The fall of Berlin, 1945, part 2/X

2014-12-11

in Bombs and rockets, Writing

“The Nazis occupied a particular place in the life of the city. Berliners had never fully accepted Hitler or his evangelism. They had always been too sophisticated and too international in outlook. In fact, the Berliner’s caustic humor, political cynicism and almost complete lack of enthusiasm for the Fuhrer and his new order had long plagued the Nazi Party. Whenever torchlight parades or other Nazi demonstrations to impress the world were held in Berlin, thousands of storm troopers had to be shipped in from Munich to beef up the crowds of marchers. ‘They look better in the newsreels than we do,’ wisecracked the Berliners, ‘and they also have bigger feet!’

Try as he might, Hitler was never able to capture the hearts of the Berliners. Long before the city was demolished by Allied bombs, a frustrated and angry Hitler was already planning to rebuild Berlin and shape it to the Nazi image. He even intended to change its name to Germania, for he had never forgotten that in every free election in the thirties Berliners had rejected him. In the critical balloting of 1932 when Hitler was sure he would unseat Hindenburg, Berlin gave him its lowest vote of all – only 23 percent. Now, the fanatics among the citizenry were determined to make Berlin, the least Nazi city in Germany, the last Festung (fortress) of Nazism. Although they were in the minority, they were still in control.”

Ryan, Cornelius. The Last Battle. 1966. p. 52 (emphasis in original)

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