than 10 meters away from me. So... what?
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 16:11
  #22 (permalink)  
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Hokulea I think it's fine to post here. Not least, other topics are quiet at the moment! My father was also Nav/Rad operator in Mosquitos and Beaufighters.

In my work with bereaved people across the last 29 years, I have spoken to countless numbers of British and European people about the war. I have met those who were on the Kindertransport, those whose families saw the writing on the wall and got out early. I have met those whose families did not get out early. I have heard the story of a women who survived the war in Vienna by continually moving her hiding place. I met a Jewish man who was in Berlin on Krystallnacht but one of the most memorable was a story of a two Jewish teenagers who escaped from Austria, through the mountains to Switzerland.

May I suggest that you ask her about the escape? That will prove interesting and memorable. In the process, when and where she saw the parade will probably emerge - including it's place in her memories.

My father wrote a memoir in his retirement that was intended for his children and grandchildren and those of his pilot. By good fortune, it was also published. My father had spoken little of the war, there were photgraphs on the walls and we attended memorials and fund raising events. He said, "When I started to write, it just poured out of me." He would now be 96 years old. There were many things I did not ask him but his memoir gave us many answers.

I also agree that a grandchild may be spoken to more easily than a child. I have heard this reported numerous times.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 17:12
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Fascinating though this topic is, I'm not sure how it meets the description 'aviation history and nostalgia' (unless the two concepts are meant to be mutually exclusive - which I doubt).
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 21:20
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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It's certainly nostalgic and I don't see why anyone minds the discussion. One could always ignore and go to another thread; or post something positive maybe?
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 00:11
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Erm.... isn't this an aviation forum?
Someone mentioned Hermann Goering. Fits the bill. If you've never heard the name, look it up.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 04:46
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Hokulea, lots of interesting responses. My recommendation is "Ask away".

My Dad fought in Burma during WWII and rarely talked about his experiences. I wish I had asked him more questions while he was alive.

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Old 1st Sep 2020, 09:34
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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In the 1930's (Hitler became Fuhrer in 1933 and by 1934 his control was Total & Absolute) many wealthy Brits and Americans were doing the ''European Grand Tour'' usually with Thomas Cooks.
Other less well heeled travellers took to walking & cycling tours by train and taking the mountain air in Bavaria and such like.

Some had the privilege of colour Cine film cameras at that time taken by these travellers.
There are some superb archive films of Hitler himself at various rallies, State events, or 'public' gatherings (1936 Olympics being one such) and how Germany and its towns and Cities were being ''Nazi-fied'' being adorned with flags and soldiers seen everywhere.
The new buildings of modern Germany was apace.

The curiosity then to visit Germany by foreign travellers was not uncommon.

Travel and Tourism from 1933 until 1939 was still popular to Germany but there was a growing uncertainty and fear that Hitler was out for more than just annexing old Territories.
Obviously many folk living there (and also in Austria and Czechoslovakia) knew this danger far more well than any of the well heeled Thomas Cook Travellers.

Likewise as the the OP's mother who now at 87 may have some stories to tell, if she can, and if she wants to.

Visits by 1930's travellers to the growing Nazi controlled Germany and then ultimately annexed Austria were still going until summer 1939 and this was still at a time of appeasement and ''who is this little funny fella with a tiny moustache'' but by Summer 1939 many tourists were quickly returning home having seen the 'change of mood, and that a Gathering Storm was looming' and the knowledge that War was likely.

In addition to the tourists leaving we know that many Germans and Czechs were also trying to flee...
A read up on Sir Nicholas Winton is both sad but fulfilling.

I highly recommend a 10 day Tour that I did last year ''Hitler, The Face of Evil - The Rise & Fall of Nazi Germany''
This tour tells the whole story of the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich chronologically from its birth in 1919 Munich, to its bloody end in Berlin in 1945 and the Aftermath.
You will learn a lot from this - My guide was Author and Historian Roger Moorhouse
We started in Munich (where it all began) then to Berchtesgaden in the mountains, Eagles Nest & the Berghof, The stories of the locals and farmers there hiding out in the mountains from the Nazis, back to Dachau, Nuremberg, for Rallies and Trials, Lake Wannsee and the Villa, Templehof, 1936 Olympic Stadium, and many of Berlin's historic buildings & sites both above and underground.

We also visited Wagner’s Museum & Opera theatre in Bayreuth, Bavaria. Hitler was Wagner's No.1 fan.
We were made uncomfortably familiar from photographs of Adolf Hitler (the keenest of Wagnerites) arriving in State, surrounded by swastikas and outstretched-arms.
Hitler would then wave to his adoring crowds during the Opera interval from a first floor balcony.
That the Nazis annexed Wagner wasn’t wholly Wagner’s fault: he had, after all, been under that black, untitled slab for half a century before Hitler came to power.
But his extra-musical writings – which covered everything from the evils of Judaism to the virtues of a vegetarian diet were a gift to the Third Reich.
It’s a subject that three generations on still haunts the Wagner family – who still run the annual music festival.

