“HITLER: A CAREER”–understanding evil

“Hitler: A Career”

Understanding Evil

Amos Lassen

Being Jewish, I never thought I would sit through a film about the most evil man who ever lived, Adolph Hitler. Neither did I ever think I would use my valuable time to review a film about him. Yet “Hitler: A Career” (First Run Features) is a film that is so important and so relevant that it must be seen and therefore I feel a duty to comment on it.

I know I am not alone in wondering how a man like Hitler could become a messianic figure to the people of Germany. What was it that caused Germans to embrace the fascism of Nazism and follow him? What we learn from the movie is that many Germans themselves do not have an answer to this and they have lined up to see this documentary that runs for two and a half hours.

In the early 1970’s there began a new interest in the Fuhrer and Joachim Fest, who had written the definitive history of Hitler, decided to put everything down on the printed page and then eventually make a movie based on his book. He wanted to make a movie that would look at how an obscure minor artist from Austria could not come to power but use that power for evil.

This film has faced harsh criticism. Some have said that it glorifies Hitler’s appeal and does not deal with the consequences of evil. Jews claim that it just looks at the surface of the horrors he brought about and shows Hitler as a “hypnotic spellbinder” who lured Germans into a terrible and criminal war. One critic called the film “dangerous” and claims that the film is so academic that it is above the intellectual capability of the masses. Other critics feel that the film sells the masses short.

The footage of Nazi atrocities and the destruction of German cities stuns. Other scenes evoke nervous laughter especially those scenes when the crowds seem to worship the man. But these issues are not what the film is about. It looks at and carefully explores just how the man rose to power and how he managed to lead Germany to destruction, In order to understand the age of Hitler, we must understand the appeal of the man who. We NEED to know how this happened.

Given the subject, I did not expect this movie to hold me the way that it did. It completely and utterly dissects the Third Reich as it looks at the rise of Hitler. Much of the footage in this film has ever been seen before and as the movie examines the causes behind the rise of this evil, we begin to understand. However, I do not think that I will ever comprehend the useless murder of over 6.000,000 of my people.

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