Pictures of Hitler – What They Tell Us
As a highly public figure and important dictator, Adolph Hitler was photographed frequently. There are many different pictures of this man that show several sides of a complex personality. There's a great deal that these pictures tell us. Examining pictures of Hitler from various points in his life can help to fill in the story of the Holocaust. In many of the most publicized pictures of the Holocaust, Hitler is shown in the midst of an impassioned speech, or giving the recognizable Nazi salute. This Hitler is always in command of the situation and is the obvious center of attention in the shot. This is Hitler the dictator.
Examining other shots of Hitler can show many different sides of his personality. Many pictures of Hitler show him with animals and children. He offers a seemingly gentle smile and caring hand. While this may seem at complete odds with Hitler the murderer, it actually underscores one of the most fundamental parts of his personality and belief system. Hitler was not a man who hated all human beings. In fact, he was very tender and affectionate towards those he believed were part of the superior race. His goal was to further the Aryan master race until this was the only race left.
To accomplish his goal, Hitler needed to exterminate Jews and others who were a threat to racial purity. Women and children were particular targets because they were the future of the Jewish people and had the potential of continuing the race. The flip side of Hitler's quest for racial purity was to provide care and attention for those who met his requirements of Aryan purity. Women were encouraged to get married and have as many children as possible. Hitler encouraged big families and had great fondness for the Aryan children that he saw as the future of his master race.
Toward the end of Hitler's life, it's possible to see even the hard face of the dictator softening with age. This is not to imply that he was any less cruel. From the comfort of his bunker, Hitler still coordinated the massive genocide of over 6 million Jews. However, the strain of years of dictatorship certainly took their toll. There are many indications that Hitler had Parkinson's disease in later years. He can be seen holding one hand behind his back. He purportedly did this to conceal the shaking and hide his weakness. In the end, the powerful dictator could not even face up to his crimes and instead took his own life.