Last edited by rog747; 1st Sep 2020 at 09:44.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 10:07
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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rog747

I have not done as many of the historical Third Reich sites and museums as you but have been to the rally grounds in Nürnberg, and boy did it feel very strange standing where Hitler did and look out over the field. I can't describe the feeling, it just didn't seem right. I also went, on the same trip to the Dokucentrum in Nürnberg, and on a later holiday to the Berchtesgaden "Eagles Nest". If you can speak German and read some of the documents in these museums they provide a real insight into the "other side". Generally speaking we in the UK are fed, for good reasons, a very UK centric view of the war.

Your trip sounds really interesting from a historical perspective, and it is something that I would be very interested to do. History has two sides, and wherever possible it's good to learn about them.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 10:23
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
rog747

I have not done as many of the historical Third Reich sites and museums as you but have been to the rally grounds in Nürnberg, and boy did it feel very strange standing where Hitler did and look out over the field. I can't describe the feeling, it just didn't seem right. I also went, on the same trip to the Dokucentrum in Nürnberg, and on a later holiday to the Berchtesgaden "Eagles Nest". If you can speak German and read some of the documents in these museums they provide a real insight into the "other side". Generally speaking we in the UK are fed, for good reasons, a very UK centric view of the war.

Your trip sounds really interesting from a historical perspective, and it is something that I would be very interested to do. History has two sides, and wherever possible it's good to learn about them.

I was very impressed to see at many of the places we went to that new exhibition halls and more Documentation Centres have been opened and/or being upgraded - In both German and English.
The sight of many young German students and study groups with their teachers was very evident - At last Germany seems to be passing down its darker history to be told in a constructive way to its young.
We must remember that many of these sites are deemed ''Toxic'' and frankly the German's did not know what to do with them for the past 50 years or so.
I am glad that they have not been bulldozer ed into oblivion but are now able to be seen by all and described there what happened.

Our guide Roger Moorhouse was fascinating. I learn't so much.
This was my tour -
https://www.historicaltrips.co.uk/to...l.html?site=UK

For 2021
https://www.theculturalexperience.co...16157da59176eb

I may do their 2022 Burma Tour (my trip this year was cancelled)
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 10:33
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
I was very impressed to see at many of the places we went to that new exhibition halls and more Documentation Centres have been opened and/or being upgraded - In both German and English.
The sight of many young German students and study groups with their teachers was very evident - At last Germany seems to be passing down its darker history to be told in a constructive way to its young.
We must remember that many of these sites are deemed ''Toxic'' and frankly the German's did not know what to do with them for the past 50 years or so.
I am glad that they have not been bulldozer ed into oblivion but are now able to be seen by all and described there what happened.

Our guide Roger Moorhouse was fascinating. I learn't so much.
This was my tour -
https://www.historicaltrips.co.uk/to...l.html?site=UK

For 2021
https://www.theculturalexperience.co...16157da59176eb

I may do their 2022 Burma Tour (my trip this year was cancelled)
What you say about the Germans attitudes is so very true, back in the 70s when my Dad was working on the MRCA as it was then called he spent a lot of time working with MTU, and on a couple of occasions I remember as a child him entertaining a couple of his colleagues at our house for dinner. Both almost couldn't wait to apologise for the war; fast forward to the beginning of this century and people talk about is as history, and I never heard an apology from my German colleagues and bosses. It's refreshing, but I suppose not entirely surprising. I just find it sad that many people in UK, and not just the older generation continue to "fight the war" not helped by our jingoistic print news media.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 11:10
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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In my dealings with German work colleagues, I find them a joy to work with and socially we have a great deal in common. Our sense of humour seems to be very similar too. It does make one wonder how we managed to fall out - twice.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 12:50
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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By all means talk to whomever is still alive about those days. History is many-faceted and different people will have experienced different bits of it. As said before, seeing Hitler was not that rare, whole schools were sent to wave to his open-car motorcade when he traveled through Austria after it had been annexed in 1938, and they probably had to fight for space with a lot of others wanting to see him. Remember that was a time when speaking to the masses was a required political skill as radio set saturation in households was far from 100%.

Living in a city that was bombed was certainly awful but I remember an uncle, then about 12 years old, telling me what an adventure is was for his friends an him, who ignoring the bomb raid sirens rather than going to a shelter, went out into the fields to watch dogfights between Allied escorts and German fighters and maybe even see a bomber crashing. For them it was just another adventure. (For those a few years older, it was more serious as they were drafted as auxiliaries manning flak guns, carrying ammunition, etc.)

Depending on what you saw it is quite understandable that you might not want to talk about it, although there are some books detailing such youth war experiences.

I regret not talking more about those times with my grandparents and parents when they were still alive, so I have to fall back on bits and pieces that surfaced occasionally.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 18:33
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I had a US friend, now gone, who, while in school in Germany, argued with the Hitler Youth guy who came round to talk to them about how good it was going to be. After the debate, the school principle told him to get away as fast as he could, as they would be looking for him. He moved to France then when that was over-run, Britain. He wanted to help, so, while still a German national, joined the British Army. When it became apparent he would be given unimportant duties as they didn't trust people like him, he joined the special forces and managed to get some action. Changed his obviously Jewish name to Bentley as, while likely to be executed anyway if captured, he might get better treatment.
War over, he emmigrated to the US and started a sucessful engineering company, married a very waspy lady who bred race horses.
Further down the line, after the wall went down, he had to go back and deal with the several properties that had been confiscated from his family . Virtually all of whom died in camps. We talked about it and it very tricky for him to go back, but he felt he had to do it for the few remaining members of his family who were not so well off as he.
I have rarely met such an ethical and entertaining person and miss him.
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Old 1st Sep 2020, 18:58
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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A now deceased friend was tasked as a child with taking some flowers to an aunt to mark her birthday. The aunt was a nurse in a Munich hospital and she was a little surprised how quiet everything was. In any case she bounded up the stairs and literally ran into three leather coated men. The middle one with a distinctive moustache took the flowers and thanked her. Her family were less impressed when she finally owned up as to what happened to the flowers. In any case she would often avail listeners of this tale, lamenting her 'Nazi Past'.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 13:17
  #35 (permalink)  
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I would like to thank everyone again for being so kind and providing so much information in this thread. Special thanks to certifs, PAXboy and rog747. I looked up tours by Historical Trips and either to due to the pandemic or other reasons I don't see the Hitler tour you mentioned, but it is one I would certainly take if I get the opportunity. Several years ago I offered to take my mother on a tour of Normandy and other places my father visited after D-Day but she declined. I suspect she thought it would be too hard for her emotionally. I'd still like to visit those places myself. I remember my father saying he was in Belgium and could see the V2 rockets being launched and felt so frustrated he couldn't do anything about them.

I have two further questions if you don't mind and given you've all been so helpful I have no problem if you can't help further. Anyway:

1) rog747 - could someone who is disabled go on the Hitler tour you mentioned? Not horribly disabled, just not able to walk very far;

2) My father told me several times he shared a tent with someone who became a famous Welsh opera singer. I don't know the exact dates, i.e., not sure if it was before or after D-Day (I suspect the former), but does anyone have any idea who that singer might have been? They would have served in the RAF during WWII and worked with an RDF/radar group and presumably gone on to become relatively famous for their voice. Any information would be very welcome.

India and Spring - nice to see you here! I hope both of you are doing well!
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 18:30
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Hokulea,
Very interested in your story and indeed, all the other postings.
I "googled" your request and think Sir Geraint Evans may be the name you are looking for. He was in the RAF and trained as a radio engineer.
Out of interest, my father was taken as a 9 year old boy by my grandfather to Berlin in 1936 and saw Hitler at the Olympic games. My 94 year old mother confirmed this today when I told her about this particular forum.
Regards, Grumpy.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 19:15
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Definitely ask her. I have found in several cases, including my Grandma, and my wive's grandma, they both had the thoughts "oh, no one wants to hear those old stories" thinking the younger generations had no interest. My Grandma "never spoke" about the loss of her brother in the Philippines (Corporal Paul Warhoover, USA) until I asked her about it one day. She was still saddened about it, but was fine to talk about and she was happy to hear we had put his name on a remembrance list at the National Mall in Washington DC.

My wife once asked her Grandma what it was like during prohibition and at first got the "oh you don't want to hear all that old stuff" but then she got talking and it was fascinating.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 20:00
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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A good (deceased) aviation doctor friend of mine heard him speak in 1936 and described his oratory as "electrifying", Same friend was one of the first in to the concentration camps and looked the other way as summary justice was handed out by the inmates to their oppressors ........
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Old 3rd Sep 2020, 09:57
  #39 (permalink)  
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Thank you, Grumpy! I'm sure that's the person with whom my father shared a tent. My father could also sing a bit - I wonder if he picked it up from Sir Evans? Thank you again!
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Old 4th Sep 2020, 12:18
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Did a tour of my erstwhile boarding school, in Germany. Had a look in the 'bunker'.
Row of latrines, all with pot but no door. The end one had a door labelled 'Fuehrer'.
I don't think he ever used it.
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